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Rights Group Accuses French Oil Company of Protecting Burma Junta


A British human-rights group has issued a report condemning a French oil company for funding and protecting Burma's military dictatorship.

The Burma Campaign UK calls the report released Monday "Totalitarian Oil," and says "TOTAL Oil [is] fueling the oppression in Burma."

French oil giant TOTAL is the fourth largest oil company in the world. The Burma Campaign UK says TOTAL is the largest European corporate funder of the junta, which is believed to earn between 200 million and 450 million dollars a year as a gas field developed in partnership with the French firm.

The human-rights group's director John Jackson says the French government is protecting TOTAL's interests and preventing the European Union from instituting tough sanctions against the regime in Burma.

TOTAL has in the past rejected criticism of its work in Burma, saying all such allegations have come from disgruntled Burmese dissidents.

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