The military junta in Myanmar has seized control of the bank accounts of billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundation (OSF) accusing it of funding the massive protests that has gripped the country.
Local authorities detained Phyu Pa Pa Thaw, an official from the Open Society and are also looking to arrest 11 other employees on suspicion the controversial NGO passed funds to opponents of a Feb. 1 coup.
Opponents of military junta launched a civil disobedience movement 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.
According to a report in 'The Global New Light of Myanmar', a publication seen as a mouthpiece of the military, the Open Society Myanmar (OSM) organization transferred funds without seeking permission from the Foreign Exchange Management Department.
According to authorities, OSM failed to obtain approval from the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM)’s Foreign Exchange Management Department for a deposit of US$5 million (7.04 billion kyats) with the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank (SMED) in Myanmar in 2018.
The foundation also faces charges of illegally withdrawing $1.4 million from its account at SMED a week after the military takeover in Myanmar, as the civil disobedience movement was gaining momentum among civil servants across the country.
The supporters of Myanmar miltary junta have long accused Soros of manipulating Myanmar’s politics by supporting civil society organizations in the country.
OSM has refuted the allegations.
“Claims of financial misconduct, including that OSM acted illegally by withdrawing their own funds in local currency from the SMID bank, are false,” Open Society Foundations said.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.