Siemens, Swiss Re and Chevron join Burma ‘Dirty List’
26 new companies have been added to the ‘Dirty List’ published today by the Burma Campaign UK. A total of 101 companies feature on the new list. The ‘Dirty List’ exposes companies that are directly or indirectly helping to finance Burma’s brutal military dictatorship.
Other major companies named and shamed include Rolls Royce, Total Oil, DHL, Orient Express, Schlumberger, Lonely Planet, Daewoo and China National Offshore Oil Corp.
“These companies are putting profit before principle by helping to keep Burma’s military dictatorship in power,” said Yvette Mahon, Director of the Burma Campaign UK. “Foreign investment and trade doesn’t help the people of Burma, it hurts them.” The regime spends half its budget on the military and spends less on health than any other country.
The new companies added to the list are the result of new information and an influx of new investment in Burma’s gas sector.
- 37 companies on the list are in the tourism sector – either operating tours to Burma or promoting tourism through guides.
- 18 companies on the list are in the timber sector.
- 23 companies on the list are in the oil & gas sector.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has called on companies not to trade with Burma, but since Labour came to power imports from Burma have quadrupled, rising from £17.3million in 1998 to £74m in 2004. In addition, Britain is ranked as the second largest investor in Burma, as it allows foreign companies to use the British Virgin Islands to channel investment to the country. The government has repeatedly refused to stop this investment, despite calls from Burma’s democracy movement and the British trade union movement. All the main opposition parties and more than 100 Labour backbenchers also support an investment ban.
Almost 20 of the companies on last year’s ‘Dirty List’ have ended their involvement in Burma, including insurance giant Aon, Austrian Airlines and Frommers guides.
For more information and a copy of the Dirty List, contact Mark Farmaner, Media Officer, on 020 7324 4713
NOTE TO EDITORS: THE CURRENT SITUATION IN BURMA
Burma is ruled by one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world. In November democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi had her detention without trial extended for a further six months. Rape is used as a weapon of war against ethnic minorities and over 1,100 political prisoners languish in jail, many subjected to horrific torture.