ASEAN Members: Alleged Source of Myanmar Junta Weapons and Funds

Myanmar junta is getting arms and financial support from other ASEAN members.
Myanmar junta is getting arms and financial support from other ASEAN members.

Justice for Myanmar (JFM) reports that Myanmar gets weapons and funding from six ASEAN countries even with the worsening affinity with the Myanmar junta. These include Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. They are also involved in the telecoms, oil, and gas sectors.

ASEAN consists of 10 Southeast Asian countries, including Myanmar. The said country has an exacerbating association with the Myanmar junta. However, some governments and businesses still provide military supplies, investments, and resources to the country’s military.

Neutralizing the Myanmar Junta

Other ASEAN members are trying to neutralize the Myanmar regime and forbid Myanmar junta’s top officials from its summits. It’s because they didn’t honor their promise to resolve the country’s political situation, which included stopping violence. So far, the regime has already annihilated 1,500 people, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma).

On Thursday, JFM released a statement during the ASEAN summit in Cambodia. It prohibited Myanmar’s top diplomat Wunna Maung Lwin from participating. It’s because of the inadequacy in the progress of alleviating the violence as well as enforcing the five-point consensus.

Myanmar Junta’s Arsenal Suppliers and Financiers

The activist group added that the Philippines and Indonesia supply weapons to the Myanmar junta. In 2017, the Philippines’ United Defense Manufacturing Corporation (UDMC) sent guns while the PT Pindad supplied bullets in 2020.

Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense’s Viettel
Global is a joint venture with a Myanmar military consortium in Mytel. It is the Myanmar junta’s leading source of earnings and technology.

Cambodian citizen, She Zhi Jiang is Yatai City project’s chief investor in Shwe Kokko, Myawaddy Township. It’s a vast real estate, casino and amusement development.

On the other hand, Singapore is the main source of business activities between the Myanmar military and its allies. The Emerging Towns & Cities Singapore (ETC) pay the authorities for developing properties. They rent the property from the Myanmar junta’s Quartermaster General’s Office.

Another supplier is PTT Public Co. Ltd. The major shareholder is Thailand’s government. It’s an operator and, at the same time, invests in countless gas exploration projects.

The Blood Money Campaign functions to prevent the military government from earning foreign currency revenue. Likewise, they want to cease international business from collaborating with the military. They asked ASEAN members to discontinue doing business with the military, including foreign countries.

“Rather than telling the junta to stop the violence and crimes, they need to get involved in practical efforts to cut out doing business with the junta,” said Ko Ye, a spokesperson for the campaign.

Philippines Declines Myanmar Junta-led Myanmar RCEP

According to the Philippine government, it won’t consent to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) ratification instrument of military junta-led Myanmar. They won’t approve it except if it contradicts an Association of Southeast Asian Nations consensus.

“The Philippines will not accept Myanmar’s Instrument of Ratification (of RCEP). But if that stands in the way of my sister Indonesia and my brothers in Asean achieving consensus, I will not stand in the way and yield to their judgment,” said Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. 

Previously, New Zealand announced that it wouldn’t deal with Myanmar under the said agreement. The Philippine Senate, on the other hand, still needs to synchronize with the agreement’s ratification.

It’s not yet certain if other RCEP signatory states will jump on the bandwagon. However, if they do, it would exaggerate the pressure on Myanmar, which is already experiencing economic sanctions.


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