As I linked to in the previous post and MOA also reports on the Burma campaign- us, yes we, have succeed in making two companies that trade with Burma halt their business that benefits the junta. One of them from the Dirty list I wrote to, I didn’t get a reply but I don’t mind, seems the MD was growing a conscience-
The Burma Campaign UK today warmly welcomed announcements by Timbmet and K J Howells and Son that they will no longer sell teak from Burma. Timber exports are a major source of revenue for the regime in Burma.
In an email to the Burma Campaign, K J Howells stated: “In light of the recent brutal treatment of the Burmese people by the military, we have made the decision to end all ties with suppliers of Burmese products, and will not place any further orders until a democratic government is put in place. I have contacted my primary supplier, who has also announced their withdrawal of ties with Burma, and we are now together looking at alternative sources.”
Just two words for that, Fuck Yeah! So why not ask the other firms on the Dirty list why they still want be BFF with the Generals, click here includes contact details including email. Also the Burma campaign needs funds, they’ve been providing comment and information for media across the world, hundreds of calls a day, so show them some love click here. Meanwhile –
Around 3,000 people have joined a protest in London today, the biggest demonstration for Burma in the UK so far. Tomorrow demonstrators will converge on the German Embassy, calling on Germany to stop blocking EU economic sanctions.
Background to the EU’s relationship with the junta-
“The current EU Common Position is pathetic,” said Mark Farmaner [Burma Campaign UK]. “It has no economic impact on the regime. If you wanted to design a sanctions regime to miss the mark, this would be it.”
Current EU measures against Burma include:
An arms embargo
Welcome, but the EU has made no effort to secure a United Nations arms embargo, so the regime can still purchase weapons from other countries.
A ban on non-humanitarian aid
Again welcome, but not a measure that has a serious impact on the regime.
An end to GSP trade privileges
Again, no significant economic impact on the regime.
A visa ban for senior regime officials and their families
Otherwise known as the shopping ban, as exemptions in the visa ban allow regime officials to attend many international meetings in Europe. As the British foreign office has admitted, regime officials rarely came to Europe anyway.
A freeze of assets held in Europe by people on the visa ban list
From information released to the Burma Campaign UK by the German and British governments, less than €7,000 has been frozen in all 27 EU member states, again hardly a measure to bring the regime to its knees.
A limited investment ban – targets pineapples, but not gas or timber
Pineapples! Jeebus. Now the US is publicly better, not least because it is a way to lessen Chinese influence in the region, but via GodlessLiberalHomo there is this short history of US oil corporation Unocal/Chevron involvement in Burma-
Even in Burma, however, Bush’s support for human rights yields to his fondness for the oil and gas industry. Burma has large natural gas reserves, and multinational oil corporations want to cash in. Chevron Corporation is currently the largest U.S. investor in Burma, with a partnership stake in the multi-billion-dollar Yadana gas pipeline project. The Yadana project was originally developed by Unocal, another American oil company, which was acquired by Chevron last year. (Although new investment in Burma is prohibited, the pipeline is grandfathered in under an exception, pushed by Unocal, for preexisting projects.)
The Bush administration has close ties to Chevron. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was a member of the Chevron Board of Directors for 10 years before Bush was elected, and even had a Chevron oil tanker named for her until it was quietly renamed after Bush took office. And Halliburton, the oilfield services giant formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, has numerous ties to Chevron, signing several multimillion-dollar contracts during Cheney’s tenure.
Indeed, even before Chevron acquired Unocal and the Yadana project, Bush’s government actively took steps to thwart accountability for the Yadana project. When refugees who had suffered rape, torture, enslavement, and murder at the hands of soldiers protecting the Yadana pipeline sued Unocal in U.S. court, the Bush administration intervened to try to convince the courts that the lawsuit should not proceed. The administration essentially argued that, even if the case would not actually interfere with U.S. relations with Burma, holding Unocal liable would create a precedent that could conflict with U.S. foreign policy in other parts of the world.
Much as Sarkozy’s previously mentioned position he professes support for the democracy movement but in reality-
Announcing a freeze of what is already frozen is hardly revolutionary. It allows (the president) to surf on the notion of a French ‘new deal’ for human rights, while protecting French economic interests
So it really is up to us, our governments, the ruling classes, global capital, corporations are not disturbed one bit by a regime reported to be cremating people alive–
Myanmar’s proven gas reserves were 19 trillion cubic feet at the end of 2006, according to BP PLC’s World Review of Statistics. While that’s only about 0.3 percent of the world’s total reserves, at current production rates and Thailand’s contract price for gas, the deposits are worth almost $2 billion a year in sales over the next 40 years.
“It points to the potential that Myanmar has,” said Kang Wu, a fellow at the University of Hawaii’s East-West Center in Honolulu.
Altogether, nine foreign oil companies are involved in 16 onshore blocks exploring for oil, enhancing recovery from older fields, or trying to reactivate fields where production has been suspended, according to Total’s Web site. A block is an area onshore or offshore in which an oil company is granted exploratory and discovery rights.
Offshore, nine companies, including Total, Petronas, PTTEP, South Korea’s Daewoo International Corp., Chinese state-run companies China National Offshore Oil Corp., or CNOOC, and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, are exploring or developing 29 blocks, Total said.
Despite economic sanctions against Myanmar by the United States and the European Union, Total continues to operate the Yadana gas field, and Chevron Corp. has a 28 percent stake through its takeover of Unocal. Existing investments were exempt from the investment ban.
This is about people and the bastards that govern us, in Burma, at home, in the genocide in Iraq and the capital that grows with every death.