Brussels, 9 October 2007 (ITUC OnLine) The ITUC and the European TUC today called on the European Union to take the lead by adopting tough sanctions on Burma following the latest round of violent repression there by the military junta. Europe currently has some sanctions in place, but these fall well short of the kind of pressure needed to convince the military that they must allow democracy to be realised. Top of the sanctions list should be the oil and gas sector, which is the main source of international income for the junta. Any sanctions regime which does not include oil and gas would lack effectiveness and credibility according to the ITUC and ETUC.
“The real beneficiaries of any business links with Burma are the military. They have total control over the country’s economy, and are using this to enrich themselves at the expense of the people. Every business deal with Burma is in effect a support to what is one of the most vicious and oppressive regimes in the world, and the importance of this business to the Burmese generals is even more clear than ever now that they have renewed their long-standing efforts to force Aung San Suu Kyi to reverse the Burmese democracy movement’s call for global sanctions”, said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder.
The ITUC and ETUC are specifically calling for the EU to put in place:
ETUC General Secretary John Monks said: “It is clear that economic engagement does not help temper this regime. EU Ministers now need to act decisively and agree tough measures to drive home to the generals the outrage of European workers and citizens”.
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