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149 Human Rights Groups Call on Governments to End Burma/Myanmar Military’s Access to Jet Fuel and Weapons Ahead of ASEAN Summit

End Burma Jet Fuel

September 1, 2023

Governments participating in the upcoming ASEAN Summit in Jakarta must take coordinated actions to resolve the crisis in Myanmar, human rights groups said in an open letter to government leaders. The 149 organizations called on ASEAN members and dialogue partners, who are meeting in Indonesia September 5 – 7, to ban the Myanmar military’s access to jet fuel and urge the UN Security Council to implement an arms embargo.  

“The Summit is an opportunity for ASEAN governments and ASEAN dialogue partners, including the US, the EU, Japan, and others, to address the crisis with the seriousness and urgency that the people of Burma deserve,” said Myra Dahgaypaw, Senior Partnership Officer for International Justice and Accountability, UUSC. 

“ASEAN governments and dialogue partners must unite in a coordinated approach to the crisis that moves beyond the bloc,” Dahgaypaw said. “Individual governments must restrict the junta’s access to funding and weapons, better enforce existing sanctions, and work with the UN Security Council to pass a resolution calling for an arms embargo. The people of Burma need more than half measures and statements of concern. Governments must demonstrate the political will to confront a murderous regime that bombs civilians.”  

Human rights groups have urged governments to end the junta’s access to aviation fuel, which the military has used to conduct airstrikes that have resulted in mass displacement and civilian casualties. On November 3, 2022, Amnesty International published a report on the country’s aviation fuel supply chain that links national, regional and global companies to the Myanmar military. In the following months, governments including the US, UK, and Canada implemented sanctions targeting the aviation fuel supply chain. 

The ongoing air assaults, however, attest to the urgent need for other governments and multilateral institutions to follow suit. The Myanmar military conducted 442 airstrikes between January and April 2023, attacks that claimed the lives of 693 civilians. Airstrikes have terrorized the population, decimated critical infrastructure, and prevented communities from rebuilding. 

A Karen villager who spoke to Karen Human Rights Group described her family’s struggles following the death of her husband: “After my husband was killed by the airstrike conducted in my village, I have faced many difficulties to support my family, as I have become the sole breadwinner. My children are still very young so I have to take care of them and it prevents me from going out and working to make ends meet for my family.” 

In another interview with Karen Human Rights Group, a Karenni IDP said, “This July, there was a bombing of the Taungtagoo IDP camp. After this attack, we faced many challenges. The main challenges are related to accessing education, health, food and water, shelter, and supporting our livelihoods. The residents of the camp are also mentally affected by these challenges. Due to the aerial bombings, IDPs, [including] children, elderly, and some youth, have mental health problems, and have extreme fear and anxiety about relocating and resettling again in different areas.”

Recent action by the US government has paved the way for a more concerted approach to ending the military’s access to aviation fuel. On August 23, 2023, the US Department of Treasury made a regulatory determination declaring that operating in Myanmar’s aviation fuel sector – meaning selling, transporting, or facilitating the junta’s acquisition of fuel – is a sanctionable offense. This applies to non-Myanmar individuals and companies as well as those located in Myanmar. The US also designated two individuals and three companies, including Shoon Energy, for sanctions. 

“Recent action by the United States to interrupt the junta’s access to foreign currency and aviation fuel have created new momentum in efforts to stop the military’s abuses,” said Banya Khung Aung, Executive Director, Karenni Human Rights Group.  “The ASEAN Summit must capitalize on this momentum.”

“To maximize the impact of the US sanctions, the EU needs to step up and issue matching designations targeting aviation fuel suppliers. The US and EU must both also ban companies from providing financial services like shipping insurance to companies selling or transporting fuel to Myanmar,” said Keel Dietz, an independent Burma policy analyst. “Other governments – especially Singapore – should classify jet fuel as a dual-use good and implement additional restrictions on its sale, shipment, transshipment, financing, or the provision of any related services. The Summit is an opportunity for governments to coordinate their Myanmar policy so that these sanctions and other efforts will have real impact on the ground.”

For more information, please contact: 
Naw Wah Ku Shee, Karen Peace Support Network.
Phone/Signal: +66 86 118 2261
Email: wahku80@gmail.com

Banya Khung Aung, Karenni Human Rights Group.
Phone/Signal: +95 9 254 150 436
Email: banya7881@gmail.com 

Carolyn Nash, Amnesty International
Phone/Signal: +1 551 217 2224
Email: cnash@aiusa.org

For information on aviation fuel sanctions, please contact:
Keel Dietz, Independent Policy Consultant
Phone/Signal: +1 952-465-2030
Email: keeldietz@gmail.com 

Signed by the following 149 organizations:

  • Ah Nah Podcast – Conversations with Myanmar, Ireland
  • ALTSEAN-Burma, Thailand 
  • American Baptist Churches, KS, USA
  • American Baptist Churches, OH, USA
  • Arizona Kachin Community, AZ, USA
  • Australian Karen Organisation Inc
  • Bangladesh Rohingya Student Union (BRSU)
  • Better Burma, CA, USA
  • Burma Action Ireland
  • Burma Advocacy Group, USA
  • Burma Campaign UK
  • Burma Canadian Association of Ontario
  • Burma Task Force, IL, USA
  • Burmese American Community Institute, IN, USA
  • Burmese Women’s Union (BWU), Thailand 
  • California Kachin Community, CA, USA
  • Calvary Burmese Church, Washington, DC 
  • Campaign for a New Myanmar, Washington, DC, USA
  • Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. MD, USA
  • Chin Baptist Association, MD, USA
  • Community Rebuilding Centre, Bangladesh
  • Coordination Team for Emergency Relief (Karenni), Burma
  • Crane Center for Prevention of Mass Atrocities, CA, USA
  • CRPH Funding Ireland
  • Dallas Kachin Community, TX, USA
  • DEEKU-Karenni Community of Amarillo, TX, USA
  • Det Norsk Baptistsamfunn, Norway
  • DFW Kachin Baptist Church, TX
  • EarthRights International, Washington, DC, USA
  • European Karen Network, Norway 
  • Florida Kachin Community, FL, USA
  • Free Burma Campaign South Africa
  • Georgia Kachin Community, GA, USA
  • Give A Helping Hand, Norway
  • Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, NY, USA
  • Houston Kachin Community, TX, USA
  • Human Rights Foundation of Monland, Burma
  • Humanity Institute, Burma
  • Institute for Asian Democracy, Washington, DC. USA
  • International Campaign for the Rohingya, Washington, DC, USA
  • International Karen Organization, PA, USA
  • Iowa Kachin Community, IA, USA
  • Jewish World Watch, CA, USA
  • Justice For All, Washington, DC. USA
  • K’Nyaw Baptist Church, MN
  • Kachin American Community (Portland – Vancouver)
  • Kachin Baptist Churches, MD, USA
  • Kachin Community of Indiana, IN, USA
  • Kachin Community of USA
  • Kachin Contextual Analysis Team, Burma
  • Kachin refugee committee, Malaysia
  • Kachin Women’s Association Thailand
  • Kansas Karenni community, KS, USA
  • Karen American Association of Wisconsin, WI, USA
  • Karen Association of Huron, SD, USA
  • Karen Baptist Church, CO
  • Karen Community of Canada 
  • Karen Community in Norway
  • Karen Community of Akron, OH, USA
  • Karen Community of Georgia, GA, USA
  • Karen Community of Greensboro, NC, USA
  • Karen Community of Iowa, IA, USA
  • Karen Community of Kansas City, KS & MO, USA
  • Karen Community of Minnesota, MN, USA
  • Karen Human Rights Group, Burma
  • Karen Organization of Illinois, IL, USA
  • Karen Peace Support Network, Thailand 
  • Karen Women’s Organization (KWO), Thailand
  • Karen Youth Education Pathways, Washington, DC, USA
  • Karen Youth Network, Burma 
  • Karenni Community of Arizona, AZ, USA
  • Karenni Community of Arkensas, AK, USA
  • Karenni Community of Austin, TX, USA
  • Karenni Community of Bowling Green, KY, USA
  • Karenni Community of Buffalo, NY, USA
  • Karenni Community of Chicago, IL, USA
  • Karenni Community of Colorado, CO, USA
  • Karenni Community of Dallas, TX, USA
  • Karenni Community of Des Moines, IA, USA
  • Karenni Community of Florida, FL, USA
  • Karenni Community of Fort Worth, TX, USA
  • Karenni Community of Georgia, GA, USA
  • Karenni Community of Houston, TX, USA
  • Karenni Community of Idaho, ID, USA
  • Karenni Community of Indianapolis, IN, USA
  • Karenni Community of Massachusetts, MA, USA
  • Karenni Community of Michigan, MI, USA
  • Karenni community of Minnesota, MN, USA
  • Karenni Community of Missouri, MO, USA
  • Karenni Community of North Carolina, NC, USA
  • Karenni Community of Portland, OR, USA
  • Karenni Community of Rockford, IL, USA
  • Karenni Community of San Antonio, TX, USA
  • Karenni Community of Sioux Falls, SD, USA
  • Karenni Community of Utah, UT, USA
  • Karenni Community of Utica, NY, USA
  • Karenni Community of Washington, WA, USA
  • Karenni Community of Wisconsin, WI, USA
  • Karenni Human Rights Group, Burma
  • Karenni National Women’s Organization (KNWO), Thailand 
  • Karenni Society of Omaha, NE, USA
  • Karenni-American Association, USA, USA
  • Kayan Women’s Organization (KyWO), Burma 
  • Kentucky Kachin Community, KY, USA
  • Kuki Women’s Human Rights Organization (KWHRO), Burma
  • L’chaim! Jews Against the Death Penalty
  • Lahu Women’s Organization (LWO)
  • Louisiana Kachin Community, LA, USA
  • Maryland Kachin Community, MD, USA
  • Michigan Kachin Community, MI, USA
  • Milwaukee Myanmar Christian Church, WI, USA
  • Mingalarama Wiharra Monastery, MD, USA
  • Minnesota Kachin Community, MN, USA
  • Myanmar Campaign Network, Australia
  • Myanmar Christian Church of Metro Chicago, IL, USA
  • Never Again Coalition, OR, USA
  • New York Kachin Community, NY, USA
  • No Business With Genocide, Washington, DC, USA
  • North Carolina Kachin Community, NA, USA
  • NUG and CRPH Supporters Ireland
  • Omaha Kachin Community, NE, USA
  • Overseas Burmese Christian Fellowship, MA
  • Pa-O Women’s Union (PWU), Burma 
  • Peace and Justice Committee, KY, USA
  • Pennsylvania Kachin Community, PA, USA
  • Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
  • Rohingya Action Ireland
  • Rohingya Students Network, Bangladesh
  • Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN), Thailand 
  • South Carolina Kachin Community, SC, USA
  • Ta’ang Women’s Organization (TWO), Burma 
  • Tavoy Women’s Union (TWU)
  • Temple Beth Tikvah, Roswell, GA
  • Temple Habonim, Barrington, RI
  • Tennessee Kachin Community, TN, USA
  • U.S. Campaign for Burma, Washington, DC, USA
  • Unitarian Universalist Association, NY, USA
  • Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, MA, USA
  • Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation, WI, USA
  • United States Chin Coalition, IN, USA
  • UU College of Social Justice, MA, USA
  • UU Mass Action, MA, USA
  • UU Society of Oneonta NY, USA
  • Virginia Kachin Community, VA, USA
  • Washington Kachin Community, WA, USA
  • West Virginia Kachin Community, WV, USA
  • Women for Justice (WJ), Burma
  • Women’s League of Burma, Thailand 
  • Women’s Peace Network, Washington, DC. USA

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