Starting May 1st, Major New Voices for Burma: Help Us

Dear friends,

We wanted to inform you about a new, exciting effort we are launching next week. For the first time in history, dozens of leading voices from Hollywood, music, and the arts will be joining together to speak up about human rights and democracy in Burma.

Not since the campaign to release Nelson Mandela from arrest and free South Africa in the 1980s have so many people come together to take action for an imprisoned human rights leader and the people of a country. Mandela was locked up for almost two decades before the people of the world truly rallied to his cause.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been incarcerated now for more than 12 of the past 18 years, and the truth is that most people have no idea who she is. Even fewer know that Burma's military regime has recruited more child soldiers than any other country in the world and continues to carry out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against innocent people. Now, all that is about to change.

Every day for 30 days, a video from someone prominent (including Oscar and Emmy winners, comedians, and musicians) will be released. Each video will explain a different aspect of Burma's struggle for human rights.

We are asking you to tune in for 30 days on our website and watch each piece. After you watch each video every day, forward them to your friends, family, and colleagues.

We know that sometimes it is hard to talk to others about Burma; that's why the videos were designed for anyone to watch and be inspired to help. After watching the videos, we are urging people to sign up for the US Campaign for Burma and join the effort to free Burma.

We know that there are more than one million people in the United States and around the world who care about human rights, and we are asking all of them -- even if they are also involved with other issues -- to pitch in and help free Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma.

We are building a team of one million people to stand strong for Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma. Stay tuned, everything begins next Thursday, May 1st.


Jeremy Woodrum and Jack Healey

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BIDEN Bill to Promote Democracy in Burma Passes Senate

Dear all,

We are very pleased to report that one of our major projects -- ending the US bankrolling of Burma's military regime -- took a major step forwardtoday. We were able to get the US Congress to follow the European Union in banning the import of gems and timber from Burma. This is important because it is the main way the military regime gets money. They simply sell off the country's natural resources to line their own pockets.

Many thanks to everyone who helped with this effort! Aung San Suu Kyi called for people around the world to stop financing Burma's military regime, and we took a huge step forward today. This wouldn't have been possible without the brave people of Burma standing up for themselves and inspiring world leaders to take firm action. It also wouldn't have happened without thousands of supporters across the United States raising their own voices and helping in every possible way.

Jack and Jeremy

FOR RELEASE: December 19, 2007

CONTACT: Danielle Borrin 202-224-5042

BIDEN Bill to Promote Democracy in Burma Passes Senate

Washington, DC - Today the Senate unanimously passed Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joseph R. Biden, Jr.'s (D-DE) Burma Democracy Promotion Act, legislation that promotes the restoration of civilian, democratic rule to the troubled state of Burma. Sen. Biden's legislation, originally cosponsored by Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA),
passed as an amendment to H.R. 3890, replacing the language in the existing House bill. As a result, the House must revote on the amended bill before it can go to the President for his signature.

"The message to the people of Burma today is clear: the United States stands with you as you seek a peaceful, negotiated transition to democratic civilian rule. We will work tirelessly with the international community toward that objective," said Sen. Biden.

The Burma Democracy Promotion Act imposes new financial sanctions and travel restrictions on the leaders of the junta and their associates. In addition, the legislation tightens the economic sanctions Congress imposed in 2003 by outlawing the importation of Burmese gems and timber to the United States. The bill also creates a new position of Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma. The Special Representative will work with Burma's neighbors and other interested countries, including the members of the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, to develop a comprehensive approach to the problem, including pressure, dialogue, and support for non-governmental organizations providing humanitarian relief to the Burmese people.

"Our ultimate objective is to re-integrate Burma into the community of nations. Sanctions without concerted diplomacy are pointless," said Sen. Biden. "It is time for Burma to begin a new day in which all of the people, including Burma's many minority groups, work together to rebuild what nearly 20 years of disastrous military rule have destroyed."

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