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Chevron shareholders to vote on withholding payments to Myanmar

Chevron shareholders to vote on withholding payments to Myanmar
A Chevron logo is seen at a Chevron gas station in Sunnyvale, Calif., on April 9, 2010. Chevron shareholders will vote on Wednesday to withhold payment to the Myanmar military government. File Photo by Mohammad Kheirkhah/UPI | License Photo

May 25 (UPI) -- Shareholders of the oil giant Chevron will meet Wednesday to discuss withholding payments to Myanmar and its military-led government over human rights abuses, according to a campaign supporting the Rohingya population.

International Campaign for the Rohingya said the shareholders will take a final vote on a resolution to withhold funding to the country, which has been under military rule since February 2021.

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The campaign said Chevron remains the largest U.S.-based investor in Myanmar.

In January, Chevron condemned the violence and human rights abuses occurring in Myanmar, saying it stood by the people of Myanmar in calling for a peaceful resolution in the conflict between the military government and those supporters of former civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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"We applaud the shareholders pressing Chevron to withhold upcoming payments to the Myanmar military junta and instead place that money in escrow," Simon Billenness, executive director of the International Campaign for the Rohingya, said in a statement.

"The California Public Employees Retirement System has already announced that it will vote in favor of the shareholder resolution at Chevron. This support from one of the world's biggest investors is a powerful vote to end the flow of oil money to the Myanmar military."

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In a proxy memorandum filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, shareholders said Chevron has "incurred mounting financial and reputational damage from its partnerships with the Myanmar military junta."

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"Since the February 2021 military coup, Chevron has been forced to exit Myanmar following the military's seizure of Chevron's equity partner in the Yadana project: Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise.

"As shareholders, we believe that our company has the duty to avoid both the mounting damages as well as the increasing moral, legal, financial, reputational, and operational risks posed by doing business with governments complicit in genocide and/or crimes against humanity."

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