Skip to main content

ONGC, State Bank of India 'stakeholders' in junta-supported Myanmar-China pipelines

By Henrieke Butijn* 

Some banks are comfortable financing atrocities, as is clear with the financiers that are bankrolling the fossil fuel giants that run the Myanmar-China pipelines. The Myanmar junta, who began an illegal attempted coup in February 2021, receives revenue from oil and gas projects and profits from the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) shares in projects.
MOGE is a state agency illegally under military control. The oil & gas sector has earned the Myanmar junta 800 million US dollars in April to July 2022 alone, according to the junta’s own figures. A significant portion of these earnings are from the Shwe gas project and connected Myanmar-China oil and gas pipelines. These projects are run by fossil fuel giants linked to banks covered by the Banking on Climate Chaos report which was published last week.
A junta that has killed over 3,200 people and arrested over 21,000 more since its illegal coup attempt unsurprisingly uses violence to protect the funding that enables its international crimes.
A Banking on Climate Chaos frontline story by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, and local partners follows the Myanmar-China oil and gas pipelines which start in Rakhine State (southwest Myanmar) and transverses the country’s heartland to enter Yunnan, China, from northeastern Shan State.
It shows people, who were displaced by the junta, in the path of this pipeline and land soured by pipeline construction, practically destroying farming that sustained communities for generations.
The study reports on entire villages in fear of pipeline explosions and environmental destruction. Military installations monitor farmers everyday, and just last year, the military laid landmines near the pipelines -- making people risk death daily for walking on their own lands.
At its coastal southern hub of another pipeline, on Ma-De Island, the pipeline resulted in land confiscation that affected the majority of residents. Fearing repression by the former military regime, many remained silent. The Myanmar China Pipeline Watch Committee (MCPWC) reports that this pipeline project caused environmental damage in 21 townships. “We know who is to blame for destroying the lives of people in the path of these pipelines", it said.
Among the main shareholders of the Myanmar-China pipelines are CNPC, POSCO, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and KOGAS, bankrolling the military junta’s atrocities. In 2022 alone, these four companies together received nearly US$ 7.3 billion in corporate finance, with CNPC receiving the most with US$ 6.7 billion.
Their biggest and most recent financiers are ICBC, Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, KB Financial, UBS, Citi, State Bank of India, SMBC and BNP Paribas.
Construction of the pipelines began during Myanmar's military-controlled political and economic reforms, which ended when the military began its illegal attempted coup. Since then, the junta has waged a nationwide campaign of terror, backed by the flow of funds from the Myanmar-China pipelines, and other oil and gas projects.
Brave people are speaking out against the pipeline and how it destroys their way of life; ecologically and politically. They are showing undeniable proof of how the fossil fuel giants and the military junta profits off of their loss of life and lands that banks cannot ignore. 
The story shows a video of the pipeline threatening food sovereignty, people terrified for their lives, and a military attempting to control people for the sake of pipelines and to keep the blood money flowing.
The OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights both clearly set out that international investors, including banks, have a responsibility to use their leverage to ensure their clients act to prevent or mitigate human rights abuses. 
Big financiers must consider that investing in or financing fossil fuel companies that military juntas rely on for funding violence is not worth whatever the financial gain.
Climate campaigner & researcher, BankTrack. Source: BankTrack email alert



Lip-service on World Environment Day vs 'watered-down' eco-safeguards

By Shankar Sharma*  Just a few days ago, the world remembered the routinely forgotten global environment on the occasion of World Environment Day, briefly though, maybe just for the day. There were reports of a few high profile ceremonies in different parts of the country, including a few in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly asked the people of our country to plant one tree per each person as a mark of respect/ gratitude for our mothers.

New Odia CM's tribal heritage 'sets him apart' from Hindutva Brahminical norms

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Mohan Charan Majhi took the oath as the new Chief Minister of Odisha following the electoral defeat of the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik, who served as Chief Minister for twenty-four years. The new Chief Minister is the son of a security guard and a four-time MLA who hails from the remote village of Raikala in the Keonjhar district. He belongs to the Santali tribe and comes from a working-class family. Such achievements and political mobilities are possible only in a democratic society. Majhi’s leadership even in the form of symbolic representation in a democracy deserves celebration.

Pellet gun fire severely injures Dalit worker off Bangladesh border

By Kirity Roy*  This is regarding an incident of firing pellets by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel attached with Panchadoji Border Outpost of ‘E’ Company of 90 BSF Battalion on a Schedule Caste youth of village Parmananda under Dinhata Police Station of Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. The victim was severely injured and one portion of his face became disfigured due to pellet firing by the BSF.

Sanction to persecute Arundhati Roy under UAPA politically motivated: PUCL

Counterview Network  Top human rights group, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, has demanded that the authorities should immediately withdraw the prosecution against top author Arundhati Roy and Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a Kashmir academic, under the " unconstitutional"  Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act  (UAPA), calling the Delhi  Lieutenant-Governor nod for the Delhi police move "politically motivated".

What stops Kavach? Why no time to focus on common trains meant for common people?

By Atanu Roy  A goods train rammed into Kanchenjunga Express on 17th June morning in North Bengal. This could have been averted if the time tested anti-collision system (Kavach) was in place. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.