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Corporate social responsibility in genocidal regions. Darfur, Sudan in Africa and Burma (Myanmar) in Asia By Benny Widyono.

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corporate social responsibility in genocidal regions

Corporate social responsibility in genocidal regions

Darfur, Sudan in Africa and Burma (Myanmar) in Asia

By Benny Widyono

This year is the UN Convention on Genocide’s 60th anniversary. It also marks 60 years of abject failure of the international community to act in the wake of continuing genocide in many parts of the world
  • Today we will examine why many foreign corporations in Darfur, a region in the Sudan and in Burma, are directly and indirectly sustaining tyrannies who massacre their own people and continue the exploitation of the voiceless, human rights abuses, militarization, and environmental and cultural destruction.
  • Starting in February 2003, the genocide in Darfur, population 6 million, a region in Sudan, population 39 million, is the longest running genocide in the world
  • To suppress rebellion by liberation movements of the village tribes in Darfur, the Sudanese military, aided by Janjaweed militia, camel-riding Arab nomads massacred 500,000 while driving 2.5 million Darfurians from their villages into makeshift camps
  • Burma, or Myanmar, with a population of 57.6 million, is S E Asia’s poorest and most oppressed nation, and remains under forty three years tyranny of the military
  • The present military junta, headed by General Than Swe, came to power in 1988
  • When they massacred thousands of students in the street demonstrating for regime Change.
  • It has also continued its oppressive policies including the jailing of opposition leader Aung San Su Kyi
In September 2007, last year, monks, supported by students, took to the street by the thousands, but were cruelly suppressed and many were killed or simply disappeared
Burma’s military regime sells off the country’s natural resources to foreign governments and corporations, thereby ensuring its own brutal existence
  • Foreign companies are lining up to partner with Burma’s dreadful military junta to tap into the country’s lucrative resources in particular oil and gas. This provides a crucial source of support to the junta
corporate investments in burma
Corporate Investments in Burma
  • Most of corporations in Burma originate in Asia’s fast growing economies of India, China, Malaysia and Thailand in search of cheap energy sources and other natural resources. The French Total and US Chevron oil companies also operate in Burma. There are a total of 13 countries investing in Burma
corporate investments in darfur
Corporate Investments in Darfur
  • In Darfur Big investors include: Germany’s Siemens, Switzerland’s ABB, and French Alcatel
  • Russia’s Tatneft and China’s Petrochina are important participants in Sudan’s oil
china s role
China’s role
  • China’s role is particularly significant because it is one of the five veto wielding powers in the United Nations. Using this power China had undermined UN’s efforts in both Darfur and Burma
  • In January 2007 it vetoed a resolution on Burma
  • Burma’s military junta has amply rewarded China for its support by awarding China a 20 year contract for natural gas supplies at a lower price than the bid by India, another fast growing nation but without veto power in the United Nations
  • China has 26 multinational corporation in Burma involved in 62 hydropower, oil and gas and mining projects
China supports the regimes of Sudan and Burma for the following reasons:
  • 1. It needs secure supplies of oil and natural gas to support its rapid economic growth
  • 2. It wants to counter US influence everywhere in its quest to become a world power
  • 3. It adheres to the principle of non interference in affairs of sovereign countries
what can we do
What can we do
  • We can persuade mutual funds and pension funds to divest in companies investing in Sudan and Burma
  • We can boycott the Burmese trade in rubies and jade
  • We can persuade US companies to move out of Burma and Sudan
  • We can persuade banks to stop operations in Burma and Darfur
  • We can persuade American universities and states to divest from investments in Sudan and Burma
some useful websites
Some Useful Websites