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NYT, IHT editorial Bad Business Bur

Subject: NYT, IHT editorial Bad Business Burma

Re: Unocal, TOTAL, Texaco, Arco....the focus   IHT, NY Times Editorial
("Unocal should not be doing business there... ",  17.12.96), and two
young girls...I dare say, optimistically, sweetly innocent, but that
would prejudice justice in the face of a darker reality.  Send you
comments now to <iht@xxxxxxx> and thank the editors for their ongoing
vigilance in not letting Burma become old news which it is not. The real
story has yet to break....dawn star, paris

check out the Burma Business; Don't Do It section in 

Dear Friends of Free Burma: 

Today's IHT carried a large Reuters photo of two children standing among
protestors at the Monday protest ouotside the Burmese Embassy in
Bangkok. The smaller of the two girls, both of whom are wearing red
peacock Burma flag headbands, is smiling, as she holds a portrait of
her  leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The young generation is following
events very closely, even the youngest of the young. And on the
following page, the lead editorial of the IHT, carried from the NY Times
editorial "Bad Business in Burma": 

 "Politics should not be an issue for international corporations , says
a spokesman for the California-based energy company Unocal, the single
largest American investor in the Southeast Asian nation of Burma. He was
replying to suggestions that Unocal pull out of Burma.

Business executives, as they like to point out, are not social workers.
But at times a government is so repressive and a company's support of it
is so significant that its presence cannot help but be political. South
Africa under apartheid was such a country. Burma is another, and Unocal
should not be doing business there.

For sheer nastiness, few governments can compete with Burma's. It winks
at heroin trafficking. It forces citizens to provide slave labor to
build bridges and railroads. In 1990 the government lost elections, then
imprisoned and harrassed activists of the victorious party, led by Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi. Last week the government again confined her to her
house, detained more of her colleagues and shut down secondary schools
to stop student protests. She has called for sanctions on her country.

Burma, which has hard-currency reserves that can sustain the country for
less than weeks, is vulnerable. Hence the importance of Unocal's 28
percent interest in a pipeline that will pump gas from an offshore field
through Burma to Thailand. The French company TOTAL will build the
pipeline, and the Thai and Burmese government energy companies also have
stakes. Texaco and Arco also recently signed to drill nearby.

As of last year, Unocal had paid Burma's government $6.6 million in
signing bonuses. Such fees are normal, but what is not normal was the
bailout Unocal gave Burma in November. The company provided $7 million
worth of fertilizer on credit to be paid back when the pipeline is
running -- a small but important lifeline for the government.

Unocal  may also benefit indirectly making profits from reprehensible
labor practices. The railroad that will transport government troops to
protect the pipeline was built by thousands of forced laborers. Human
rights groups have charged that the government relocated villages around
the pipeline and used forced labor to clear the land. Unocal denies
those charges. The government has not  yet permitted an independent

Unocal is spending $1.6 million to build projects such as schools,
animal-breeding farms and a hospital, and has brought 12 doctors to the
area. These projects are welcome, but their good does not outweigh the
harm of Unocal's support for a government that does not do them on its

The $200 million in annual revenues expected to flow to Burma's
government when the pipeline is running will drawf the benefits produced
by other American investments. The pipeline's importance, and Unocal's
apparent willingness to help sustain the government, undercut the
arguement that constructive engagement can change the policies of the
Burmese leadership. Unocal may make a handsome profit in Burma, but it
cannot claim it is bringing change to this blighted nation.


Metta, thank you, peace, happiness and long life. Virtually yours, Dawn

1996 Reebok International Human Rights Award Laureate

Dawn Star  (Paris)  <cd@xxxxxxx>
Euro-Burmanet  (Paris, France)

Burmanet / TOTAL Coordinator (France)
Free Burma Coalition

815 Fifteenth Street NW
 Suite 910
Washington, DC 20005

Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB)
P.O Box 6720
ST.Olavs Plass
0130 Oslo, Norway
Tel: 47-22-200021, Tel/fax:47-22-362525

Norway NCGUB you must make e-mail address to
level one (1)maung@xxxxxxxxxxx (the PM office e-mail)
level two (2)NCGUB Europe, U Nwe Aung  e-mail

US President  Bill Clinton < president@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Ambassador Madeleine K  Albright ( United Nations US Ambassador) Fax 
(212) 415 4443

All members of the House can be reached via the Congressional
Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

While some members have E-mail, electronic communication is not as
effective as a telephone call or fax.

President William Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington DC 20500
(202) 456-1414

Mr.Warren Christopher
Secretary of State
Department of State
Main State Building
2201 C. Street NW
Washington DC 20520-7512
(202) 647-4000

Mr. Anthony Lake
National Security Advisor 
National Security Council
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington DC 20500
(202) 456-9481


Your pass into the following sites, and much more.


Help support our effort. Write now, to :

Mrs. Emma BONINO

The European Commission
Directorate General 1B
External Relations
(Directorate 1B, D, Division 3)
Rue de la Lois/Westraat 200
B-1049 Brussels

EC Humanitarian Office 

Join the Free Burma Coalition. Tel. 608-256-6572

International Rivers Network (Pam Wellner)
Unocal -TOTAL Oil campaign & Burma


Help support  the TOTAL WORLDWIDE BOYCOTT by donating funds to
Email cd@xxxxxxx

Send letters and cut-up UNOCAL / TEXACO / ARCO / TOTAL charge cards to:

Roger Beach, CEO
Unocal Corporation
2141 Rosecrans Blvd., Suite 4000 / El
Segundo, CA 90245
Tel: 310-726-7600

Gary Jones, CEO
Total North America
Total Tower, 900 19th Street
CO 80202
Tel: 303-291-2000

Send your letters now :

Thierry Desmarest, CEO
President of Exploration and Production,
24 Cours Michelet 
92800 Puteaux France

Paris France  Tel: 33-1-41-35-40-00  Fax: 33-1-41-35-64-65
Paris France  : <hourcard@xxxxxxxxx>
New York City  <TOTALNYC@xxxxxxx> , <roberth@xxxxxxxxx>

All members of the US House of Representatives can be reached
at  the Congressional Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

And remember, while some members have E-mail, electronic communication
is not as effective
as a telephone call or fax. Sent a letter, mark Free Burma Now, on the
Its effective.

NY Times: <letters@xxxxxxxxxxx> 
International Herald Tribune <iht@xxxxxxx>