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Burma Out!! The GOOD news.
For Immediate Release
May 4, 1999
Jordan Rhett, 802.860.4668/ 802.238.7282
Richard Hausman, 802.533.7178
Vermont's Burma Bill passes House and Senate:
Administration, Attorney General, Legislators and Human Rights Advocates
take position on economically isolating Burma's ruling generals
Montpelier, VT. May 4, 1999. In an action that supporters are calling
"precedent setting" and "simply the right thing to do" elected officials
have stepped forward to support the economic isolation of Burma's
military-style government. Last week, H-34 passed the House; just yesterday
it passed the Senate. The bill is now on its way to the governors desk,
where it is expected to be signed into law. During hearings, David Rocchio,
assistant to the governor for legal affairs, spoke strongly in support of
Vermont's bill is aimed at helping restore democracy in the Southeast Asian
country of Burma (known by its rulers as Myanmar), and reducing the amount
of Heroin found on Vermont's streets.
Modeled in part after legislation which helped bring down apartheid in
South Africa, the bill requires the state to vote in favor of shareholder
resolutions which oppose companies doing business in Burma. Vermont's three
retirement funds own shares in many of the 50 U.S. companies presently
doing business in Burma. Each year, a handful of these companies face
shareholder proxy resolutions effectively urging them to discontinue their
Actions of this type, which help isolate the military regime, have been
urged by the National League for Democracy. The NLD is the party which
won over 80% of parliamentary seats in 1990 during the last democratic
election. Immediately after the election, the military junta (which still
rules Burma), stepped in and prevented the parliament from convening.
According to reports by the U.N. and various human rights sources, the
military regime is among the most brutal in the world.
"Burma might seem far away, but some of the streets in our country are
filled with its heroin." said Representative Mary Sullivan, a lead sponsor
of the bill. "Burma's people have been crying out for our help in
restoring democracy to their country."
Vermont's law is the first to focus on using shareholder proxy ballets as a
means to discourage companies from doing business in Burma. New York City,
Los Angeles, San Francisco, and nineteen other cities and counties around
the U.S. have passed laws which would similarly isolate Burma. Supporters
of these laws say that they are crucial because the Burmese regime profits
from business enterprises in the country. Burma's leading spokesperson for
democracy, Nobel Peace Laureate, Aug San Suu Kyi., has repeatedly called
for sanctions, saying "please use your democracy to help us restore ours."
Now all we need is for the rest of the US to follow suit, and we have
a checkmate for the best of reasons.
Follow the appreciations of the Shan Democratic Union,
film maker John Pilger, HH the Dalai Lama, Dennis Skinner MP,
Tony Benn MP, parliamentarians, sportspersons, musicians
and numerous others.
Support a REAL war on drugs : Sydney 2000 : Burma Out!
Music Industry Human Rights Association
http://www.mihra.org / policy.office@xxxxxxxxx
US Satellite http://www.212.net
click on roger / then click on news desk
Mihra was founded during UN50 to advance and protect
creators rights in a cultural market monopolised by the
recording / publishing Grand Cartel. Mihra's roots are in
music and anti-racism and was first in line in calling for a
sports boycott of Burma for the Sydney 2000 Olympic
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