Military authorities now running Myanmar with an iron hand have finally approved the sale of Norwegian telecoms firm Telenor’s subsidiary in the deeply trouble country. Telenor claims it had no choice but to sell after the military coup last year.
Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke said the company has to leave Myanmar in order to be able to operate under the values to which it subscribes, especially within the area of human rights. That’s because local laws in Myanmar conflict with European laws that Telenor must follow.
Telenor’s sale to a Lebanese group with ties to the military leaders, however, raises the risk that mobile phone data will now be turned over to the authorities. Brekke said the security situation in the country is extreme and getting worse.
“With few available alternatives,” Brekke said, “we see the sale of Telenor Myanmar as the most realistic alternative to keep employees safe.”