Slave Labor?

The farmers and fishermen who live in jungle villages along the southern coast of Burma were long overlooked and neglected by their government. And they liked it that way, given the notorious methods of the country's military dictatorship. But their lives changed horribly, they say, after two oil companies, the U.S. giant Unocal and its French partner Total, began exploiting natural-gas deposits offshore. The gas discovery prompted construction of a $1.2 billion pipeline through hundreds of miles of rain forest to an electrical plant in neighboring Thailand. At that point, villagers contend, the government began to view them as another kind...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!