Today, we, the Shwe Gas Movement, on behalf of victimized and ongoing affected Arakanese community and people of Burma, stage a protest demonstration against Chinese government and its corporations for its involvement in Shwe Gas Project in Burma at Junta Manta (Parliament Street) in New Delhi.
China has signed a memorandum with Burmese military junta to buy the natural gas reserve of 6.5 TCF from A-1 block (Shwe Gas field) through an overland pipeline to Kumin for the next 30 years. Burma military government’s Energy Ministry reaffirmed selling gas to China on 16-08-2007.
“We strongly believe that the execution of the Shwe Gas Project will certainly lead to militarization, human rights abuses and environmental destructions as well as prolong tyrannical military rule in Burma” .
Currently, Burma’s ruling military junta imposed a surprise 100 percent hike on fuel at state-owned gas stations to meet its needing budget for expansion of military forces apparently to buy military equipments from India and China.
The Shwe gas project is potentially the single largest source of revenue for the Burmese military government, expected to fetch between US$ 800 million and $3 billion annually. The Burmese military junta annually spends upwards of 40% of their budget arming a military that devastates the lives and livelihoods of Burmese people.
The currently proposed Burma-China pipeline would traverse central Burma’s “Dry Zone”, hosting over 25 percent of the country’s population, and home to some of the country’s most pressing humanitarian needs. Military offensives against Burma’s pro-democracy opposition as well as creation of permanent military camps for pipeline security would be inevitable. As a result of militarization, communities in and around the pipeline corridor can expect:
* increased extortion of local food supplies and random taxation to feed the new troops, as the regime does not provide central support to its troops
* land confiscation for new military installations, access roads and the pipeline itself
* forced relocations of villages along the pipeline route
* forced labour and sexual violence against local women
* increased restrictions on freedom of movement and the economic activities of local people
It is expected that these human rights abuses will lead to further internal displacement of civilians in Arakan, Shan and central Burma, and create new flows of refugees into Bangladesh, India and Thailand.
We earnestly request Chinese government to reconsider the execution of Shwe Gas Project in order to avoid committing human rights abuses partnered with the barbaric Burmese military. Therefore, we strongly demand the Chinese government and its corporations
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â To postpone the construction of Shwe gas pipeline and extraction of the Shwe natural gas deposit until a time when the affected people in Western Burma can participate in decisions about the use of their local resources and related infrastructure development without fearing persecution.
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â To cease further investment in the Shwe gas project until there is a democratically elected government in Burma.
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â To put pressure to stop the Petrochina, CNPC, CNOOC and CHCEC from making further investment in the Shwe gas project until there is a democratically elected government in Burma.
Shwe Gas Movement-India
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