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Legal complaint filed against Canadian company MTI Energy

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

EarthRights International and an unnamed Burmese civil society organization filed a legal complaint to the National Contact Points of Canada and the U.K. on Sept. 14 against MTI Energy. The Canadian company is purchasing Chevron’s share of the Yadana gas project in Burma through its subsidiary in the British territory of Bermuda. Chevron was the largest stakeholder – with a 41.1 percent stake – in the Yadana gas project managed by Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), which is a key generator of foreign currency for the military regime.

The legal complaint alleges that MTI Energy’s involvement in Burma is in violation of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines which sets human rights and anti-corruption standards for global corporations. Both Canada and the U.K. are OECD members.

Both organizations argue that MTI Energy would be helping to fund human rights violations and violence in Burma by doing business with MOGE. “MTI Energy has not consulted with communities or civil society in Myanmar that are directly affected by their investment,” said a representative from Burma on the condition of anonymity. 

“If they had, we’d have told them their pipeline cuts through communities torn apart by civil war, and they will be funding one side of it. The [military] junta is not our government and is using gas revenues to rain bombs from jet planes on our communities,” the representative added.

The EarthRights Director of Strategy and Campaigns Keith Slack said that MTI Energy can only work with a government recognized by the U.N. “[It] is planning to treat the military junta as if it were the recognized government so it can profit from Myanmar’s methane gas exports,” he said. 

Slack added that Canada should follow the E.U. and place sanctions on MOGE, as any oil and gas revenue is funneled toward the Burma Air Force to carry out airstrikes on civilian populations. An airstrike on Pazigyi village in Sagaing Region last April killed nearly 170 people. At least 4,075 people have been killed by the regime since the 2021 military coup, states the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners (AAPP).

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