Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Letter to University re Total

Dear Edinburgh University

I am particularly concerned about the investment in Total mentioned on the website http://www.aaps.ed.ac.uk/ExtRel/EndowmentInvestments.htm and dated July 2006. Please see http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/total_report.html for more information on Total's activities in Burma,

If you do not have time to visit this site the following is of particular concern.

Financing dictatorship: TOTAL’s project provides significant annual revenue to the regime. Some sources estimate as much as $450million. Natural gas is now Burma's largest single source of export revenue, accounting for around 30% of export earnings in 2002/03. TOTAL’s investment in Burma has helped the regime to build its military capacity and therefore its control of the country’s population. It has therefore impeded the prospect of democratic change.

Human rights abuse: TOTAL was fully aware of the dangers inherent in deploying Burmese Army troops in an area where civilian families were living. The company was equally aware of its clear civil responsibility to protect the villagers in the pipeline area from these dangers. Despite this, the company opted to employ, through MOGE, the services of an Army internationally renowned for its extreme and unrelenting brutality. In doing so it unleashed a terrible and lasting devastation on the communities of the region and for this, TOTAL must bear responsibility.

I hope that the university will pull out of its investment in Total.


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