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SHWE Gas Movement -- Press Release on 15 Nov, 2006

by zope29 last modified 2006-11-15 12:55

EMBARGOED November 15, 2006- Activists around the world will protest at Daewoo International offices and South Korean embassies today calling for greater respect for human rights and the environment in Burma. The third such day of its kind since October 2005, thousands of people around the globe call for Daewoo International and the government of South Korea to stop propping up the Burmese military dictatorship with gas dollars.

Dubbed the “Shwe” (gold in Burmese) gas project after one of the field’s most profitable wells, the project consortium is led by South Korea Company Daewoo International, the state-owned Korean Oil and Gas (KOGAS) Company, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India (ONGC), and the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL). 

The Shwe Gas project will likely result in the construction of two overland natural gas pipelines from the Shwe gas deposits in Burma’s Bay of Bengal: one to India and the other to China. The pipeline to India will adversely impact the people of Burma, especially the people of Arakan and Chin States. The pipeline to China’s Yunnan province will pass through Shan State and Burma’s “dry zone,” where approximately 25 per cent of Burma’s population resides amid a worsening humanitarian crisis. 

Activists have a clear message for the South Korean consortium partners- “As lead investors in this development, Daewoo International has a clear responsibility to avoid the inevitable human rights abuses that are already occurring around the project” said Shwe Gas Movement spokesperson Wong Aung in Bangkok today. “The project must be halted” he said.  

“Daewoo International is now being dubbed by activists as “Dirty Daewoo” in response to their investment, but also because of a Korean official investigation of the company over allegations of illegal arms sales to Burma's military junta” continued Wong Aung.  

Burma’s notorious military junta could earn between US$12-17 billion from the gas, funding their tyranny, while Daewoo stands to earn US$190 million annually for twenty years, funding their complicity. Kim of the Shwe Gas Campaign Committee India stated “Not only will local people living along the pipeline route(s) not benefit from this project; they will be irreversibly impacted, suffering displacement and other imminent human rights abuses”.  Burma’s track record with gas development is one marred by forced labour, killing and rape. (For more information about the notorious Yadana and Yetagun projects see www.earthrights.org). He added “India must stop its involvement in the Shwe Gas Project and stop supplying arms to the Burmese military junta”. 

Soe Lunn from the Shwe Gas Movement- Bangladesh stated today that "the Korean Government and Daewoo International should be very concerned about Burma's' deteriorating political crisis and the long term viability of their investment with the regime, one of the world’s most difficult and dangerous business partners”. He added “I know that the people of western Burma are very concerned about it”. 

For further information visit www.shwe.org or email global@shwe.org 

For media comment please contact: Wong Aung (Thailand) +66 850 322 943; Kim (India) +91 981 835 9344; or Soe Lunn (Bangladesh) +880 189 504 994.


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