Singapore Told to Clampdown on Companies Supplying Myanmar Military
By The Irrawaddy 11 August 2022
Justice for Myanmar (JFM), a group of activists monitoring the business interests of the Myanmar military, has called on Singapore to take immediate action against companies that broker the supply of arms and equipment to the junta.
Some 116 companies based in Singapore and Myanmar have brokered the supply of weapons and other equipment worth many millions of US dollars to the Myanmar military. Linked to the total of 78 Myanmar-based companies supplying the military are at least 38 subsidiary or associated companies in Singapore, JFM said in a report released on Thursday.
JFM called on Singapore to impose immediate sanctions to ban the use of its territory, including its banks and ports, for the supply of arms and equipment to the Myanmar military.
“So far only a few of the companies supplying arms and equipment to the junta have been sanctioned. The vast majority are continuing to operate freely. This is unacceptable,” said JFM spokesperson Ma Yadanar Maung.
Singapore has significant power to end the military regime’s war crimes and crimes against humanity, but it will remain complicit in the junta’s atrocities if it fails to take meaningful action, she added.
“Singapore and other governments imposed swift and coordinated sanctions on the Russian government and its arms businesses in response to its aggression against Ukraine. The time is well overdue for governments to take a decisive and coordinated response to the Myanmar military’s international crimes,” said Ma Yadanar Maung.
Currently, some western countries including the US and European Union member states have imposed sanctions against a few notorious arms dealers and companies including U Tay Za and his Htoo Group of Companies, U Aung Hlaing Oo’s Myanmar Chemical and Machinery Co, Dr. Aung Moe Myint, who runs Dynasty Excellency, Dr. Naing Htut Aung’s International Gateways Group, U Sitt Taing Aung’s Yatanarpon Aviation Support and U Jonnathan Kyaw Thaung’s KT Group.
Many other companies supplying military equipment to the Myanmar air force and navy are still operating freely, including LT Resources Co, which is owned by family members of former Myanmar air force chief Major General Maung Maung Kyaw, Mega Hill General Trading and Star Sapphire Trading.
The JLM report also named the Singapore-based companies Asia Trading Group Private Ltd, Shwe Htee San Trading Co, Mega Dynamic Co. Ltd and Achiever Marine Service, Myan Shwe Pyi Tractors Ltd, Sun & Moon 777, Moezac Co, Singa International Enterprise, Pyae Naing Thu Co. Ltd and Xinde Marine Engineering Pte Ltd as supplying equipment to the Myanmar air force and navy.
Arms and equipment supplied by those companies are being employed by the military against the resistance movement, as well as being used to target civilians.
At least 2,158 civilians have died at the hands of the junta since last year’s coup, while over 15,000 people have been detained.
Approximately 860,000 people have been displaced by junta raids and arson attacks, said JFM, citing the records of other independent civil society organizations.