Monday, October 29, 2007

Burma, Myanmar - the Privatization of People

Excerpts from:
Myanmar: Who Are The Main Culprits?
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The Hypocrites Who Say They Back Democracy in Burma

by John Pilger

This is John Pilger’s address to a London meeting, ‘Freedom Writ Large’, organized by PEN and the Writers Network of Burma, on October 25.
...What she is less keen to keep a focus on is that the huge American company, Chevron (formerly Unocal in this instance), on whose board of directors she sat, is part of a consortium with the junta and the French company, Total, that operates in Burma’s offshore oil fields. The gas from these fields is exported through a pipeline that was built with forced labor and whose construction involved Halliburton, of which Vice President Cheney was Chief Executive.
For many years, the Foreign Office in London promoted business as usual in Burma. When I interviewed Suu Kyi I read her a Foreign Office press release that said, “Through commercial contacts with democratic nations such as Britain, the Burmese people will gain experience of democratic principles.”
She smiled sardonically and said, “Not a bit of it.”

In Britain, the official public relations line has changed, but the substance of compliance and collusion has not. British tour firms – like Orient Express and Asean Explorer – are able to make a handsome profit on the suffering of the Burmese people. Aquatic – a sort of mini Halliburton – has its snout in the same trough, together with Rolls Royce and all those posh companies that make a nice earner from Burmese teak.
When the last month’s uprising broke out, Gordon Brown referred to the sanctity of what he called “universal principles of human rights”. He has said something similar a letter sent to this meeting tonight. It is his theme of distraction. I urge you not be distracted.
...When did Brown or Blair ever use their close connections with business – their platforms at the CBI and in the City London – to name and shame these companies that make money on the back of the Burmese people? When did a British prime minister call for the European Union to plug the loopholes of arms supply to Burma, stopping, for example, the Italians from supplying military equipment? The reason no doubt is that the British government is itself one of the world’s leading arms suppliers, especially to regimes at war. Tonight (October 25) the Brown government has approved the latest American prelude to its attack on Iran and the ensuing horror and bloodshed.
When did a British prime minister call on its ally and client, Israel, to end its long and sinister relationship with the Burmese junta. Or does Israel’s immunity and impunity also cover its supply of weapons technology to Burma and its reported training of the junta’s most feared internal security thugs? Of course, that is not unusual. The Australian government – so vocal lately in its condemnation of the junta – has not stopped the Australian Federal Police from training Burma’s internal security forces in at the Australian-funded Center for Law Enforcement Cooperation in Indonesia.

(Of course not globalist corporate religious dictatorships are the goal worldwide, so people are driven from their land and families are dessimated all the while a rigid fundamentalist religion comes along behind to whip them into further submission.)

There are many more of these grand, liberal hypocrites; and we who care for freedom in Burma should not be distracted by the posturing and weasel pronouncements of our leaders, who themselves should be called to account as accomplices – unless and until their fine words are matched by deeds that make a genuine difference and they themselves stop destroying lives. We owe that vigilance and that truth to Aung San Suu Kyi, to Burma’s writers and to all the other bravest of the brave.

Please see the light - we need your energy to rock this world to liberty!


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