Image: Aung San Suu Kyi, TIME 100
"Over 200 insurance companies have stated they do not provide (re)insurance services to companies operating in Burma. They have set an example ..."
By Richard Power
Some of us have not forgotten the monks that were slaughtered and dumped into irrigation ditches after they rose up to march against the Thugocracy.
Some of us have not forgotten the democracy activists who were arrested for burying the dead in the aftermath of Typhoon Nargis.
Some of us have not forgotten Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who still lives under house arrest.
The Burma Campaign has issued an important study, "Insuring Repression: Exposing how the insurance industry supports Burma’s dictators."
Please look into it and ask yourself what you can do.
Here are some excerpts with a link to the full report:
Foreign trade and investment doesn’t contribute to the social and economic welfare of the people of Burma. Instead profits from such trade and investment have helped the regime to dramatically expand Burma's armed forces and enriched a narrow elite closely connected to senior military personnel. Nearly half the government budget is spent on the military while only 1.4% of GDP is spent on health and education, less than half that spent by the next poorest country in Asia. Burma's people meanwhile have grown ever poorer. Having witnessed this, Burma’s democracy movement, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, asked foreign companies to stay away. Our campaign against insurance companies is part of a carefully targeted policy designed by Burma’s democracy movement to put economic pressure on the regime and force them into genuine negotiations with the Burmese democracy movement.
We are encouraged that over two hundred insurance companies have stated they do not provide (re)insurance services to companies operating in Burma. They have set an example to the rest of the industry. We urge all companies that haven’t done so already to immediately stop providing insurance services to companies in Burma.
* The European Union should impose targeted financial sanctions, including a ban on the provision of insurance services from member countries.
* Governments should impose sanctions banning the provision of insurance services to companies operating in Burma from companies based in their territories.
* All insurance, reinsurance and insurance brokerage companies should immediately stop providing insurance services to companies in Burma.
* Insurance associations worldwide should make their members aware of the human rights concerns and reputational risk associated with providing insurance services to companies operating in Burma.
* Investors and shareholders should examine the human rights abuses committed by the Burmese regime and urge their company to implement a ban on the provision of insurance services to companies operating in Burma. "Insuring Repression
Exposing how the insurance industry supports Burma’s dictators," the Burma Campaign, 7-29-08
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Burma, Insurance Industry, Human Rights