Dear People of the Republic of South Korea,
The Congress of Nations and States invites the people of the Republic of South Korea to join the ethnic nations in Burma, to call upon POSCO to stop providing funding to the Myanmar military. The Tatmadaw (Myanmar military) continues to engage in genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, human rights violations, and environmental abuses.
POSCO is a global steelmaking corporation that provides and funnels direct financial resources to the Tatmadaw. Based on research conducted by Justice for Myanmar, POSCO has generated approximately $2 billion (USD) in revenue as of 2020. As of April 16, 2021, POSCO stated that it is looking to buy the military’s stake in Myanmar Economic Holdings Public Co, however the military controls every aspect of the country. The Shwe Gas Project, in which one of six investors is the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (owned by the Tatmadaw and its cronies), is an example of a military owned enterprise at work. The Shwe Gas Project is a human rights nightmare. Earth Rights International has reported that the Tatmadaw perpetrates forced relocation, forced labor, and sexual abuse and intimidation against people working on the Project in the name of security.
The international community continues to report that Myanmar as a state is “facing significant risks of collapse” and COVID 19 is adding to the worsening situation. Uncounted numbers of people are forcibly disappeared, tortured, and killed by the Tatmadaw to gain control in order to hold on to their power and pillage the country of all the resources it has.
The Congress of Nations and States is making a public plea to the people of South Korea to demand that POSCO make an effort to sincerely and actively uphold its corporate responsibility to human rights and the environment through these actions:
- Take a zero-tolerance approach to doing business in Myanmar by demanding the military stop the commission of all internationally recognized crimes.
- Cut all ties to every military owned entity and work directly with ethnic peoples on the ground to do business according to the principles of free, prior, and informed consent.
- Demand that all profits be diverted to governing ethnic leaders and their communities so that people all across Burma can avoid economic turmoil as a result of extremely poor national governance and COVID 19.
POSCO needs to put at the center of its business—people over profits. The South Korean people have continued to show leadership in the area of human rights. The people of South Korea must recognize that POSCO’s activities with the Myanmar military creates a shameful stain for a publicly traded company based in South Korea. The Congress of Nations and States invites POSCO to engage in constructive dialogue with parties working with CNS on how to ensure the will of the ethnic nations of Burma and their safety can be ensured.
The people of Burma deserve to live in harmony and in peace. POSCO, divest from the Myanmar military and invest in the people of Burma.
Congress of Nations and States
June 29, 2021