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INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE RISING OVER
Subject: INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE RISING OVER UNOCAL BURMA PARTNERSHIP
For Immediate Release: Contact: Dr. Carol Richards,
Burma Forum Los Angeles, 310-451-4493
INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE RISING OVER UNOCAL BURMA PARTNERSHIP
Giant Puppets, Indigenous Musicians to Greet Shareholders Monday
Brea, CA -- May 21, 1999 -- Demonstrators and dissident shareholders will
express their anger over Unocal's partnership with the Burmesse junta in a
gas pipeline debacle in Burma at the company's Shareholder Meeting on
Monday, May 24m 10 a.m., at the Hartley Center, 376 South Valencia Avenue,
Outside the meeting, shareholders, directors and executives will be greeted
by giant puppets depicting Unocal CEO Roger Beach and a Heroin
Syringe-Wielding General of Burma's brutal junta. The State Dept. reports
that most heroin on US streets comes from Burma, and numerous press reports
tie oil company investments to drug money laundering in Burma.
Also participating in the protest are indigenous people of Burma and
environmental activists who oppose Unocal's Burma gas pipeline. With music
and dramatic presentations the protesters will parody Unocal's latest
slogan. The protesters will condemn "Unocal's New Breed of Corporate Greed"
"We have called Unocal on human rights violations along their project in
Burma since 1994," says Father Joe La Mar of the Maryknoll Fathers and
Brothers Corporate Social Responsibility program. "Since then our position
has been strengthened by evidence from the United Nations, International
Labor Organization, US and French governments, and refugees from the area.
We are not surprised that this campaign has now become powerful and
international." With US Burma sanctions recently renewed, Unocal is the
last major US corporation operating in Burma.
The US Dept. of Labor has found that "The preponderance of available
evidence warrants several conclusions about the use of forced labor on the
pipeline project. For the early phases of the Yadana pipeline project,
refugee accounts of forced labor appear to be credible in light of Embassy
reporting about the pipeline and the Total documents to which it refers."
This position has received preliminary support from a French Parliamentary
investigation of the Burmese pipeline, because Total of France is Unocal?s
Critics have been bolstered by rapidly growing international support for
the campaign against the pipeline. Within the past two weeks, the Total
annual meeting in France, the PetroFina annual meeting in Belgium (Total
and PetroFina have recently merged), and Premier Oil meeting in the UK have
been dominated by shareholder and activist protest over Burma.
Ironically, Unocal's partnership with the Burmese junta is a financial
bust, as well as, a public relations debacle. The pipeline is carrying
less than 10% of the amount of gas originally contracted, and the Asian
financial crisis continues to dim company hopes that more gas will be
Can add bit about the gas being poor quality, I will forward Casanier?s
email about this.)
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