Blood Money Campaign is collecting signature of 100,000 people to make three demands to Singaporean government, which is third on the list of top five countries linked to weapon trade to Myanmar military regime .
Their demands include to stop selling weapons and to impose financial sanction on the military.
This interview with Saw El Mue is about collecting the signatures, response of Singaporean government and continuing Blood Money Campaign.
TLT: It was learnt that Blood Money Campaign is trying to send signature of 100,000 people to the government of Singaporean as the city state is third in the list of top five countries linked to weapon trade to Myanmar military regime. Could you talk about public participation in this campaign?
Saw El Mue: This is our third campaign in two months calling for Singaporean government to stop all revenue and weapon flows to Myanmar’s terrorist junta completely. Civil society organizations and resistance forces persuade Singaporean government during this period. They have not made any repose yet. So, our campaign this time is the petition of mass people with about 100,000 signatures. We have received only 13,000 signatures so far. We are trying to get our target as possible as we can. The next month will be 1000th day of military coup. We will send Singaporean government these signatures and an open letter.
TLT: What are the demands of this campaign to Singaporean government?
Saw El Mue: We asked Singaporean government to investigate and take action against companies that are procuring military supplies for Myanmar regime. When the UN report came up on this issue, Singaporean government responded that they promised to carry out investigation on this issue. It can be found in media reports. However, Singaporean government is likely to fail to carry out effective action. Maybe they are doing it. But we are pushing Singaporean government to investigate arms supply companies, agents and logistic companies.
We have asked Singaporean government to block sales of military supplies to Myanmar regime.
Moreover, Singapore is central to financial transition of Myanmar military to pay for procurement of aviation fuel, and arms, as well as other transfer of money.
In addition, Singaporean government allows Myanmar military to have access to nearly US$ 6 billion foreign reserve in their banks and to financial services of Singapore.
So, we also request Singaporean government to deny Myanmar military access to their financial system.
TLT: What are consequences of an open letter to Singaporean government by nearly 200 local and international civil society organizations to prevent the sales of civil-military supplies and transfer of technologies to Myanmar military?
Saw El Mue: Singaporean government did not respond to our open letter. We did not totally expect it. They would not make immediate reply or response. After we sent this letter, Singaporean government sanctioned its two citizens who exported solar system to Myanmar. We have no idea whether it is a coincidence or not.
TLT: What is the future plan of Blood Money Campaign in removing military dictatorship?
Saw El Mue: We have some options. We are now targeting at Singaporean government, and the PTT group. These are major financial resources of Myanmar military.
In next step, we will focus on Thai government. We will organize people in our campaign. Then, we will ask the US government to impose their sanctions on Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise in full swing. We cannot do it alone, and so we will collect signatures of people.
TLT: To what extent has the worldwide social media campaign of Blood Money gained success?
Saw El Mue: After this worldwide campaign, Myanmar people have realized the relation between PTT and military regime. Campaign against PTT products resulted in certain success. No more PTT engine oil and no coffee shops in local market, although we have no updated records on the boycott. We noticed that our campaign was effective.
Some shares were withdrawn from PTT, losing millions of dollar for the company. It was a significant blow to it.
After this company left Myanmar, a joint plan between PTTOR and Kanbawza group to set up over 1,000 filling stations was scrapped.
Another plan of these two companies to build a power plant, maybe in Thilawa, for Yangon was also cancelled. They also cancelled PPOR subsidiary. These are the results from our global campaign.