Burma and India Sign for Offshore
The Burmese junta's oil and
gas agency and an Indian resource company signed an agreement for the
exploration of natural gas in the offshore plot A-7 in the seas of Arakan State in western Burma on Thursday.
According to a Burmese government media
report, Burmese officials, including six ministers from the junta, attended the
signing ceremony. R.D. Goral, the director of Gail of India, and Min Min Aung, the president of the Singapore based Silver Wave Energy, signed the agreement with
the Burmese Oil and Gas Enterprise.
The A-7 plot will be operated as a joint
venture between Gail India Ltd. and Silver Wave Energy.
Gail, the Indian resource giant, has a ten
percent share in the ventures exploring both A-1 and A-3 plots, which are being
operated by a consortium led by the Korean company Daewoo International.
India is not only cooperating with the Burmese military
junta in the business sector, but also in the military sector. India has lately been facing criticisms from international
organizations and Burmese pro-democracy activists for its engagement with the
Burmese junta and its sales of military hardware, including some helicopters.
Many Arakanese have
expressed dismay over India's investment to acquire natural gas from Burma, a venture which will not benefit the local people
but will serve to perpetuate their suffering under the Burmese military junta -
reputed to be the most brutal regime in the world - reported one Shwe Gas Movement activist.