Belgium, Mar 16 2006
The Burmese democrats call on Belgian Banks to disinvest from companies in Birma. They claim these investments offer a substantial moral and financial support to the military regime, notorious for its systematic violations of human rights.
A recent Netwerk Vlaanderen (B) Report revealed the links between the five biggest financial groups in Belgium (KBC, Dexia, Fortis, ING and AXA) and companies with activities in Burma. The conclusions of the report were well covered in the press and lead to talks with the banks about their investment policies. One bank, the KBC, has since then decided to exclude Total from its ethical investment portfolios.
This new campaign ‘Municipalities for Burma’ asks all Belgian municipalities to support the Burmese democrats and to put pressure on their banks to disinvest from Birma.
This campaign is launched by Actions Birmanie, a solidarity committee for Burmese democrats, Réseau Financement Alternatif and Netwerk Vlaanderen, two organisations promoting sustainable investments.
During a press conference in the Brussels City Hall, The Burmese democrat Aung Maw Zin handed over this call to action to Bruno de Lille, member of the Brussels City Council, responsable for international solidarity. During a second press conference in Ottignies, Aung presented the campaign to the mayor of Ottignies. The City of Brussels and the municipality of Ottignies have already declared Aung San Suu Kyi Citizen of Honour. The organisers asked Ottignies and Brussels to take a further step by joining the campaign ‘Municipalities for Burma’.