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Abstract

In military-ruled Burma, also known as Myanmar, large-scale natural gas

projects have directly and indirectly led to violations of basic human rights

through the complicity of multinational corporate actors. These abuses are

ongoing and there is an unreasonably high risk they will increase as more gas

projects are developed. This paper assesses the past, present, and future human

rights impacts of large-scale natural gas extraction in Burma, and the

implications these impacts have in terms of corporate accountability. The

paper provides background information regarding Burma's government,

economic policy, and the energy sector and considers past and present human

rights abuses connected to the Yadana natural gas project, developed by a

consortium including Chevron, Total, PTTEP, and MOGE. The authors

argue that the companies are complicit in ongoing human rights abuses in

connection to their investment. The paper then describes the threat of future

human rights abuses in connection to the country's largest offshore gas

deposits, concluding that there is a high risk that current human rights abuses

in the proposed project areas will be exacerbated by the new gas production,

and that there will likely be abuses directly linked to the Shwe pipeline project.

Finally, the authors assess the interests and actors involved in the Southeast

Asia regional energy security dynamic as it relates to Burma's fast growing

oil and gas sector, human rights, and corporate accountability. They argue

that the energy security strategies of China, Thailand, and India-and by

association, the national oil corporations under those governments -relying

on Burmese resources have paid dangerously inadequate attention to the

protection of human rights.

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