Thursday, May 01, 2008

Darfur's Other Culprits

OXFORD, ENGLAND - As the world expresses outrage over China's support for Sudan, we are turning a blind eye to other enablers of that nation's genocide.

China is a major financial supporter of the Sudanese government, which is massacring its own citizens in Darfur. As a result, human rights activists are using the 2008 Beijing Olympics to draw attention to China's complicity in the ongoing slaughter, as well as to the government's brutal crackdown on protesters in Tibet.

But while the Olympic torch relay has been dogged by demonstrations, other unseemly ties between the Sudanese government and the sporting world are being overlooked. In Formula One auto racing, the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix went off without a hitch March 23, despite the fact that the race's corporate sponsor is one of the Sudanese government's biggest backers.

Petronas, Malaysia's state-owned oil and gas company, has poured an estimated $1.5 billion into Sudan's petroleum sector, providing cash the Sudanese government can then use to finance its weapons purchases.

And in soccer, India's 10-team I-League has been holding its matches protest-free, even though the league's sponsor, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), has also channeled about $1.5 billion to Sudan.

Petronas, ONGC, and two Beijing-based companies, China National Petroleum (CNPC) and Sinopec, form a quartet known as "the Big 4" because of their dominant position in the Sudanese oil industry. The Big 4 serve up the cash that is a crucial ingredient in the genocidal formula of Sudan's Bashir regime. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>

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