Monday, February 04, 2008

Supporting dictatorship in Burma

Six months ago the people of Burma took to the streets in massive protests against their government. The military junta replied as it always has: with tear gas, bullets, disappearances, and torture. Hundreds of people were killed and thousands detained for the "crime" of demanding a democratic government.

Now, we learn that a New Zeland SOE has been doing business with the military regime. Kordia - previously known as BCL - has been working with a Thai company to install cell-phone towers in Burma. Helen Clark thinks this is "probably an aid to democracy", but what it is doing is helping to prop up a despotic regime. And that is simply not something any New Zealand company should be doing, let alone one owned by the government. Instead, we should be listening to the Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and imposing sanctions on Burma.

Supporting theocracy in Afghanistan and now supporting dictatorship in Burma. It looks like Labour has lost its way.