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In spite of the Norwegian government's continous challenge to business actors not to have trade relations with Burma, the imports of Burma teak for construction projects continue.
Ulstein Tenfjord has sold shipping equipment to Burma in 2000. The company was considering a new request for further supplies to Burma when contacted by NorWatch in November. Now, Ulstein rejects further deliveries. The regime in Burma is under harsher criticism for its human rights violations than it has been for years, and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has, for the first time in its history, appealed for sanctions against a country - namely, Burma. The Norwegian government asks Norwegian companies to avoid doing business with Burma.
John Battle, a British Junior Foreign Office Minister, recently attacked the British oil company Premier Oil over its involvement in the Burmese Yetagun project.
In 1997, Kværner R. J. Brown in Singapore signed a contract with the British company Premier Oil, which is operator on the Burmese gas field Yetagun, in a joint venture with, among others, the oil company of the military dictatorship. Already in 1996, the Norwegian government urged Norwegian companies not to have commercial relations with Burma, and last year Kværner Energy announced that they did not want to get involved in the country. At the same time, however, another branch of the company was working on the Yetagun project. Kværner gave priority to the good relationship with the contractor, instead of complying with the government's request to boycott Burma.