#Stop GenocideGems from funding the Myanmar Military

#GenocideGems

You may have heard of #BloodDiamonds, but how much do you know about #GenocideGems? Myanmar produces more than 90% of the world’s rubies and jade, and these stones command the highest prices on the international market. Because it dominates Burma’s gemstone industry, the Myanmar military profits when high-end jewelry retailers – like Harry Winston (owned by Swatch) – buy Burmese gems for their collections.

Today, let’s take four actions to hold Harry Winston – and its owner Swatch – to account. They need to stop profiting from the sale of #GenocideGems.

Action #1: Share our petition to Harry Winston

Since you’ve already signed our petition to Harry Winston, please share the petition with your friends and family. Use this link.

Action #2: Post on the social media of Harry Winston and Swatch

In addition to signing the petition, follow up by posting messages on the companies’ social media accounts.

Copy the message below and adapt it as you wish. Add it as a comment on posts showcasing jewelry or watches on the Facebook and Instagram pages of Harry Winston and Swatch.

I refuse to buy your brands while Harry Winston (owned by Swatch) buys #GenocideGems from Myanmar that profit the Burmese military and its atrocities against the peoples of Myanmar.

Read the truth about Harry Winston here. https://bit.ly/HarryWinston_NoGenocideGems

Use the links below to the jeweler’s social media.

Don’t neglect to post similar comments on the companies’ LinkedIn page. Join us in telling the companies on their job postings why you would never work for a company that supports the Myanmar military.

Action #3: Make an appointment to protest at your local Harry Winston store

In addition to signing the petition, would you follow up by visiting one of Harry Winston’s stores?

Click on this link to make an appointment at one of Harry Winston’s swanky stores. If you can turn up for the appointment, ask to see the jewelry with rubies. Then explain to the store manager why you would never buy from Harry Winston as long as it buys gems that profit the Myanmar military.

Breaking! One of our awesome activists in the UK just visited Harry Winston’s London store. Let’s make sure Harry Winston hears from us at every store worldwide!

Action #4: Attend our virtual comedy night. 

On September 16 at 8:00 pm, some of the funniest people on the planet will come together to support our work on behalf of the Burmese people. You can learn more about the event here and you can buy your tickets here.  This is a virtual event.

We can and must build our pressure on Myanmar’s military. Your actions have moved your governments to pass tough sanctions and successfully pressed companies, such as Western Union, online jeweler Angara, and Kirin brewery, to end their business partnerships with the Burmese military. We can stop the sale of #GenocideGems.

Your gifts will help us keep building the campaigns and tools that we need to take effective action together. Please click here to make a gift of $30, $60, $120, $250, or more. Learn more about our other actions for the Rohingya here.

Harry Winston item featuring Burmese gems

For Further Reading:

When will Secretary Blinken recognize the genocide in Myanmar?

Antony Blinken

Let’s hold the Myanmar military accountable.

Last week, we joined over 90 organizations calling on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to publicly determine that Myanmar has committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya people. This is a crucial initiative to hold the Myanmar military accountable for its atrocities throughout the country.

Lead sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin and Rep. Gregory Meeks, the new Burma bill to be introduced shortly in Congress will, not only hold accountable the Myanmar military for its mass atrocities, but also to provide much needed humanitarian assistance directly to the Myanmar people. Now, let’s make the final push to get this bill introduced!

Even if you’ve sent a message before, click here today to urge your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the new Burma bill.

This Wednesday, we will mark the fourth anniversary of the Myanmar military’s worst crackdown on the Rohingya, a campaign that killed thousands and forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh. It’s long past time for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to declare that the Rohingya are genocide victims.

Such a designation by the U.S. government will underpin the case for further US sanctions on the Myanmar military junta and assistance to Burmese civil society organizations. It would also improve the prospect for growing US recognition of the democratic and multi-ethnic National Unity Government of Myanmar.

Click here to join the thousands signing our petition to Secretary Blinken calling on him to recognize the Myanmar military’s genocide of the Rohingya.

We need your help to keep up our important work. Learn more about how you can help us here.

We need your help

Six short months ago, we witnessed the Myanmar military depose the civilian government in a coup d’etat. Using the same tactics that it used against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities, the Burmese army has brutally cracked down on the new, young, and multi-ethnic Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).

In response, we immediately swung into action. Just hours after the military coup, we launched petitions to the Biden Administration and Congress to impose tough and targeted sanctions on the military and support the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). We threw everything we had into building on our campaigns to end the Myanmar military’s genocide of the Rohingya and launch our broader Campaign for a New Myanmar.Click here to make a gift. Your support will us raise together the $50,000 we need to sustain our crucial advocacy work through year-end.
When the Myanmar people most needed help, you stepped up. Your collective voices have had a significant impact.

  • You put effective pressure on the White House. Since the coup, the U.S. Administration has been the leader worldwide in imposing further tough and targeted sanctions on the military and its business interests.
  • Congress heeds your voice. Thanks to thousands of your emails, phone calls, and meetings, Congress will soon introduce a comprehensive new “Burma bill” supporting the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) and further holding the military to account.
  • Your campaign of “citizen sanctions” forced companies to end partnerships with the Myanmar military. You successfully pressed Cartier, Western Union, and Kirin to end their business partnerships with the Myanmar military.Because of your pressure, oil giants Chevron and Total have suspended a portion of their payments to the military-controlled Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise.

This fall, let’s dig deep to support our work to hold the Myanmar military to account.
Your gift is crucial this fall as we further build our grassroots movement to end the atrocities and the repression of the Burmese army. Your support will fund our campaigns to:

  • lobby governments worldwide to impose sanctions on Burma’s generals and their business empire;
  • put consumer, shareholder, and media pressure on corporations – such as Facebook, Cloudflare, and Chevron – to end their business partnerships with Burma’s army;
  • organize students and faculty to press their campus to step up and join the movement to end genocide in Burma and throughout the world;
  • promote “end genocide” bills in cities and states globally.

Please make a gift of $30, $60, or $120 to help sustain and expand our vital work.

Cut off the Myanmar military’s gem money

Myanmar produces more than 90% of the world’s rubies and jade, and these stones command the highest prices on the international market. Because it dominates Burma’s gemstone industry, the Myanmar military profits when high-end jewelry retailers – like Harry Winston (owned by Swatch) – buy Burmese gems for their collections.

Today, let’s take three actions to hold Harry Winston – and its owner Swatch – to account,.

Action #1: Share our petition to Harry Winston

Since you’ve already signed our petition to Harry Winston, please share the petition with your friends and family. Use this short link: https://bit.ly/HarryWinston_NoGenocideGems

Action #2: Post on the social media of Harry Winston and Swatch

In addition to signing the petition, follow up by posting messages on the companies’ social media accounts.

Copy the message below and adapt it as you wish. Add it as a comment on posts showcasing jewelry or watches on the Facebook and Instagram pages of Harry Winston and Swatch.

I refuse to buy your brands while Harry Winston (owned by Swatch) buys #GenocideGems from Myanmar that profit the Burmese military and its atrocities against the peoples of Myanmar.

Read the truth about Harry Winston here. https://bit.ly/HarryWinston_NoGenocideGems

Use the links below to the jeweler’s social media.

Harry Winston’s Facebook

Harry Winston’s Instagram

Swatch’s Facebook

Swatch’s Instagram

Don’t neglect to post similar comments on the companies’ LinkedIn page. Join us in telling the companies on their job postings why you would never work for a company that supports the Myanmar military.

Harry Winston’s LinkedIn

Swatch’s LinkedIn

Action #3: Make an appointment to protest at your local Harry Winston store

In addition to signing the petition, would you follow up by visiting one of Harry Winston’s stores?

Click on this link to make an appointment at one of Harry Winston’s swanky stores. If you can turn up for the appointment, ask to see the jewelry with rubies. Then explain to the store manager why you would never buy from Harry Winston as long as it buys gems that profit the Myanmar military.

We can and must build our pressure on Myanmar’s military. Your actions have moved your governments to pass tough sanctions and successfully pressed companies, such as Western Union, online jeweler Angara, and Kirin brewery, to end their business partnerships with the Burmese military.

Together, we can build our movement to end the Myanmar military’s corrupt and brutal rule.

Tell Secretary Blinken to recognize the genocide in Myanmar

Let’s hold the Myanmar military accountable.

Last week, we joined over 90 organizations calling on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to publicly determine that Myanmar has committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya people. This is a crucial initiative to hold the Myanmar military accountable for its atrocities throughout the country.

Lead sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin and Rep. Gregory Meeks, the new Burma bill to be introduced shortly in Congress will, not only hold accountable the Myanmar military for its mass atrocities but also to provide much-needed humanitarian assistance directly to the Myanmar people. Now, let’s make the final push to get this bill introduced!

Even if you’ve sent a message before, click here today to urge your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the new Burma bill.

Later this month, we will mark the fourth anniversary of the Myanmar military’s worst crackdown on the Rohingya, a campaign that killed thousands and forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh. It’s long past time for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to declare that the Rohingya are genocide victims.

Such a designation by the U.S. government will underpin the case for further US sanctions on the Myanmar military junta and assistance to Burmese civil society organizations. It would also improve the prospect for growing US recognition of the democratic and multi-ethnic National Unity Government of Myanmar.

Click here to join the thousands signing our petition to Secretary Blinken calling on him to recognize the Myanmar military’s genocide of the Rohingya.

Just one email or phone call from a constituent can make a difference. Your Members of Congress need to know that you want Congress to act. The people of Myanmar can’t wait any longer.

Let’s build our movement for Myanmar

we can help Myanmar

If we work together, we can help the people of Myanmar

Just hours after the military coup in Myanmar, we stepped up and organized petitions to President Biden. Next week, we are helping to organize lobby days in Washington, DC, for the introduction of the new Burma Bills. We never let up in supporting Myanmar’s Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) in its struggle against the military junta.

Please give to build our campaigns to support Myanmar’s Civil Disobedience Movement.
With Myanmar at this crossroads, the Meah Family Foundation and the Louis Kraar Memorial Fund have pledged $20,000 to scale up our successful campaigns. They are challenging you to match or exceed their $20,000 gift. You’ve already stepped up with gifts of over $17,000. Would you help us raise the $3,000 we need to hit our match of $20,000 by the end of this month?

We are both humbled and inspired by how you have already built our movement. Together, we’ve effectively lobbied our governments to sanction Myanmar’s military and its business empire. We’ve also put effective pressure on companies – such as Western Union, online jeweler Angara, and beer giant Kirin – to stop their flow of money to Burma’s army. Together, we have made it crystal clear: there can be no “business as usual” with Myanmar’s military dictators.

Now, more than ever, we must dig deep to support our work to hold the Myanmar military to account.

Your gift will build our grassroots movement to end the atrocities and the repression of the Burmese army. Your support will fund our campaigns to:

  • lobby governments worldwide to impose sanctions on Burma’s generals and their business empire;
  • put consumer, shareholder, and media pressure on corporations – such as Facebook, Cloudflare, and Chevron – to end their business partnerships with Burma’s army;
  • organize students and faculty to press their campus to step up and join the movement to end genocide in Burma and throughout the world;
  • promote “end genocide” bills in cities and states globally.

Please make a gift of $30, $60, or $120 to help sustain and expand our vital work.

Military is Letting Covid Ravage Myanmar

covid

The third – and thus far most serious – wave of Covid is hitting Myanmar hard. Hospitals have reached maximum capacity. At military hospitals, staff are turning away civilians under orders to limit treatment to military personnel and their relatives. As Progressive Voice reports:

“Ultimately, the root cause of all these human rights and humanitarian catastrophes is the military junta’s insatiable lust for power at all costs, including letting the people of Myanmar perish from COVID-19 as collateral damage to their ends. This is another impasse which requires the international community’s emergency response.”

Again and again, the military junta has proved itself to be illegitimate, brutal, corrupt, and incompetent. We need the international communuty to not only to hold accountable the Myanmar military, but also to provide humanitarian assistance directly to the Myanmar people. It is also time for the world to recognize instead the National Unity Government of Myanmar.

Thank you for signing our petition to President Biden urging that the US recognize the National Unity Government of Myanmar. Would you share the petition with your friends and family?

To share the petition urging the US to recognize the NUG, you can simply copy and paste the following message. You can also personalise the message as you wish. Email, text, and post this message on your social media.

Please join me in signing this petition urging that President Biden recognize the civilian National Unity Goverment of Myanmar. It’s vital that we support democracy and human rights in Myanmar following the military coup. Just click this link to sign: https://bit.ly/usa4nug

The NUG is made up of elected representatives, ethnic minority leaders, and prominent members of civil society. It was created to formalize and continue to fight for the profound changes that are happening in Myanmar. The NUG has vowed to abolish the 1982 citizenship law that has been the basis for excluding the Rohingya. It has also promised to abolish the 2008 constitution which grants the military vast powers.

To succeed, the NUG, however, needs recognition and access to the resources. This is why recognition from the U.S. government is so crucial to its success. For the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) in Myanmar to be successful, the world must recognize the NUG as the legitimate representative of the Myanmar people.

So please share our petition widely. Let’s build the movement of people worldwide taking action to support democracy and human rights in Myanmar. Thank you so much,

ps. Your gifts will help us keep building the campaigns and tools that we need to take effective action together. Please click here to make a gift of $30, $60, $120, $250, or more.

For Further Reading:

Why the Biden administration should recognize Myanmar’s shadow government,”by Michael Haack and SiuSue Mark, Washington Post, 15 July 2021

National Unity Government– official website (English)

Why the National Unity Government’s Statement on Myanmar’s Rohingya Is Important,” by Angshuman Choudhury, The Diplomat, 9 June 2021

Follow the up-to-the-minute news on Twitter using these hashags: #CivilDisobedienceMovement #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #JusticeForMyanmar

Subscribe to Frontier Myanmar’s excellent daily coverage from inside the country.

Interfaith Iftar Against Business as Usual

iftar

This is our first Iftar event and we’d love you to join us.

Please join us for prayers and a panel discussion with Imam Catovic from GreenFaith, Alan Senauke from Engaged Buddhists, Jan Jan Maran from STAND and Simon Billenness from the International Campaign for the Rohingya.

This is an online event so you can join us from anywhere. Click here to join us.

If you would like to help us continue our work to help the Rohingya, please consider making a donation by going here. You can learn more about our emergency fund here.

This Ramadan, let’s support the Rohingya

ramadan

This Ramadan, we ask that you turn your support into a gift that helps amplify the voices of the Rohingya worldwide.

We’re proud that the board, staff, and supporters of the International Campaign for the Rohingya include people of all faiths. We also have a deep appreciation for the strong support of the Rohingya among Muslim communities worldwide. This Ramadan, we hope you will help us continue our important work.

Two donors, the Meah Family Foundation and the Louis Kraar Memorial Fund, have generously given to scale up our successful work. They are asking you to match or exceed their $20,000 gift.

This Emergency Challenge Fund For a New Myanmar will build up our successful campaigns to hold the Myanmar military accountable for its genocide against the Rohingya and its other atrocities.

The International Campaign for the Rohingya is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and its EIN is 81-4234076. Your gift is tax-deductible as a charitable contribution.  To donate, you can click here.

If you are available on April 28 at 7:00 pm EDT, we are holding our first Iftar event. You can learn more about that here.

You may also mail a check to:

International Campaign for the Rohingya
PO Box 48698
Washington, DC 20002-0698

Send us a PayPal payment to: info@rohingyacampaign.org

Tell Apparel Brands to Support the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) in Myanmar

For Immediate Release: 11 March 2021

Apparel Brands Must Act to End Intimidation of Workers Engaged in the CDM in Myanmar

Today, 40 human and labor rights organizations published an open letter calling on the apparel brands sourcing from Myanmar to act to end the intimidation of workers engaged in peaceful pro-democracy protests as part of the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).

Apparel workers are the backbone of the CDM in Myanmar
The Myanmar Times

On February 1st, the military executed a coup against the elected civilian government. In response, people of all walks of life in Myanmar have risen up in the new Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). Garment workers have played a central role in the CDM’s recent pro-democracy protests and, on March 8th, 2021, they launched a general strike.

However, workers who participate in or show support for CDM protests are being intimidated, threatened and, in some cases, laid off by factory management. Intimidation includes workplace discrimination, detracting salary from workers who take holiday leave to participate in the protests, and threats of mass dismissals. This compounds a deteriorating situation where the military is shooting protesters and raiding worker dormitories at night in search of union leaders.

In a 14 February letter, the Industrial Workers Federation Myanmar made four demands to international brands with Myanmar suppliers, including a public condemnation of the military coup and an effort to ensure that no worker or union leaders should be punished for going on strike or joining the demonstrations. Another letter, dated 18 February, asks brands to exercise due diligence to ensure that their suppliers respect their workers’ right to freedom of association, right to join trade union activities, and other fundamental human and labor rights.

“We are being shot in the streets during the day. Our homes are being raided at night. We have made the global apparel brands huge profits with our bare hands over the years, the very least they should do right now is ensure we are not fired simply for wishing not to live under a military dictatorship. Amidst such an undisputed human rights travesty, their silence thus far is appalling,” stated Ma Moe Sandar Myint, Chairwoman of the Federation of General Workers of Myanmar (FGWM).

“We call on all international brands sourcing from Myanmar factories to both respect and comply with the call by the Industrial Workers Federation Myanmar and Federation of Garment Workers Myanmar,” stated Simon Billenness, Executive Director of the International Campaign for the Rohingya.

High-profile global brands such as Adidas, Lidl, and Zara (Inditex) produce apparel in Myanmar factories, but none have issued a public statement explicitly demanding that no workers producing their goods be dismissed for participation in the pro-democracy demonstrations. A recent investigation by Frontier, Danwatch, and Myanmar Now found evidence of discrimination against labor leaders and violations of basic labor standards at garment factories across Yangon supplying major apparel brands.

In their open letter, the 40 labor and human rights organizations state:

“We further call on these brands to exhibit rigorous due diligence in instructing the owners and management of the factories, from which they source, to comply fully with the brands’ standards for the rights of workers who make their apparel. These instructions must include a prohibition of any intimidation by management of workers who miss work due to participation in the civil disobedience campaign. Such instruction must be accompanied by a warning that the brands will terminate their contracts with factories that violate this requirement. We will be closely monitoring the situation in Myanmar. We reserve our right to take all appropriate action in support of workers as they assert their rights both as workers and as citizens of Myanmar.”

For more information contact:

Simon Billenness

Executive Director, International Campaign for the Rohingya

Campaign Director, No Business With Genocide

Mobile (US): 617-596-6158

Twitter: @Rohingya_ICR

simon.billenness@rohingyacampaign.org

www.rohingyacampaign.org