Rights Groups Express “Grave Concern” Regarding U.S. Policy on Investment in Burma

Rights Groups Express “Grave Concern” REgarding U.S. Policy on Investment in Burma

(Washington, D.C.) — In response to the lifting of restrictions on U.S. investment in Burma, five human rights groups issued the following statement: “We express grave concern regarding the U.S. government’s decision to allow investments into businesses connected to the Burmese regime that are corrupt and help to fuel human rights violations. As it stands now, investment in many of the most attractive sectors of the Burmese economy is likely to worsen the human rights situation while directly benefitting individuals and entities responsible for rights abuses, who contribute to corruption, or are otherwise acting to obstruct political reform. “The U.S. government has acknowledged that there are many unacceptable business partners in Burma. However, the government has failed in its responsibility to clarify who these actors are, or to prohibit U.S. companies from conducting business with these problematic entities. The Obama administration’s decision-making process has lurched forward without careful thought, strategy or transparency. What little progress has been accomplished in Burma—as well as the prospects for lasting peace, human rights and democracy—is being undermined by failures in U.S. decision-making.” Groups signing on to the statement include Freedom House, Physicians for Human Rights, U.S. Campaign for Burma and United to End Genocide. The rights groups have sent various appeals for a cautious approach to the Obama administration, but these calls have been ignored.

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The Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network are now United to End Genocide. The organization remains committed to its work to end the crisis in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan as well as to end violence in other areas of mass atrocities. The merger creates the world's largest anti-genocide activist organization, with a membership base of hundreds of thousands of committed activists, an unparalleled nationwide student movement, more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights partner organizations, and a network of institutional investors collectively representing more than $3 trillion in assets under management.
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