Some 40 organizations launched an international campaign aimed at
pressuring the French oil giant Total to pull out of Myanmar, where
they said the company's activities support a military dictatorship, a
French activist collective announced.
The campaign is led by the International Federation for Human Rights,
Actions Birmanie of Belgium and the French collective, which is called
"Total pollutes democracy."
"Total must pull out of Burma (Myanmar) not only for having taken
advantage of army-imposed forced labor, between 1995 and 1998, for the
construction of the Yadana gas pipeline but also because it fills the
coffers of a predatory regime," Olivier De Schutter, secretary general
of the International Federation for Human Rights, told a press
"It is not possible to pretend, as Total does, that you can deal with Burma without enabling the junta to increase its power.
"The entire economy is in the hands of a small group of soldiers who do nothing for the population," he charged.
"Forty percent of the budget is allocated to military spending; 0.4
percent to health and education, according to the United Nations
If Total withdraws from Myanmar, according to the French collective,
"one would hope that France would finally support the adoption of
significant economic sanctions against the Burmese junta, as the
democratic movement in the country has asked."
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