Only shortly after the release of the NorWatch news that Oslo Sporveier (city public transport company) has placed out more than a hundred Burma teak benches on bus and tram stops throughout the city, strikes more worrying news: The highly promoted Leonardo da Vinci bridge in Øs county is probably built with the aid of slave labour and rain forest exploitation in one of the worst military dictatorships in the world.
This is not the first time NorWatch has uncovered Norwegian trade with Burma; there are tens of state, county and private companies that buy Burma teak. Several of these companies state to NorWatch that the only way to stop this trade is to make it illegal.
Does this mean that the Norwegian business sector is totaly powerless in terms of ethical responsibility for its import routines and general handling of business? If that is the case, it can only be viewed as a statement of failure, signalising that the Bondevik government has to formaly establish means of sanctions towards Burma.
NorWatch Newsletter No. 11, 2001