“There is no international remittance of money to the junta for the resource-related businesses. We aim to completely stop the junta’s monetary pillars. Among the various kinds of revolution, we are able to destroy the important pillars.” Mulan, Spokesperson of Blood Money Campaign (BMC)

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Caption - A campaign by the Blood Money Movement (BMC).

An interview with Mulan, Spokesperson of Blood Money Campaign (BMC) about the movements aimed at ensuring the collapse of monetary pillars of the military council.

After the military coup on 1 February 2021, a number of non-violent resistance activist associations such as the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) against military rule and dictatorship have emerged, and they have been actively working within their respective spheres to bring about the complete collapse of the military apparatus.

The Blood Money Campaign (BMC), which was formed 4 months after the military coup, is one of the said associations. They are calling for the collapse of the military council’s monetary pillars and the cessation of airstrikes, in various ways.

The Karen Information Center (KIC) interviewed Mulan, Spokesperson of Blood Money Campaign (BMC) about the emergence of BMC, its visions and activities and the current situations.

Q: How was the BMC founded? Please explain it?

A: The Blood Money Campaign has been running since May 2021. It is a non-violent training course. We have to learn ways of how to root out the military dictatorship and joint movements by activists and the public. The establishment of military rule and the military dictatorship calls for pillars. This is a study on how we can destroy these pillars. We joined the revolution through this the ground course.

At first, the 5 activists who attended the training course started planning the Blood Money Campaign. We started our implementation with collective leadership decision-making. From there, activists on the ground joined it. Currently, they are active in the Blood Money Campaign. The participants are youths, students, those from the field of education, those involved in peace activities, youths from the disability community, LGBTIQ people and those from the research sector. We include Generation X, Y, and Z. It is led by the younger generation.

Q: What is the main purpose of establishing the BMC?

A: The main purpose is to eradicate the military dictatorship. It also aims to destroy monetary pillars which supports the terrorist junta. Because the military dictatorship and military mechanism are built with money and weapons. We aim to stop the inflow of money used for the purchase of weapons. In addition to armed resistance, we are engaging in the CDM and the movements to ban military-linked products.

The junta has to spend foreign currency mainly on the purchase of arms and aviation fuel. Our main purpose is to destroy these pillars. It is of great importance for the collapse of these pillars for our revolution. Our main target is to reduce foreign earnings. This aims to greatly reduce the junta’s military spending and strength. We intend to put pressure on the companies which are working with the junta directly or indirectly. We mainly aim to put pressure on them for the remittance of money in order that they follow these standards for business and human rights and stop doing business with the junta.

Q: What kind of activities has the BMC carried out since its formation until now?

A: Since our inception, we have been constantly working on the ban on the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE). The MOGE is a state-owned enterprise that earns about 80 percent of Myanmar’s foreign earnings. With these revenues, the junta could build up its military apparatus from 1988 until now. With this money, the MEC (Myanmar Economic Corporation) company was established. According to our research data, the junta directly spends the money from the MOGE on the establishment of a modern army, the purchase of arms, jet fighters and aviation fuel. We conducted campaigns to stop the flow of the MOGE’s income to the terrorist military.

Until now, we continue doing it. The next step is the MFTB and the MICB. The money transferred by the MOGE goes directly to the MFTB (Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank). From there, money is transferred directly to the countries that sell weapons. That is why we have also conducted the campaigns demanding to ban and block the financial transactions of these banks. We conducted the campaigns to encourage the Telenor to be accountable and responsible when leaving Myanmar. Arms and aviation fuel are entering Myanmar via Singapore. No matter how western countries sanction it, Singapore allows it. Singapore is an intermediary country. The junta can import either arms or jet fighters. So, we also carried out the activities to put pressure on the Singaporean government. We continue working on the campaign to cut aviation fuel. We are engaging in it in collaboration with resistance forces, our allies, the groups from home and abroad and the public. Some results were achieved and some were not as expected. For the MOGE, we continue working on the campaign to ban aviation fuel.

Q: What outcomes does the group anticipate from the campaigns conducted during the coup?

A: We aim to ensure that the inflow of money into the MOGE stops completely. It aims to freeze MOGE’s revenues in banks. If the junta’s accounts are frozen, the inflow of money for the purchase of arms and aviation fuel will stop. Foreign earnings will stop. There is no international remittance of money to the junta for extractive industries. We aim to completely stop the junta’s monetary pillars. Among the various kinds of revolution, we are able to destroy the important pillars. If the monetary pillar collapses while the other pillars are crumbling, then the terrorist military junta will fall and we will be able to build the new independent country we want, with justice and equality. This is our target result.

Q: Which organizations is the BMC collaborating with? What are the primary sectors in which the BMC predominantly collaborates?

A: We are collaborating with revolutionary forces at home and abroad, CSOs, Unions, research organizations and individuals and organizations working for human rights. We are working with all such organizations. We partner with the groups on every activity undertaken by the BMC. Then, we review the reports together with the witnesses, discuss and consult, and then draw up a plan for each activity. We discuss, review and decide what to do. We implemented it by taking into account the views and desires of stakeholders, intellectuals, intelligentsias and the public. In addition to the aforementioned groups, we also collaborate with the public.

Q: What is the BMC’s next activity?

A: We continue our campaign to stop the inflow of income into the MOGE. Regarding the MOGE, the United States does not impose permanent sanction on the military junta. They only impose financial sanctions. Therefore, Thailand-owned PTTEP is both the operator and the payer in Yadana company project with regard to the MOGE. Although the US bans the use of money and dollar of the MOGE, the PTTEP continues to transfer money to the junta by converting dollars to Thai baht. These activities are directly financing war crimes committed by the junta. Therefore, we continue to exert political pressure not to transfer money. We are also pressuring the shareholders to withdraw from the PTT. Over the recent days, Rebco company released reports about its withdrawal from the PTT’s operations. This is due to the fact that we met Rebco and put pressure on it. Not only the BMC but also other groups met the company. We put pressure on it to stop doing business with the PTT and the remittance of money. These are the results. We will continue to pressure the shareholders of the PTT. Another thing is a campaign to cut aviation fuel. The revolution faces a delay due to airstrikes. The airstrikes have resulted in child deaths every day. The hard-gained territories were lost to the junta. Only when is there no aviation fuel, airstrikes will stop. We will approach our revolutionary goal, and the junta will collapse only when there is no airstrike.

Now the junta has to rely on aviation fuel. In an attempt to ban aviation fuel, we are calling on the companies to stop importing aviation fuel by putting pressure on them in various means. We continue to call on the USA, UK and EU to ban the exports of aviation fuel to Myanmar. We will continue to conduct necessary campaigns in collaboration with other groups to ban the inflow of aviation fuel via Thilawa jetty. What we said are the major activities. Regarding the revolution, we continue to carry out other campaigns in collaboration with our allies. For instance, blood taxation. There are a lot of campaigns such as blood taxation, white campaign and other activities.

Sent by KIC.

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