The military regime of Myanmar has seized bank accounts of George Soros’ Open Society Foundation [OSF] in the country, as it accuses OSF Myanmar of violating multiple financial restrictions on the activities of organizations interfering on domestic affairs.
As Reuters recently reports,
(Reuters) – The Open Society Foundations, a philanthropic organisation founded by billionaire George Soros, called on Tuesday for the immediate release of a staff member held in Myanmar and said allegations of financial misconduct were false.
State media in Myanmar reported that authorities had detained an official from the Open Society Myanmar and were looking for 11 other employees on suspicion the group passed funds to opponents of a Feb. 1 coup.
“The Open Society Foundations are deeply concerned by reports that an OSM (Open Society Myanmar) staff member has been detained in Myanmar,” Open Society Foundations said in an emailed statement.
“We call for her immediate release. We are alarmed by reports that authorities are seeking to interrogate other staff members.”
Opponents of military rule launched a civil disobedience movement (CDM) of strikes to press the generals to reverse their coup, to free detained government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and to recognise her party’s Nov. 8 election victory.
The military has responded with a crackdown on pro-democracy protests, killing more than 180 people, a human rights group said, while taking legal action against Suu Kyi and others.
The Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper, which has been for years a mouthpiece of the military, said OSM transferred funds without seeking permission from the Foreign Exchange Management Department.
Myanmar: Military regime seizes bank accounts of George Soros’s OSF, issues arrest warrant against staff members
OSF Myanmar is also accused of illegally withdrawing $1.4 million from its account at SMED a week after the military junta takeover in Myanmar at the beginning of February. The Military has also seized OSF banks accounts in the private banks of Myanmar, collectively amounting to the tune of $3.81 million.
According to reports from Myanmar, the Myanmar military regime has seized the bank accounts of George Soros’s Open Society Foundation (OSF) in the country. The military regime in Myanmar accuses OSF Myanmar of violating multiple financial restrictions on the activities of organizations like OSF.
The Military regime on Monday announced the arrest warrants for 11 staff members of OSF Myanmar through Myanmar Radio and Television (MRTV). These arrest warrants include the top management of the foundation, with reports revealing the Finance Manager of OSF Myanmar already in detention and going through interrogation since at least Friday.
The Myanmar military junta accuses OSF Myanmar of multiple financial improprieties. The most prominent accusation is a failure to obtain approval from the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM)’s Foreign Exchange Management Department for depositing US$5 million (7.04 billion kyats) with the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank (SMED) in Myanmar in 2018. OSF Myanmar is also accused of illegally withdrawing $1.4 million from its account at SMED a week after the military junta takeover in Myanmar at the beginning of February. The Military has also seized OSF banks accounts in the private banks of Myanmar, collectively amounting to the tune of $3.81 million.
OSF is accused of providing financial support to civil disobedience movements against the military rule.
Military regime accuses Aung San Suu Kyi of meeting George Soros
On March 12th, the Central Bank of Myanmar notified all international and domestic NGOs that all financial transactions since April 1st 2016 involving international organizations or individuals from abroad are to be reported to the CBM. This is seen as a move to investigate the finances of organizations like the OSF since the civilian government of the National League for Democracy (NLD), the political party of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, rose to power in early 2016. The Military junta also accuses Aung San Suu Kyi of meeting with George Soros four times between 2014 to 2017 and OSF deputy chair Alexander Soros six times from 2017 to 2020 in her capacity as State Counsellor of Myanmar (equivalent to Prime Minister).
The Union Solidarity and Development Party, a Myanmar political party known for its close ties with the military, have accused the Open Society Foundations of attempting to manipulate Myanmar’s politics through its activities in the country. In 2017, a Myanmar lawmaker objected to a ministerial appointment by the NLD government, citing the appointee’s failure to disclose his previous work for George Soros.
OSF responds, calls for the immediate release of staffers
The Open Society Foundations responded to the Myanmar military junta on Tuesday, calling for the immediate release of the OSF staff member currently detained by the junta. “The Open Society Foundations are deeply concerned about reports that an OSM (Open Society Myanmar) staff member has been detained in Myanmar. We call for her immediate release. We are alarmed by reports that authorities are seeking to interrogate other staff members,” Open Society Foundations said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
The OSF has also rubbished the Military junta’s allegations of financial impropriety on the part of OSF Myanmar. “Claims of financial misconduct, including that OSM acted illegally by withdrawing their own funds in local currency from the SMID bank, are false. Claims that OSM used these funds for illegal purposes are false. These funds were used for purposes fully within the objectives of OSM.” the Open Society Foundations told Reuters.
The Myanmar Army is in control of Myanmar after staging a coup in the early morning hours of 1st February 2021. According to reports, the Myanmar military’s intervention came after weeks of continued friction between the country’s military, which ruled the country for over five decades, and the civilian government over allegations of irregularities in the 2020 Myanmar General Elections. – https://www.opindia.com/2021/03/myanmar-military-regime-seizes-bank-accounts-george-soros-open-society-foundation-detains-staff/
Soros’ Interest in Myanmar ‘Goes Back to 1987’
Hungarian-American investor and business magnate George Soros has a long record of meddling in Myanmar’s affairs and the Southeast Asian region in general.
Forbes reported in 2007 that Soros was spending $2 million a year, “trying to pave the way for democracy in Burma [Myanmar],” through the Burma Project, kicked off in 1994 and operated by the investor’s Open Society Foundations.
According to the media outlet, “Soros’ interest in Burma [Myanmar] goes back to the fall of 1987,” when protests against the government’s currency reform began. In 1988 Nationwide Popular Pro-Democracy Protests — a series of nationwide demonstrations and civil unrest — engulfed the country. It was then that Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and Myanmar’s incumbent State Counselor, emerged nothing short of a “national icon.”
Speaking to Fortune’s Neel Chowdhury, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad stated on September 29, 1997 that Kuala Lumpur had “definite information” and “every evidence” that Soros was involved in the financial crisis, adding that the US investor was “not the only one” who fanned its flames.
“In fact, he [Soros] more or less confessed later on that he was involved,” Mahathir highlighted. “He had this idea that by applying pressure on Thailand and Malaysia he could prevent Myanmar from joining ASEAN [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations].”
As the media outlet noted, “Soros was irked that in late July, Mahathir and the other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations formally ushered Myanmar into ASEAN.”
Why Did Soros Seek to Prevent Myanmar From Joining ASEAN?
“In 1997 when Myanmar joined ASEAN, the US — Soros included — had already been deeply involved in coercing, pressuring, and manipulating Southeast Asian states for decades as a continuation of Western colonialism,” Cartalucci responded.
The geopolitical researcher explained that “Myanmar’s acceptance into ASEAN gave it options, legitimacy, and leverage that the US was attempting to strip away from it just as it does today with nations like Syria, North Korea, or Iran through political isolation, economic sanctions, media campaigns, and covert subversion.”
“Efforts to hinder Myanmar’s membership in ASEAN were intended to deny it a much needed lifeline,” he remarked.
In 2003 a US influential think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations, published a document entitled “Burma: Time For Change” by Burma Task Force, which comprised George Soros, then US Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs Director Kenneth Wollack and other political and media figures.
“Recognizing that democracy and the National League for Democracy [NLD] (led by Aung San Suu Kyi) cannot survive in Burma without the help of the United States and the international community, this report sounds a clarion call for change,” a preamble to the document said.
According to Soros-sponsored Media Matters watchdog, for many years the billionaire-linked groups gave grants to media organizations “attempting to disseminate information in defiance” of the country’s government and, for instance, funded Burma News International (BNI), “a network of 11 ethnic media groups,” to conduct own coverage of Myanmar’s 2010 general elections.
Soros’ ‘Mission Accomplished’
In 2015 the US magnate had every reason to declare that his mission was accomplished: during the November elections the US-backed NLD won an absolute majority of seats in both chambers of the national parliament.
Almost half a year before NLD’s triumph, Soros openly told journalists that his effort in Myanmar was “a longer-term investment that paid off.”
“George Soros is just one of many US-based vectors for cash, political, and operational support attempting to create and install a client regime in Myanmar,” Cartalucci said commenting on Soros’ Burmese saga, “Soros — like the interests he works in concert with — seeks to maximize his power, wealth, and influence. He can do all three by commandeering a nation’s government, its institutions, its natural resources, industry, and influence over its population.”
The geopolitical analyst revealed that “Soros’ Open Society Foundation works in Myanmar almost without exception alongside the US State Department’s NED and the vast network of subsidiaries and grantees that it presides over.”
What’s at the Root of US Burmese Policy?
According to Cartalucci, what’s at the root is the US longstanding plan to contain China’s emergence as an influential global player.
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