Photo Source: © STR/AFP via Getty Images
Photo Source: © STR/AFP via Getty Images

Human Rights Groups Call on Governments to End Burma/Myanmar Military’s Access to Jet Fuel and Weapons

31 August 2023

RE: ASEAN members and their dialogue partners are urged to end Burma/Myanmar military’s access to jet fuel and weapons ahead of ASEAN summit

Your excellencies,

We, the undersigned 149 organizations, are writing to urge prompt, coordinated actions of governments of ASEAN and ASEAN dialogue partners to bring an end to the ongoing atrocities perpetrated daily by the Burmese military.

It has been more than two years since the illegal military coup deposed Burma’s democratically-elected leaders. In that time, ASEAN and its partner governments, including the EU, US, Japan, South Korea and Australia, have failed to take sufficient actions to hold the military to account, implement the “Five Point Consensus,” and end the violence.

From September 5-7, your government will participate in the ASEAN Summit in Jakarta. We urge you to work with all government representatives present at the Summit to deliver the following:

  1. A joint call from ASEAN and ASEAN dialogue partners calling for the United Nations Security Council to demonstrate their support of ASEAN, the Five-Point Consensus, and the people of Burma by keeping the situation in Burma on the agenda and introducing resolution that calls for regular meetings and an arms embargo, including a ban on aviation fuel.
  2. A joint release from ASEAN governments announcing: a commitment to preventing the junta from procuring aviation fuel. This includes:
    • Classifying aviation fuel as a “dual-use technology” under applicable local laws;
    • Banning the shipment or transshipment of aviation fuel through ports in ASEAN member states;
    • Banning companies located in ASEAN member-states from selling or transporting aviation fuel to any entity in Myanmar; and
    • Banning the provision of financial services, such as maritime shipping insurance, to companies or vessels transporting aviation fuel to Burma.
  3. A joint commitment from ASEAN members to further restrict the military junta’s access to funding and the international banking system. U.S. sanctions on the Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank have given ASEAN members legal cover to prevent their banks from transmitting money to the junta. ASEAN members should work with their domestic monetary authorities to ensure that domiciled banks are not making or processing payments to the junta and its affiliated entities.

The junta is using aerial attacks to target civilian-populated areas, including IDPs hiding places, and initiate conflict with local ethnic groups. In the first four months of 2023, there were 442 airstrikes. This nearly eclipses the total number of airstrikes conducted in all of 2022, which was 449

On July 27, two schools in Karenni State were damaged due to airstrikes, with many villagers emphasizing the intentionality behind the attacks: “When they [the military] can’t establish the educational and administrative systems they want, they resort to attacking schools, hindering Karenni children from learning.” Children from Karen state have been forced to seek refuge in the seven refugee camps that line the Thai-Burma border after military attacks increased the number of school-aged refugees from 16,000 to 21,000 in just one year. 

In Kachin state, military planes drop bombs in villages, killing civilians. Civilians in Shan state were killed after the military bombed villages believed to be hiding local soldiers, an accusation later disproved. In late July, over 3,000 civilians were forcibly displaced from central Burma’s Sagaing region over the span of five days of military fighting. 

As the civilian death toll rises and the number of refugees and internally displaced peoples increases, it is impossible to deny that access to jet fuel is critical to support the military’s campaign of violence. 

Yet governments have failed to act and companies continue to facilitate the military’s access to jet fuel. In November 2022, Amnesty International’s report, Deadly Cargo, linked jet fuel access to increasing human rights abuses; but only months later, Global Witness and Amnesty International revealed the names of several companies, including, but not limited to, Thai, Indian, and Japanese, that were still engaging in the shipment of jet fuel to the Burmese junta in March 2023. The engagement of these companies makes them complicit in the human rights abuses committed by the Burmese junta via aerial attacks throughout the country.

The United States and United Kingdom have both placed sanctions on Burmese and Singaporean entities accused of facilitating the trade in aviation fuel, while the U.S. has issued a regulatory determination threatening further sanctions against companies involved in the sale of aviation fuel into Burma. We strongly encourage ASEAN member-states to support these sanctions and work with international partners to end the trade of aviation fuel in Burma.

ASEAN, the UN, and other governments have failed the people of Burma for far too long. The country is in desperate need of support beyond arbitrary condemnations. We urge you to stand on the right side of history and act with urgency to hold the military accountable for its crimes and bring Burma the peace and justice the people of Burma deserve. 


Signed by:

Ah Nah Podcast – Conversations with Myanmar, Ireland
ALTSEAN-Burma, Thailand
American Baptist Churches, KS, USA
American Baptist Churches, OH, USA
Arizona Kachin Community, AZ, USA
Australian Karen Organisation Inc
Bangladesh Rohingya Student Union (BRSU)
Better Burma, CA, USA
Burma Action Ireland
Burma Advocacy Group, USA
Burma Campaign UK
Burma Canadian Association of Ontario
Burma Task Force, IL, USA
Burmese American Community Institute, IN, USA
Burmese Women’s Union (BWU), Thailand
California Kachin Community, CA, USA
Calvary Burmese Church, Washington, DC
Campaign for a New Myanmar, Washington, DC, USA
Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. MD, USA
Chin Baptist Association, MD, USA
Community Rebuilding Centre, Bangladesh
Coordination Team for Emergency Relief (Karenni), Burma
Crane Center for Prevention of Mass Atrocities, CA, USA
CRPH Funding Ireland
Dallas Kachin Community, TX, USA
DEEKU-Karenni Community of Amarillo, TX, USA
Det Norsk Baptistsamfunn, Norway
DFW Kachin Baptist Church, TX
EarthRights International, Washington, DC, USA
European Karen Network, Norway
Florida Kachin Community, FL, USA
Free Burma Campaign South Africa
Georgia Kachin Community, GA, USA
Give A Helping Hand, Norway
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, NY, USA
Houston Kachin Community, TX, USA
Human Rights Foundation of Monland, Burma
Humanity Institute, Burma
Institute for Asian Democracy, Washington, DC. USA
International Campaign for the Rohingya, Washington, DC, USA
International Karen Organization, PA, USA
Iowa Kachin Community, IA, USA
Jewish World Watch, CA, USA
Justice For All, Washington, DC. USA
K’Nyaw Baptist Church, MN
Kachin American Community (Portland – Vancouver)
Kachin Baptist Churches, MD, USA
Kachin Community of Indiana, IN, USA
Kachin Community of USA
Kachin Contextual Analysis Team, Burma
Kachin refugee committee, Malaysia
Kachin Women’s Association Thailand
Kansas Karenni community, KS, USA
Karen American Association of Wisconsin, WI, USA
Karen Association of Huron, SD, USA
Karen Baptist Church, CO
Karen Community of Canada
Karen Community in Norway
Karen Community of Akron, OH, USA
Karen Community of Georgia, GA, USA
Karen Community of Greensboro, NC, USA
Karen Community of Iowa, IA, USA
Karen Community of Kansas City, KS & MO, USA
Karen Community of Minnesota, MN, USA
Karen Human Rights Group, Burma
Karen Organization of Illinois, IL, USA
Karen Peace Support Network, Thailand
Karen Women’s Organization (KWO), Thailand
Karen Youth Education Pathways, Washington, DC, USA
Karen Youth Network, Burma
Karenni Community of Arizona, AZ, USA
Karenni Community of Arkensas, AK, USA
Karenni Community of Austin, TX, USA
Karenni Community of Bowling Green, KY, USA
Karenni Community of Buffalo, NY, USA
Karenni Community of Chicago, IL, USA
Karenni Community of Colorado, CO, USA
Karenni Community of Dallas, TX, USA
Karenni Community of Des Moines, IA, USA
Karenni Community of Florida, FL, USA
Karenni Community of Fort Worth, TX, USA
Karenni Community of Georgia, GA, USA
Karenni Community of Houston, TX, USA
Karenni Community of Idaho, ID, USA
Karenni Community of Indianapolis, IN, USA
Karenni Community of Massachusetts, MA, USA
Karenni Community of Michigan, MI, USA
Karenni community of Minnesota, MN, USA
Karenni Community of Missouri, MO, USA
Karenni Community of North Carolina, NC, USA
Karenni Community of Portland, OR, USA
Karenni Community of Rockford, IL, USA
Karenni Community of San Antonio, TX, USA
Karenni Community of Sioux Falls, SD, USA
Karenni Community of Utah, UT, USA
Karenni Community of Utica, NY, USA
Karenni Community of Washington, WA, USA
Karenni Community of Wisconsin, WI, USA
Karenni Human Rights Group, Burma
Karenni National Women’s Organization (KNWO), Thailand
Karenni Society of Omaha, NE, USA
Karenni-American Association, USA, USA
Kayan Women’s Organization (KyWO), Burma
Kentucky Kachin Community, KY, USA
Kuki Women’s Human Rights Organization (KWHRO), Burma
L’chaim! Jews Against the Death Penalty
Lahu Women’s Organization (LWO)
Louisiana Kachin Community, LA, USA
Maryland Kachin Community, MD, USA
Michigan Kachin Community, MI, USA
Milwaukee Myanmar Christian Church, WI, USA
Mingalarama Wiharra Monastery, MD, USA
Minnesota Kachin Community, MN, USA
Myanmar Campaign Network, Australia
Myanmar Christian Church of Metro Chicago, IL, USA
Never Again Coalition, OR, USA
New York Kachin Community, NY, USA
No Business With Genocide, Washington, DC, USA
North Carolina Kachin Community, NA, USA
NUG and CRPH Supporters Ireland
Omaha Kachin Community, NE, USA
Overseas Burmese Christian Fellowship, MA
Pa-O Women’s Union (PWU), Burma
Peace and Justice Committee, KY, USA
Pennsylvania Kachin Community, PA, USA
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Rohingya Action Ireland
Rohingya Students Network, Bangladesh
Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN), Thailand
South Carolina Kachin Community, SC, USA
Ta’ang Women’s Organization (TWO), Burma
Tavoy Women’s Union (TWU)
Temple Beth Tikvah, Roswell, GA
Temple Habonim, Barrington, RI
Tennessee Kachin Community, TN, USA
U.S. Campaign for Burma, Washington, DC, USA
Unitarian Universalist Association, NY, USA
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, MA, USA
Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation, WI, USA
United States Chin Coalition, IN, USA
UU College of Social Justice, MA, USA
UU Mass Action, MA, USA
UU Society of Oneonta NY, USA
Virginia Kachin Community, VA, USA
Washington Kachin Community, WA, USA
West Virginia Kachin Community, WV, USA
Women for Justice (WJ), Burma
Women’s League of Burma, Thailand
Women’s Peace Network, Washington, DC. USA

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