In a report to be released today, a human rights group says that Burmese soldiers guarding a Chevron Corp. pipeline have killed nearby villagers while ordering others to serve as forced labor.
Drawn from interviews with villagers as well as Burmese refugees in Thailand, the report by EarthRights International accuses the Burmese military of terrorizing people who live near the Yadana pipeline. A spokesman for San Ramon’s Chevron called the report’s accusations baseless.
Chevron co-owns the pipeline, along with French oil giant Total and a Burmese company. Total runs the project, while the other companies act mainly as investors. EarthRights does not accuse Chevron or its partners of committing any human rights abuses themselves.
Instead, the EarthRights report calls on the companies to shut down the pipeline as a way of placing pressure on Burma’s military rulers, whose deadly crackdown on pro-democracy activists last year provoked international condemnation.
“No one’s saying Chevron could single-handedly bring human rights and democracy to Burma,” said Marco Simons, EarthRights’ legal director and an author of the report. “But if they’re employing security forces that are committing abuses, they have a moral responsibility to do everything in their power to stop those abuses.”
The report argues that the Yadana project has become the single largest source of income for the Burmese government, bringing in an estimated $969 million each year and undercutting international sanctions designed to isolate the regime.
Chevron came under intense pressure from human rights activists and politicians to pull out of Burma after last year’s crackdown.
A Chevron spokesman said Monday that the company had not received the new report and could not comment on most of its accusations… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <San Francisco Chronicle>
Why has there been no more than lip service from the US over this issue? The Reich would answer that there are sanctions against Burma in place, and fail to mention the one exception. I’ve discussed this before on October 4, and the reason remains unchanged. Athough Yadana provides majority of the junta’s revenue, and shutting it down could bankrupt the Burmese government, Chevron remains the exception to the sanctions. Why? Rice matters more than rights, and we’re not talking about food.
Condoleezza Rice was a Chevron Director from 1991 until January 15, 2001 when she was transferred by President George Bush Jr. to National Security Adviser. Previously she was Senior Director, Soviet Affairs, National Security Council, and Special Assistant to President George Bush Sr. from 1989 to 1991.
Another Chevron Corporation giant in the Bush administration is Vice President Dick Cheney. Vice President Cheney was Chairman and Chief Executive of Dallas based Halliburton Corporation, the world’s largest oil field services company with multi-billion dollar contracts with oil corporations including Chevron. Lawrence Eagleburger, a seasoned Bush counselor who held top State Department posts under George Bush Sr., is a director of Halliburton Corporation… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Aztlan.net>
For Bush, McConJob and the GOP, killing innocent villagers and using them as slave labor is fine, ac long as CondiCorp continues to earn record profit. McConJob has proposed more tax cuts for corporations like this.