Burma, Fragments Of Truth

(When I type ‘Junta’ it makes me think of Jabba the Hutt, hmmm) The junta admit to almost 3,000 arrests, which is still only a partial truth-

Myanmar’s military government says it is still hunting for protesters who took part in recent anti-government demonstrations. It said on Wednesday that nearly 3,000 had been detained since the crackdown started last month and hundreds remain in custody.

Diplomats and dissidents say they believe up to 6,000 people were arrested in the crackdown, including thousands of monks who led the rallies. They also believe the toll is much higher than the official figure of 10 given by the military when troops fired into crowds on September 26 and 27. The opposition National League for Democracy party of detained Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi said more than 300 party members had been detained since August, including 60 within the past week.

The EU sanctions have been welcomed but the International Trade Unions Confederation points out how they sort of missed out on two things, nothing big really, just oil & gas-

Frank William, researcher of the ITUC Human and Trade Rights Department said, “We are happy that they [EU] decided to put pressure on the regime but we think they should do more,” suggesting that the new sanctions should hit the oil and gas sectors. “The complete embargo should include oil and gas,” said William, adding that only such an embargo will affect the Burmese regime.

As the new set of sanctions do not include the oil and gas sectors, companies in the EU like Total of France can still continue their operations in some of Burma’s gas fields in Yadana and Yetagun.

Guy Ryder, ITUC General Secretary in a statement released on Tuesday said,” These new restrictions are welcome, but they don’t go far enough. The oil and gas sectors are the single largest source of revenue for the military regime, and we are extremely disappointed that the EU has left this huge revenue stream untouched.”

The statement said more than 400 foreign companies are still operating and investing in Burma and particularly companies in EU are investing in the oil and gas sectors. ITUC, which represents over 168 million workers in 153 countries and Territories, said the EU sanctions will only be complete and effective if it hits the oil and gas sectors hard.

Meanwhile, Burma, which has one of the largest oil reserves in Southeast Asia, in collaboration with Daewoo international led conglomerate are drilling and exploring off shore oils field in Burma’s western coastal state of Arakan. While Thailand and India are into a race for gas, the Burmese military junta has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China for the sale of gas from the A1 block of the offshore oil field in Arakan state.

And in Arakan state, coincidentally I’m sure-

Party chairman U Kyaw Khine, 85, and secretary Ko Min Aung, 40, were each sentenced to seven and a half years’ imprisonment by the township court on Monday, NLD party members in Taunggok told DVB. Party members in Sandoway township, also in Arakan state, reported that two members of the township’s NLD organising committee, U Htun Kyi and U Than Pe, had each been sentenced to four and half years by Sandoway court, Another party member from Gwa township, U Sein Kyaw, is also standing trial at this court.

Keeping the world safe for fossil fuels, phew!

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , , , . 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Burma, Fragments Of Truth”

  1. korova Says:

    Good call on the detainees. I missed the 6,000 figure. Truly frightening statistic. Still, at least the government is taking this seriously, right?

  2. RickB Says:

    If I was one of those detained, I’d start digging a hole, just in case the humanitarian impulses were somehow forgotten on the way to the bank.

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