President Joseph Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Dear President Biden,
As a nation, we should not accept US corporate complicity with the Burmese generals currently perpetrating atrocities and state terror. As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated this week, “We have witnessed yet another weekend of coordinated bloodshed in many parts of the country, including the reported mass killing of at least 82 people in Bago between Friday and Saturday. The military seems intent on intensifying its pitiless policy of violence against the people of Myanmar, using military-grade and indiscriminate weaponry.”
The Burmese government has been paid hundreds of millions of dollars by international partners though its Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) now controlled by the military junta. Major oil companies like Chevron and Total have lobbied the US Government with misleading arguments about why they cannot stop the payments flowing to the Burmese military. But these payments will ensure the death of democracy in Burma.
Before the brutal military coup in Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD party overwhelmingly won the democratic elections in November. The rightfully elected CRPH parliamentarians that have avoided imprisonment have been reaching out to ethnic leaders to form a unity government of resistance. These leaders have asked the US government to put sanctions on MOGE, something that did not happen during previous military regimes.
They have also asked foreign oil and gas companies to cut ties with the junta and put all these payments from energy projects into “protected accounts,” These escrow accounts can be monitored by a neutral third party to make sure the funds are not spent on weapons that kill nonviolent protesters, bomb ethnic communities, or destroy Rohingya villages.
The sanctions your government has imposed so far are necessary, and we thank you for decisive action. However, if the hundreds of millions of dollars paid by oil and gas companies continue to be paid, there will be no effective alternative to civil war in Burma. Please sanction MOGE.
The brave people of Burma are sanctioning their own government through general strikes. They are willing to sacrifice. But if the international community does not support their struggle, it draws out the suffering. Will they suffer for nothing?