Kirin has been engaging with Amnesty International since March 2018 to address concerns raised in relation to three donations totaling US$ 30,000 made by Myanmar Brewery, a Kirin joint venture operation in Myanmar. Amnesty International suggests these donations may have been used for purposes other than the humanitarian basis on which the donations were given.
We are undertaking an urgent investigation into the first of these donations of US$ 6,000 made on 1 September 2017. While this donation was requested and given explicitly for purely humanitarian purposes, Amnesty International alleges that it may have been made to the Myanmar military and authorities.
We wish to clarify and highlight that we have significant reasons for continuing to believe that the two other donations that Amnesty International mentions were not in fact misused or given to the military.
The second donation, made on 23 September 2017, was not a monetary donation, but one of rice and cooking oil, valued at approximately US$ 2,000. It was given directly to victims from the conflict in Rakhine state. We therefore have no reason to believe that this donation was misused.
The third donation, made on 3 October 2017, was collected by Myanmar Brewery from volunteers within its business network, including a contribution of US$ 7,200 from Myanmar Brewery. The total of US$ 22,500 was collected and given, in person, to local civilian volunteers in Sittawe. Myanmar Brewery attended this donation ceremony and witnessed the donation being given directly to the civilian volunteers. This donation ceremony was an entirely civilian affair, and there is no evidence indicating that the volunteers have any connection to the military.
We developed the Kirin Group Human Rights Policy in February 2018 and promote respect for human rights across our business. We take Amnesty International’s allegations very seriously and plan to introduce improvements in the donation process. While our investigations are ongoing, we have halted all new corporate donations in Myanmar with immediate effect.