[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

Letter in Colorado Daily

Zarni: Please post this on the net.  I cannot get thru to it.

>From the letters column of Colorado Daily (Boulder), 15 May 1996, posted by U
Kyaw Win:

"A war against the people of Myanmar"

The essay I have written is a small token of my appreciation for the kindness
and generosity I was treated with by the Karenni people, who continue to live
a life of uncertainty, separated from family, struggling daily to keep up the
hope that one day, they will be able to go home.

For "T" Multinational Corporations have long been criticized for making
unethical, immoral decisions in their attempts to increase profits.  Nowhere
is this more evident than in the military dictatorship of Myanmar (aka
Burma).  For the past 10 years the State Law and Order Restoration Committee
(sic) has been waging a violent war against democracy and the freedom of its
indigenous people.  The military's tactics of murder and torture have
brutally suppressed individual human rights and have forced many people to
flee their homes and escape to the relative safety of neighboring Thailand.
 The refugees live a life of uncertainty and fear.  Desperate for news of
their loved ones, many are torn between the safety of the refugee camps and
the risk of going home.  Years away from family and friends have been
torturous for these people.

The Karenni people, along with other ethnic minorities in Myanmar, have been
waging a silent war against SLORC troops along the Thai border.  They fight
for freedom despite the difficult odds of battle against a much bigger and
better supplied army against them.  In an effort to consolidate their
control, the Burmese military dictatorship desperately seeks more money to
keep its army supplied with weapons.  The recent release of Nobel Peace Prize
laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was merely symbolic maneuvering in an attempt to
attract more foreign investment with the image of a less oppressive, more
humane government.  Although one person walks freeee, millions more suffer.

Since the overthrow of the democratically elected government, most companies
have found it morally wrong to do business with the oppressive military
regime of Myanmar.  Unfortunately, a few have ignored international cries to
financially isolate the dictators and have invested regardless. Pepsico in
particular has not only found it morally acceptable, but extremely
profitable.  Forty percent of Pepsico's bottling profits in Myanmar are given
to the government.  In return, the government allows Pepsico to monopolize
the market.  The revenue Pepsico turns over to SLORC subsidizes the
ever-growing military and further cements the positions of the dictators in

It is morally reprehensible that a company like Pepsico would invest and
collaborate with the military dictators of Myanmar.  Their willingness to do
business with the regime sets the democracy movement in Third World countries
back eons and consolidates the legitimacy of the same leaders who oppress the
people.  Because American consumers have the strongest buying power in the
world, we have it within our power to change the immoral practices of
companies like Pepsico through boycotts and publicity.  Irresponsible
policies and practices that contribute to human misery should not go
unnoticed whether here at home or somewhere far away.  Please help the
Karenni people by not buying Pepsi products until the terror and torture
stops in Myanmar.

Raymond Young
Via Internet