Myanmar coup: Firms quit office block with military ties

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A high-end office block in Myanmar linked to the country’s military leaders is seeing an exodus of international organisations.

Coca-Cola, the World Bank and McKinsey have told the BBC they have moved out or are reviewing their leases at the Sule Square complex in Yangon.

The United Nations said the complex was built on land owned by the military.

Myanmar’s military seized power from the democratically elected government in February.

It has been 100 days since the early morning coup, sparking mass protests across the country in which hundreds have died.

However, even before they took power on 1 February, Myanmar’s military – which initially ruled the country for almost half a century after seizing power in 1962 – owned large areas of land and controlled companies involved in everything from mining to banking.

The land on which the building stands was leased from the military, according to a 2019 United Nations fact-finding mission report.

Last month, activist group Justice for Myanmar called on 18 tenants of the complex of offices and shops in the heart of Myanmar’s commercial hub Yangon to stop indirectly supporting the army.

“Sule Square has big-name tenants that continue to lease office space in the building, indirectly supporting the army,” Justice for Myanmar said in a report.

Agencies

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