Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Burma: Total Won't Pull Out

From the Financial Times:

Total says pulling out would raise hardship

Total of France, which operates a natural gas project in Burma, has expressed its "deep concern" over the situation in the country but rejected the idea it should pull out.
The company argues that its presence benefits tens of thousands of people and serves as a model for "business and political leaders looking for ways to address the country's human rights issues".

Alongside Chevron of the US, Total is one of the leading western companies still active in Burma.

In a statement, it said: "A forced withdrawal would only lead to our replacement by other operators probably less committed to the ethical principles guiding all our initiatives. Our departure could cause the population even greater hardship and is thus an unacceptable risk."...

Tough call. I wonder if this entered into the decision:

Burma: Thousands dead in massacre of the monks dumped in the jungle

Thousands of protesters are dead and the bodies of hundreds of executed monks have been dumped in the jungle, a former intelligence officer for Burma's ruling junta has revealed.

The most senior official to defect so far, Hla Win, said: "Many more people have been killed in recent days than you've heard about. The bodies can be counted in several thousand."

Mr Win, who spoke out as a Swedish diplomat predicted that the revolt has failed, said he fled when he was ordered to take part in a massacre of holy men. He has now reached the border with Thailand....MORE