Open Letter from Ethnic Karen to President Biden and President Macron to Sanction Gas Revenue, 67 Organizations from 17 Countries
Re: Ethnic Karen Communities Worldwide Calling to Sanction Gas Revenue to the Burmese military.
Dear President Biden and President Macron,
We are writing to you on behalf of ethnic Karen communities worldwide to call on you to sanction gas revenue to the Burmese military.
We are extremely disappointed that almost a year on from the attempted military coup, you are still allowing companies from America and France to pay gas revenue to the Burmese military. The hundreds of millions of dollars provided to the Burmese military by companies from your countries are being used to buy the bombs and bullets being used against our people. They are funding war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Since the military coup, more than 300,000 people have been forced to flee their homes because of attacks and threats by the Burmese military. The majority of these people are from ethnic states, including around 85,000 in Karen State.
We welcome the sanctions introduced by the USA and European Union (EU) so far. It is vital that you continue with regular rounds of new sanctions to systematically cut revenue to the military. However, failing to take action on one of the single biggest sources of revenue to the military is neither an effective or credible policy option.
As long as American and French companies continue to fund the military, your countries are complicit in the human rights violations committed by the Burmese military. You are helping to facilitate the purchase of military equipment by providing the funds required to do so.
You impose arms embargoes but at the same time provide the Burmese military with money which they can purchase arms from Russia, China, India and other countries. This makes absolutely no sense.
A wide range of proposals have been put forward by different civil society organisations for ways in which gas revenue can be stopped. Whatever the challenges, you must find a way to impose sanctions to stop gas revenue reaching the military. The price of your inaction and indecision is being paid for with the lives and suffering of our people.
It is not a credible option to continue to condemn airstrikes, massacres and other human rights violations which your companies have helped to fund.
For decades your countries largely stood by, failing to hold the military to account for its violations of international law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity against Karen people. You helped create a sense of impunity which led the military to believe it can keep committing these human rights violations, encouraging more attacks and the military coup.
Please do not let us down again now. What we ask is very little. It will have no significant impact on your own country’s economies. We simply want you to stop funding our oppressor. Stop funding human rights violations. Sanction gas revenue now.
- International Karen Organisation
- European Karen Network
- Albany Karen Community, USA
- Australia Karen Organisation
- Ayeyawaddy Karen Youth, Burma
- Calgary Karen Community Association, Canada
- California Karen Youth Connection, USA
- Denmark Karen Organization
- Dooplaya Karen Community Development Group, Burma
- Edmonton Karen Community Youth Organization, Canada
- Finland Karen Culture Association
- IKO Women Department
- Karen American Association of Wisconsin, USA
- Karen Association of Huron, SD, USA
- Karen Community Association UK
- Karen Community in Norway
- Karen Community in The Netherlands
- Karen Community Korea
- Karen Community of Akron, OH, USA
- Karen Community of Canada
- Karen Community of Czech Republic
- Karen Community of Finland
- Karen Community of Hamilton, Canada
- Karen Community of Iowa, USA
- Karen Community of Ireland
- Karen Community of Israel
- Karen Community of Kansas City (KS & MO), USA
- Karen Community of Kitchener & Waterloo, Canada
- Karen Community of Leamington, Canada
- Karen Community of Lethbridge, Canada
- Karen Community of London, Canada
- Karen community of Minnesota, USA
- Karen Community of North Carolina, USA
- Karen Community in Norway
- Karen Community of Ottawa, Canada
- Karen Community of Regina, Canada
- Karen Community of Saskatoon, Canada
- Karen community of Syracuse, USA
- Karen Community of Thunderbay, Canada
- Karen Community of Toronto, Canada
- Karen Community of Windsor, Canada
- Karen Community of Winnipeg, Canada
- Karen Community Society of British Columbia, Canada
- Karen Environmental and Social Action Network, Burma/Thailand
- Karen Finland Culture Association, Finland
- Karen Human Rights Group, Burma
- Karen Organization of America, USA
- Karen Organization of Illinois, USA
- Karen Organization of San Diego, USA
- Karen Peace Support Network, Burma
- Karen Student Network Group, Burma/Thailand
- Karen Swedish Community
- Karen Teacher Working Group, Burma/Thailand
- Karen Thai Group, Thailand
- Karen Women’s Organization, Burma
- Karen Youth – Rangoon, Burma
- Karen Youth Education Pathways, USA
- Karen Youth Network, Burma
- Karen Youth of Norway
- Karen Youth Organization, Burma
- Karen Youth UK
- KNU Concerned Group, Burma
- Korea Karen Organization
- Korea Karen Youth Organization
- New Zealand Karen Association
- Oversea Karen Organization Japan
- Utica Karen Community, USA