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Office of the President

Novemeber 26, 1997

Subj: Student Protest against ARCO Involvement in Burma

On Friday, November 21 and again on Tuesday, November 25 I met with students
who expressed profound concern about the actions of the military regime in
Burma, the presence of ARCO in Burma, and my role as a member of the board of
directors of ARCO as it relates to these issues.  I was most impressed by
their respectful manner, honesty, and commitment to this subject of grave
importance.  I promised to write this statement to set forth my own views on
this set of complex and evolving matters.  

ARCO, as one of the world's leading energy-fuel producing companies, finds it
necessary to search for petroleum-related sources in many places throughout
the world.  In all aspects of its international operations, just as it
carries out its domestic activities, ARCO is committed to the highest
standards of safety, health, environmental protection, ethical practices and
social responsibility.

In 1996, ARCO acquired rights from the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE)
to conduct explorations for natural gas in Burma.  Since that initial
agreement, ARCO has made no plans to provide additional payments to MOGE, and
will most likely not do so for the next 5 to 10 years, depending on whether
or not a commercially viable natural gas discovery is made and the company
believes that it can carry out production in Burma in a manner consistent
with its own standards of business conduct.  ARCO is encouraged by the fact
that, to date, it has had no interference from MOGE or the ruling government
on personnel, contracting, operating procedures or codes of conduct and that
no efforts to influence our operations in any way have been exerted.  

Before entering Burma and continuously since that time, ARCO has closely
monitored the political situation in Burma and carefully evaluated the risks
of its presence there.  ARCO is certainly aware of the political divisions,
corruption, human rights violations and drug trafficking in Burma and
believes sincerely that by being there and by practicing its own high
standards of operation it can be helpful in encouraging more rapid evolution
of the changes in government behavior that are slowly, but hopefully,
inexorably occurring.

Although I am mindful and respectful of the company's rationale, I have
conveyed to ARCO leadership my own personal feeling that I would prefer that
the company not conduct operations in Burma and that it should withdraw from
the country.  I feel that the voices of those who share my opinion do not go
unheard and that they are taken into consideration as ARCO continues to
evaluate the political climate in Burma and its own presence there.  I will
continue to engage in discussions with fellow members of the ARCO board and
with ARCO senior management on this subject - one that I can assure is given
great seriousness and careful attention by all who are involved.


John Brooks Slaughter
President, Occidental College

Ismael Chavez '99
Lynwood High School '95

1600 Campus Road, Box #192
Los Angeles, CA 90041

(213) 590-1815
Internet E-mail: chavezi@xxxxxxx
Home Page: http://www.oxy.edu/~chavezi/home.html

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