Today Global Witness
joined 148 other organizations in Myanmar and internationally in calling for US
oil and gas giant Chevron to ensure that money from its projects in Myanmar does
not help finance the murderous military regime that took power in a coup d’état
on 1 February.
Chevron is part of a group of international companies in joint venture partnerships with the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE). These joint venture projects collectively provided nearly $1.5billion in revenue to Myanmar’s government in FY 2019-2020, one of the single largest sources of income and foreign currency to the state. Following the coup, Myanmar’s military now has access to and control of the government’s accounts.
“Chevron and other oil and gas companies are potentially helping to fund the Myanmar military through their joint venture partnerships with the country’s state-owned oil and gas company,” said Paul Donowitz, Myanmar Campaign Leader at Global Witness
Civil society groups participating in the nation-wide, mass civil disobedience movement have recognized the importance of preventing this money from going to the military regime, which could use it to further their illicit power-grab and support the violent crackdowns on dissent that have left hundreds dead and thousands imprisoned since the coup.
In response the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the body representing Myanmar’s elected government, has called for oil and gas companies to prevent the junta from accessing the government’s money, and to instead pay money owed to MOGE into protected escrow accounts that can only be accessed once a civilian-led government is returned to power.
Global Witness supports these calls, and stands with the people of Myanmar who are facing escalating violence by the military as they peacefully protest against the coup.
“We stand with Myanmar and international civil society in calling for Chevron and all other international companies operating in Myanmar to take swift action to ensure their businesses are not supporting the Tatmadaw’s illegitimate power grab or fueling their ongoing abuses against the people of Myanmar,” said Donowitz.
“We call on Chevron to ensure the millions of dollars it pays to the Myanmar state are not accessed by the military junta, who continue to daily commit grave human rights abuses against those calling for a return to their elected government. Chevron, and all companies operating in Myanmar, must support the people of Myanmar in their struggle against the military.”