From Total for now they are silent, but the investigation ended up on the front page The world triggered an earthquake internationally and within the French oil giant, which ends up in the crosshairs for its alleged funding for the coup junta which it had arrested at the beginning of February Aung San Suu Kyi and the vertices of the National League for Democracy. Military who are still in power and who still suffocate the dissent with repression.
In fact, the newspaper unveiled in a wide investigation made up of papers and documents entitled “Total’s money to the coup junta” the embarrassing machinations financial statements of the company, suspected of having come to terms with the generals of the Burma. According to the newspaper, the oil group – which has long been exploiting a gas field off the Burmese coast – would have implemented “a system of sharing the proceeds with the generals in power” in Burma. From the documents consulted it emerged that “hundreds of millions of dollars are coming hijacked “, for years now, through a company registered at Bermuda, directly to the military of the junta. And this at the expense of Burmese state.
The world he investigated, in particular, the Moattama Gas Transportation Company (Mgtc), owner of the pipeline which binds the gas field of Yadana managed by Total to Thailand. The company was created in 1994 with headquarters at Bermuda. The financial machination sanctioned between the multinational French and the military would thus allow the army to directly pocket dividends on the pipeline business.
Total is present in Burma since 1992. Since the coup d’etat last February, i pro-democracy militants have launched heartfelt appeals for the transalpine group stop immediately “finance the junta” accused of very serious violations of human rights. For their part, the leaders of Total they announced last April the suspension of drilling in the country. At the same time, however, they want to continue exploiting the Yadana, in business since 1998, to supply energy to the Burmese and Thai populations. Total it is also committed to financing NGOs active in the defense of human rights.
The testimonials – The world among other things, it publishes the testimony of five Burmese employees of the French giant. “We hope that Total stop funding the arrived“, They say in the interview, while acknowledging that“ there are no simple solutions ”. Like thousands of others Burma, some employees of Total joined the movement of disobedience civil against the enormous violence of the junta. And yet, because of their commitment, they were called to order by superior. “They told us that if we joined the protest, we would have paid the price, without providing further details “, testifies one of them, Min Thu, a fancy name to remain strictly anonymous. Another, who works on the offshore platform of Yadana, goes so far as to accuse the superior of having “threatened” him. “He told us that if we joined the movement of disobedience civil, we would have been stopped at the airport by the military on our return by helicopter ”. Only very few of Total’s 300 employees in Burma have quit in recent weeks. “The sign – he writes The world – that the struggle for freedom has too high a price ”.
(Army parade in Myanmar, March 27, 2021)