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May 11, Tuesday, Paris

TOTAL shareholder annual assembly meeting, three questions on Burma
taking up about one third of shareholder question time, were directed by 
EuroBurmanet (Dawn Star), ERI and Info-Birmanie. Thierry Desmarest was
specifically annoyed by the question from Dawn Star concerning the
Nouvel Observator, french magazine report six weeks ago that accused
TOTAL of financing the Burmese army security of Yadana pipeline. He
said, "TOTAL absolutely does not finance the Burmese army". He also
tried to smooth over question about the Thai probleme over gas delivered
or not delivered, paid for or not paid for, the contract negotiated or
regotiatied. It was all  doubletalk,and more or less claimed a very
smooth relationship with the Thai governemnt. re how many more
politicians are there to be persuaded, and how? $$$

TOTAL showed absolutely no sympathy for the democratic movement in
Burma, tried to skip over Burma in the presentation without a word,
until the questions, has only a paragraph on "Myanmar" in the 1998
Annual Report, though Desmarest did refer to the country, as Burma (la
Birmanie). He proved to be again backer of constructive engagement line,
defying Suu Kyi's appel of democracy and political change before any
change in the economy is possible, ie development. 

more on this later
dawn star