French gas giant, Total, has a history of operating in areas that are mired in conflict and corruption. It has often even been accused of fueling some of these conflicts and showing total disregard for the sufferings of victims. Total operates in Yangon, Myanmar. Democracy activists protesting the military junta’s rule have asked Total to review its operations. However, total has given its own argument for not doing so. Reuters has an article on this development. Here is an excerpt:
Total has come under pressure from rights groups and Myanmar’s parallel civilian government to review its operations amid allegations its payments on taxes were funding the military-controlled state.
In a newspaper column due to be published in France’s Journal du Dimanche on Sunday, and released online, Total Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said the group had several reasons to keep its offshore Yadana site going.
It was concerned staff there could be exposed to forced labour under the junta if it did decide to stop production in protest at violence in Myanmar, Pouyanne said, and the group also did not want to cut off a major source of energy.
Read the full article here.