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Burma

Just received this from Avaaz:

Dear friends,

Burma is far from the headlines – but we’ve found a real pressure point, the insurers who prop up the junta’s economic interests. Read the email and take action now!

(Meanwhile a new US president is about to be elected — watch out for our post-election campaign…)

A year after their crackdown, Burma’s military dictators remain entrenched, propped up by dealings with Western companies. But the Burmese democracy movement has found a powerful pressure point — many of the Generals’ West-linked business ventures depend on one insurer: Lloyd’s of London.[1]

Lloyd’s is the world’s oldest, most respected insurer, and cares a great deal about its global reputation — by pointing out Lloyd’s blameworthiness as key insurance deals come up for renewal, we can shift their cost-benefit calculations on support to the Burmese regime.

If enough of us email and call key decision-makers at Lloyd’s this week, we could shame them into pulling out of this dirty trade, undermining the hardliners and creating pressure for human rights and the release of political prisoners like democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Follow the link below to lend a hand to the Burmese people:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/shame_lloyds_on_burma

The Burmese people’s struggle is long and tough. But as in South Africa, international pressure on the regime’s exploitative ventures could tip the balance. Because it’s hard or impossible for them to continue without insurance, this is an effective and wide-reaching approach for citizens everywhere to have a real impact. Burma’s democracy movement decided on this strategy because the benefit of these ventures flows overwhelmingly to the generals, while the Burmese people have grown ever poorer.

Lloyd’s of London is the umbrella and overseer for hundreds of specialist insurance syndicates, and it can stop their dirty trade if it so chooses. Already many big global insurers have stopped insuring junta-linked businesses – after Lloyd’s, the generals will start to run out of options. We’ll ramp up the pressure by alerting the media to our campaign, specialist insurance publications included. Even the British government has begun to ask Lloyd’s to cease its business with the Burmese military junta.[2]

We can win this campaign, so let’s flood Lloyd’s with emails and phone calls all this week — on the campaign page we provide key numbers, email addresses and suggestions for what to say — just follow the link below now to take action:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/shame_lloyds_on_burma

If we win, the regime will be thrown onto the back foot, Burma’s people will be immensely heartened, and the UN Secretary-General will have a greater chance of securing the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other prisoners this December.[3] Together, our individual small acts are becoming irresistible. We can’t forget Burma.

With hope and determination,

Paul, Alice, Iain, Graziela, Ricken, Pascal, Paula, Brett, Veronique, Milena — the entire Avaaz team

For updates on Avaaz campaigns: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/report_back_2/
You can also view reports on our campaigns in support of the Burmese democracy movement and the $2 million of aid Avaaz members provided in the wake of Cyclone Nargis.

Sources:

1. The Observer: “The baron who holds Burma’s purse strings”, 2 November 2008
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/nov/02/oil-total-burma-lloyds-levene1

Reinsurance Magazine: Big insurers including Marsh, Swiss Re, AON pull out: http://www.reinsurancemagazine.com/public/showPage.html?page=787739

Arab Insurance Group and XL also pull out:
http://www.mizzima.com/news/world/962-campaigners-hail-arigs-decision-to-pull-out-of-burma.html

2. “Foreign Office warns Lloyd’s over Burma”:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/sep/28/insurance.foreignpolicy

3. As Ban Ki-Moon prepares to visit, Asia-Europe summit in Beijing calls for release of political prisoners:
http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/2008/10/release-aung-sa.html

———————————

ABOUT AVAAZ
Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means “voice” in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Sydney and Geneva.

Click here to learn more about our largest campaigns.

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook and Myspace and Bebo pages!

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About Dave Faulkner

I'm a British Methodist minister, married with two children. I blog from a moderate evangelical-missional-charismatic perspective, with an interest in the 'missional' approach. My interests include Web 2.0, digital photography, contemporary music and watching football (Tottenham Hotspur) and cricket.

Posted on November 3, 2008, in Current Affairs and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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