Open Letter from Ethnic Karen to President Biden and President Macron to Sanction Gas Revenue, 67 Organizations from 17 Countries
Re: Ethnic Karen Communities Worldwide Calling to Sanction Gas Revenue to the Burmese military.
Dear President Biden and President Macron,
We are writing to you on behalf of ethnic Karen communities worldwide to call on you to sanction gas revenue to the Burmese military.
We are extremely disappointed that almost a year on from the attempted military coup, you are still allowing companies from America and France to pay gas revenue to the Burmese military. The hundreds of millions of dollars provided to the Burmese military by companies from your countries are being used to buy the bombs and bullets being used against our people. They are funding war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Since the military coup, more than 300,000 people have been forced to flee their homes because of attacks and threats by the Burmese military. The majority of these people are from ethnic states, including around 85,000 in Karen State.
We welcome the sanctions introduced by the USA and European Union (EU) so far. It is vital that you continue with regular rounds of new sanctions to systematically cut revenue to the military. However, failing to take action on one of the single biggest sources of revenue to the military is neither an effective or credible policy option.
As long as American and French companies continue to fund the military, your countries are complicit in the human rights violations committed by the Burmese military. You are helping to facilitate the purchase of military equipment by providing the funds required to do so.
You impose arms embargoes but at the same time provide the Burmese military with money which they can purchase arms from Russia, China, India and other countries. This makes absolutely no sense. A wide range of proposals have been put forward by different civil society organisations for ways in which gas revenue can be stopped. Whatever the challenges, you must find a way to impose sanctions to stop gas revenue reaching the military. The price of your inaction and indecision is being paid for with the lives and suffering of our people.
It is not a credible option to continue to condemn airstrikes, massacres and other human rights violations which your companies have helped to fund.
For decades your countries largely stood by, failing to hold the military to account for its violations of international law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity against Karen people. You helped create a sense of impunity which led the military to believe it can keep committing these human rights violations, encouraging more attacks and the military coup.
Please do not let us down again now. What we ask is very little. It will have no significant impact on your own country’s economies. We simply want you to stop funding our oppressor. Stop funding human rights violations. Sanction gas revenue now.
International Karen Organisation
European Karen Network
Albany Karen Community, USA
Australia Karen Organisation
Ayeyawaddy Karen Youth, Burma
Calgary Karen Community Association, Canada
California Karen Youth Connection, USA
Denmark Karen Organization
Dooplaya Karen Community Development Group, Burma
Edmonton Karen Community Youth Organization, Canada
Finland Karen Culture Association
IKO Women Department
Karen American Association of Wisconsin, USA
Karen Association of Huron, SD, USA
Karen Community Association UK
Karen Community in Norway
Karen Community in The Netherlands
Karen Community Korea
Karen Community of Akron, OH, USA
Karen Community of Canada
Karen Community of Czech Republic
Karen Community of Finland
Karen Community of Hamilton, Canada
Karen Community of Iowa, USA
Karen Community of Ireland
Karen Community of Israel
Karen Community of Kansas City (KS & MO), USA
Karen Community of Kitchener & Waterloo, Canada
Karen Community of Leamington, Canada
Karen Community of Lethbridge, Canada
Karen Community of London, Canada
Karen community of Minnesota, USA
Karen Community of North Carolina, USA
Karen Community in Norway
Karen Community of Ottawa, Canada
Karen Community of Regina, Canada
Karen Community of Saskatoon, Canada
Karen community of Syracuse, USA
Karen Community of Thunderbay, Canada
Karen Community of Toronto, Canada
Karen Community of Windsor, Canada
Karen Community of Winnipeg, Canada
Karen Community Society of British Columbia, Canada
Karen Environmental and Social Action Network, Burma/Thailand
Karen Finland Culture Association, Finland
Karen Human Rights Group, Burma
Karen Organization of America, USA
Karen Organization of Illinois, USA
Karen Organization of San Diego, USA
Karen Peace Support Network, Burma
Karen Student Network Group, Burma/Thailand
Karen Swedish Community
Karen Teacher Working Group, Burma/Thailand
Karen Thai Group, Thailand
Karen Women’s Organization, Burma
Karen Youth – Rangoon, Burma
Karen Youth Education Pathways, USA
Karen Youth Network, Burma
Karen Youth of Norway
Karen Youth Organization, Burma
Karen Youth UK
KNU Concerned Group, Burma
Korea Karen Organization
Korea Karen Youth Organization
New Zealand Karen Association
Oversea Karen Organization Japan
Utica Karen Community, USA