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19 Jan 2020

Myanmar: Kirin withdraws from Myanmar after allegations that subsidiaries have business ties with Myanmar's military conglomerate; co. responds to NGO's criticism of being "irresponsible"

The Guardian's article, "Australian craft beer brewer faces criticism over partnership with Myanmar military", alleges that Kirin’s business partnership with the Myanmar military “provides not only much-needed foreign currency for the isolated Myanmar military… but also, crucially, is a source of international legitimacy”. The article cites Kirin's statement that it “will now conduct a further examination of [its] operations and relationships in Myanmar”. However, there are no specific details available as to what such re-examination entails.

The article further states that the “sale of New Belgium to the conglomerate of Lion Little World Beverages and Kirin is shameful”. The article also alleges that “[a]s a subsidiary of Kirin, New Belgium would become part of a key financial network empowering the Burmese army to continue committing genocide and crimes against humanity.”

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre invited Kirin, New Belgium Brewing, and Lion Little World Beverages to respond to the allegations. The article and the response of Kirin, on behalf of its subsidiaries, are linked below.

Company Responses