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|4 August 2009
Asean urged to boycott energy exports from Myanmar
Civil Society groups are urging energy ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to oppose new oil investments in Myanmar because they will only benefit the military junta and exclude the general population, reported Philippines daily Business Mirror.
Burma is hosting the 27th Asean Ministers of Energy Meeting (Amem) in Mandalay, the second biggest city of Myanmar, that started on Monday, and the citizen groups criticised the unprecedented access to electricity of the meeting while the rest of the country continued to have serious and chronic power shortages.
An activist from the Shwe Gas Movement said electricity consumption rates per capita in Myanmar are less than 5 percent of Thailand, but the military junta is still aiming to export even more energy resources to Myanmar’s neighbouring countries.
“These include plans for over 20 large hydroelectric dams to power Thailand, China and Asean power grid, and trans-Burma oil and gas pipelines to China set to begin in September this year. The revenue from the energy sector is the main source of income for the Burmese generals,” said a statement issued by the Burma Partnership, a coalition of civil-society groups in the region pushing for democratisation in Myanmar.
The international community has strongly condemned the continuing violations of the human rights of Burmese (renamed Myanmar by the generals) and the continued detention and new charges filed against Burma’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.
Her trial court is set to issue a verdict on the new charges against the Nobel peace laureate on Friday in relation to alleged breach of rules of her detention after an unidentified American swam to her detention house uninvited.
The rights groups also said energy projects have caused environmental devastation and violations of human rights throughout the country.
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