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  • 1. Mr. Jens StoltenbergThe Prime Minister of NorwayP.B. 8001 Dep0030 OsloNorwayDate: December 22, 2010Dear Mr. Prime Minister,We are Burmese dissidents overseas struggling for freedom and democracy in Burma since 1988.For decades, Norway has been one of the leading critiques of the military regime in Burma andsupporters of the democratic forces in the country. The strong commitment is mainly due toNorways emphasis on human rights and to the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Daw Aung SanSuu Kyi in 1991. Norway has belonged to a group of like-minded countries which have beenadvocating the strongest possible phrasing of resolutions in the UN. It had placed particularemphasis on the need to include elements such as a strong, condemnation of Burmas human rightsviolations, requests for the release of political prisoners, a call for a dialogue between the junta, andthe democratic oppositions right to a legitimate place in the countrys political life.Norway is the first EU nations calling for implementation of international sanctions or the threat ofsuch sanctions against Burma, and also has introduced several unilateral measures against Burma inresponse to the deteriorations of democracy and human rights in the country.In her speech with regard to Norways Burma Policy: Opportunities and Means on December 91997, the Honorable Minister for International Development and Human Rights, Ms. Hilde F.Johnson had addressed the Norway government’s commitment on democratization Burma. Norwaysupported the role of the National League for Democracy and its legitimate role as a majority,governing party after its landslide victory in 1990 elections. She had also outlined that theinstruments of Norways Burma policy can be divided into four main categories: Firstly, publiccriticism of the Burmese regime in the context of human rights and democracy; Secondly, activeefforts to achieve international sanctions against the regime; Thirdly, implementation of unilateralNorwegian measures if the basis for international sanctions is lacking; Fourthly, political andeconomic support for the Burmese democratic forces.Since 1995 the Norway government had issued a statement advising private Norwegian companiesin general not to invest in Burma as long as the present situation continues, it also included adviceto private companies to avoid trade with Burma.Council on Ethics adopted by the Ministry of Finance on 1 March 2010 pursuant to Act no. 123 of21 December 2005 relating to the Government Pension Fund, section 7 clearly stated on Section 2.(3) The Ministry of Finance may, on the advice of the Council of Ethics, exclude companies fromthe investment universe of the Fund if there is an unacceptable risk that the company contributes toor is responsible for:
  • 2. a) serious or systematic human rights violations, such as murder, torture, deprivation ofliberty, forced labour, the worst forms of child labour and other child exploitation;b) serious violations of the rights of individuals in situations of war or conflict;c) severe environmental damage;d) gross corruption;e) other particularly serious violations of fundamental ethical norms.In addition, we were greatly appreciated with the Norway Government’s position on human rightssituations in Burma and its cozy relationship with the democratic oppositions including our leaderDaw Aung San Suu Kyi.However, we have learnt that the government of Norway now is complicit in serious human rightsabuses in Burma committed in connection with projects by companies using money from aNorwegian investment fund, according to the organization Earth Rights International written inIrrawaddy online news media (irrawaddy.org) and the Norway base media dvb.no.A report issued on Wednesday by the US and Thailand-based human rights and environmentalorganization describes how the Norwegian Pension Fund-Global, the worlds second largestsovereign wealth fund, has invested US $4.7 billion in 15 companies operating in Burma and whichare alleged to be guilty of grave human rights abuses.The report also criticizes the Norwegian governments Council on Ethics, alleging that it wasntdoing enough to make sure companies operating in Burma were keeping to ethical guidelinesestablished in 2004.The organization says the Council wrote to the Norwegian Ministry of Finance in 2007, stating that“if a company had an agreement with the Burmese authorities to construct new pipelines in Burmathat alone would be grounds for a companys exclusion from the Fund, due to the high risk ofnegative human rights impacts.”Pointing out that at least seven companies in the Funds portfolio were now involved in newpipeline construction in Burma—with investments in the five involved in the Yadana and Yetagunprojects alone amounting to $3.6 billion—EarthRights International senior consultant MatthewSmith said: “The Councils inaction on the Funds holdings in these companies puts the Norwegianpeople in an inconvenient position of complicity in grave human rights abuses in Burma. “TheNorwegian peoples money is invested in corporate human rights abuses while the ethical guidelinesgo unapplied. The ethics are broken but not beyond fixing.”Earth Rights International said the Council on Ethics had until now recommended the NorwegianMinistry of Finance to exclude only one company from the Fund—Dongfeng Motor Group Ltd., aChinese company that sells equipment to Burma. And, the report can be viewed onhttp://www.earthrights.org/sites/default/files/documents/Broken-Ethics.pdf in details for yourinformation.Oxymoronically, Than Shwe junta is getting stronger by the help of Norway to oppress theoppositions and to continue waging wars against the ethnic minorities. The prisoners of consciencein total of 2200 are still remained in the jails and some of them are dead in the prisons by theabandonment. The looming of the new dictatorship via sham elections is about to doom the country.The existence of our leader and a Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is at stake. Thefloods of the ethnic Karen refugees into its territory daily due to the ongoing wars by the junta havemade neighboring Thailand at unease. The rumors of the imminent wars against KIO ethnic group
  • 3. are getting louder in the nation. The human rights violations in Burma are still mounting. Sadly,Than Shwe junta has finally gained more and more confident to do whatever it wants by the feedingof Norway and others.However, in our honest assessment, Norway government would definitely hold on its principle ofrespecting human rights and maintain its sympathy over the fifty five million people of Burmastruggling for freedom and democracy for so long. We also understood the nature of capitalism thatsometime runs into a collision course between the government and trade in business nature at somepoint. Nonetheless, traditionally strong democratic country like Norway will always find a way tosort it out such complication swiftly for sure. In our case, we honestly believe that it is the time forthe Norway Government to intervene in this matter to prevent further damage that has already hurtthe reputation and ethics of Norway, which values human rights so much.Sincerely,Co-opreative Organizations1 ) Overseas National Students Organization of Burma ( H.Q ) Denmark Tay Za Thura General Secretary E-mail : tayzathura@gmail.com2 ) Burmese Democratic Community ( Netherlands ) Ko Myat Thiha Political Dept E-mail : myatthiha101@yahoo.co.uk3 ) International Foundation for Burma National Congress ( USA ) ( I.F.B.N.C ) Ko Htun Hlaing Director ( Political Action Committee ) E-mail : kyiwayphy0@yahoo.com4 ) National League for Democracy ( L.A ) Netherlands Ko Hla Myint Naing Chairman E-mail : hlamyintnaing@yahoo.com5 ) Overseas National Students Organization of Burma ( Branch ) Sweden Ko Toe Win Political Dept E-mail : kotoegyi1@yahoo.com
  • 4. 6 ) Burma Democratic Concern ( BDC ) United Kingdom Ko Myo Thein Director E-mail : myothein@bdcburma.org7 ) Burma Bureau Germany Ko Sonny Aung Than Oo Foreign Affairs E-mail : atoburma@web.de8 ) Overseas National Students Organization of Burma ( Branch ) Thailand Ko Than Phay Secretary E-mail : thanpae@gmail.com9 ) All Burma Monks Representative Committee ( India ) Ashin Thavara General Secretary E-mail : abmrc.delhi@gmail.com10 ) Burmas National Reconcilation Action Committee ( Norway ) Ko Aung Htun Hunger Strike Action Committee E-mail : aunghtun48@gmail.com