Friday, April 07, 2006


Why Total? Why now?

And thank you for joining the global boycott of Total Oil. Since the global campaign against Total was launched by Burmese democracy movements around the world it has become the biggest ever campaign to get a foreign investor out of Burma- even bigger than the campaigns that got Pepsi, Petro-Canada and British American Tobacco (the three previous biggest investors) out of Burma during the 90’s and early 2000’s.
And we want you to be part of it. So why is this campaign so big, and so important? There’s two reasons-firstly this works. When Pepsi were forced out of Burma in 1997 after a massive six year international campaign the regime lost millions of dollars a year causing them to cut back on the military spending used for their genocide. The level of public outcry against Pepsi meant that no soft drinks company moved in to fill the gap-the portion of the regimes funding was gone forever. Similarly when and international campaign forced British American Tobacco (the largest foreign investor before Total) out of Burma in 2001 no tobacco company moved in to take up the contract-so disgusted was the industry at the use of slave labor and funding of genocide, as well as fear of the public backlash faced by BAT. Since the campaign started British MP’s lobbied by people like yourselves, have told Total enough is enough and to get out. This action works (most recently in forcing Lauda Air to stop investing in the regime) and you can be part of it.
Secondly Burma is at a pivotal time. Total is the last major foreign investor, for the first time in history the UN Security Council are looking at action to take to move Burma towards democracy, and the outside world is becoming increasingly intolerant of the worst human rights abuses committed by mankind. This is the final push-a withdrawal by Total would loose the regime their last major backer, have a knock-on affect on all the smaller companies investing in Burma and give France no more reason to veto EU and UN resolution against Burma.
So we can get Total out of Burma-and this will lead Burma to democracy. But this needs to happen soon-the regime are continuing their genocide against ethnic minorities and whilst they spend 50% of their income on military forces to carry out such genocide they spend just 2% on health and education combined, leaving HIV/AIDS and malnutrition sweeping through and destroying this once beautiful country.
In Aung Sung Suu Kyi Burma has a democratically elected leader who won 83% of the vote at the last election, but she remains in house arrest whilst the regime, propped up by Total, keep power by any means necessary.
Please get Total out and save Burma

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?