December 11, 2008

30 new companies have been added to the “Dirty List” published today by the Burma Campaign UK. A total of 170 companies feature on the new list.  The ‘Dirty List’ exposes companies that are directly or indirectly helping to finance Burma’s brutal military dictatorship.

For a copy of the Dirty List click here:http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/index.php/burma/dirty-and-clean-list/dirty-list/contact-details

“This list proves that the current sanctions are not working. More companies than ever are investing in Burma in the oil, gas and dams sectors. New targeted sanctions against the regime must now be implemented if the international community is serious about cutting the regime’s financial lifeline” said Johnny Chatterton, Campaigns Officer at the Burma Campaign UK. “To those that claim investment aids the people of Burma, the evidence shows the opposite is true. As investment has increased, the human rights situation has deteriorated.”

The human rights situation in Burma has deteriorated in Burma in the past year as the number of political prisoners has doubled to 2,100 and the regime continues to conduct military offensives against ethnic minorities.

The current sanctions program fails to stop companies that invest in Burma from using financial, insurance and legal services from inside the European Union. The Burma Campaign UK is calling for a rolling series of targeted sanctions, including banning all investment, sanctions on banking and financial transactions, and a ban of insurance companies providing cover for Burma. The current EU sanctions program is outlined in the Notes to Editors, below.

Major companies named and shamed on the list include: Toyota, Qantas, TOTAL Oil, Orient Express, Kuoni, TUI, Schlumberger, BBC Worldwide, Lonely Planet Daewoo, China National Offshore Oil Corp, and Hutchison Whampoa, owner of 3 Mobile.

In the past year many companies have pulled out of Burma including Cotton Traders, XL, Trailblazer Guides, Jet Gold Corp, CHC and Aquatic. Since the Dirty List was first published six years ago over 100 companies have withdrawn from Burma including PwC, Rolls Royce, DHL, Swiss Re and Willis.

The Burmese regime spends half its budget on the military and just 1.4% of GDP on health and education, less than half that spent by the next poorest country in Asia. Burma is the only country in Asia whose defence budget is greater than that of health and education combined. As a consequence Burma has the 4th highest child mortality rate in the world.

The new companies added to the list are the result of new information and an influx of new investment in Burma’s gas and hydroelectricity sector.
– 34 companies on the list are in the oil & gas sector.
– 28 companies on the list are in the hydroelectricity sector
– 57 companies on the list are in the tourism sector – either operating tours to Burma or promoting tourism through guides.

For more information and a copy of the Dirty List, contact Johnny Chatterton, Campaigns Officer, on +44 (0) 20 7324 4710 or emailjohnny.chatterton@burmacampaign.org.uk
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NOTE TO EDITORS: THE CURRENT SITUATION IN BURMA
Burma is ruled by one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world. In October democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi reached a total of 13 years under house arrest. The number of political prisoners has doubled in the past year, today over 2,300 prisoners languish in jail, many subjected to horrific torture. Rape is used as a weapon of war against ethnic minorities.

Current EU measures against Burma include:
– An arms embargo
– A ban on non-humanitarian aid
– An end to GSP trade privileges
– A visa ban for senior regime officials and their families
– A freeze of assets held in Europe by people on the visa ban list
– A limited investment ban
– A ban on imports of, and investment in timber, gems and metals

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Subscribe to the Dirty List
The Dirty List is now available as a paid subscriber service. As a subscriber you will receive: advance copies of each ‘Dirty List’, free checks on any company to establish known details of any links to Burma (up to 20 per year), free background checks to provide extra information on companies on the list, immediate notification of any changes to the ‘Dirty List’ during the course of the year, emailed updates of significant events relating to companies on the list, advance notice of new or planned campaigns against companies on the list. For more details contact johnny.chatterton@burmacampaign.org.uk +44 20 7324 4714


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