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World

Web Desk
March 31, 2021

Rights groups allege Indian industrialist conducting business with Myanmar-military linked company

World

Web Desk
Wed, Mar 31, 2021
Indian industrialist Gautam Adani. — AFP/File

India's Adani Ports is in business with a Myanmar military-owned company, Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC), that was put under US sanctions following the coup in the country, Australian Centre for International Justice (ACIJ) and Justice For Myanmar (JFM) have alleged.

 Indian industrialist Gautam Adani is paying nearly $52 million to the MEC — the company linked to the junta — for a port deal in Yangon, the Australian non-profit lawyers' and an activist group seeking justice in Myanmar alleged in a statement.

"Adani Ports has continued its business in Myanmar, despite an illegal military coup and the military’s ongoing crimes against humanity. Adani Ports’ business partner in Myanmar, now sanctioned by the US, is committing crimes against humanity as they deliberately kill peaceful protesters, torture detainees and steal public assets," Yadanar Maung, spokesperson for Justice For Myanmar said.

Maung claimed Adani Ports stands complicit in the military’s atrocities and corruption through their direct payments to a military conglomerate.

Similarly, Rawan Arraf, Executive Director at the Australian Centre for International Justice said: "We’ve studied several statements from Adani Ports since May 2019 regarding its deal in Myanmar involving the MEC and we have no confidence it will uphold its obligations to respect human rights and disengage from Myanmar."

The report said Adani Ports’ ignorance of its responsibilities to respect human rights and mitigate risks means it could be complicit in crimes under international law, and if Adani Ports refuses to disengage from its ties to the MEC, it should be considered in any targeted sanction measures.

The report has also published pictures of Adani CEO, Karan Adani, exchanging gifts with the Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar military, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, in July 2019.

"At the time of his visit, the Senior General was barred from visiting the United States because of the military’s atrocities against the Rohingya ethnic minority," the report said.

"The photos contradict Adani Ports’ February 2021 statement that denies engagement with military leadership," the report said.

The rights groups said the revelations exposing Adani Ports’ financial transactions with the MEC have prompted calls for major investors like HSBC, Norges Bank, BlackRock, PGGP, and TIAA among others, to immediately sever ties with Adani Ports, it added.