Rohingya activists request international businesses to boycott Myanmar

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February 22, 2017

A group of Rohingya activists have urged foreign companies to stop investing in Myanmar.

“We cannot force Western governments to put sanctions on Myanmar but we can talk to businesses,” said blogger and co-founder of the #WeAreAllRohingya online movement Nay San Lwin.

“We want multinationals with business interests in Myanmar to put pressure on the government.”

While expressing concerns for the general populace of the country Nay San Lwin said, “I don't want to hurt my fellow Burmese. But the situation is forcing us to convince businesses to stop investing in Myanmar.”

Nay San Lwin said he recently sent Unilever CEO Paul Polman an open letter encouraging his company to re-evaluate its role in the country. Earlier in December, Polman had co-signed a letter of concern to the UN Security Council expressing serious concerns regarding atrocities committed against the Muslim community.

Polman along with a number of Nobel laureates, had compared the Rohingya situation to Rwanda's 1994 genocide, as well as ethnic cleansing in Sudan's western Darfur region, Bosnia and Kosovo.

The letter also called for the Myanmar government to lift all restrictions on humanitarian aid to Rakhine state.

The activists however say they don't plan to protest against companies if they fail to act.

Incidentally countries have invested heavily in Myanmar since the country opened up under the rule of reformist president Thein Sein. Warnings by rights activists concerning the alarming state of the country’s myriad ethnic groups were generally ignored in favour of conducting business with the resource rich nation.