Showing posts with label Burma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Burma. Show all posts

Always put Human Rights before Profits

                   The deeds done in good faith are never for approvals, gratitude, shallow and superficial vanity, vile self-glorification, thank-you's or recognition of any form whatsoever, but rather as a powerful means to impregnate what is good via duty and service. And to invoke our Higher collective Natures and our lost sense of Humanity, lost within our Hearts. It is a tireless effort meant solely to rescue, revive and rebirth  our true inner Natures and its many forgotten Truths that stand to be justified, redeemed and restored. 

       As long as people are persecuted for their political beliefs - like Aung San Suu Kyi, the members of Pussy Riot, and so many others - we know what we must do. We must act. 

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In July 2012, Secretary of State Clinton announced the suspension of some long-standing economic sanctions on Myanmar (Burma). This decision enables U.S. businesses to invest and enter into new business arrangements in the country for the first time in 20 years. In this context, Amnesty International USA would like to emphasize the responsibility of business enterprises, wherever they operate, to respect human rights.

Amnesty International USA has drawn together guidance (click to download full PDF document), based on international standards and best practices, to highlight some of the key measures that businesses must take to comply with their responsibility to respect human rights. These international standards include the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the so-called "Ruggie Principles"), adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2011. This guidance is a starting place, not the final word, for businesses to comply with their responsibilities.

This short paper discusses the current situation in Myanmar, including findings of Amnesty researchers who visited Myanmar in May 2012; the first formal human rights field assessment conducted by Amnesty International inside the country in nearly a decade.

We have also attached some recommendations for how the U.S. government can better ensure corporate human rights accountability, above and beyond enforcing existing laws, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the relevant transparency rules adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The U.S. government should put in place and enforce an adequate regulatory framework to ensure U.S. business enterprises respect human rights wherever in the world they operate.

Myanmar (Burma) is Open for Business. 
But Human Rights Must come before Profits.

           In July the Obama administration lifted sanctions on the country, where several positive reforms were initiated late last year after decades of appalling human rights abuses. Now companies in the US Chamber of Commerce are moving in to capture a potentially lucrative new market. 

           But human rights must come before profits. Burmese freedom fighter and Nobel Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has raised the caution flag for corporations doing business in Myanmar -- despite recent reforms, the country remains a hard place to do business ethically. Political prisoners, forced labor, and lack of accountability for past and ongoing human rights violations are just a few of the human rights challenges that businesses will encounter. 

Just this week, Amnesty International released a set of recommendations to help businesses wade these murky ethical waters. 

Keep the pressure on big business. Urge President Tom Donohue of the US Chamber of Commerce to make sure US companies take Amnesty’s recommendations seriously, putting human rights first and doing business the right way in Myanmar.

Please add your name to our petition to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – and be another powerful voice demanding human rights in every corner of our world.

           I am sharing with You All the original letter I received. Please join hands with us and lend your voice and support to this cause. 

"Dear Jai Krishna,

As I write this, I'm traveling to Washington, D.C. to see one of my personal heroes, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, accept the Congressional Gold Medal for her decades of work to promote democracy and freedom in Myanmar (Burma). Amnesty activists like you worked tirelessly on Daw Suu's case as she spent years under house arrest under a government with an appalling human rights record.

Daw Suu is now free, and is in the U.S. for the first time in over 20 years. The government of Myanmar is on a path to reform. 

But our fight for human rights in Myanmar isn't over yet. We still need your help.

Tell U.S. corporations that while Myanmar is now open for business, we expect them to put human rights before profits. 

Earlier this year, the U.S. government lifted some of the sanctions that barred U.S. corporations from doing business in Myanmar, after the government of Myanmar took some steps forward on human rights issues. 

Now, with U.S. companies moving in to do business in Myanmar, it’s our job to remind them that they have a responsibility to respect human rights.

Tomorrow, at Amnesty's historic Rights Generation town hall meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, I’m going to call on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to instruct U.S. companies to follow our advice for doing business responsibly in Myanmar. Our recommendations are basic common sense: corporations need to ensure that their operations are not causing or contributing to human rights abuses. 

Please add your name to our petition to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – and be another powerful voice demanding human rights in every corner of our world.

Thanks for everything you do,

Suzanne Nossel
Executive Director
Amnesty International USA

P.S. Watch tomorrow's town hall with Aung San Suu Kyi live on our website, starting at 11:30AM ET at Hear Daw Suu answer questions from Amnesty supporters, and inspire the next generation of human rights activists!

P.P.S. Foreign Policy magazine just posted an article I wrote about Aung San Suu Kyi and prisoners of conscience around the world. I hope you’ll take a look and tell me what you think."

Stay Ever Vigilant and Present in the Truth. 

Never be blinded by greed or  the likes of it. 

             Do not let Myanmar become yet another planned and long awaited military outpost and a mere extension and image of the oppressive regime in China. Do not allow profiteering corporations and multi-national entities to utilize the present regime/military or setup and puppeteer a proxy presence as an effective instrument to control, regulate, oppress and exploit the forgotten people and Life that is Myanmar. Please help revive and reform this Nation in a manner that is respectful, fully transparent and considerate of the people of Myanmar and their pressing needs for Human rights, liberties, freedoms, protection and aid.

Jai Krishna Ponnappan