Protest in Australia against Adani ties with Myanmar military
By SAT News Desk
MELBOURNE, 1 April 2021: The Australian Centre for International Justice has in a press release in response to Adani Ports’ denying business with the Myanmar army (Adani press release) in response to the release of the report ‘Port of Complicity: Adani Ports in Myanmar’ has said Adani Ports denial is misleading as it fails to disclose ties with the Myanmar army. (Press release)
• Adani Ports is in direct business with the MEC, a United States’ sanctioned entity.
• On 23 May 2019, Adani Ports entered into a ‘build, operate, transfer’ (BOT) agreement with MEC.
• Adani Ports’ Myanmar subsidiary, the Adani Yangon International Terminal Company Limited, is constructing a container port in Yangon on MEC’s military-owned land.
• Documents from the Yangon Region Investment Commission show Adani Ports is purportedly paying land lease fees of up to US$52 million to MEC, its business partner.
• As is widely and publicly known, and is now acknowledged by US and UK sanctions, revenue from the military’s owned and controlled businesses help contribute to the military’s ability to commit atrocities in Myanmar.
• In August 2018, the UN Human Rights Council with the release of the Fact-Finding Mission’s report, issued a public warning to foreign corporations not to do business with the Myanmar military’s owned and controlled businesses. Some 10 months later, in May 2019, Adani Ports entered into an agreement with MEC, despite this public warning to foreign businesses.
• In April 2019, the UN Human Rights Council issued another warning and passed a resolution reminding foreign corporations, to respect international human rights and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in respect of Myanmar.
• On July 27, 2019, Adani Ports hosted Myanmar’s Commander-in-Chief and MEC leader, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at Mundra Ports, 10 days after the US barred his entry into the US citing his role in the military’s campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya. The atrocity crimes of the military, led by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, are being investigated at the ICJ and ICC in The Hague.
• In September 2019, after being listed in the UN Human Rights Council’s Fact-Finding Mission Report, Adani Ports remained silent about this public listing, even while other corporations listed in the FFM’s report, commenced a review of their business operations, and ultimately disengaged from the military-owned businesses in Myanmar.
• In February 2021, Adani Ports stated that it categorically denied engaging with the military leadership. This was contradicted by photographic and video evidence.
The Australian Centre for International Justice and Justice report on Myanmar has called on the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) and BSE to take regulatory action against Adani Ports, by requiring the company to respond to Port of Complicity in full and to disclose to shareholders its business links to the Myanmar military and the associated risks, including the implications of US sanctions against Adani Ports’ business partner, MEC. Regulatory action would follow a precedent set by the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX), which initiated regulatory action against Emerging Towns and Cities Singapore (ETC) for land lease payments to the Myanmar army.
Ahsan Haque from the Burmese Rohingya Community in Australia says, “It doesn’t inspire confidence in me, that the Adani Group claims to uphold human rights while it is still in business with military conglomerate, MEC. Adani Ports didn’t think about the human rights of the Rohingya when it went into business with MEC, a company led by General Min Aung Hlaing, who ordered genocide against my people, or when it rolled out the red carpet to him even while the whole world was beginning to act against the generals for the military’s crimes. MEC financed genocide against my people; no claims about respecting human rights are going to change that fact. Adani Ports has no choice but to end its business with the military, and because it still denies its business with MEC, we call on investors to act and divest from Adani Ports.”
Yadanar Maung, spokesperson for Justice For Myanmar says, “Adani Ports is complicit in the commission of atrocity crimes in Myanmar. Not only has the Myanmar military killed over 530 people protesting the military junta since the February 1 coup, but they are also conducting airstrikes against innocent villagers in ethnic areas that constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. Adani Ports has shown a repeated failure to take responsibility and to be truthful, so it is time the BSE and NSE take action against Adani Ports. The Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) has taken regulatory action against Singapore listed company ETC for a similar lease deal with the Myanmar military and we urge the BSE and NSE to take lessons from the SGX and act urgently. Action is critical now that the Myanmar military is violating international human rights and humanitarian law, by using most lethal weapons against civilians.”