Saturday, May 23, 2009

Burma Protest over Total Oil at French Embassy

From Indymedia

Burmese democracy activists protest at the French Embassy about French Total Oil's collaboration with the brutal military junta as heroic democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi's show trial continues in Burma. The Nobel Peace Prize winner has previously condemned Total as "the biggest supporter of the military regime in Burma". French Total Oil funds the evil military regime with approximately 500 million dollars a year from its operation of the Yadana gas pipeline, that is used by the corrupt generals to slaughter ethnic minorities, students, monks and anyone who speaks out for human rights and justice in Burma.

About 30 Burmese Democracy activists organised a demonstration at the French Embassy against Total Oil at short notice on 22nd May, following renewed discussion in Europe concerning Total's notorious investment in Burma. The police were called as they had not been informed of the demonstration, but it was just intended to peacefully express Aung San Suu Kyi's Burmese democracy supporters wish for Total Oil to be included in any further extension of European sanctions and did not last long, as it followed a previous demonstration at the Burma Embassy.

This week France admitted that Total was the sole major European investor in Burma and that sanctions involving Total would be the only serious economic lever Europe had on the regime.

Aung San Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy party, won the 1990 elections with 82% of the vote, but the corrupt military would not honour their own elections. She has spent 13 of the last 18 years in detention. The United Nations has already said her detention is illegal by both international and the junta's own Burmese law. Her current term was due to expire on May 27th, but the cowardly junta with 400,000 soldiers is so afraid of one woman that they will do anything to keep her imprisoned ahead of their fake 2010 elections. They have already written a constitution that ensures their military rule continues and bars Aung San Suu Kyi from even participating.

There have been many statements of support for Aung San Suu Kyi by world leaders following the junta's latest stunt to imprison her and keep her from her Burmese people. However it is the world leaders themselves that are on trial, as their fine statements are put to the test. Will they do anything of consequence to help Aung San Suu Kyi and her people ?

Europe previously agreed not to include oil and gas in sanctions, so that sanctions could be escalated if needed. If Aung San Suu Kyi is further imprisoned as most expect, then Europe's bluff will have been called.
"If Europe imposes new sanctions on Myanmar's military regime they would hit the French energy giant Total's operations in the country and have far reaching consequences, France said Wednesday.

Speaking as EU countries mulled action against the junta over its treatment of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Total was the sole major European investor in the country.

"The only serious economic lever would obviously be Total," Kouchner told members of the French parliament"

The United Nations and ASEAN must dispatch envoys to Burma to demand the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all Burma’s political prisoners.

Please go to this page where you can email the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and ASEAN leaders to urge them to send envoys immediately. (if unavailable please try Avaaz:)

As you know Burma’s generals will use any excuse to keep Aung San Suu Kyi detained. If strong action isn’t taken, Aung San Suu Kyi could face the rest of her life in jail.

Please take action now. Aung San Suu Kyi could now spend the rest of her life in jail.