Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chevron's Pipeline Supports Burmese Militia

Chevron's Pipeline Is the Burmese Regime's Lifeline
By Amy Goodman, King Features Syndicate. Posted October 3, 2007.

(Condi Rice sat on the board of Chevron during the biggest bloodbath in Burmese history, as the militia cleared people off their land and handed it to Chevron, forcing locals into slave labor. )

The barbarous military regime depends on revenue from the nation’s gas reserves and partners such as Chevron, a detail ignored by the Bush administration.

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The image was stunning: tens of thousands of saffron-robed Buddhist monks marching through the streets of Rangoon [also known as Yangon], protesting the military dictatorship of Burma. The monks marched in front of the home of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who was seen weeping and praying quietly as they passed. She hadn't been seen for years. The democratically elected leader of Burma, Suu Kyi has been under house arrest since 2003. She is considered the Nelson Mandela of Burma, the Southeast Asian nation renamed Myanmar by the regime.

After almost two weeks of protest, the monks have disappeared. The monasteries have been emptied. One report says thousands of monks are imprisoned in the north of the country.
No one believes that this is the end of the protests, dubbed "The Saffron Revolution." Nor do they believe the official body count of 10 dead. The trickle of video, photos and oral accounts of the violence that leaked out on Burma's cellular phone and Internet lines has been largely stifled by government censorship. Still, gruesome images of murdered monks and other activists and accounts of executions make it out to the global public. At the time of this writing, several unconfirmed accounts of prisoners being burned alive have been posted to Burma-solidarity Web sites.

The Bush administration is making headlines with its strong language against the Burmese regime. President Bush declared increased sanctions in his U.N. General Assembly speech. First lady Laura Bush has come out with perhaps the strongest statements. Explaining that she has a cousin who is a Burma activist, Laura Bush said, "The deplorable acts of violence being perpetrated against Buddhist monks and peaceful demonstrators shame the military regime."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, at the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, said, "The United States is determined to keep an international focus on the travesty that is taking place." Keeping an international focus is essential, but should not distract from one of the most powerful supporters of the junta, one that is much closer to home. Rice knows it well: Chevron.

Fueling the military junta that has ruled for decades are Burma's natural gas reserves, controlled by the Burmese regime in partnership with the U.S. multinational oil giant Chevron, the French oil company Total and a Thai oil firm. Offshore natural gas facilities deliver their extracted gas to Thailand through Burma's Yadana pipeline. The pipeline was built with slave labor, forced into servitude by the Burmese military.
The original pipeline partner, Unocal, was sued by EarthRights International for the use of slave labor. As soon as the suit was settled out of court, Chevron bought Unocal.


Chevron's role in propping up the brutal regime in Burma is clear. According to Marco Simons, U.S. legal director at EarthRights International:

"Sanctions haven't worked because gas is the lifeline of the regime. Before Yadana went online, Burma's regime was facing severe shortages of currency. It's really Yadana and gas projects that kept the military regime afloat to buy arms and ammunition and pay its soldiers."

The U.S. government has had sanctions in place against Burma since 1997. A loophole exists, though, for companies grandfathered in. Unocal's exemption from the Burma sanctions has been passed on to its new owner, Chevron.
served on the Chevron board of directors for a decade. She even had a Chevron oil tanker named after her. While she served on the board, Chevron was sued for involvement in the killing of nonviolent protesters in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Like the Burmese, Nigerians suffer political repression and pollution where oil and gas are extracted and they live in dire poverty. The protests in Burma were actually triggered by a government-imposed increase in fuel prices.
Human-rights groups around the world have called for a global day of action on Saturday, Oct. 6, in solidarity with the people of Burma. Like the brave activists and citizen journalists sending news and photos out of the country, the organizers of the Oct. 6 protest are using the Internet to pull together what will probably be the largest demonstration ever in support of Burma. Among the demands are calls for companies to stop doing business with Burma's brutal regime.


Outraged? Let's not forget Burma, but help keep the Burma issue alive and well

Join Dec. 9th Burma Peace Rally in SF COME mark the the International Human Rights Day with a rally FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM in Burma Sunday Dec. 9th, 2:00 – 3:30 pmCivic Center PlazaPolk St & McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94102 Wear Maroon red to honor Buddhist monks. The People of Burma have been forced to live under the brutal dictatorship since 1962, and have been violently crushed repeatedly every time they rose up against the successive dictatorial regimes.
Recently, led by Buddhist monks, hundreds of thousands of peaceful people are taking to the streets to cry out for an end to the long-standing military dictatorship in Burma yet again. However, holding Buddhist Sassana flags and reciting prayers of love on the street is now a crime punishable by beating and death. Many monks have been disrobed, beaten, humiliated, tortured, and killed, and there are reports of a massacre in the jungle. The military junta is raiding monasteries and private homes in the middle of the night and dragging away those they suspect of involvement. Over 4,000 Buddhist monks and protesters have been arrested and the Burmese population is living in fear. Flyer MS Word PDF More here
California, Call Call Call *NOW* and get your representatives to Co-Sponsor H.R. 3890: Block Burmese JADE Act of 2007 More here
No Fuel for Burmese JUNTA, Join AVAAZ's consumer boycott of Chevron and Total: We, the undersigned, pledge not to buy fuel from any gas station owned by Total Oil, Chevron, or any of their subsidiaries. The boycott will continue until the Burmese junta begins a genuine democratic transition and frees all political prisoners-- including Aung San Suu Kyi--or until the companies leave Burma entirely. More here

Burma: Targeted Sanctions Needed on Petroleum Industry (New York, November 19, 2007) � The United Nations Security Council should act to prohibit any new investment in Burma's oil and gas fields and block company payments that help sustain Burma's brutal military rule, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch said that until the Security Council imposes sanctions, members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, India, the European Union, the United States and other countries that have economic ties to Burma should act to suspend any further development of Burma's oil and gas sector. To encourage an end to ongoing repression, Human Rights Watch also called for targeted financial sanctions on companies owned and controlled by the Burmese military or whose revenues substantially benefit the military. Read More
The USA is exposed before the world,oil companies, like ENRON, Chevron, and Unocal are clearly writing and driving US policy.

I think it is time we told these psychopathic, lawless, liars that we are holding them to account.
Is there any integrity left in America is the the question? Enough to save the jaundiced justice system from complete and utter demise?


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