Texaco to Leave Burma
Students for a Democratic Burma (PSU) joined the Free Burma Coaltion and grassroots activists worldwide in celebrating another in our long string of victories aimed at restoring democracy to Burma by isolating the Brutal rogue military regime SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration Council) which rules Burma (called Myanmar by the illegitimate dictatorship). Another victory came in January, when Pepsico pulled out of Burma after three years of consistent, rising grassroots pressure.
In previous years, the SDB has campaigned to get Penn State University to vote its shares in company's doing business in Burma (for example: Pepsico, Texaco, and Unocal) in favor of human rights shareholder resolutions and against the SLORC dictatorship. PSU has consistently failed to take a public stand in support of the democratic movement of the Burmese people, and has shirked its ownership responsibility while profiting from investments in companies doing business with an illegitimate* government involved in systematic human rights abuses, slave labor, and ethnic genocide.
Unlike Penn State University, the University of Wisconsin has taken a responsible ownership stand by choosing to vote its stock in favor of human rights resolutions regarding Burma and, more recently, has moved to pull its stock out of companies doing business in Burma (see attachments).
Students for a Democratic Burma is now requesting that the PSU review its stock portfolio with an eye towards identifying companies that continue to do business in Burma. Since PSU has consistently failed to take a responsible ownership position (PSU apparently does not vote any of its stock at all), we now ask the university to dump stocks of companies doing business in Burma. Students for a Democratic Burma and the Free Burma Coaltion would be more than happy to provide a list of publically traded companies doing business in Burma to the university so that they may make wise choices about how to handle their investments. For starters, we call on PSU to dump any and all shares in Unocal corporation that they continue to hold.
* SLORC lost free and fair democratic elections in 1990 but responded by exiling and imprisoning the elected democratic leadership
Contact: Father Joseph Lamar 914-941-7636 x 2516 (Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers)
See also Below
>Date: Thu, 25 Sep 1997 08:28:24 -0500
>Dear Free Burma Colleagues and Supporters:
>Congratulations to all who worked so hard in persuading the U.S. oil giant, Texaco to divest from Burma!
>This is the first major victory after Pepsi's withdrawal from Burma, and we all know that these multinational corporations do not readily heed the appeal and protests from the consumers, shareholders, and other grassroots citizens. Texaco's decision to leave Burma will definitely be uplifting for the Burmese people in general and those democrats within the democracy
>movement inside our country.
>This past April, the University of Wisconsin divested its $239,000 worth of stocks in Texaco amidst the two year long Free Burma campaign here on campus, a small victory which led Mother Jones magazine to place UW-Madison at the top of politically active U.S. campuses. There had been serious shareholder actions, grassroots protests, oil, chemical, and atomic workers' actions, selective purchasing ordinances targetting multinational corporations that form unholly alliances with Burma's heroin junta called SLORC.
>Coincidence or no coincidence, these major victories--withdrawal of Pepsi and Texaco--came on the eve of Free Burma conferences at American University back in February and UCLA this coming October 4.
>Please come join us at the UCLA FBC Conference (for info and registration, visit http://wicip.org/fbc/) to help shape the next phase of our Free Burma grassroots efforts and to celebrate this latest round of our earned victory!
>As Frederick Douglas puts it, "power concedes nothing without demand. It never has, and it never will."
>Once again, our heart-felt thanks to you all.
>peace, love, and hope,
>The Free Burma Coalition
>FREE BURMA: NO
PETRO-DOLLARS FOR SLORC
>>For Immediate Release Media Contact: Pamela Wellner, 415-695-1956,
>September 25, 1997 Joe Drexler, OCAW, 303-987-2229
>TEXACO SALE OF BURMA GAS PROJECT A BIG VICTORY FOR BURMA'S DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT
>San Francisco, Sept. 25 -- US oil giant Texaco's announcement yesterday to sell its stake in a natural gas project off Burma's coast is a major win for the Burmese democracy movement and its supporters worldwide.
>The sale to Premier Oil of Britain follows a decision in April by President Clinton to bar new investment in the military-ruled Burma in the interests of human rights, democracy and counter narcotics efforts. In recent months both Canada and the European Union have taken supportive action. Multinational oil company investment in Burma provides the largest legal source of foreign currency to the regime.
>Burma's junta, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), a flagrant human rights abuser was condemned by Secretary of State Albright for involvement in drug money laundering. In July, Albright said, "We are increasingly concerned that Burma's drug traffickers, with official encouragement, are laundering their profits through Burmese banks and companies -- some of which are joint ventures with foreign business." SLORC has a right to a 15% stake in the gas project.
>The gas project's future could also now be jeopardized. Premier is likely to come under pressure from the new UK government which is considering sanctions against SLORC. Additionally, Petronas of Malaysia, which will acquire part of Premier's stake, is thought to be lacking the technical capacity to manage the project alone.
>"We welcome Texaco's gesture, but we also appeal to Premier to seriously reconsider their deal with Burma's illegitimate regime. We believe it is against the current trend of the UK government's Burma policy and the position of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the legitimately elected National League for Democracy, who advocates no foreign investment with SLORC." said Bo Hla-Tint, spokesperson for the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma.
>"We believe the Texaco decision to leave Burma sends another message to the oil companies that corporate downsizing and exploiting US workers to raise capital for investments in totalitarian countries, where slave labor and wholesale repression are routine, will not go unchallenged." said Robert Wages, President of the 90,000 member Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union, OCAW.
>"Now that Texaco realizes that Burma is no place to do business, how can ARCO and Unocal justify dealing with this brutal regime? If they stay we will continue boycotting ARCO products and intensify on-going efforts against Unocal." said Pamela Wellner, campaign coordinator, Free Burma: No Petro-dollars for SLORC.
>John Peck, c/o UW Greens, 731 State St., Madison WI 53703 #608-262-9036
>"What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the
>sun? Or fester like a sore --- and then run? Does it stink like rotted
>meat? Or crust and sugar over like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags
>like a heavy load. Or does it explode?"
> - Langston Hughes
U.S. McLibel Support Campaign Email email@example.com
PO Box 62 Phone/Fax 802-586-9628
Craftsbury VT 05826-0062 http://www.mcspotlight.org/
Source: DB Press Release
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 1997 13:10:02 -0400
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Brian Lipsett)
Contact: Brian Lipsett 867-7341 (SDB)