Forced labour, forced relocation, beatings, murder, rape....these are just some of the violations companies who trade with or invest in Burma risk supporting. When Levi Strauss pulled out of Burma in 1992, the company made the following statement:
"It is not possible to do business in Burma without supporting the military regime and its pervasive human rights abuses."
While international investment may help to bring positive change in some countries, this is not the case in Burma. Foreign investment and trade in Burma helps perpetuate the cruelty of a repressive unelected junta.
Unfortunately, many Canadian companies continue to do business in Burma. In so doing, these countries are acting against the express wishes of Nobel Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Burma's democratically elected, National League for Democracy (NLD), which won 82% of the vote in the country's 1990 elections.
Write letters to the companies below condemning their business with Burma's military regime. Send a copy to CFOB & your Member of Parliament!
The companies below are directly violating the appeals of Aung San Suu Kyi and her democratically elected National League for Democracy -- which won 82% of the vote in the 1990 elections -- by doing business with Burma's military dictatorship, the SPDC (see sidebar) . Under SPDC rule, Burma exports more heroin and opium than all other sources combined.
Gross violations of human rights continue including summary execution and arbitrary imprisonment, torture and rape. SPDC's use of forced labour, which is extensively documented in the 1998 Report by the International Labour organization (ILO), is so pervasive that it comprises 3% of Burma's Gross Domestic Product.
In November 2000, the ILO implemented an unprecedented resolution tantamount to a call for sanctions. The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) stated that it is impossible to do business in Burma without supporting the military's widespread use of forced labour.
(last updated Sept. 2, 2005)
Retailers and Imports
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) released a report in January 2005, outlining how business and foreign investment in Burma strengthens the country's brutal military regime.
The report specifically mentions Canadian investments, such as Ivanhoe Mines, which is earning the military regime revenue each year which is spent on maintaing Burma's massive armed forces. The report asserts that economic sanctions can help bring democracy to Burma.
Please Visit: ICFTU Burma Campaign for more information
Burma's military regime was called the Burmese Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) in 1962 until 1988.
In 1988, when the military staged a coup on September 18, they renamed it the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC).
In 1997, when the military was allowed into Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), they made a public relations move and changed their name to the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).