Republic of Korea
I have the
honour to write to you about two companies of your country - Daewoo
International and the Korean Gas Corporation (KOGAS), with 60% and 10%
respectively participating in the "Shwe" gas project off the coast of
Burma - and to protest against their involvement with one of the world's most
brutal military regimes.
development projects such as "Shwe" do not help the people of Burma.
Two Burmese natural gas pipeline projects in the 1990s - Yadana and Yetagun -
made it devastatingly clear that large-scale gas pipeline projects in Burma are
not only detrimental to the cultural life and environmental integrity of the
pipeline areas, but also lead to the entrenchment of the military regime.
construction of previous Burmese gas pipelines, villagers were forcibly
relocated without adequate compensation. Many were forced to work to construct
military outposts, clear pipeline routes or porter crops and goods the army
confiscated from people's homes - as evidenced and substantially reported by the
International Labour Organisation. The incidence of rape in these areas also
rose dramatically. All reports from Western Burma indicate that history is
this project will rob the peoples of western Burma of their natural resources.
Although resources in western Burma are plentiful, there is currently not enough
electricity in Arakan State, where the "Shwe" gas fields were
discovered. Instead of generating electricity or providing an alternative to
charcoal cooking fuel in western Burma, the sale of this gas will be sold to the
benefit of one of the world's worst brutal military regimes.
integral involvement of these two companies with the repressive Burmese junta is
a scar on South Korea's otherwise exemplary human rights record. Their
complicity in this project will help contribute up to US$3 billion in annual
revenues for one of the world's most repressive regimes. I urge you to do
everything in your power to help assure that Daewoo and KOGAS do not contribute
to the economy of South Korea at the expense of peoples in other lands.
information, please visit the SHWE Gas Movement's website at www.shwe.org.