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An Open Letter to Unilever CEO Paul Polman


20th February, 2017

Dear Paul,

Your willingness to listen and share your thoughts with us means a lot, not just to me, but to hundreds of concerned activists involved in the #WeAreAllRohingyaNow campaign.

We would like to know if you have read the recent UN flash report regarding crimes committed by the Myanmar military against the Rohingya and what you thought about that?

We welcome Unilever’s commitment to social responsibility. As you said yourself, “Business can only flourish in societies in which human rights are respected, upheld and advanced.” What do you see as the ethical responsibility of a company doing business in a country where the authorities are accused of ethnic cleansing?

We understand that Unilever is planning to eventually make Myanmar central to all of its South Asia operations. Can you tell us about any investments, operations, or development projects Unilever currently has, or is planning to initiate, in Rakhine state?

Whilst we welcome the apparent suspension of clearance operations in Rakhine, we know that the ethnic cleansing project against the Rohingya has not yet ended. Rohingya reporters have already told us that the military have not left the area and reports that they have done so are not true. Avoiding mass killing is part of the military’s 11 point Rohingya Extermination Plan, to avoid attracting international attention. As long as the Rohingya are deprived of their citizenshipbirthright in Myanmar, we know from previous events, this project of ethnic cleansing will continue.

Aside from you personally signing the letter of concern addressed to the UN Security Council regarding ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity committed against the Rohingya, what, if anything, is Unilever doing to advance a positive outcome in this matter?

Finally, can you tell us how peace and stability in the state of Rakhine matters to Unilever?

Thank-you for giving this letter your consideration. We look forward to your response.

Best wishes,

Jamila Hanan

Ro Nay San Lwin
Rohingya Community Representative

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