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Burma's economic relations with South Korea

Individual Documents

Title: The Burma-China Pipelines: Human Rights Violations, Applicable Law, and Revenue Secrecy
Date of publication: 29 March 2011
Description/subject: "...This briefer focuses on the impacts of two of Burma’s largest energy projects, led by Chinese, South Korean, and Indian multinational corporations in partnership with the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), Burmese companies, and Burmese state security forces. The projects are the Shwe Natural Gas Project and the Burma-China oil transport project, collectively referred to here as the “Burma-China pipelines.” The pipelines will transport gas from Burma and oil from the Middle East and Africa across Burma to China. The massive pipelines will pass through two states, Arakan (Rakhine) and Shan, and two divisions in Burma, Magway and Mandalay, over dense mountain ranges and arid plains, rivers, jungle, and villages and towns populated by ethnic Burmans and several ethnic nationalities. The pipelines are currently under construction and will feed industry and consumers primarily in Yunnan and other western provinces in China, while producing multi-billion dollar revenues for the Burmese regime. This briefer provides original research documenting adverse human rights impacts of the pipelines, drawing on investigations inside Burma and leaked documents obtained by EarthRights and its partners. EarthRights has found extensive land confiscation related to the projects, and a pervasive lack of meaningful consultation and consent among affected communities, along with cases of forced labor and other serious human rights abuses in violation of international and national law. EarthRights has uncovered evidence to support claims of corporate complicity in those abuses. In addition, companies involved have breached key international standards and research shows they have failed to gain a social license to operate in the country. New evidence suggests communities in the project area are overwhelmingly opposed to the pipeline projects. While EarthRights has not found evidence directly linking the projects to armed conflict, the pipelines may increase tensions as construction reaches Shan State, where there is a possibility of renewed armed conflict between the Burmese Army and specific ethnic armed groups. The Army is currently forcibly recruiting and training villagers in project areas to fight. EarthRights has obtained confidential Production Sharing Contracts detailing the structure of multi-million dollar signing and production bonuses that China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is required to pay to MOGE officials regarding its involvement in two offshore oil and gas development projects that, at present, are unrelated to the Burma- China pipelines. EarthRights believes the amount and structure of these payments are in-line with previously disclosed resource development contracts in Burma, and are likely representative of contracts signed for the Burma-China pipelines; contracts that remain guarded from public scrutiny. Accordingly, the operators of the Burma- China pipeline projects would have already made several tranche cash payments to MOGE, totaling in the tens of millions of dollars..."
Language: English, Korean
Source/publisher: EarthRights International (ERI)
Format/size: pdf (1.23 - English; 1.9MB - Korean)
Alternate URLs: http://www.earthrights.org/sites/default/files/documents/the-burma-china-pipelines-korean.pdf
Date of entry/update: 29 March 2011

Title: A Governance Gap: The Failure of the Korean Government to hold Korean Corporations Accountable to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises Regarding Violations in Burma
Date of publication: 15 June 2009
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "This report is intended to inform the upcoming meetings of the OECD Investment Committee in Paris, France in 2009. It documents substantive errors in the Korean NCP’s interpretations of the OECD Guidelines, and its failure to achieve functional equivalence with other NCPs. EarthRights International (ERI) and the Shwe Gas Movement (SGM) request the Investment Committee to address the governance gap within the OECD Guidelines system of implementation by acknowledging the Korean NCP’s errors in interpretation, and by clarifying certain aspects of Guidelines with respect to the Korean NCP’s decision in the Shwe case. Chapter 1 provides an updated context of the situation in Burma, highlighting the environmental and human rights, political, and economic situations, with particular attention to updates on the impacts of natural gas development in the country. Chapter 2 describes the OECD Guidelines specific instance procedure and the complaint filed by ERI and SGM et al. in October 2008. Chapter 3 explains structural shortcomings and conflicts of interest at the Korean NCP, noting that these are problems that appear to pervade the NCP system, raising important questions about the ability of the Guidelines to have their desired effect. Chapter 4 describes specific substantive problems with the Korean NCP’s decision in the Shwe case, noting how the NCP decided in favor of the companies on every count, concluding that the complaint did not merit further attention. Chapter 5 highlights the ways in which the Korean NCP’s decision is inconsistent with decisions of other NCPs, most notably with decisions by the French and UK NCPs. Chapter 6 makes specific requests of the OECD Investment Committee with respect to clarifying certain aspects of the Guidelines and taking effective action to improve the performance of the Korean NCP. Appendix A of this report is an unofficial English translation of the Korean NCPs decision. The text of the complaint filed by ERI and SGM et al. is available at www.earthrights.org."
Language: English
Source/publisher: EarthRights International, Shwe Gas Movement
Format/size: pdf (496MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/A_Governance_Gap-ERI.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 August 2010