Tiffany Applauds Congress’ Ban on Burmese Gemstones
July 29, 08
Tiffany & Co on Monday ran an advertisement in the Washington Post saluting the U.S. Congress for passing an absolute embargo on rubies originating in Burma (Myanmar). “This sanction,” the ad says, “is an important step by the U.S. to help secure basic freedoms for the Burmese people.”
The U.S. Senate approved the legislation last week, following a similar bill passed in the House of Representatives the week before, in an effort to cut off sources of funding for Myanmar’s ruling junta, for which the export of rubies and jade is a major revenue source.
The legislation, among other details, would keep Burmese gemstones from entering the U.S. via third-party countries, and has now been sent to President Bush to be signed into law.
Tiffany & Co, along with other jewelers such as Cartier, previously announced that it would not buy gems that are from, or that could possibly be from, Burma
Jewelers of America and CIBJO (the World Jewellery Confederation) issued similar statements, calling on their members not to source gemstones from the country, following widespread condemnation of the junta’s human rights abuses and violent crackdowns on peaceful protests last year.
However, the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) warned against any hasty decision towards a “systematic ban to trade with Burmese gemstones,” recommending that “all parties carefully consider the negative impact…that indiscriminate measures could inflict upon independent and poor populations engaging in mining, processing and trading activities in Myanmar and other countries.”