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Clapham South Total Oil Protest for Burma

Awyame | 05.08.2008 22:30 | Anti-militarism | Repression | Social Struggles | London

On 30th July six protesters from held a demonstration at the Ridge Total Service Station, 40 - 50 Balham Hill, Wandsworth, London SW12 9EL (near Clapham South). French Total Oil funds the brutal Burmese junta with 500 million dollars a year from the Total operated Yadana gas field, fuelling oppression and great cruelty in Burma. Next August 8th will mark the 20th uprising of the 8-8-88 protests in which 3,000 peaceful Burmese protesters were murdered by the Burmese junta.

Several vehicles entering the station were put off buying petrol and turned around. Although there were less passers-by than at some other protests, a high proportion were interested in the protest taking leaflets about Totalitarian Oil and about the Cyclone Victims in Burma.

The Burmese in London are planning to remember the 3,000 heroic and peaceful Burmese protesters that were murdered on August 8th 1988. See Future Events below for details.

Total and Burma

A detailed report on Total Oil's involvement in Burma, written by Burma Campaign UK, can be downloaded at

Total is in a joint venture with the dictatorship in the Yadana gas project in southern Burma. [1]

The gas project funds the junta with hundreds of millions of dollars a year and represents a major source of foreign currency for the regime to buy weapons and finance the army.

Burma has the world's worst health care [2], the most corruption [3] and the most child soldiers [4].

You can email TOTAL right now to tell them that you think they should leave Burma via

Burma Campaign UK on Facebook

Get Total out of Burma on Facebook ( Facebook group)


- New Report Exposes Insurance Industry Burma Links
- UN Has Known About Burma Exchange Rate Fraud For Years
- Amnesty International UK: New appeal over 8888 uprising Burma prisoners
- Activists urge people to boycott Burmese “Blood Jade” in Beijing Olympic
- Security Tightens as 8.8.88 Anniversary Campaign Begins "Red Campaign”
- Myanmar: Women enslaved due to economic hardships
- Iron Cross music band forced to delay show in support of cyclone victims by junta
- Bogalay authorities demand construction tax for cyclone damage repairs
- KNU denies junta accusation of blasting pylon
- Army order villagers to take responsibility for gas pipeline
- Kumai villagers forced to guard at night and work by day at army base


(no Wednesday Total protests this week)

Check Burmese Democracy Movement Association and Burma Campaign UK for any further events or changes to events (especially 8th August):

Friday August 8th

The 20th anniversary of the regime’s brutal suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations which took place in 1988.
Thousands of Burmese were murdered by the regime on August 8th in a pro-democracy crackdown known in Burma as “8-8-88"

Consecration and Opening Ceremony for the 8888 Glass Monument

(1) Consecration of the Monument in Buddhist Prayers
Date: 8 August, 2008 (Friday)
Time: 08:08
Venue: Sasana Ramsi Vihara (Colindale Monastery)
83 Booth Road, Colindale, London NW9 5JU

(2) Opening Ceremony of the Monument in Public
Date: 8 August, 2008 (Friday)
Time: 10:30 to 12:00
Venue: Peace Garden, St George's Road, London SE1 6ER (Venue has been confirmed)
(Tibetan Peace Garden is in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park by Imperial War Museum)
Nearest Tube Station: Elephant & Castle
By Bus: 12, 45, 53, 63, 68, 159, 168, 171, 176, 188, 344
Nearest NCP Car Park: Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, Elephant Rd

Burmese and solidarity groups will protest at the Embassy
1-2pm Friday 8 August
Myanmar/Burma Embassy 19A, Charles St, London W1J 5DX.
Tube: Green Park | Map:

Exhibitions on Political Prisoners in Burma
Activities: Photo Exhibition, Sale of Souvenirs
Date: 8 August, 2008 (Friday)
Time: 18:00 to 22:00
Venue: Rooms G-50, 51, 52, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Refreshments: Snacks and wines will be provided by the Burma Campaign UK
Tube: Russell Square

8/8/88 Demonstration in Edinburgh and Special Performance of Burma Play

At 12:30 on August 8th gather at Edinburgh City Chambers on the High Street to join crowds of people holding up a giant saffron ribbon as a demonstration to mark the 8/8/1988 Burmese uprising which was brutally repressed at the cost of thousands of lives.

Following the demonstration there will be a special gala performance of The Burma Play starting with a minute's silence at 1pm. Anyone wanting to attend the Gala performance needs to reserve a ticket at scotland AT

Saturday 9th August

Bike for Burma

To commemorate 8th August 1988 – an important date in the history of Burma
Organised by: A coalition of Burmese students and exiled activists based in London
Date: 9 August, 2008 (Saturday)
Time: 12:00 to 14:00
Start & End Points: Starting from Queen Anne's Gate and ending at Park Lane
Detail Route Map.
Cyclists, pro-democracy activists and volunteer stewards to distribute leaflets.
Information Pack:
If you cannot take part in the bike ride, you're welcome to come along for a picnic in Hyde Park, near Speakers Corner at 2pm.

August 4th to 10th

the burma play
a comedy of terror
... a vital glimpse of the courage and suffering of the Burmese people. I warmly recommend it - John Pilger
Edinburgh Festival Fringe - August 2008
St John's Church, Corner of Princes Street and Lothian Road
See also
August 4-10 16:00 (1hr) £8.00(£5.00)
Tickets available from The Fringe Festival Box Office boxoffice AT 0131 226 0026

August 18th
Bridport Carnival street collection for Burma appeal and stall.
Email: lynlidiard AT

Bank Holiday Monday 25th August

Music Concert & Burmese food in London (Fundraiser for Cyclone Nargis Victims)
(Zaw Paing, Chit Thu Wai, Tin Zar Maw, Kyar Pauk & Samba Dancers)
Date: 25 August, 2008 (Bank holiday Monday)
Time: 17:00 to midnight
More information: Temptation 2
Venue: Clapham Grand, 21-25 St. Johns Hill, Clapham Junction, SW11 1TT

Check Burmese Democracy Movement Association for any further events or changes to events:

Burma Fundraising events in Bridport, Dorset
For more information on any of these events email: lynlidiard AT
These events are raising money for:
Burma Campaign UK
Children on the Edge
Save The Children (Burma Sector)

September 13th
Awareness and fundraising stall Bridport high street
Email: lynlidiard AT

September 15th
Screening of 'Burmas Secret War' - A film about the oppression of the Burmese people by it's own government.
Followed by a speaker working as nurse on Thai/Burmese border.
At the Palace cinema , South Street Bridport.
Email: lynlidiard AT
Youtube copy of 'Burmas Secret War"

A coming together For Burma' - An evening of prayer and meditation for peace. led by a visiting monk-Ajahn from Hartridge monastery and vicar of the United Reform Church East St Bridport. Possible Burmese speaker at end of event.
Bring a symbol of peace.
Email: lynlidiard AT

September 19th
A concert at Bridport Art Centre for the people of Burma.
7.45pm (doors open 7.15pm)
Folky jazz with the BJ band and Red Dirt followed by folk music from Dave Ferrard (an up and coming musician from Edinburgh
Email: lynlidiard AT


Burma Campaign UK has a web page on the crisis, with donation links to
major charities helping victims of the cyclone eg.
Christian Aid, Oxfam, The Red Cross, Islamic Relief and CAFOD.

On 2 May 2008 Cyclone Nargis ripped across the coast of Myanmar (also known as Burma), bringing misery and devastation to tens of thousands of people. The DEC has raised £15 Million to date to help survivors of this disaster, but there is still more to do.
* Donate online Now: Myanmar (Burma).
* Send a Cheque made payable to 'DEC Myanmar Cyclone' to: DEC Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone Appeal, PO BOX 232, Melksham, SN12 6WF
* Download a Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone Donation by post form
* Go to any Post Office quoting Freepay number: 1643


Make sure you've signed:

- "Free Burma's Political Prisoners Now!" petition (global campaign launched 13 March 2008)

- Downing Street petition to ask Prime Minister to support 1990 Elections result and urge International Community not to follow junta's 2010 Election plan (new petition launched in June 2008)
- Urge immediate medical care for Min Ko Naing (Email campaign launched 29th April 2008)
- The Burma Campaign UK e-action to TOTAL:
- Ipetition Boycott Total Petrol Stations to support Burma (started June 2008):
- The global pledge (Boycott of Total Oil and Chevron and all their subsidiaries)
- Don't Forget Burma - send a photo message to the regime:


Burma Campaign UK's video channel on YouTube:

- New to Burma? Watch these videos for a brief introduction
- This is Burma Music - U2, REM, Damien Rice, KT Tunstall...
- This is Burma: News and Documentaries - including Burma's Secret War
and Inside The Crackdown

The Real Disaster in Burma' - new animated film narrated by Ricky Gervais
23 Jun 2008

"Burma's Secret War"


For more information on Total Oil and Burma go to

A detailed report on Total Oil's involvement in Burma, written by Burma
Campaign UK, can be downloaded at

Get TOTAL OIL out of Burma group on Facebook:

Burma Campaign UK on Facebook


"Insuring Repression - Exposing how the insurance industry supports Burma’s dictators" July 2008

Forced Migration Issue 30 April 2008, is about Burma's displaced people.
[FMR is the in-house journal of the Refugee Studies Centre, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford. FMR is distributed to relief and development NGOs, human rights agencies, Red Cross/Crescent offices, UNHCR, OCHA, UNDP, UNICEF and other UN agencies, bilateral donors, refugee camps, research institutes, foreign and interior ministries and university, national and public libraries]

Earth Rights have updated their report on Chevron's involvement in the Yadana Gas pipeline:
Report "The Human Cost of Energy" April 2008

Growing up under militarisation: Comprehensive Karen Human Rights Group report looks at the abuse and agency of children


New Report Exposes Insurance Industry Burma Links
29 Jul 2008

Read the report here:

The Burma Campaign UK today publishes a groundbreaking new report exposing how foreign insurance companies have facilitated the flow of billions of dollars to the Burmese regime, money that hasn’t benefited Burma’s people and has instead been used to finance campaigns of repression and ethnic cleansing.

The report, named Insuring Repression, highlights how foreign insurance companies from London to Singapore have been working closely with the regime’s insurance company – to ensure that foreign businesses can operate in Burma. 16 companies are highlighted as their members or subsidiaries sell insurance to companies in Burma, including Lloyd’s of London, Hannover Re, Catlin, Atrium, XL, Tokio Marine, Sompo Japan, Mitsui Sumitomo. The report launches a new campaign by The Burma Campaign UK targeting the insurance industry.

“By selling insurance to companies operating in Burma these companies are propping up a regime that rules through fear – raping, torturing and killing Burma’s civilians. These companies are putting profit before ethics, they are helping to finance a regime that less than a year ago was shooting peaceful protestors on the streets of Rangoon. They ensure that the regime can afford its guns, bullets and tanks,” said Johnny Chatterton, author of the report and Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK.

The report criticises the EU for failing to impose targeted financial sanctions that would prevent insurance companies from selling insurance to companies in Burma. The USA has had these sanctions since 2003. "The insurance industry is helping to prop up Burma's morally repugnant regime. The EU must act. We must shut down the regime's financial lifeline with targeted financial sanctions immediately," said Glenys Kinnnock MEP, Patron of the Burma Campaign UK.

The report also highlights how some of the world's insurance giants have, after pressure from Burma Campaign UK, taken the decision not to provide insurance to companies in Burma. This includes AIG, ALLIANZ, AON, AVIVA, AXA, ING, Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re, and Willis.

Insurance is vital for the companies that invest in Burma and give the regime millions of dollars everyday. This campaign aims to make Burma less attractive to foreign investors by making it more expensive and more difficult for them to insure their operations in Burma. It is part of a carefully targeted policy designed by Burma’s democracy movement to cut the junta’s economic lifeline, this will decrease the amount of money the regime can spend on arms and increase pressure on the regime to negotiate with Burma’s democracy movement.

UN Has Known About Burma Exchange Rate Fraud For Years
30 Jul 2008

UN must stop covering up for Burma regime.

The Burma Campaign UK today expressed surprise and concern about claims by the United Nations that they were ‘slow to recognise’ the problem of Burma’s military regime stealing aid money through a fixed exchange rate that is below the market rate.

“It is astonishing that they are claiming ignorance, the United Nations has known about this problem for years,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of the Burma Campaign UK. “In early 2006 we raised concerns with the UN in Rangoon about the regime taking aid money in this way. They downplayed it, and since then have taken no serious action to challenge it.”

The Burma Campaign UK also raised concerns about the fixed exchange rate in a report in July 2006. The report was distributed to the UN and governments. It can be downloaded at:

Burma’s brutal military dictatorship not only pursues policies that impoverish the people of Burma, but also does all it can to steal aid. The generals clearly see Cyclone Nargis as a major money-making opportunity. Ways that the regime has been attempting to profit from Cyclone Nargis include:

• Forcing the UN and aid agencies to change currency at fixed non-market rates which enable them to keep between 10 and 25 percent of aid.

• Taking aid supplies delivered by plane after the cyclone. Some aid agencies were forced to buy aid supplies on the market in Burma after it had been given to regime cronies.

• Allocating areas of the cyclone-hit Delta to regime cronies for so-called ‘reconstruction’ work, to be paid for by aid from the international community. This would be a major cash-cow for the regime and its cronies through corruption and kickbacks.

• Indicating that aid access will be restricted if they face pressure for political reform.

“It is disgraceful that the UN has only admitted there is a problem because of media reports,” said Mark Farmaner. “They have even misled journalists by claiming there was no problem earlier this month. Nor have they spoken out about the regime going back on its word to Ban Ki-Moon to allow full and free access for aid workers, or the show refugee camps, the list goes on. Sometimes it almost seems like they are doing public relations for the generals. It is no wonder many people in Burma see the UN as consistently siding with the regime.”

8) RECENT BURMA NEWS: (see - read links for the full versions of stories)

- Amnesty International UK: New appeal over 8888 uprising Burma prisoners
- Activists urge people to boycott Burmese “Blood Jade” in Beijing Olympic
- Security Tightens as 8.8.88 Anniversary Campaign Begins "Red Campaign”
- Myanmar: Women enslaved due to economic hardships
- Iron Cross music band forced to delay show in support of cyclone victims by junta
- Bogalay authorities demand construction tax for cyclone damage repairs
- KNU denies junta accusation of blasting pylon
- Army order villagers to take responsibility for gas pipeline
- Kumai villagers forced to guard at night and work by day at army base$1234672.htm

Amnesty International UK: New appeal over 8888 uprising Burma prisoners

More than 2,000 political prisoners are still languishing in Burmese jails, almost 20 years after pro-democracy protests were crushed by the country's army.

Today the United Nations is being urged to reject Burma's "hollow promises" and press for the release of all those still detained.

Amnesty International UK's plea comes ahead of an official visit by the UN secretary general's special representative Ibrahim Gambari and Thomas Ojea, the UN expert on human rights in Burma.

Pro-democracy protests began in Burma on August 8th 1988, lending the demonstrations the 8888 uprising tag.

The peaceful protests, which mostly involved students and monks, began in Rangoon and spread through most of the country before being viciously crushed in September.

Up to 3,000 unarmed protests are thought to have died, with about 2,050 still remaining in jail.

Their numbers have been added to by protestors detained or 'disappeared' following the Saffron Revolution marches witnessed last autumn.

Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International UK's Burma researcher, said there were now more political prisoners in Burma than at any time since the 8888 uprising.

He drew special attention to U Win Tin, now 78, who has been imprisoned since 1989.

"Despite countless claims by the government of Burma that it is moving toward allowing broader political participation, U Win Tin was detained not long after the 1988 demonstrations, and remains in prison along with thousands of others," Mr Zawacki said.

"Nothing speaks louder of the government's poor faith than the fact that there are more long-standing political prisoners in Burma now than at any other time since those protests.

"While U Win Tin is the longest-serving prisoner of conscience in Burma, he is far from alone.

"He has been joined by thousands of others since 1988, roughly 900 in just the past ten months. The UN should no longer accept the government's hollow assurances but hold Burma firmly to its word."

Amnesty International UK is supporting a demonstration outside the Burmese embassy in central London on Friday August 8th between 13:00 BST and 14:00 BST to mark the 20th anniversary of the 8888 uprising.

Activists urge people to boycott Burmese “Blood Jade” in Beijing Olympic

The report named “Blood Jade: Burmese Gemstones & the Beijing Games” was released by All Kachin Students & Youth Union(AKSYU) and 8-8-08 for Burma and urged individuals-global consumers, Olympic spectators and Olympic athletes and visitors to China for the 2008 Summer Olympics to boycott the sale of Burma blood in Beijing and beyond.

For the first time in history, Olympic medals will include a material other than gold, silver, and bronze while the medals of the Beijing Games are made with Chinese nephrite jade, Burmese jadeite has eclipsed nephrite in popularity in China. Gem-quality jade, a class of jadeite, is only produced by Burmese mines, which are controlled and operated by the military regime and its business partners.

The report said, “The Beijing Organizing Committee of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) and the government of the Peoples Republic of China should take immediate action to curb the global trade in blood jade, beginning by ending their promotion of jade products from Burma.”

Cristina Moon, executive director of the 8888 for Burma said, “We are relieved that the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games has sourced the jade for the Olympic medals and official souvenirs from China.”

“But there is a growing demand for Burmese jade that will only increase due to the Olympic promotion of jade. The generals will keep using their jade profits to buy weapons and crush dissent in Burma unless individuals take a stand.”

The report also details about how the military regime that rules Burma makes millions of dollars per year from the export of jade, primarily to China.

Jadeite production comes at significant costs to the human rights and environmental security of the people living in Kachin State. Land confiscation and forced relocation are commonplace and improper mining practices lead to frequent accidents and base wages less than US$1 per day, says the report.

“Our mountains have disappeared and our youth are dying. The generals are letting their cronies mine away our future,” said Naw La of the AKSYU. “We urge people not to buy blood jade from Burma,”

Security Tightens as 8.8.88 Anniversary Campaign Begins "Red Campaign”

A Burmese student movement has launched a so-called “Red Campaign” ahead of the anniversary of the 1988 uprising, spraying red paint on the walls of schools and other public places in Rangoon to remind people of the event.

The campaign, organized by the student-based “Generation Wave,” despite stepped up security by police and troops.

“The army and riot police are everywhere,” said Burmese clerk who works for an international non-governmental organization in Rangoon. Security was also reportedly tightened in Mandalay.

The anniversary of the uprising and its brutal suppression falls on August 8. Up to 3,000 protesters are thought to have died in clashes with the authorities, while 2,000 arrested during and after the uprising are still in prison.

Moe Thway, a leading member of “Generation Wave” told The Irrawaddy on Monday that the movement had organized the “Red Campaign” to raise awareness among young people of the significance of August 8, 1988.

“We are doing this as evidence that we are not defeated, despite military suppression,” he said. “We young people will continue our struggle for justice and freedom for all Burmese citizens.”

The campaign kicked off as the UN Human Rights Council investigator for Burma, Tomas Ojea Quintana, arrived in Rangoon on his first mission to the country.

Myanmar: Women enslaved due to economic hardships

Economic hardship and poverty have caused several young women in Burma, particularly in regions where ethnic minorities are residing, to be an easy prey of human trafficking, an ethnic Kachin women group said in a new report.

The Thailand based Kachin Women's Association of Thailand (KWAT) in a new report release today reveal that several young women from northern Burma's Kachin state are being sold by traffickers to Chinese men, who forcibly marry them or use them as maids and slaves.

The report titled 'Eastward Bound', which is based on interviews with 163 human trafficking victims from 2004 to 2007, said nearly 37 per cent of the trafficked women ended up as wives of Chinese men, while about 4 percent are sold as housemaids or to the sex industry.

Iron Cross forced to delay show in support of cyclone victims by junta

The Iron Cross (IC), the popular and famous music band in Rangoon has had to postpone its live performance to raise funds for Cyclone Nargis victims at the Thuwanha stadium because of the dilatory tactics of the ruling Burmese junta.

The authorities told the music band earlier that they (authorities) had shifted dates from July 16 to August 24 because the military sports had to be held, according to source close to the IC.

According to the source, "The authorities have delayed the live show thrice and if they delay it again the IC will not be able do the show to collect funds". Lay Phyu, Ahnge, Myo Gyi, and Wai Wai were to perform in the live show.

According to IC fans, the authorities do not have much love for the IC because the band has not ever sung Burmese propaganda music.

The IC band also planned to perform in Mon State earlier but the Southeast Command banned them after youths quarrelled in the festival.

However IC plans to have a stage show after the end of the Buddhist Lent in Kamawet village at the Kyaik Kamort Pagoda Festival in October 20, 2008.

Bogalay authorities demand construction tax for cyclone damage repairs

Aug 4, 2008 (DVB)–Residents of Irrawaddy's cyclone-devastated Bogalay township have complained that local authorities have been pressuring them to pay a construction tax for repair work on their houses.

A Bogalay resident said municipal officials had told locals to apply for construction permits to repair damage caused by the cyclone and charged them between 100,000 and 200,000 kyat depending on the size of the house.

"Whenever they see a pile of bricks and sand in front of someone's house, they think they can make some money," she said.

"Our houses were damaged by the cyclone and they should not charge us for repairing them."

The resident said those who paid the tax were not given receipts by the officials.

KNU denies junta accusation of blasting pylon

The Karen National Union (KNU) has rubbished Burmese military junta accusations that it blasted a pylon to disrupt power supply from Lawpyita to Taungoo, in Leiktho, Karen State.

According to the state run, the New Light of Myanmar, the No. 206 pylon in Yado village collapsed following a mine explosion at about 10:40 last night. The junta has blamed the KNU, the country's largest anti-junta group.

"We will not do anything that will harm civilians. KNU believes in this policy," KNU Join-Secretary David Tharc Kbaw said.

"The junta is trying to frame the KNU and it has done it before also," he added.

The local military government authorities have warned against more bomb attacks and also appealed to the public to come forward timely with information about terrorists.

There was bombs explosion in an auto exchange Telecommunication Office in Mudon Township, Mon State on July 30 night. Except for some damage to office doors and widows, no one was injured.

Junta authorities accused insurgents for the blast, but local observers said it was an internal affair because no one entered the office apart from the staff.

But local officials said in a meeting yesterday, it had seized 14 bombs tied in fourth standard textbook papers.

This is the second time a bomb exploded in Mon state in this year. It occurred twice on May 10, near a polling station in Yindein village, Khawzar Township.

In a scandalous exposure, the two bombs were planted by a local army officer from Infantry Battalion No.31 in Khawzar town to frame activists in the area.

According to a local police officer, to arrest activists in the area, the army asked for help of the police and village headmen to plan the bombs in Yindein, Yinye and Kabya.

But only the Yindein village headmen help the army officer in the plan and just two bombs exploded in Yindein village polling station without causing damage or injuries.

Following this the local army arrested a former New Mon State Party medic, Nai Show and two villagers and tried to force them to confess by torturing them. Later Nai Show (32) died of injures in Khawzar police station.

Army order villagers to take responsibility for gas pipeline

Local Burmese military authorities have directed villagers near the Kanbauk-Myainekalay gas pipeline to take responsibility for its security. The villagers have to pay the costs of sentry duty and pay for repairs in case of an explosion or a leak.

Though the regime benefits from the gas, villagers in Mudon, Thanpyuzayart, and Ye townships have to pay a monthly fee for sentry duty and to clean the bushes along the pipeline which is about 200 kilometres long. During the rainy season, the villagers have to heap soil where the pipeline has surfaced after erosion.

Local army battalions around the pipeline, which was laid in 2000, have avoided taking responsibility of its security and are known to force villagers to get food and money for them.

Villagers in southern Mudon Township now have to guard the pipeline near their village regularly and pay for the security on a monthly basis.

Moreover they have to pay for repair costs if the gas pipeline explodes.

"We have been paying for a long time including costs to heap soil again and again on the pipeline," said a Yaungdoung villager in Mudon Township.

The local army battalion has said villagers have to take the responsibility if an explosion occurs near their village.

The villager said "The authorities collect about 2,500 Kyat per house depending on the number of households in the village. Some villages pay twice a month." The Kwan-hlar village paid after the gas pipeline exploded twice in 2006.

The army officers ordered them to ensure that there were no explosions again in their villages and told them to guard the pipeline carefully.

The Rangoon’s Ministry of Construction built the pipeline in 2001 in cooperation with the Burma Army Southeast Military Command. The 150 miles pipeline, which raises serious human rights and environmental concerns, runs across Mon State from northern Tenasserim Division to Karen State to supply a cement factory in Pa-an, Karen State.
Explosions on the pipeline were in 2003 and 2006

Kumai villagers forced to guard at night and work by day at army base

The Burmese military battalion in Ye township southern Mon State is forcing villagers to work and do sentry duty near Kumai village on a daily basis.

According to a Kumai villager in Ye Township, five villagers were forced to work at the Light Infantry Battalion LIB No- 299 based in their village during daytime and guard the village at night.

LIB No-299 has been confiscating land since 1999 in southern Ye Township paying small amounts of compensation for crops but not for the land. And the army has issued an order for land confiscation again since February.

"I have to go at least twice a month to work. We have to arrive at the battalion at 6 in the evening and we are let off next evening," he added.

If they don't want to go for duty, they have to hire other people to go to the battalion by paying about 5,000 Kyat at a time.

The Kumai villager said "villagers would like to find other jobs when there is not enough work to be done at the plantations. They have to leave their work to go for the battalion duty." The villagers have to work inside the battalion where they clear the bushes near the army building and rebuild the Ye-Tavoy highway road by force.

Villagers are also forced to work in the quarters of the army officers who do not provide any food to them. Villagers have to bring their own food.

If those on security duty do not have information that strangers are around the village during patrolling, army officers punish them by torturing and beating them up.

[1] Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's democracy leader, has said that "Total is the biggest supporter of the military regime in Burma." For more information about Total Oil's investment in Burma see the Burma Campaign UK website:

[2] The World Health Organization's ranking
of the world's health systems:

[3] Burma joins Somalia in 179th place as the most corrupt countries in the world according to Transparency International 2007 index rankings:

[4] Human Rights Watch report on Child Soldiers in Burma:

- e-mail: totaloutofburma [at] gmail (dot) com
- Homepage:

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