September 20, 1998

Swedish mobile telephone company Ericsson, today announced that it is suspending all business links with Burma forthwith. This decision follows protests by democracy campaigners at recent Celine Dion concerts in the US, which were sponsored by Ericsson. The company had also previously lost a multi-million dollar contract with the City of San Francisco, partly due to the City’s Burma sanctions legislation.
In ending its business in Burma, Ericsson joins other western companies such as Texaco, Levi Strauss, the Burton Group, BHS and Heineken, all of whom have already pulled out of the country.
John Jackson, a Director of Burma Action Group says: “This is very good news. Pro-democracy activists in the US have shown that a company cannot expect to maintain a decent public image if it works in Burma under the present appalling military dictatorship. Ericsson have learned their lesson. The pressure will now be stepped up on the few companies which still do business in Burma, such as Total Oil and UK company Premier Oil”.
Ericsson’s decision comes in a week in which three more foreign journalists have been detained in Burma.

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