Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Burma-related items.

In light of recent events in Burma, some countries, including France and Britain, have called for sanctions against the junta in Burma. Not only that,

Sarkozy also urged French businesses - including oil giant Total - to restrain from new investment in the country.

Total said Wednesday it is monitoring the mounting unrest in Myanmar and plans to continue its operations there.

I think Stephen Harper should make the same demand of Ivanhoe.

Also in news particularly pertinent to the recent violent attacks by government troops in Burma is the reiteration from the Burma Campaign in Britain, directed at British companies, that "if there is a crackdown and the regime opens fire, you have paid for the bullets."

The Campaign in the UK says up to 150 international companies, including many from Britain, trade with Burma – particularly in the travel, timber, gems and clothing sectors – making a total investment of £1.2bn every year.

The pro-democracy activists yesterday welcomed Gordon Brown's calls for "immediate international action" and restraint from the military junta, as protests grabbed the world's attention. But they said it was time the Prime Minister backed up political words with heavier sanctions against the junta.

"The Government has generally taken a lazy approach. When it comes to economic pressure, it has done nothing," said Mark Farmaner, spokesman for the Burma Campaign UK. "The US banned investment in 1997 but we have not. There are no trade sanctions at all apart from limited sanctions by the EU in 2004."

UPDATE: If you're in Canada, you can go here to sign a petition going to Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier, or attend a protest at Parliament Hill on the evenings of September 26, 27, and 28. There may be events in your area as well.

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