September 2009 EarthRights reports re Burma & company responses

EarthRights International published two reports in September 2009 alleging links between Chevron and Total's Yadana gas pipeline in Burma, and human rights abuses there.  The reports also alleged that government revenues from the Yadana gas pipeline are held in Singapore-based banks Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) and DBS Group.  One of the reports also criticised impact assessments conducted by CDA Collaborative Learning Projects for the companies. 

The full reports are available here:
- [PDF] Total Impact: The Human Rights, Environmental, and Financial Impacts of Total and Chevron's Yadana Gas Project in Military-Ruled Burma (Myanmar)
- [PDF] Getting it Wrong: Flawed "Corporate Social Responsibility" and Misrepresentations Surrounding Total and Chevron's Yadana Gas Pipeline in Military-Ruled Burma (Myanmar)

CDA, Chevron, OCBC Bank and Total provided responses to the reports:

- CDA response [PDF] - 14 Sep 2009
- Chevron response [PDF] - Nov 2009
- OCBC Bank response [PDF] - 22 Sep 2009
- Total response - Sep 2009

The following articles also include responses by the companies:

"Oil majors propping up Myanmar regime: rights group" - Danny Kemp, The Age [Australia], 11 Sep 2009:
...Chevron said related development projects had helped local communities.  "We believe that Total's health, economic development and education programs, which we support, are critical and substantively make positive improvements to the lives of the people in the Yadana project communities," a Chevron statement said.

"Total rejects accusation it props up Myanmar regime" - AFP, 10 Sep 2009:
French energy giant Total on Thursday rejected a report that accused it of propping up Myanmar's junta, saying the document was riddled with errors and false interpretations.  "An initial reading has already enabled us to identify inaccuracies... lack of precision or mistaken interpretations," Total vice-president Jean-Francois Lasalle told AFP when asked about the EarthRights International report.  The document was "exclusively" accusatory and "at no moment recognises the benefits of our presence, notably in the areas of education and health," in Myanmar, he said... EarthRights International also said that impact assessments of the pipeline by US-based CDA Collaborative Learning Projects, a US non-profit organisation commissioned by Total, had covered up adverse effects and abuses.  Total's Lasalle said his firm was "particularly shocked" by that accusation, adding that CDA Collaborative Learning Projects was an audit group with an excellent track record in the field of ethics.

"Report: Pipeline pumps billions in Myanmar junta's - Summary" - DPA (Deutsche Presse Agentur), in Earth Times, 10 Sep 2009:
In Singapore, both banks dismissed the ERI report as untrue.  "ERI's report is categorically untrue and without basis. DBS does not have any involvement with the Yadana project," a spokesperson for the bank told the German Press Agency dpa.
OCBC Bank said in a statement that "the information ... is not true."