April 1, 2023

The Myanmar army continues to safe provides of aviation gas — involving corporations from Asia and Europe — regardless of air raids which have killed and maimed civilians and compelled 1000’s from their properties, based on a brand new report.

Amnesty Worldwide, International Witness and advocacy group Burma Marketing campaign UK mentioned on Wednesday they’d recognized extra corporations concerned in aviation gas transactions, following up on an investigation into the aviation gas provide chain final yr that discovered provides for civilian aviation had been being diverted to the army,

“Now we have traced new shipments of aviation gas which have doubtless ended up within the fingers of Myanmar’s army, which has persistently performed unlawful air strikes,” Montse Ferrer, Amnesty Worldwide’s researcher and advisor on enterprise and human rights, mentioned in an announcement.

“For the reason that army’s coup in 2021, it has brutally suppressed its critics and attacked civilians from the bottom and the air. Provides of aviation gas reaching the army allow these battle crimes. These shipments should cease now.

Military chief Min Aung Hlaing seized energy from Myanmar’s elected authorities simply over two years in the past, sparking mass protests which have advanced into armed resistance amid a brutal army crackdown.

The United Nations says the army carried out at the least 670 air assaults final yr, 12 occasions greater than the 54 recorded the yr earlier than. The UN says a few of the assaults — together with a raid on a faculty within the northern central Sagaing area final September that killed at the least 11 youngsters — quantity to battle crimes.

“We urge anybody concerned on this commerce to place folks earlier than earnings and to stop supplying the gas that facilitates these atrocities,” Hanna Hindstrom, senior investigator at International Witness, which helped conduct the analysis, mentioned in an announcement. “We name on extra states to enact or reinforce controls to stop these provides.”

Shippers to insurers

The most recent report discovered that the oil tanker Prime V, which sailed from the Indian port of Sikka on November 22, offloaded Jet A-1 grade aviation gas on the former Puma Power Aviation Solar (PEAS) terminal in Myanmar’s Thilawa port about three weeks later. .

Corporations concerned within the transaction included India’s Reliance Industries, which owns the Sikka terminal, Sea Commerce Marine, the Greek firm that’s the helpful proprietor of Prime V, and Japan’s P&I Membership, which supplied the safety and indemnity (P&I) insurance coverage.

Amnesty mentioned it contacted the businesses, however solely the Japan P&I Membership responded, saying that it complied with relevant sanctions on the time and that its insurance coverage cowl could also be terminated if a vessel is concerned in criminal activity. There isn’t a suggestion that the Prime V broke relevant legal guidelines on this supply.

The report additionally obtained proof of an October cargo involving the tanker Large Sea 104, which left Bangkok Port’s Bangchak Oil Refinery on or about October 8, arriving at Thilawa a few week later. It offloaded 12,592 tonnes of Jet A-1, based on information from Kpler, a commodities data firm, on the former PEAS terminal, Amnesty mentioned.

The Bangchakery is owned by the publicly-listed Thai firm Bangchak Company. Prima Marine, one other Thai firm, is the helpful proprietor of Large Sea 104, whereas Luxembourg-based The Shipowners’ P&I Membership supplied the insurance coverage. None of those corporations responded to Amnesty Worldwide’s letters in regards to the cargo, the rights group mentioned.

The report additionally raised questions in regards to the sale of the Myanmar property of Swiss and Singapore-based Puma Power.

Puma Power introduced final October it was withdrawing from Myanmar after promoting its property to a “regionally owned non-public firm”. It mentioned it had secured undertakings from the client to adjust to “Human Rights legal guidelines” and never use property to commit human rights violations.

Amnesty mentioned the transaction was accomplished in December final yr and that the client of the property was Shoon Power, previously often called Asia Solar Aviation.

Shoon Power is a part of the Myanmar enterprise conglomerate Asia Solar, which imported aviation gas on behalf of the army after which distributed it to air bases. With the departure of Puma Power, this conglomerate now manages the principle aviation gas terminal in Thilawa port, and, collectively with the military-controlled Myanmar Petroleum Merchandise Enterprise, the import and distribution of aviation gas throughout the nation.

People behind the Asia Solar group and its related companies had been sanctioned by the UK and the European Union over their hyperlinks to the provision of aviation gas to the Myanmar air pressure.

However Amnesty famous that earlier than the sanctions had been imposed, a few of the names of the businesses within the group had been modified to Shoon Power.

“Puma Power has acknowledged that the client of its Myanmar property has undertaken to ‘adjust to Human Rights regulation’. Nonetheless, given the shut relationship between Shoon Power and the Myanmar army we’re involved this assurance is actually meaningless,” Ferrer mentioned.

A jet fuel tanker at the Thilawa port.  There are two port workers standing in front of it.  There is a Puma logo on the side of the tanker and the words JET A-1.
Puma Power bought its Thilawa port enterprise to a Myanmar conglomerate final December, Amnesty mentioned. [File: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters]

After the November report, a few of the corporations recognized took motion to curb actions linked to the provision of aviation gas to Myanmar.

Amnesty and International Witness reiterate their name for international locations to droop the export and transport of aviation gas to Myanmar, and droop the supply of third-party providers comparable to insurance coverage, transport or monetary providers to vessels concerned within the cargo of aviation gas to Myanmar.

“The worldwide group has the instruments in place to implement these restrictions. We should always do what’s in our energy to cut back the Myanmar army’s capability for terrorizing civilians,” Hindstrom mentioned.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *