Activists have urged Australian airline Jetstar to scrap its flights to Burma and put an end to thousands of dollars in revenue going into the pockets of the country’s military dictatorship.
The call comes as a new report launched today estimates that Australian companies like Jetstar and oil company Twinza Oil are financing the oppressive regime.
It is estimated Australian companies could be handing the Burmese dictatorship as much as $US 2.8billion in revenue.
Jetstar which runs four flights into Burma weekly is one of eight Australian owned companies named in the report whose business deals with Burma have helped fund the country’s military junta and its brutal rule.
Burma has systematically violated 35 resolutions by the United Nations on human rights since the junta took power. As recently as 2007 it is estimated that more 31 people were killed for taking to the streets in peaceful protest against the regime.
Burma Campaign Australia (BCA), the organisation that commissioned the report, said the budget airline’s business deal with Burma’s military sent the wrong message to Australians and the business community.
Speaking ahead of the report’s release today, BCA spokesperson Zetty Brake said the onus was on companies like Jetstar to pull out of the Asian country and put an end to thousands of dollars going into the coffers of the junta.
“Sadly, doing business in Burma only helps keep the Burmese junta in power, providing it with the critical funds and resources it needs to maintain its brutal rule,” Ms Brake said.
“In the interests of Burma and its people we urge Jetstar and other Australian companies to pull out of Burma and put an end to the blood money that they are putting into the pockets of Burmese dictatorship.”
Ms Brake also said that if Corporate Australia continued to do business with Burma its organisation would urge the Federal Government to impose targeted investment and trade sanctions against Burma, outlawing any business between the two countries.
The report also comes as Burmese refugees and their supporters around the world mark the second year anniversary of the Saffron revolution, in which 31 were killed and another 6,000 imprisoned for taking to the streets in peaceful protest.