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LETTER TO THE UNOCAL PRESIDENT, JOH
Subject: LETTER TO THE UNOCAL PRESIDENT, JOHN IMLE (27/1/97)
/* Written 31 Jan 6:00am 1997 by drunoo@xxxxxxxxxxxx in igc:reg.burma */
/* -----------" Letter to the UNOCAL president (27/1/97) "------------ */
LETTER TO THE UNOCAL PRESIDENT
Dr U Ne Oo
48/2 Ayliffes Road
St Marys SA 5042
January 27, 1997.
Mr John F. Imle, Jr.
Union Oil Company of California
P.O. Box 7600
Los Angeles, CA 90051
I am a Burmese national currently residing in Adelaide Australia. I read
with interest of your testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking
on May 22, 1996, on the debate on bill S - 1511. In that testimony, you
have outlined the longer-term objectives of the Unocal's involvement in
Burma's Yadana Gas Project of which I find most interesting.
In that testimony, you also stated the Unocal have joined the project in
1993 and has 28.6 per cent interest and also is in partnership with Myanmar
Oil and Gas Enterprise, the current Burmese government own corporation. I
like to point out to you that the business contracts made by Unocal with
the current military government of Burma may not be considered as
legitimate. Following facts are indicative of such has been the case.
Firstly, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) does not have
the mandate of the Burmese people to rule Burma; In other words, the ruling
military council SLORC is not a legitimate government of Burma and
therefore the rulings of the military council do not have the endorsement
of the people of Burma. You may be aware that there was a general election
in Burma on May-1990, at which the opposition party, National League for
Democracy, has been elected to govern the country. These elected
representatives of National League for Democracy are the only legitimate
leaders of Burma today.
More importantly, the SLORC does not observe any constitution. This fact is
explicitly stated in the paragraph 6 of SLORC's Declaration No. 1/1990 as:
" The State Law and Order Restoration Council (Tatmadaw) is not an
organization that observes any constitution; it is an organization that is
governing the nation by Martial Law. " In Burma, we have had two
Consitutions - The (1947) Union of Burma Constitution and The (1974)
Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma Constitution. Since the ruling
military council does not observe any of those constitutions, in legal
and juridical aspects, the SLORC and its rulings do not have any
connection whatsoever with the State of Burma. This fact has been pointed
out by various international human rights organizations, including the
United Nations Human Rights Special Rapporteur on Burma.
Therefore, any business contract or agreement made with the SLORC after
May-1990 do not have the endorsement of the people of Burma. Furthermore,
because of the non-constitutional nature of SLORC, the State of Burma is
under no obligation to observe the terms of agreements made by the SLORC.
There are the likelihoods of legal complications to the businesses
operating in Burma when democratically elected government come into power.
Please allow me to stress that I am not suggesting the Unocal to pull-out
of Burma as most of Burma activists frequently do. What I am pointing
out to you is that the illegal aspects of the contract agreements your
company have made with the SLORC. In order to redress this problem, let
me suggest you to contact the Executive Committee of the National
League for Democracy (NLD) and to seek endorsement of your company's
current Burma contracts. This task - to seek endorsement of Unocal's
contracts in Burma from National League for Democracy - has some political
implications and it is obviously beyond the capacity of any private company
and therefore you should seek help from your Government. I have recently
written a letter about these situations to the U.S. State Department
officials, of which I have enclosed it for your information.
In closing, I hope that the information given is useful to you.
(U NE OO)
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