Magazine article New Internationalist

Bad Business in Burma: Oil Companies Prop Up Dictatorship

Magazine article New Internationalist

Bad Business in Burma: Oil Companies Prop Up Dictatorship

Article excerpt

BURMA has one of the worst human rights records in the world. Yet the military dictatorship of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) receives massive foreign funding -- largely from multinational corporations, with oil companies in the van.

Oil companies based in the US, Canada, UK, Japan and Australia have invested over $400 million in Burma since 1989. Three companies -- Texaco, Amoco and Total -- have major long - term plans as the world - wide search for oil and gas intensifies. The oil companies have also built roads and support services which can be used by the regime to suppress opposition.

In 1988 the Burmese regime was on the verge of bankruptcy. Since 1990 it has spent more than $1 billion on arms, mostly from China. The Indian government fears that China may be making use of Burma to gain access to ports in the Andaman Sea. …

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