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PRESS RELEASE: December 7, 2006

by Michael last modified 2006-12-11 06:42

The Shwe Gas Movement Welcomes South Korean Government Charges Against Daewoo International Executives

The Shwe Gas Movement welcomes the indictment of fourteen South Korean executives for the export of illegal arms technology to Burma. The Daewoo International president Lee Tae-yong and the vice president of Doosan Infracore, former Daewoo Heavy Industries, were among the charged executives.

In May 2002, Daewoo International signed the US$ 133.8 million contract with the Burmese military regime.   Sine 2002, Daewoo International and six other corporations exported 480 pieces of equipment and parts to build a new arms factory in Pyay, Burma, according to South Korean media.

The Daewoo International is the main operator of the Shwe Natural Gas project in Arakan State, western Burma, which is destined to become the regime's largest source of foreign income, estimated to profit US$12-17 billion over the next 20 years. The gas will be exported to India and China through gas pipelines, which are yet to be constructed.

"We are grateful that the South Korean legal system is now holding Daewoo International and other corporations accountable for their actions in Burma," says Kyaw Khaing of the Shwe Gas Movement in Thailand, which opposes the gas project. He continues, "however, we also urge the South Korean people and government to recognize our fears that the Daewoo investment in the Shwe Gas project will directly lead to deaths and displacement of our people during the construction of the Shwe pipelines.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) claims that the Burma army routinely uses forced labour in infra-structure projects and ILO is in the process of bringing the military regime before the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.
"The sales of arms technology to Burma was organized soon after the initial investment by Daewoo International in Shwe project, in late 2000 and once again highlights how Burma's regime uses foreign investments to buy arms. This also threatens regional peace and stability," says Wong Aung of the Shwe Gas Movement.

Wong Aung concludes "the Shwe Gas Project must be stopped, until there is democracy in Burma. Only then can people participate in decision-making on this important issue without fearing persecution."

For more information, please see www.shwe.org and contact the Shwe Gas Movement in Thailand:

Wong Aung, phone +66-850322943    

Kyaw Khaing, phone +66-840465813

Chiang Mai, Thailand


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