Published: Tuesday 15 October 1996

The much-touted Yadana gas pipeline project in Burma has run into trouble. Burmese political exiles have filed a lawsuit in a US district court against the California-based Unocal Corp, asking it to stop work in the US $1.2 million natural-gas project and to compensate the affected people. They claimed that thousands of villagers were forcibly detained and displaced by the ruling military junta to clear a path for the pipeline through dense forests. The suit does not hold Unocal directly responsible for these atrocities but it says that as the government's partner, it "knew or should have known" that this venture would have led to such abuses.

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