ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘BP

Dictators in Burma.

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Burma’s dictators really don’t care what anyone thinks of them. They will imprison, shoot and kill anyone that opposes them.

As we’ve seen in the past companies are only too happy to go along with them, if there’s money in it.

The dictators in Burma feel they have a free hand to kill or brutalise anyone in the country, safe in the knowledge that as long as China supports them they can do what they like, the Irish Times reports:

“THOUSANDS OF refugees from Burma have fled into Thailand after fighting between ethnic rebels and Burmese government forces at the border following Sunday’s election.

The poll has been widely dismissed as a sham to boost the ruling military junta. Rights groups and commentators had widely predicted that the elections would increase conflict and instability in Burma, and on Sunday, rebels from the Karen ethnic group seized a police station and a post office in the border town of Myawaddy. At least 10 people were wounded on each side of the frontier in the fighting.

Thai officials said there were further skirmishes at the Three Pagodas Pass and streams of refugees headed into Thailand.

“There have been at least 10,000 refugees who have fled to Thailand,” Col Wannatip Wongwai, commander of Thailand’s Third Army Region responsible for security in the area, told the Associated Press. “As soon as the situation is under control, we will start sending the refugees back to Myawaddy.”

Burmese government troops appeared to have retaken control of Myawaddy, and the rebels of the Democratic Karen Buddhist army held just a few positions on the outskirts of the town.

Ethnic minorities account for about 40 per cent of Burma’s population and they said in the run up to the elections that they were unhappy at having the military regime impose its rule, warning that civil war could be the outcome. Absurd restrictions on eligibility made it impossible for pro-democracy groups to make themselves heard in the elections, which were the first in 20 years and came after 48 years of direct army rule.”

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Written by modernityblog

09/11/2010 at 04:51

Big Oil And Dictatorships.

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Large oil companies are often not to choosy who they do business with, be it dodgy potentates in the Middle East, to the repressive Generals in Burma, but with the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico they are, thankfully, coming under more scrutiny.

Time magazine has more:

“To the list of Big Oil companies with p.r. problems add two more: Chevron and French energy giant Total. In a report published on Monday, the NGO EarthRights International accuses the firms of being implicated in human-rights violations in Burma, claiming that soldiers guarding Chevron and Total’s natural-gas pipeline in the country have murdered locals and forced others to do backbreaking, unpaid labor in order to keep the gas exports flowing smoothly. The report also holds that the revenues from the operation have been propping up the country’s oppressive military government for more than a decade, thus fostering harmful political outcomes that affect the entire country.

EarthRights’ complaints against Total and Chevron are not new. Last year, the NGO, which is based in Washington and Chiang Mai, Thailand, published interviews with locals describing how soldiers protecting the pipeline had dragooned them into unpaid manual labor. The pipeline, which crosses more than 40 miles of Burmese territory, is a joint venture among Chevron, Total, a Thai energy company and the Burmese state oil and gas authority. Activists say it is a short section of the pipeline that travels overland through a remote part of the country that has led to ongoing conflicts between residents and the Burmese army’s Battalion 282, the soldiers charged with protecting the pipeline. Until the pipeline was built in the mid-1990s, the area saw little military action. But according to the EarthRights report, in February some soldiers of the battalion murdered two residents in the pipeline area after suspecting them of being linked to an armed militia group. “

(H/T: Andrew Murphy)

Update 1: The EarthRights International report is here, as a PDF.

Update 2: Reuters’ coverage of the BP’s oil spill is good.

Written by modernityblog

07/07/2010 at 16:21

BP’s Message Thus Far.

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In my view, this video clip pretty much sums up BP’s approach thus far:

Written by modernityblog

17/06/2010 at 12:36

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BP And Around The World.

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British Petroleum are a devious bunch, having probably engineered, by attempts at cost-cutting and speeding up an already tight drilling schedule, the largest oil spill around the southern United States, now they try to swindle the local fishermen which have been co-opted into helping them. Treehugger.com has more:

“A federal court in Louisiana has issued the first in what is bound to be many blows against BP: The US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has stopped BP from forcing fisherman volunteering to help with oil spill clean-up efforts from signing away their right to free speech, from holding BP harmless for any accidents that might occur, and requiring them to give the oil giant a month’s notice before filing any legal claims.

Commercial Fishermen’s Association president George Barasich asked the court to prevent BP from requiring fisherman to sign Master Charter Agreements compromising their existing and future rights. Judge Ginger Berrigan agreed that the language of the MCA’s was too broadly worded.”

Elsewhere, the Turkish government hasn’t learnt anything:

“More than 340 children in the Kurdish south-east of Turkey have been given long prison sentences in the past three years.

Most of them were detained for taking part in anti-government protests, under a law banning any show of support for the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party, or PKK.”

The Tories, £6 billion of cuts is only the start.

UN camp in Gaza attacked.

If I remember well about 18 months ago there was a discussion about staff shortages on the London Underground. They couldn’t get enough quality people to do the safety work which was necessary to avoid massive deaths, when accidents occur. Now in an Alice in Wonderland move they’re probably cutting up to 800 staff, unbelievable.

Kiana Firouz needs help and support, not deportation.

More on Wikileaks.

(H/T: Adam, Tami, etc)

Written by modernityblog

25/05/2010 at 01:38