Protests by citizens against Myanmar’s military dictatorship and coup have continued since February. In response, savage killings have been inflicted on Myanmar’s government. At least 250 civilians were killed by military bullets. Young people, adolescents, children and even a 7-year-old child are being victimized indiscriminately. Martial law has been declared in major cities, forced arrests, imprisonment and torture are being carried out, and daily life, including the safety and economic activities of Myanmar’s citizens, has seriously collapsed.
In Myanmar’s military coups and massacres, investment by overseas companies that are funded by the military is essentially linked, especially POSCO, a Korean steel company. Myanmar’s POSCO C&C is carrying out construction supply projects that secure market share through overseas links, and all suppliers that supply raw materials to POSCO, such as Australia’s Fortescue Metals and Roy Hill Holdings, are likely to be involved in supply chains beneficial to Myanmar’s military. Sweden’s forsta AP-fonden allows Myanmar’s military to operate successfully by investing in POSCO, and POSCO Asia is supported by the French financial institution Credit Agricole. As such, POSCO has strengthened Myanmar’s military in an indirect way of funds from various companies all around the world, while also carrying out the massacre of democracy and human rights violations in Myanmar.
Against this backdrop, Myanmar’s Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) and South Korean NGOs are accusing Korean companies such as POSCO of their investment activities and requesting an end to the payment of funds. POSCO has refused to accept responsibility for the incident and have responded with taking a step back from the brutal massacre of Myanmar’s citizens. And many foreign companies investing in POSCO have taken the same action as POSCO and aligned themselves to the massacre.
We as the Global Young Greens support Myanmar’s civil disobedience movement. We strongly condemn Myanmar’s brutal actions that undermine democracy and call for the military to immediately stop violence and hand over power to the private sector. At the same time, we, the Global Young Greens, strongly urge companies involved in Myanmar’s military cartels, including POSCO, to create a culture of investment and business practices that do not undermine human rights and democracy.