Written by U Ne Oo on 2001-08-09
Dr U Ne Oo
18 Shannon Place
Adelaide SA 5000
9 August 2001
The Rt. Hon Jack Straw, Foreign
Foreign and Commonwealth Office London
King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AH
Dear Mr Straw:
re: Remove Premier Oil PLC from Burma
I am a Burmese refugee residing in Australia. I write to ask your government for the removal of Premier Oil PLC from Burma. In this connection, I have registered my concern with former foreign secretary Mr Cook that the Premier Oil PLC's involvement in the support of human rights training program has amounted to the interference in the internal affairs of Burmese politics. The Premier Oil PLC has hired former head of Australian Human Rights Commission, Mr Sidoti, without having any connection whatsoever with existing training program sponsored by Australian government. Within this context, the Premier Oil PLC has been providing strategic and political advise, in addition to financial revenue, to the Burmese military junta.
The Burmese junta has been the number one producer of heroin and amphetamine on the world. Substantial amount of junta's revenue is believed to have come from the illicit drug trade. Most businesses in Burma, especially those in tourism sector, are major suspects for international drug money laundering operation. Burma's neighbouring countries, especially the Kingdom of Thailand, have become the major target for illicit drug-trade that is sanctioned by the junta. The Burmese illicit drugs has reached as far place as United States, Europe and Australia.
Because of the Burmese military junta abuse of human rights, a large number of refugees had fled to neighbouring countries. In the Kindgom of Thailand alone, there are 120,000 ethnic minority refugees living in the UNHCR sponsored camps, in addition to 600,000 displaced-Burmese workers. In Bangladesh there are 22,000 refugees who fled Burma since 1992 and are not allowed return to their homeland by the junta. Another 30,000 estimated refugees from Chin hill tracts have also fled to India to escape religious persecution and forced labour by the junta. The Burmese military junta has been totally responsible for creating the refugee problem to the detriment of neighbouring countries.
The Government of Great Britain has moral responsibility to ensure the military junta respect human rights of Burmese people. Your government must help restore democracy in Burma so as to put an end to the plight of millions of Burmese refugees. It is totally unacceptable that the British own Premier Oil PLC is assisting the military junta financially and politically. I ask the Government of Britain take immediate step to withdraw Premier Oil PLC from operating in Burma.
Sd. U Ne Oo
cc. The Rt.Hon Robin Cook MP, Leader of the House of Commons, c/- Foreign Affairs Committee, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. Facsimile: 020-7219-6864.