with little political or economic clout, has been a
and largely undecided player in the Shwe
Project. With significant natural gas reserves of its own,
Bangladesh has chosen to tap this resource largely for its
domestic market and therefore has little interest in the Shwe
strategic game is largely geopolitical. Despite its historically
antagonistic relationship with India, Bangladesh could choose to
use its key position for a possible energy pipeline between
India's Energy-starved central region and its gas-rich western
state of Tripura.
This could also serve as a key link between Shwe gas reserves
and the Indian gas market.
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Project proceeds, it is set to become Burma’s largest
source of foreign income. For the State
Peace and Development Council (SPDC), the country’s
military regime, it is thus a high-profile undertaking, as
profits derived from the project would considerably boost the
regime, allowing it to further expand a military that ranks as
the highest per capita in the world. This would only prolong the
brutal oppression of its people.
by strengthening future economic and political advantages, the Shwe
Project can lead to a deeper entrenchment
of the current regime; by deepening economic ties with
neighbouring/regional countries and effectively establishing
government-level cooperation in a sector so crucial to regional
economic development as gas and oil, the SPDC can expect to
strengthen its geopolitical position and increase its bargaining
country’s admission into the Association of South East Asian
Nations (ASEAN) in 1997 indicates that the SPDC has successfully
established itself on the regional political scene, even with
its appalling human
rights record and illegitimate
hold on power. Despite a devastating defeat for the
SPDC in 1990 nationwide elections, none of the election results
have been honored. Its close political and economic ties to
China have further protected it from much international
some ASEAN leaders, including Thailand's Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra, have called for major reforms in Burma ahead of its
2006 leadership of the rotating-chair body, including the
release of jailed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Still, for
economic reasons, regional leaders are reluctant to push the
Burmese generals too hard on specific issues. 
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South Korean corporations, Burma represents a profitable
investment opportunity. By providing cheap labor and huge
reserves of natural resources, it is easy for Korea to overlook
things like Burma's cultural
and environmental destruction.
South Korea has been praised for its own human rights record 
the Government refrains from criticising corporations who are
investing in highly controversial contexts, such as Shwe.
leading player in the Shwe Project, Daewoo
International, is one of South Korea’s most leading export
trading company. In Burma, Daewoo and the Korean
Oil and Gas Corporation (KOGAS), another key Shwe player,
effectively fuel human rights abuse by the Burmese military --
out of shameless economic interest.
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Korea and see what you can do to help!
is also making efforts to improve its ties with the Burmese
regime. This, however, is not only due to India’s burgeoning
economy, but also the subsequent need for energy imports, for
which Burma’s natural resources provide a substantial reserve.
Moreover, India is concerned about the other regional
superpower, China, which has already successfully established
itself in Burma. Indeed, India has been alert to Chinese
influence since the 1990s, when China began setting up a naval
base on the Coco Islands, off the Western coast of Burma in the
Bay of Bengal. This base includes massive
electronic surveillance establishment to monitor India, thus
increasing the fear that China may have found in Burma a
suitable partner to advance its dominance in the region. 
India’s nuclear endeavors can be considered a direct response
to that, its increasing presence in Burma is another strategy to
respond to the Chinese threat. By supporting and investing in
Burma’s military regime, India thus meets both its economic
demands as a growing economic power and its security concerns,
by attempting to establish a power balance in the region.
same time, however, Indian corporations (links to both) GAIL
Videsh Ltd.--with government approval--are fuelling
large-scale human rights abuse by one of the world’s most
brutal military regimes. The people of Burma thus are the
victims of economic, strategic and geopolitical considerations
in the regions, as without the active support of regional
governments, the SPDC could not sustain its hold to power.
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