Saturday, November 17, 2007
Total "Out of Burma" – Day of Action Sat 24 November
The campaigning group “Total Out of Burma” is holding a national “Day of Action” next Saturday 24 November 2007. They are planning protests at petrol stations owned by French Oil Company Total.
Total have massive investments in Burma which generate hundreds of million of tax dollars for the military junta in Burma. Remember the regime need foreign exchange in order to oppress and control its own people.
Aung San Suu Kyi the Burmese democracy leader is quoted as saying “"TOTAL is the biggest supporter of the military regime in Burma". While still under house arrest (12th year of detention) she has also pleaded for a total withdrawal of investments in Burma
Click on “Total Out Of Burma” to find the location of the nearest protest to you.
At my recent Labour Party ward meeting the (Newham) Councillors present promised to investigate whether or not their pension scheme had any investments in Burma such as Total (they probably do). Also following representations from trade union members I have contacted the Chair of my own Council Pension scheme in Tower Hamlets asking similar questions.
I think that apart from the overwhelming moral case not to invest in Burma and therefore support this murderous junta, this is also a fiduciary issue. Pension and life assurance funds ought to assess the potential financial risks to their funds from such “investments”. For example, Total is the lead partner in a $1.2 billion investment in an off shore gas field in Burma. If European or US sanctions are tightened and they have to sell off these assets quickly then Total could face huge losses. Nevermind the widespread boycotts of Total and its reputational risk.