Monday, October 8, 2007

The Oil and Gas Industry is the Junta's Lifeline

*****Again, the NINE (9) online PETITIONS HERE, including a new petition against the Shwe Gas Project, and one calling for Chevron to divest.*****


American company Chevron, France's Total SA, South Korea's Daewoo, and the Gas Authority of India are some of the major investors in Burma's oil and gas resources. The Yadana, Yetagun, and Shwe Gas Projects have exploited the voiceless, caused human rights abuses, destroyed the environment, and propped up the military dictatorship. From the Shwe Gas Project alone, it is estimated that the junta will pocket more than $2 billion annually. In developing these resources, the junta forcibly relocates villages and uses villagers as slave labor.

Soldiers, contracted by investors to protect project sites, have been implicated in killings, beatings, and arrests, and sexual violence against women is commonplace, perpetuating the cycle of human rights abuses.

Also, rather than benefitting local communities, who largely depend on wood for fuel, the SPDC exports its energy resources--not just oil and gas, but hydroelectric power as well--out of the country. This creates a vicious positive feedback loop, as reliance on wood causes increased deforestation and environmental degradation. The revenue from these "conflict resources" benefits only the junta and gives the SPDC purchasing power for arms, which are used to further control and suppress the population. You can read more on Burma's complete lack of corporate social responsibility HERE.

More news links and further information:
Trade and Security Trump Democracy in Burma. Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
Earthrights International's campaign to call on the oil and gas industry to help stop the violence in Burma
"An Industry Blind to People's Tears. The Bangkok Post. Sept 15, 2007
Firms Seek Access to Myanmar Oil Fields. Associated Press. Sept. 29, 2007
Burma: Business As Usual For Big Oil. Oil Change International. Oct. 1, 2007
Myanmar's Resources Provide Leverage. The New York Times. Oct. 1, 2007
Pipeline Politics. The Irrawaddy. Oct. 5, 2007

The Shwe Gas Movement's website.
Sign the Shwe Gas Movement's petition to halt South Korea's Daewoo from extracting gas in Western Burma until human rights are upheld HERE.

Chevron's Pipeline is the Burmese Regime's Lifeline. Truthdig. Oct. 2, 2007
Chevron's links to Burma stir critics to demand it pull out. San Francisco Chronicle. Oct. 4, 2007
Information for the Protest of Chevron corporation for their involvement with oil and gas projects in Burma. Chevron Protester. Oct. 2, 2007
Burma Watch's Global Day of Protest Against Chevron, Oct. 9. Burma Watch.
Sign Earthrights International's petition urging Chevron to use its influence to help stop the crackdown, and to stop investing in Burma HERE.

Boycott Total Oil's website.
For Total, pulling out of Myanmar not the answer.International Herald Tribune. Sept. 27, 2007
Total's response to allegations of human rights abuses HERE. Total SA website.
Last Friday, Total's CEO says Total won't leave Burma. His statement HERE.

The Dirty List of companies doing business with Burma's junta, compiled by The Burma Campaign UK.

The Clean List of companies that have either pulled out of Burma, or made a principled decision not to do business in Burma. It is not comprehensive, but does give a scope of how public outcry has led to corporate social responsibily. The list details the companies' reasons for pulling out or refraining from investing in Burma. Also compiled by the Burma Campaign UK.

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