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U.S. lawmakers visit Burma gas pipe
Subject: U.S. lawmakers visit Burma gas pipeline - media (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 6:02:23 PST
Newsgroups: clari.world.asia.indochina.misc, clari.biz.industry.energy,
clari.usa.gov.misc, clari.world.asia.indochina, clari.usa.gov.general
Subject: U.S. lawmakers visit Burma gas pipeline - media
RANGOON, Dec 13 (Reuter) - Burmese official media said on
Friday that four U.S. congressmen visited the onshore site of
the controversial Yadana gas pipeline in southeastern Burma
earlier this week.
The team, led by Congressman Dennis Hastert of Illinois,
toured the Kanbauk Base Camp run by France's Total SA, the media
The visitors were accompanied by Energy Minister U Khin
Maung Thein, it said.
Total manages the project, in which American firm Unocal
Corp and the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise have stakes.
On Thursday, protesters organised by the ``Free Burma
coalition'' in Los Angeles demonstrated outside Unocal's oil
terminal, claiming the $1.2 billion pipeline was damaging the
environment and that forced labour was being used to build it.
The onshore pipeline will connect gas from the giant Yadana
field in the Andaman Sea to Thailand, which has bought most of
U.S. embassy officials said the congressional delegation's
visit to Burma was privately organised. It was not known how
long the team would stay in the country.
The state-run media also said the congressmen visited Burma
at the invitation of General Maung Aye, vice chairman of the
ruling military State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC).
U.S. President Bill Clinton in early October slapped a visa
ban on senior SLORC officials after Rangoon arrested hundreds of
pro-democracy activists in late September.
The U.S. Senate in July passed legislation allowing Clinton
to impose economic sanctions if repression in Burma worsened or
if opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, released from six years'
house arrest last year, was rearrested.