New Action Alerts on Burma :)

F.O.E.I.: [Cyberaction] Support Burmese protesters
[Cyberaction] Support Burmese protesters
Dear Friends
 
The world is watching as the people of Burma are struggling against military
dictatorship.
 
 
In the Philippines, workers shaved their heads in a gesture of solidarity
with the Burmese Buddhist monks, who are bearing the brunt of the crackdown.
 
As environmentalists, we should all be concerned and take action to support
the monks who were demonstrating against rising fuel and food prices that
left many in Burma without access to public transport and unable to feed
their families.
Please take a minute to sign the petition that will be sent to the UN,
asking them to take urgent action to safeguard the rights of the people of
Burma.
 
Please spread the word, pass this message on to everyone you know and
encourage them to do the same.
 
Thanks for your support.
 
Debra Broughton
Friends of the Earth International
 
 
 
 
 
 
H.R.W.: Burma: Foreign Investment Finances Regime
Burma: Foreign Investment Finances Regime
Companies Should Condemn Crackdown
 
(New York, October 2, 2007) – Chinese, Indian, Thai, and other
companies doing business in Burma should ensure their operations do not
contribute to or benefit from human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch
said today. The military government in Burma has launched a violent
crackdown on peaceful demonstrators that so far has led to many deaths,
enforced disappearances, and mass arbitrary arrests.
 
"Companies doing business in Burma argue their presence is constructive
and will benefit the Burmese people, but they have yet to condemn the
government’s abuses against its own citizens," said Arvind Ganesan,
director of the Business and Human Rights Program at Human Rights
Watch. "Keeping quiet while monks and other peaceful protesters are
murdered and jailed is not evidence of constructive engagement."
 
Human Rights Watch said that companies operating in Burma should use
their influence with the ruling State Peace and Development Council
(SPDC) to put an end to ongoing human rights abuses. In the current
environment, companies should urge the SPDC to halt the crackdown,
release all political prisoners, and open a real dialogue with opposition
and ethnic groups. If the situation does not improve, companies should
be prepared to reconsider their operations in the country.
 
Human Rights Watch said that there is no transparency in Burma about
how much the government receives in oil and gas payments, nor clarity
about how the funds are spent. The military receives the largest share of
the official budget and the SPDC allocates only a pittance to social
programs including health and education.
 
Foreign investment in Burma’s oil and natural gas sector is especially
significant. Sales of natural gas account for the single largest source of
 
revenue to the military government. Gas exports accounted for fully half
of the country’s exports in 2006. Burma’s gas business brought in
revenue of US$2.16 billion in 2006 from sales to its main buyer,
Thailand. These funds flow directly to the government and provide the
junta with a major source of financing that is completely independent of
its citizens.
 
Current investors in Burma’s oil and gas industry include companies
from Australia, the British Virgin Islands, China, France, India, Japan,
Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Russia, and the United
States.
 
The SPDC has greatly expanded investment in Burma’s oil and natural
gas industry in recent years. Allowing foreign investment in oil and gas
is apparently aimed at bringing in more revenue to keep the government
afloat at a time when economic mismanagement and profligate spending
on the military and the building of a new capital at Nay Pyi Taw have
drained government finances. Natural gas exploration, development and
production projects are under way in approximately 30 different gas
fields. These projects are organized as joint ventures with the Burmese
government’s Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).
 
"Outside investment in Burma’s oil and gas industry has thrown a lifeline
to the country’s brutal rulers," added Ganesan. "The businesses that help
finance the military shouldn’t argue that the government’s crackdown is
not their problem."
 
Details of the Deals
 
At present the SPDC receives the bulk of its gas money from the onshore
"Yadana" and "Yetagun" gas fields. The Yadana consortium is led by
Total of France and includes UNOCAL (now Chevron) of the United
States and Thailand’s state-controlled PTT Exploration and Production
Co Ltd (PTTEP). The Yetagun consortium, led by Malaysia’s state-
owned Petronas, includes Japan’s Nippon Oil as well as PTTEP. PTTEP,
a subsidiary of the largely state-owned PTT Public Co Ltd (PTT) of
Thailand, buys the gas for export to Thailand.
 
Major offshore natural gas projects are under development. A consortium
of South Korean and Indian firms, in partnership with the Myanmar Oil
and Gas Enterprise, has made a large gas find off the coast of Arakan
State in western Burma. Known as the "Shwe" gas project, it is expected
to produce massive revenues once it is in production. Estimates of the
gas yield of the Shwe deposits range between US$37 to US$52 billion,
and could lead to a total gain in revenues to the junta or future Burmese
governments of US$12 to US$17 billion over 20 years.
 
The Shwe gas consortium is composed of the South Korean company
Daewoo International, state-owned companies from India and South
Korea, and the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise. Some of the foreign
partners also have separate deals with the Burmese government entity for
other concessions.
 
On September 24, for example, India’s state-controlled Oil and Natural
Gas Co (ONGC), whose subsidiary ONGC Videsh is a partner in the
Shwe consortium, signed a deal with Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise to
explore for gas in three more offshore blocks. Under the deal, Oil and
Natural Gas Co pledged to invest US$150 million through ONGC
Videsh.
 
India’s Office of the President holds nearly 75 percent of the shares in
Oil and Natural Gas Co. India’s minister for oil, Murli Deora, traveled to
 
the Burmese capital last week to sign the agreement as thousands of
protesters in Burma took to the streets to call for political freedom, an
end to the SPDC’s abuses, and economic improvements.
 
India, like China and Russia – which are also major investors in Burma’s
 
natural gas sector – has provided political and military support to the
SPDC. India and China are in competition to buy the Shwe gas. In
August, a top Burmese energy official publicly confirmed that China was
strongly favored to buy the gas, but indicated that a sales agreement was
not yet final.
 
Chinese firms are also actively seeking to build oil and gas pipelines in
Burma. One proposed pipeline would transport gas from the offshore
Shwe project to China. A second pipeline would carry Middle Eastern oil
across Burma into China, bypassing the busy shipping lanes of the Straits
of Malacca. These proposals to build overland pipelines across Burma
have raised serious human rights concerns, in light of past experience.
Major controversies arose in the 1990s over construction of pipelines and
associated infrastructure to transport Yadana-Yetagun gas. UNOCAL
and Total were sued in the US and France, respectively, by Burmese
villagers who accused them of complicity in atrocities by the Burmese
army during operations to remove villagers from areas slated for
development and to facilitate pipeline construction. The companies
ultimately settled the lawsuits.
 
Two Chinese companies that have shown strong interest in the proposed
new Burma-China pipeline projects are Sinopec and China National
Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). Both are Chinese state-owned oil
companies and are involved in gas exploration in Burma as well. They
also are official "partners" (major sponsors) of the 2008 Olympics in
Beijing and are under increased scrutiny for the human-rights impact of
their investments in Sudan and Burma.
 
India and China have been reluctant to criticize the recent crackdown.
Russia joined China in blocking UN Security Council action on Burma.
 
In addition to foreign investors (both state-owned and private), the
companies doing business with Burma include banks that arrange
financial transactions and companies that import products from Burma.
For example, timber exports to China have been substantial. The SPDC
also draws significant revenue from sales of gems, notably rubies and
jade. These gems are polished in third countries and then find their way
to retail stores in Europe and the US, where sanctions permit imports of
Burmese-origin goods that are processed in third countries.
 
The US has imposed new financial sanctions, intended to target overseas
accounts of Burmese generals, and some European leaders have called
for additional, targeted sanctions if the SPDC fails to halt its violent
repression of dissent.
 
"The junta’s largest trading partners should insist that Burma’s rulers
stop stuffing their own pockets and instead use these immense revenues
to improve the lives of ordinary Burmese," said Ganesan.
 
For more of Human Rights Watch’s work on Burma, please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/doc?t=asia&c=burma
 
———–
Please help support the research that made this bulletin possible. In
 order
to protect our objectivity, Human Rights Watch does not accept funding
 from
any government. We depend entirely on the generosity of people like you.
To make a contribution, please visit http://hrw.kintera.org/donate3
 
Forward to Friend:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A.I.: Stand with the monks in Burma
Stand with the monks in Burma
Dear james m,
 
I’m sure you’ve seen the inspiring – and terrifying – pictures of red-robed
monks facing down heavily armed military police in the streets of Burma
(Myanmar) this past week.
 
 
Their courage in the face of brutal repression – in the fight for human
rights – is what Amnesty International is all about. While you and I live
far away from Burma, we can help the brave pro-democracy forces there
through our support of Amnesty International.
 
As I write this, Amnesty activists in more than 20 countries are taking part
in demonstrations and meetings with government leaders, designed to pressure
the military rulers of Burma, and its key allies China and India, to stop
the violence and restore human rights. Amnesty has been working on Burma for
decades to free hundreds of pro-democracy activists, including Nobel
laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, from long prison sentences for nothing more
than acts of peaceful dissent.
 
Now is the time for you to make an additional gift to Amnesty International
USA to show your solidarity with the people of Burma – and the people in
dozens of other countries whose human rights are being trampled upon.
 
 
As we end our Fall membership drive at midnight tonight, please make a gift
to Amnesty International to help us keep up international pressure on the
brutal military regime in Burma.
 
Please join us in standing side by side with the peaceful red-robed forces
for democracy and human rights.
 
 Sincerely,
 
Larry Cox
Executive Director
Amnesty International USA
 
© Copyright 2007Amnesty International USA5 Penn PlazaNew York, NY
10001212.807.8400
 
 
 
 
 
Other linx for Burma  🙂
 
Myanmar: Time for Urgent Action – New Crisis Group media release
Contacts: Andrew Stroehlein (Brussels) 32 (0) 2 541 1635
Giulia Previti (Washington) 1 202 785 1601
To contact Crisis Group media please click here
http://www.crisisgroup.org
 
WITNESS: Stand with Burma’s Brave Citizens – Demand UN Security Council
Action
http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/witness/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=12937
 
Get Involved in the Struggle to Free Burma  🙂
 
 
 
 
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About reality

Also, thanx for signing my petitions, et al, please consider sharing them. Also, since Admin. of change.org aren't allowing me to invite people to do my actions lately and are switching my urls for my petitions so when I invite people off their site they can't get to the petition either (ergo 3 possible urls for each petition), here's a few of my latest actions; do as few or as many as you'd like (there are 3 linx for each petition because admin. switches between the 3 of them so people trying to sign the petition can‘t get to it): This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Haiti disaster anniversary, please, do what you can: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9033 This petition on change.org: Haiti disaster anniversary: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2?share_id=yIpWHEHxri&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2 http://www.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green, Indigenous, Native American, etc., actions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9026 This petition on change.org: Green, Indigenous, Native American, acts: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous_native_american_acts?share_id=NHvTtQadfP&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous,_native_american_acts http://www.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous,_native_american_acts   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, holiday: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9024 This petition on change.org: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. M.L. King, Jr.'s holiday: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/artact_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jrs_holiday?share_id=QjOkAUGeBQ&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/art_act_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jr_s_holiday http://www.change.org/petitions/view/art_act_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jr_s_holiday   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green; NA; the evolution; Civil, Human, LP, Prisoner's Rights; Poverty; etc..: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9022 This petition on change.org: Economically empower through advocacy: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_through_advocacy?share_id=WZNqBQWcXE&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_through_advocacy http://www.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_throug
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