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Indonesian weapon makers deny supplying arms to post-coup Myanmar

Jakarta Globe - October 4, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – State-owned defense holding DEFEND ID on Wednesday denied accusations of its companies ever supplying arms to post-coup Myanmar.

Weapon producer Pindad, aircraft maker Dirgantara Indonesia, and shipbuilder PAL – who are all part of the DEFEND ID – recently made headlines after activists accused them of selling arms to the Myanmar junta.

In a press statement, DEFEND ID said that it respected the 75/287 UN Resolution, which called for all UN member states to prevent the flow of arms into Myanmar. The holding said Pindad's last export to Myanmar dated back to 2016, years before the coup began. These exports were also meant to equip Myanmar for an annual shooting competition between ASEAN members.

"Pindad does not export defense and security equipment to Myanmar, especially since the UN Security Council's calls in Feb. 2021," the press release reads.

"[Pindad] in 2016 exported ammunition with sports specifications. Myanmar at the time was participating at the ASEAN Armies Rifle Meet," the statement continues.

DEFEND ID also said that Dirgantara Indonesia and PAL did not have any arms deals with Myanmar.

Reuters recently reported that activists had filed a complaint with the Indonesian Human Rights Commission, alleging that Pindad, Dirgantara Indonesia, and PAL had been selling equipment to Myanmar since the coup. The transactions allegedly took place via a Myanmar company called True North, which they said was owned by "the son of a minister in the military government".

The activists in question were Myanmar organizations Chin Human Rights Organization and Myanmar Accountability Project, as well as former Indonesian attorney and rights advocate Marzuki Darusman.

Indonesia – along with the other ASEAN member states – has been pushing for a peaceful resolution in the coup-hit Myanmar.

At the recent ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, the Southeast Asian bloc agreed to stick to the so-called "five-point consensus" as its main reference in addressing the Myanmar crisis. This peace plan calls for immediate cessation of violence and a constructive dialogue among all parties involved. As ASEAN chair, Indonesia said it had been engaging all stakeholders, including the Myanmar military junta which seized power in February 2021.

Human rights organization The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners data shows that the death toll as a result of the Feb. 1 coup had reached 4,139 people as of Tuesday.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/indonesian-weapon-makers-deny-supplying-arms-to-postcoup-myanma