EarthRights International (ERI) today issued a damning report (PDF: English | Korean) linking major Chinese and Korean companies to widespread land confiscation, and cases of forced labor, arbitrary arrest, detention and torture, and violations of indigenous rights connected to the Shwe natural gas project and oil transport projects in Burma (Myanmar). The publication, The Burma-China Pipelines: Human Rights Violations, Applicable Law, and Revenue Secrecy, draws primarily on two years of clandestine interviews with affected populations from Arakan State, Magway Division, and Mandalay Division, as well as leaked documents that provide new insight into secretive payments between the oil companies and the military regime, controversial security arrangements, and inadequate corporate due diligence.
ERI found that the companies have not obtained a social license to operate, with local populations uniformly opposed to the project at this time. “Not one villager we spoke to was in favor of these projects,” said Naing Htoo, Burma Project Coordinator for ERI, quoted in the ERI press release (PDF: English, Korean). “[A]nd that’s not surprising given that there has been a pervasive and deliberate disregard for the rights of individuals and communities living in the projects’ path. People are losing their land, they’ve been compensated poorly or not at all, and many literally have nowhere to turn,” Naing Htoo continued. “These blatant violations are in the name of development, they are widespread and systematic, and the companies are aware of what’s happening and aren’t acting to prevent the abuses.”continue on ERI's website
The Burma Center Prague is a non-profit and non-governmental organization based in the Czech Republic. Our goal is to restore peace, justice, democracy and human rights in Burma and to support and empower Burmese refugees.