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Press Release: Apple Computer Dele
Subject: Press Release: Apple Computer Deletes Burma
Seattle Campaign for a Free Burma
2319 N. 45th St., Suite 115 Seattle, WA 98103 Ph: (206) 784-5742 Fax:
APPLE COMPUTER DELETES BURMA
DISTRIBUTOR RELATIONSHIP BEING TERMINATED
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: OCTOBER 4, 1996 CUPERTINO, CA -- Apple Computer
confirmed today that it is in the process of terminating its relationship
with its distributor in the Southeast Asian dictatorship of Burma
Apple spokeswoman Nancy Keith Kelly said the move was in reaction to a
Massachusetts state "selective purchasing" law signed by Governor William
Weld in June. The law bars state contracts with companies doing business
in Burma. Similar laws are in effect in six US cities.
"This is exactly what we want this law to do," said Rep. Byron Rushing,
sponsor of the Massachusetts bill. "We hope the rest of the companies
will also get out."
Apple had sold several thousand units to the ruling military junta in
Burma, ostensibly for use in the school system. Sources say the purchase
was arranged through Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt, head of Burma's dreaded Military
Intelligence, and concurrently Secretary 1 of the State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC).
Reports from inside Burma suggest that students were required to pay extra
fees for the computers but were then not given access to them.
The SLORC recently announced a law providing long prison terms for those
who use a computer modem without government permission. Similar laws are
already in effect for fax machines, telephones, satellite dishes and video
Burmese democracy leader and Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has
called for sanctions against the military junta, saying that international
commerce under present circumstances only reinforces the control of the
SLORC, which has refused to hand over power to democracy forces despite an
overwhelming election victory.
A SLORC crackdown during the past week has brought the arrest of 800
democracy supporters, and has resulted in fresh international condemnation
of the regime.
Yesterday, President Clinton issued a proclamation banning visas for SLORC
members and their families. He is considering further economic sanctions
as outlined in a bipartisan law passed by Congress.
An international three day fast for Burma begins Monday, October 7th on
more than 60 university campuses in the US, as well as South Africa,
Japan, India and other countries. Activists are targeting US companies
Unocal, Texaco, Arco and PepsiCo, as well as Mitsui, Mitsubishi and
Marubeni of Japan.
Contact: Dr. Thaung Htun, National Coalition Government of the Union
of Burma, 212-338-0048 Simon Billenness, Senior Analyst, Franklin Research
and Development, 617-423-6655, x225 Nancy Keith Kelly, International
Public Relations, Apple Computer, 408-996-1010