Joint venture in death

The British American Tobacco Company– purveyors of disease-producing products to one in seven of the world’s one billion smokers– has more than one connection to the Grim Reaper. It is pleased to operate a cigarette factory in a joint venture with the murderous and repressive Burmese military.

According to, BAT operates the joint venture with the Union of Myanmar Economic Holding Co. Ltd.:

UMEH is an investment company whose majority shareholder is the Directorate of Procurement of the Ministry of Defence.

The BAT cigarette factory, which began production in 1995, is located in the military-owned Pyinmapin Industrial Zone near Rangoon and its production is marketed by the Myawaddy Trading Co., a subsidiary of UMEH.

BAT is therefore directly and unambiguously involved with the ruling military dictatorship as joint venture partner, distributor and landlord.

The BAT web site thoughtfully provides us with the names of the company’s directors, who perhaps have a few specks of blood on their well-manicured hands.