Military Firm Takes Control of Jetty in Rangoon
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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Military Firm Takes Control of Jetty in Rangoon

By WAI MOE Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Burmese armed forces' key business enterprise, the Union of Myanmar Economic Holding Ltd (UMEHL), took over the Bo Aung Kyaw Jetty, a major port facility in Rangoon, on Monday, business sources said.

Taking control of Bo Aung Kyaw Jetty increased the UMEHL’s grip on the country’s shipping and port industries. It also took control of the state-run shipping line, Myanma Five Star Line, on April 1, as part of the junta’s pre-election privatization campaign.

A North Korean ship is unloaded at the Bo Aung Kyaw Jetty in Rangoon.
An official of the port authority told The Irrawaddy that several firms have been taken over by UMEHL. The jetty is a major port link for the transfer of shipping cargo.

So far, the state-run-media has not reported the transfer of the port to the military enterprise. However, The New Light of Myanmar reported on Wednesday that Minister of Transport Thein Swe, who chairs the Committee for Ensuring Expeditious Port Service, inspected the Bo Aung Kyaw jetty, touring export-import areas, systematic storage facilities and X-ray machines.

UMEHL was formed in 1990, two years after the junta's 1988 coup, and it is now the largest non-state enterprise in the country. It is the Tatmadaw’s (Burma's armed forces) major business venture with 51 firms under its control.

“As a special company, UMEHL enjoys the privilege of tax exemption for its fully owned and subsidiary firms,” wrote Maung Aye Myoe in his book, “Building the Tatmadaw.”

The massive enterprise is involved in areas including gem production and marketing, garment factories, wood and wood-based industries, food and beverage, supermarkets, banking, hotels and tourism, transportation, telecommunications and electronic equipment, computers, construction and real estate, the steel industry, cement production, automobiles, cosmetics and stationery.

The Office of the Defense Industries, headed by Lt-Gen Tin Aye, took control of the enterprise in 2002. Tin Aye is reported to be one of Snr-Gen Than Shwe’s most trusted aides.

One of UMEHL roles is transferring money for the purchase of weapons and military equipment in foreign countries, including North Korea's Kwangson Banking Corporation. North Korea has recently become a major supplier of weaponry to the Burmese military.

The UMEHL is currently under economic sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western countries.

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plan B Wrote:
A sad fact here outlined by The Irrawaddy is what N. Korea shall bring to Myanmar be it nuclear is now more secretive than was before.
That SPDC has learned from their mistake "the public outcry" of a N. Korean ship carrying possible cargoes violating international law a few month ago in The Irrawaddy.
Out of sight out of mind--a perfect SPDC knavery.
And yet the trivialization continues.

Howard Kyi Wrote:
In China, key industries were owned and operated by the Republic of China Army to ensure its grip on the economy & the control of the economy in their hands with enormous income for their military budget and operations. In Iran, the revolutionary guards were doing the same and most of the key industries were in the hands of them. Burmese Military Generals were using the same way and trying to take control of the countries' key industries at their hands and it assures them of the enormous income from those industries with billions of the money coming from foreign companies doing business with them or having joint venture companies, just as the Chinese have been recently signed an agreement with the Burmese military Junta to build a 3,000 kilowatts hydro-electric generators in Myitkyina, Kachin State and will ship most of the electricity to Yunnan Province in China and power most of their industries and cities throughout the region.

Yangontha Wrote:
Why only Bo Aung Kyaw Jetty,UMEHL (U&ME Holding Lust)? Why not others yet ?

Moe Aung Wrote:
The UMEHL (read Tatmadaw Enterprises military-industrial complex) has seized pole position with its tentacles everywhere so it can hold the nation to ransom at will, even if the upcoming polls go pear-shaped against their best judgment and all the jiggery-pokery. An ironclad insurance policy, they reckon.

Privatization in their inimitable fashion - state/public assets going directly into their own pockets - beats even the 'Comrade Capitalist' style of the former USSR that gave birth to the age of the oligarchs.

Nepotism and cronyism know no bounds in the brave new world of the Burmese Way to Open Markets and Globalization. Golden opportunities all to themselves, economic clout with all the pressure it can bear down on all comers.

It is nonetheless a dying flame that flares up before it finally goes out. Like the fate of the proverbial finial that burns down into a cinder. What's up will be down, and what's down will be up. The law of impermanence knows no exception.

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