Riddle me this: Why is the largest “progressive” blog in the world advertising Chevron, an undeniable culprit in the state sponsored torture, rape and murder of innocent Burmese women and children? And before you say the all too familiar phrase “because its his blog and he can do what he wants” please join me below:
It more than the Monks who have been targeted for murder in Burma:
According to a recently published report, an alliance of NGO’s has accussed the Burmese ruling jaunta and military of stepping up its oppression of ethnic minorities through a systematic campaign of torture, rape and arbitrary killing.
From the Christian Science Moniter October 23rd:
The Internal Displacement in Eastern Burma Survey, released Monday by the U.K.-based Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC), details the eradication of 167 Burmese villages and the forced internal displacement of around 76,000 people between January and September 2007.
That the regime uses state sponsored rape and torture is well known. Lesser known is the the dramatic increase in the jaunta’s war against the people who live in the ethnic minority Karen State.
“This report confirms once more that Burma’s military junta is prepared to use all means necessary in its large-scale and bloody war against Burma’s minorities,” said Atle Sommerfeldt, general secretary of Norwegian Church Aid, on Monday at a seminar in Oslo to launch the report .
Norwegian Church Aid, a partner organization of the TBBC, believes that as many as half a million people are currently displaced and said the worst affected area was Karen State, where at least 38 people have been murdered in the Thanduang province in 2007 alone.
Why? The answer is as simple as it is devasting: Chevron and The Yadana Pipeline
The Yadana Gas Pipeline Project represents the single largest foreign investment project in Burma. Ignoring democratically expressed calls for a moratorium on international investment in Burma, transnational oil companies Unocal (US) and Total (France) have chosen to invest in a regime with one of the most deplorable human rights and environmental records in the world. (Chevron bought out Unocal in 2005)
Even worse, the companies have contracted with the Burmese military regime to provide security for the Yadana project. Thus, the Burmese army has engaged in a pattern of systematic human rights abuses and environmental degradation as it seeks to fulfill its contractual responsibilities to Unocal and Total.
The result of The Burmese Army’s protection of the pipeline has resulted in tremendous suppression of the ethnic minorities surrounding Yadana, in particular the people of Karen:
Forced labor and systematic rape and murder is targeted particularly at the ethnic minorities living in the border regions such as Karen, Mon, Shan, and Karenni. According to The International Committee of the Red Cross there are over ninety forced labor camps in the country.
The military’s systemic use of sexual violence against women and girls has dramatically escalated in recent years, especially in dissident ethnic areas like Karen.. Oftentimes soldiers will marry a woman after raping her to ensure she bares a child in a form of ethnic cleansing reminicent of Nazi Germany.
Myanmar has the largest number of child soldiers in the world and the number is growing. Human Rights Watch said there were about seventy thousand child soldiers as of 2002, most of them forcibly recruited by the country’s army from area like Karen.
The Chevron and Total Pipeline is directly responsible for the torture, rape and murder of tens of thousands of innocent ethnic minority groups that live in rural areas surrounding the Yadana Pipeline:
According to a 2002 report from Earthrights International entitled We Are Not Free To Work For Ouselves confirms that security forces for the Yadana and Yetagun pipelines continue to conscript civilians for forced labor:
Excerpts from the report include:
“One time, a porter named [redacted] could not carry his load because his foot was sore and swollen. A soldier got a stick and beat him with it. Another porter named [redacted] was exhausted and sick from diarrhea; he fell down on the ground. The soldier beat him and ordered him to stand up. When he got up, he fell back down again. Then [an officer] beat him again. The military left him . . . When we arrived at the next destination, one of the corporals said that [he] had died.”
“The military raped [my cousin] and also [name redacted]. The military kept them in the jungle for four or five days, and they raped [them both]. [My cousin] was separated from the other women. They killed her because they had already raped her, and they did not want her to say anything. After four or five days, the other women were taken into town, and they got a message to her relatives that they should go to the jungle to try to find her. Our relatives found [my cousin’s] body in the jungle.”
So again I pose the same question that I began with:
Why is The Daily Kos supporting this activity (and it is) through accepting advertising dollars from Chevron and as importantly, what is this saying about
the netroots community that it is not demanding a stop to it?
I am just getting used to the requirements (linking etc) for posting diaries here so forgive me for not making this one as internet friendly as it should be.