Friday, October 19, 2007

Minding their own business

Why the French are so keen to stay in Burma despite unrest
Evening Standard, 19.10.07

A Burma Campaign UK spokesman says: "When the world saw the violence against the monks and the people of Burma, it should realise this: Total helped pay for those guns and bullets."

Total's argument is simple. Spokesman Jean-Fran├žois Lassalle says: "Why are we in difficult countries like Burma, Western Sahara, Sudan? Because it is our objective to find oil or gas. Oil and gas are not only found in countries with democratic regimes run on the European model.

"Who is to decide whether these regimes are unsavoury or acceptable? We are not a political entity, we are not the UN, or a government. We are a company. It is not for us to qualify which regime is acceptable, nor is it for the NGOs either. It is for the UN, the EU or France. If they force us, we immediately comply."

The Burma Campaign claims Total's influence over the French government has prevented any meaningful sanctions against the Junta from the EU - a charge Total denies. Full article

1 comment:

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