Genocide & Big Oil in the Sudan
- In the Business & Money section of my local newspaper today, the
headline ran: "Oil Company Genocide Case to Proceed"
"A judge refused to dismiss a church's lawsuit alleging that a
Canadian energy company aided genocide in tis prusuit of oil in
Sudan, despite efforts by the United States and Canada to stop the
In the lawsuit, Calgary-based Talisman Energy Inc., Canada's biggist
independent oil and gas exploration and production company, is
accused of such crimes as ethnic cleansing, killings, war crimes,
confiscation of property, enslavement, kidnapping and rape in Sudan.
Talisman and the Sudanese government collaborated on a plan for the
security of oil fields, according to the suit, with Talisman hiring
its own advisers to coordinate military strategy with government.
Talisman mapped out areas intended for exploration and discussed how
to dispose of civilians in those areas, according to the
suit. . . ." Associated Press, Sept. 1, 2005
Below is an Open Letter that explains this a bit more. It is really
so disheartening to see that such things are taking place in the
world. 3rd World Countries are being raped by their own govenments
with assistance from 1st World Democratic Countries who should have
a high standard of ethics and concern for their fellowman instead of
a greed for oil and money. Of course, there is always the Red Cross
and other such groups to give a little aid to these victims which
should be good enough--huh? Really disgusting! As well as what is
unfolding in devastated New Orleans in this country--why is that
such a big mess in the terms of helping those victims? New
Orleans/Katrina ravished areas demonstrate how weak our government
infrastructure is--how precarious it all is, especially when the
resources of this country have been stretched as far as they have
v Talisman, Sudan & Canada's Involvement
Open Letter to Right Hon. Paul Martin, P.C., M.P.
By David Kilgour MP, Edmonton-Mill-Woods-Beaumont
July 5, 2005
OTTAWA, July 5th, 2005.
Right Hon. Paul Martin, P.C., M.P.
Room 309-S, Centre Block
House of Commons
There is a major case under way in the United States District Court,
Southern District of New York, against Talisman Energy, Inc. and the
Republic of The Sudan for genocide crimes. Talisman is alleged to
have aided and abetted the government's efforts to "dispose
civilians" in regions where the company intended to look for oil.
Specifically, Talisman is accused of helping Sudanese officials to
bomb churches, kill church leaders, and attack villages to clear the
way for oil recovery in southern Sudan.
The suit has been brought under the Alien Tort Claims Act, which
allows U.S. courts to hear suits by non-citizens claiming violations
of international law, in this case by the Presbyterian Church of
Sudan and many others.
You may also know that the Canadian embassy in Washington has
intervened (January 14th, 2005) on behalf of Talisman in an effort
to have the suit dismissed. Your government specifically asserted in
part that the exercise of jurisdiction in the suit "constitutes
infringement in the conduct of foreign relations by the Government
Given the human rights record of the Government of Sudan and the
nature of the allegations against the oil company, human rights
organizations, Sudanese refugees and many concerned Canadians wonder
why the Canadian government is intervening in the case against
Talisman. Many view such an intervention as a demonstration of a
lack of concern for justice for the victims of the regime's
oil-fuelled crimes against humanity in southern Sudan.
Mel Middleton, director of Freedom Quest International, was in
Ruweng County recently and met with survivors who had all lost
immediate family members in what they call a process of ethnic
cleansing. When asked whether they thought oil companies, including
Talisman, knew what was going on, people laughed, stating that the
companies were helping the government directly. They stated that
after helicopter and tank attacks swept through the area, wiping out
villages and killing civilians, personnel of oil firms would come in
and dispose of the bodies.
These and other horrific accounts of the ongoing attacks on
civilians in the area would lead many Canadians to ask a number of
troubling questions. Among them:
Why would the Canadian government wait for almost three years before
contacting the US State Department seeking to intervene in the case
after the lawyers for the plaintiffs had gone to the effort of
acquiring over one million pages of documentation and evidence? It
has been suggested that our government did this in the hope that
most of the Canadian public might have already forgotten the
allegations involving Talisman Energy at the time.
Why is Ottawa continuing to pursue a policy of "constructive
engagement" with Sudan's dictatorial military rulers?
engagement is precisely the policy which Ronald Reagan used in South
Africa. It was unsuccessful for the late president Reagan, and it
has never produced results when dealing with genocidal
dictatorships. As long as Canada is willing to demonstrate that we
are prepared to continue trade relations despite Khartoum's
complicity in genocide in several areas of Sudan, your message of
concern for Sudan's victims will not be taken seriously by
Your government's intervention in this case also casts serious
doubts about your commitment to human rights and corporate social
responsibility for Canadian companies operating abroad generally. It
has also led many to question whether Canada's own economic
interests arelike so many other countries with oil interests in
Sudanpreventing us from calling to justice a government deeply
complicit with widespread ethnic cleansing and blatant human rights
I would greatly appreciate your comments on this case in a form that
may be shared with others concerned.
cc: Members of Parliament and Senators
Home Books Photo Gallery About David Survey Results Useful
Links Submit Feedback
So what does this have to do with ESA or spirituality? Maybe nothing
other than it draws attention to those who feel above the fray--that
we are all connected in ways much closer than even our outer senses
imagined. It surely is a time to think of others, our brothers and
sisters in the world, who are struggling as we go about the business
of our day, including our trying to find gasoline at its lowest
price! Yet, seeing how all of us Souls are challenged to make the
decisions of higher consciousness through the adversities of life
that affects and surrounds us all.
P.S. to S.P.H., sorry for all the confrontation. It seems that we
all need to work on understanding each other better and demonstrate
more tolerance for our thoughts and ideas! Be well!