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NSW calls on Aust Gov consider targeted and trade sanctions on Burma

By Burma Campaign Australia  •  September 14, 2010

Burma activist urged the Australian Government to listen to calls from the NSW State Parliament and consider imposing targeted trade and investment on Burma’s oil and gas industry.

Last week NSW Legislative Council passed a motion on Burma tabled by Dr John Kaye from the Greens.

The motion stated: “This House calls on the Federal Government to give consideration to: a) placing the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise on Australia’s financial sanctions list, b) imposing targeted trade and investment sanctions on Burma’s oil and gas industry”.

The motion noted extracts from the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma/Myanmar, Tomas Quintana, report to the UN Human Rights Council earlier this year.

Mr Quintana’s report stated: “The depletion of natural resources is of concern, as is the relationship between extractive industries and a vast array of human rights violations…extraction activities have directly resulted in an increase in human rights and environmental abuses committed by the military against the people living along PTT Exploration and Production Public Company’s Yadana and Yetagun gas pipeline project in the Tenasserim region of Myanmar.  Reports highlight the close relationship between the extraction companies and the armed forces.  The companies rely on the Myanmar military to provide security for their projects.”

Mr Quintana report also noted that billions of dollars of income from oil and gas projects was not going into the country’s national budget.

“Myanmar’s earnings from natural gas are recorded at the official exchange rate for the kyat which over-values the currency by 150-200 times its market value….Since 2000, $4.8 billion of $4.83 billion of the Government’s revenues on the Yadana Project appears not to have been included in the national budget.”

Burma Campaign Australia spokesperson Dr Myint Cho congratulated the NSW Parliament and called on the Australian Government to place the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise on the financial sanction list.

“Burma’s oil and gas industry is helping fund the military dictatorship and their actions including systematic and gross violation of human rights and military attacks on civilians.  Twinza Oil, an Australian company, is investing in this industry and will give the military regime, through the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, an estimated US$2.5 billion,” Dr Myint Cho said.

“Placing the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, which Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said is under the direct control of the military regime, on the financial sanctions list will stop Australian companies giving billions of dollars to the military regime to fund what has been called crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

On June 19th 2010 the Victoria State ALP Branch passed a resolution calling on the Australian Government to impose targeted trade and investment sanctions.

For more information call Dr Myint Cho on 0404091143

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This post is in: Press Release

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