Wednesday, November 11, 2009


ACTIVISTS TO CHINA: Stop the Shwe gas oil pipeline project in Burma!


PHILIPPINES--Filipino solidarity activists under the Free Burma Coalition-Philippines (FBC-Phils) today joined a Global Day of Action against the construction of oil and gas pipelines in Burma; a project where the government of China reportedly own considerable shares.

Bringing huge replica of a pipeline and an enlarged dragon photo, activists held a rally infront of the China Consular office in Makati City and dramatized possible implications of the building of pipelines in western Burma.

115 civil society organizations and political parties from 20 countries today submitted an open letter to China’s President Hu Jintao calling for the suspension of oil and gas pipelines through Burma in order to prevent rights abuses. Petitions were submitted by the Shwe Gas Movement and its solidarity networks at Chinese Embassies in Thailand, India, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Australia, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and the UK.

State-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) holds a 50.9% stake in partnership with the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) in dual oil and gas pipelines planned from western Burma’s Arakan State to China’s Yunnan Province. CNPC will also manage the projects, which will cut directly though central Burma and affect thousands of communities.


This oil and gas pipeline project would further aggravate the already worse conditions of human rights and environment in Burma. The peoples of Burma are so syndicated and exploited by their own government and this project will simply expose the people and the environment to more risks; we hope China consider social obligation before entering into any kinds of business deals with the military regime,” said Egoy Bans, spokesperson of the FBC-Phils.

The group explained that if the Shwe Gas Project goes ahead, it will provide the regime with up to US$ 29 billion over 30 years, and would further entrench the dictatorship.

It will provide the Chinese cheap prices of oil and gas but for the peoples of Burma the construction of pipelines spells disaster; it means forced labour and destruction of their communities,” he added.

The rape of Burma’s natural resources is a rape to democracy and human rights of the peoples of Burma. Any investment inside Burma is an investment to dictatorship. The Chinese regime should stop doing a business at the expense of human rights and environment, “ Bans concluded.

Reports inside Burma confirmed that abuses are already starting to surface in the project area, including beatings of fishermen and fishing prohibitions in the offshore drilling area as well as land confiscation at the start of the pipeline in Arakan State.

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