September 29, 2008

The Burma Campaign UK today welcomed the news that the British Government has written to Lloyd’s of London expressing their disapproval of the marketplace’s links with the Burmese junta.

The government letter now places Lloyd’s under huge pressure. In 2003 British American Tobacco pulled out of Burma after receiving similar requests from the British Government. Premier Oil also eventually pulled out of Burma in 2002 after coming under pressure from the Foreign Office.

The Burma Campaign UK has been pressuring Lloyd’s to cut its links to the Burmese junta for years, yet Lloyd’s has ignored these calls. In response to the Government’s action Lloyd’s chairman, Lord Levene, was last week forced into action; reportedly writing to all managing agents “urging them to consider” the involvement with Burma’s repressive regime.

Lloyd’s are refusing to disclose the full contents of Levene’s letter. They also refuse to admit the full extent of their involvement in Burma, failing to clarify if they are involved in sectors lucrative to the regime, such as oil, gas and mining.

“This is humiliating for Lloyd’s. For too long the have profited from helping to finance Burma’s brutal dictatorship” said Johnny Chatterton, Campaigns Officer at the Burma Campaign UK. “Lloyd’s are breaking government guidelines and damaging their reputation. If they don’t end their involvement in Burma soon they will be branded by Burma in the same way that Barclays was with Apartheid South Africa and Exxon are with climate change”.

“We warmly welcome the government’s firm stand against Lloyd’s, they should continue their leading role by pushing for targeted EU sanctions banning the provision of insurance services to Burma” continued Chatterton.

Notes for Journalists:
The UK Government does not encourage trade, investment or tourism with Burma. It does not offer any commercial services for companies wanting to do business with Burma, or financial support for trade promotion activities or the organising of trade missions.

For more information contact Johnny Chatterton on 020 7324 4714

 


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