[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

U of Washington Students Reject ARC


University of Washington Students Reject ARCO as Pac-10 Corporate Sponsor

This week students at the University of Washington passed resolutions
opposing ARCO as a corporate sponsor of the Pac-10 Conference because of
the oil giant's financial support of the brutal dictatorship in Burma. 
The Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) and the
Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) resolutions specifically
demand that ARCO stop doing business in Burma and encourage students to
boycott ARCO and AM/PM convenience stores until ARCO pulls out of Burma. 

"We think it's hypocritical that ARCO is a sponsor of the Pac-10 while at
the same time providing millions of dollars to a military regime that
persecutes university students and denies education to thousands of young
Burmese," said Jennifer Leehey from UW's Burma Action Group, the student
group which drafted the resolutions.

ARCO and its AM/PM stores recently became the "Official Gasoline" and
"Official Convenience Store" of the Pac-10 Conference.

ARCO has paid the Burmese military more than $20 million dollars in
signing bonuses and other fees related to exploration for natural gas as a
result of contracts with the junta's holding company, the Myanmar Gas and
Oil Enterprise.  Future profits for any Burmese government are expected to
be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.  Representatives of the elected
government of Burma, legally elected in 1990 but never allowed to take
power, have asked investors to wait until democracy returns before doing
business in Burma.

The predatory military regime, known as the State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC) from 1988-1997 and recently renamed the State
Peace and Development Council, has relied on revenue generated by rapidly
selling off natural resources in order to finance its campaigns of

University students were prominent among the 1988 democracy demonstrators,
thousands of whom were shot down when SLORC took control in September of
that year.  Students in Burma have suffered arbitrary persecution ever
since.  One of the policies of the junta has been to close universities to
prevent protests, thus preventing a generation of students from gaining
any substantial higher education.  More than thirty universities and
colleges in Burma have been closed since late 1996.

"Students believe it is unacceptable for any government to deny its
citizens an education and to grossly violate their human rights," said
Tina Kotek, GPSS President.  "We are outraged that ARCO will benefit from
its affiliation with the Pac-10.  We reject any corporation that supports
the repressive regime in Burma."

The resolutions call for the Pac-10 Conference to reconsider ARCO as a
corporate sponsor and urge the University of Washington Board of Regents
to write to ARCO and the Pac-10 Conference demanding that ARCO stop doing
business in Burma.  Students are also strongly encouraged to boycott ARCO
and AM/PM stores.



UW Burma Action Group, burma@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Larry Dohrs, Free Burma Coalition, (206) 784-5742, FAX (206) 784-8150.

Graduate and Professional Student Senate, University of Washington, (206)
543-8576, FAX (206) 685-9023, gpss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx