Sunday, September 30, 2007

Corporate Pressure Yielding Results in Burma

First, some good news regarding Burma. It would appear that some of the pressure on companies who invest in Burma is starting to pay off. This from the Burma Campaign website:

UK Timber firms start to pull out of Burma

30 Sep 2007

The Burma Campaign UK today warmly welcomed announcements by Timbmet and K J Howells and Son that they will no longer sell teak from Burma. Timber exports are a major source of revenue for the regime in Burma.

Both companies have featured on a ‘Dirty List’ of companies directly or indirectly funding the regime in Burma.

In an email to the Burma Campaign, K J Howells stated: “In light of the recent brutal treatment of the Burmese people by the military, we have made the decision to end all ties with suppliers of Burmese products, and will not place any further orders until a democratic government is put in place. I have contacted my primary supplier, who has also announced their withdrawal of ties with Burma, and we are now together looking at alternative sources.”

“We warmly welcome the withdrawal of these companies,” said Mark Farmaner, Acting Director of the Burma Campaign UK. “Companies buying teak from the regime are helping to pay for the bullets being used on the streets of Burma. We call on all timber companies to stop selling Burmese teak.”

Timbmet will phase out imports of Burma teak by the end of the year. K J Howells will make no further purchases of Burmese teak. Both companies have been removed from the ‘Dirty List’.

For more information contact Mark Farmaner on 02073244713.

Good news indeed. Perhaps other timber firms that invest in Burma might like to take this into account. I would strongly recommend emailing other timber merchants who rely on Burmese timber and informing them of the stance some of their competitors have taken. It might just increase the pressure.

It has also emerged that there will be an International Bloggers' Day for Burma on the 4th October. To find out how you can play a part, visit the 'Free Burma!' site here. So far, 463 people have signed up to take part in the action. Get the message out there. Tell as many people as possible about the situation in Burma. The monks need our support and we need to keep the pressure up on our establishment to ensure that they keep the pressure on the military junta.