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The Companies They Keep in Burma

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posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 09:43 PM
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reply to post by Sri Oracle
 


The Nation reports from The Straits Times yesterday.

Lee puts ASEAN's weight behind UN envoy to Burma



"The videos and photographs of what is happening on the street of Rangoon and other cities in Burma have evoked the revulsion of the people throughout South-East Asia and all over the world," said Lee, writing in his capacity as ASEAN chairman.

"I would like to emphasize the importance which the ASEAN countries, and indeed the whole international community," attach to Gambari's mission," Lee said in the letter released to The Straits Times on Sunday.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.




posted on Oct, 1 2007 @ 08:37 AM
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Article discussing Thailand's energy purchases from Myanmar:


Region's energy needs enable Myanmar junta

BANGKOK: For two decades, Asia's biggest powers have grappled with the question of how to respond to the unrelenting repression of Myanmar's junta. In neighboring Thailand, the answer comes each time Thais pay their electricity bill.

Natural gas from Myanmar, which generates 20 percent of all electricity in Thailand, keeps the lights on in Bangkok. The gas, which this year will cost about $2.8 billion, is the largest single contribution to Myanmar's otherwise impoverished and cash-strapped economy.



posted on Oct, 1 2007 @ 10:48 AM
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Very good info bit there, Cat, maybe the most important one in the game going on in these hours, about the fate of Burma. With this information you can see that the only posible weapon of sanctions would be the Thais plugging the pipeline refuse to buy. Others would buy, but time and costs would mean a major economic disturbance, which again would would lead to more repression, more need to demonstrate brutality.

The Thais got armed forces that can match the Burmese, most in air dominans. On the other hand Burma has 800 chinese tanks where Thaiand only has 333. Burma's army being the bigger with more combat expr, has nearly half a million men. The Thais can muster the same if they include 200.000 civilian reservist. No doubt Burma would be the more powerfull, and I don't like their many tanks, though it's hard for me to see how they could run them over those mountain and through that wild hilly terrain that the border region makes up in all its 2000 miles length. The surprise factor would get lost, and Thais have a technological advance in airpower, that they probably are trained to be able to make the best off. But the better part of the army is not used to combat.

Quite unrealistic. It will never come to an armed conflict with Burma, that would be nation-suicide for Thailand.

Two times throughout history the Thais have had their reign smashed by the Burmese. Let me just mention Authaya 1768-69, where the whole ruling dynasty with its nobles was to either perish or taken captive to Burma. Authaya then was a metropolis of up to one million souls, which made it 6-8 times larger than London, and maybe the biggest city then. It was completely sacked and burned down literally to the ground. It was of wood.

Only ruins of stone pagodas and larger chedis stand today ...and treausures and forgotten structures still found. Most of the area of the former capital are today overgrown riverland and farmland laying idle.

Sorry, for this history 101 off-topic. Well, history is important for understanding.

About understanding, what goes on in Burma right now. Since Saturday special UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari has been in there. Haven't even seen it reported, he have met Than Shwe or Maung Aye yet. Or I don't know, I've only checked headlines since morning.

Anyone know of the latest news on the special envoy's mission?



posted on Oct, 1 2007 @ 11:01 AM
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my question is this, what happened to chuck norris and the elite hit squads we thought we had back in the 80s thanks to hollywood? I mean it seems like insurging assassins to take out these fat burmese dictators and murderers would work. Or would that be bad for politics? I only know that if i were bush, i would send out the fleet to the shores, use frequency jammers, confuse and annihilate the burmese militiants.



posted on Oct, 1 2007 @ 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by mastermind77
my question is this, what happened to chuck norris and the elite hit squads we thought we had back in the 80s thanks to hollywood? I mean it seems like insurging assassins to take out these fat burmese dictators and murderers would work. Or would that be bad for politics? I only know that if i were bush, i would send out the fleet to the shores, use frequency jammers, confuse and annihilate the burmese militiants.


Burmese militants? errrr... don't you mean Burmese military junta?

I am worried about the sanctions that the US has imposed. I assume that they are going to have no effect on the personal fortunes of the Military rulers (bank accounts in Singapore etc) but will result in starvation for children given that Burma has a worse economy than Iraq did (pre war(s)). In the same way that making alcohol illegal during prohibition drove organised crime into massive profits, I would imagine that there will be plenty of corporations, countries and individuals who laugh in the face of these sanctions and make money through this regime.

Another people who will seem ungrateful for their eventual 'freedom' in 5-10 years time.



posted on Oct, 2 2007 @ 04:56 AM
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In the research I've done so far I find out that List of Greatest Natural Gas Reserves by Country, 2006 doesn't list Burma.

It states Russia as producer no.1 with 1680 TCF (Trillion Cu Ft) and Norway as no.12 with 84 TCF.

However the information I have been able to come across on www.shwe.org... it says

At present (2006), Burma has 34 gas pipelines covering a total length of nearly 1,800 kilometres, according to official data. Burma, with 19 onshore oil fields, has a total of 87 TCF, or 2.46 TCM of gas in reserves and 3.2 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil reserves.


So why are they NOT on the official list then ??? Is the site not reliable?

Or are their political, maybe conspiratorial reasons for this? Somehow not many seem to know Burma as an energy producer, before the riots focused upon the country.

The figures used in the two sources are from the same year.
Is there a reason to hold Burma out of the official listing?

The list of countries are from infoplease.com, that again links it to www.eia.doe.gov...


Anybody have any idea why?



posted on Oct, 2 2007 @ 11:40 AM
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Now I have source for the list omitting Burma. Table 11.4 World Crude Oil and Natural Gas Reserves, January 1, 2006, from EIA, US government.

We are still in the same date range, but in this table Burma reserves are estimated to a mere 10 to 12 TCF ??? More mystique...

I smell cover-up of the true extend of the Bay o' Bengal/ Andaman gas. What's the purpose? Justify extra costs??

All doubt is in favour of the accused, so I'll throw in this article from USGS, July 2006 it establishes a much further extent of the gas fields than previous thought.

It's a condensed report on an expedietion in (I think) 2004-2005. International Team Completes Gas Hydrate Expedition in the Offshore of India


The expedition's scientific highlights to date are:

Discovery of significant gas hydrate accumulations with the recovery of 2,850 meters of core.
Sampling and defining one of the world's richest marine gas hydrate accumulations in the Krishna-Godhavari Basin.
Discovery of one of the thickest and deepest gas hydrate occurrences in the Andaman Sea, revealing 600 meter deep gas-hydrate-bearing volcanic ash layers.


Another article there should be in the thread:


Agence France Presse: Thailand eyes Myanmar’s natural gas reserves
Mon 31 Jul 2006


Thailand’s largest energy firm PTT Plc Monday said it has joined the race against China and India in a bid for exclusive rights to military-run Myanmar’s northwestern natural gas reserves.

as ducumentation together with the IHT article, provided by JacKatMtn, about where 20% of Thai energy comes from.
Region's energy needs enable Myanmar junta

To bump the thread, ... isn't the mystery about the true extend of the gasfields conspiracy worthy enough to be discussed and investigated?



posted on Oct, 4 2007 @ 05:23 AM
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Getting confused in numbers. In a news article I read yesterday, the gas export from Burma was stated worth 9.8 billion. Trying to find the article agan, you know...

Searched other sources to find a number, I came across the Economist:
Myanmar's pipeline politics


[---]
In broad terms, the scramble to secure access to Myanmar's energy resources reflects a heightening of concern about energy security throughout the region. The most important bidders—China, India and South Korea—are increasingly dependent on energy imports to fuel their economies. India had proposed to build a pipeline extending all the way to Kolkata in the state of West Bengal (although the section within Myanmar would be much shorter—some 290 km—than the pipeline to the Chinese border). The news that the gas will be pumped to China was disappointing to the South Korean government, which is eager to reduce its dependence on the Middle East by diversifying its energy sources. Myanmar's gasfields are among the largest being developed by South Korean companies overseas.

Implications
In economic terms, the pipeline will increase Myanmar's dependence on energy exports. Natural gas is already by far Myanmar's most important export, accounting for US$1.4bn in 2005, or 37% of the country's total export revenue. (Myanmar's next largest export, hardwood lumber, accounted for only US$480m.) Myanmar's gas exports are equivalent to around 15% of the country's GDP.


Again a mystery arises. Gas export 2005: 1.4 billion USD.
In IHT article posted in this thread www.abovetopsecret.com... it says, Thailands import of gas from Burma will be 2.8 billion USD this year. Either the production has more than doubled in two years or I don't know how to read numbers.

A recent article from truthdig. About the cosmetic of sanctions.

Chevron's Pipeline Is the Burmese Regime's Lifeline


[---]
Chevron's role in propping up the brutal regime in Burma is clear. According to Marco Simons, U.S. legal director at EarthRights International: "Sanctions haven't worked because gas is the lifeline of the regime. Before Yadana went online, Burma's regime was facing severe shortages of currency. It's really Yadana and gas projects that kept the military regime afloat to buy arms and ammunition and pay its soldiers."

The U.S. government has had sanctions in place against Burma since 1997. A loophole exists, though, for companies grandfathered in. Unocal's exemption from the Burma sanctions has been passed on to its new owner, Chevron.

Rice served on the Chevron board of directors for a decade. She even had a Chevron oil tanker named after her. While she served on the board, Chevron was sued for involvement in the killing of nonviolent protesters in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.


It should be clear that the sanctions won't work or do very little. Only a boycot will have effects. In that connection world community must take care to replace Thailand's energy needs with other sources.

Talking Utopia, I know. If it really was possible, an insurgency of "terrorist" would suddenly emerge, so the junta's need for arms would be supplied anyhow.



posted on Oct, 4 2007 @ 09:19 AM
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I found the GDP number I sought in the previous post.

From an OP in The Nation.

Burma road goes through Beijing



[---]
China's decision to block the UN Security Council from condemning the Burmese regime's assault on the Buddhist monks and other peaceful protestors underscores its long-standing political support for the junta. This past January, China, alongside Russia, vetoed a Security Council resolution that condemned Burma's human rights record and called on the government to stop attacks on ethnic minorities, release political prisoners, and begin a transition towards national reconciliation and democracy. For years, China has also blocked meaningful sanctions against Burma.

China's economic ties to Burma's rulers are strategically important for both sides. Annual bilateral trade, estimated at $1.1 billion - a huge figure, given Burma's total GDP of $9.6 billion - provides an economic lifeline for the Burmese government. China is also Burma's largest military supplier.

At the same time, the $2 billion oil pipeline that China is seeking to build from Burma's southern coast to China's Yunnan province will allow China to get Middle East oil to its southern provinces more easily and securely. When completed, the pipeline will make China much less susceptible to foreign military pressure in the event of international conflict.

[---]
In today's Internet age, the costs of China's support for Burma's generals are rising fast. Just as in Darfur, where China's perceived support for the Sudanese government translated into harsh criticism and threats to brand the 2008 Olympics the "Genocide Games", China's backing of the Burmese generals, particularly if the death toll rises, could cause similar problems. Indeed, an Olympic boycott will become more likely if scenes of murdered or brutalised Buddhist monks are flashed around the world. Moreover, Burma's public health woes and drug and human trafficking are increasingly being exported to southern China.


"Genocide Games" ... hmm.. catchy term. They could have called Berlin 1936 that -- if they had known.

Now we know almost before it happens -- thanks to the internet.

China is the key, but I'm afraid they don't wanna unlock anything.

So let's boycot the genocide games.



posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 07:08 AM
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alot of attention has been paid to the oil side of things affecting the sudden interest in burma but i would like to explore the drug side of things as well, as i think the drug trade (especially when helped by the CIA) is just as profitable.

last month the NY times reported a very large reduction in poppy production in the myanmar region.

www.nytimes.com...

this closley mimics afghanistans reduction in poppys right before 911

query.nytimes.com...
www.cbc.ca...

(oh and by the way, since the invasion poppy production is at record levels) mildly convenient


i'm sure its known that in the 60s and 70s the US was heavily involved in the myanmar laos vietnam area and the US was supporting militant groups that opposed communist china and those groups were funded with opium so the CIA helped them grow and traffic it. nevermind that most often these groups were terrible when it came to human rights, but that was overlooked for the sake of profit. Just like the human rights violations by the taliban were overlooked until they stopped poppy production.

i just thought i would try to explore this side of things.
you know the US motto: "if they have oil or drugs... we'll be there!"

great thread!



posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 08:53 AM
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Yes, the study of routes and financing of drug production and its distribution is one of my favourits. Very hard to speak about, as most don't want to hear or believe, beside the personal risk of touching a topic like that. None the less I've done a few attempts.

An Opium Market Mystery
War on Terror financed by drugs?
Burma & Shan State Watch List

Drug money is probably number two in income for the despocy in Burma. The most ironic about it is, it's all done through Singapore, the spotless city-state, that'll jail you for spitting on the street and hang you for smoking a joint. The corruption free island run by the Lee dynasty for more than 30 years is possibly the best friend the junta in Burma has.

Great you post the article about this year's de Costa report. I'm not sure about the statement of decline from the most previous years. It's true since the first Gulf war a steady decline has been observed with a low as the Afghan poppies gained new heights. Somehow that was what someone wanted. Someone in a position to control the trade.

As the opium output from the Triangle declined and the Afghan rose to its new heights, methamphethamines, speed or ya-ba as it's called locally, was introduced to Thailand and the Shan state of Burma. None other but CIA or it's strawman agencies can have made such a switch possible.

Today amphethamines is a huge problem in Thailand threatning to make social order collapse.

Local news agencies like SHAN, Mizzima and Irrawaddy do in fact report of an increase in opium production this year in the Wa territory of the Shan state, but there's no doubt that the overall agenda is to give Burma a 'clean' image in order to participate on a decent foundation in the last great bonanza rush on this planet, the vast mineral ressources and forests of giant tropical timber, all virtually untouched, been waiting for thousands of years to be ripped off.

A lot of money to be harvested in that rush ...or land to devastate, to rob and laid bare by it.



posted on Nov, 3 2007 @ 08:03 AM
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The geopolitical stakes of 'Saffron Revolution'
By F William Engdahl



First it's a fact which few will argue that the present military dictatorship of the reclusive General Than Shwe is right up there when it comes to world-class tyrannies. It's also a fact that Myanmar enjoys one of the world's lowest general living standards. Partly as a result of the ill-conceived 100% to 500% price hikes in gasoline and other fuels in August, inflation, the nominal trigger for the mass protests led by saffron-robed Buddhist monks, is unofficially estimated to have risen by 35%.

Ironically the demand to establish "market" energy prices came from the IMF and World Bank.

The UN estimates that the population of some 50 million inhabitants spend up to 70% of their monthly income on food alone. The recent fuel price hike makes matters unbearable for tens of millions.

Myanmar is also deeply involved in the world narcotics trade, ranking only behind Hamid Karzai's Afghanistan as a source for heroin. As well, it is said to be Southeast Asia's largest producer of methamphetamines.

This is all understandable powder to unleash a social explosion of protest against the regime.

It is also a fact that the Myanmar military junta is on the hit list of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the Bush administration for its repressive ways. Has the Bush leopard suddenly changed his spots? Or is there a more opaque agenda behind Washington's calls to impose severe economic and political sanctions on the regime?

Here some not-so-publicized facts help.


This is a very interesting article, that more than suggests the riots were instigated from the outside to put force on Burma to give in some of its sovereignty to international policing against terrorism. After all Humbali was hiding out in Burma, before they got him. The sledge hammer are more likely used to make the junta allow bases for operations along its 3000 mile shoreline overlooking all of Bay of Bengal and Sea of Andaman all down to where the Indian Ocean goes into the Antarctic Sea, geo-political one of the most important stretches of space in the world. That's why the US secretly desire surveillance station and ready deployment bases on the Myanmar coast.

A major part of the world trade goes through the Malacca Strait, 1.5 miles wide at Singapore. As much as 80 per cent of China's oil passes through there. Fact each day, more than 12 million barrels in oil supertankers pass through this narrow passage, most en route to the world's fastest-growing energy market, China, or to Japan.

Obvious that this is geopolitically a spot as hot as the M East, but fortunately not in flames yet. Fire comes with enforcement, and whoever wants to enforce anything here must take in account an opposition likely military from China. It's their lifeline, they'll defend it, and also gives a reason why China in super tempo are proceeding with the 1800 miles gasline from deepwater port of Sittwe by the Bay of Bengal to Kumming deep into Yunnan. To cut out the Malacca Straits would be a huge strategic advance for China.

China's has, as it is now, the upper hand military with its involvement in Burma, who gladly provide sites for Chinese military instalations. With the US militarization of any part of the world holding fossil reserves, it most certainly has become common sense to China that better put the foot in the door before others do.


Since it became clear to China that the US was hell-bent on a unilateral militarization of the Middle East oil fields in 2003, Beijing has stepped up its engagement in Myanmar. Chinese energy and military security, not human rights concerns, drives their policy.

In recent years Beijing has poured billions of dollars in military assistance into Myanmar, including fighter, ground-attack and transport aircraft; tanks and armored personnel carriers; naval vessels and surface-to-air missiles. China has built up Myanmar railroads and roads and won permission to station its troops in Myanmar. China, according to Indian defense sources, has also built a large electronic surveillance facility on Myanmar's Coco Islands and is building naval bases for access to the Indian Ocean.

In fact Myanmar is an integral part of what China terms its "string of pearls", its strategic design of establishing military bases in Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia in order to counter US control over the Strait of Malacca chokepoint. There is also energy on and offshore of Myanmar, and lots of it.



SOURCE | www.atimes.com | Read more...


What I would fear is, they are preparing, making ready the next theater of conflict in the wars of the last oil.

-------------------

Beside all the facts Engdahl is dishing up with, his main message seems to be, thatsocial dispair and misery was not the trigger of late summer's 'spontaneous'' outbreaks of riots in Burma. They very well were the cause, yes, but the size and disciplin points, according to Engdahl, to infiltration by professionally trained agents. He also gives the US consulate in Chiang Mai as HQ of the psy-op.

I'm not sure what to mean about such a theory. It does make sense, but then the spontanity of the events, a tribute to the human spirit as such, all those fine words and feelings surrounding the event, they will have to go down the drain, if should be so that the rebellion really was instigated.

[edit on 3/11/2007 by khunmoon]



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