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College of the Atlantic rejects Ace

For immediate release
>>CONTACT: Rob Fish
>>           College of the Atlantic Social Environmental Action
>>           (207) 288-5015 (d), (207) 244-9353 (n)
>>            fish@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

>>    College of the Atlantic Sanctions BoycottsAcer         
                         Computers Over Burma
>>       Company's involvement with brutal military regime                    
                         results in loss of  $9,000 contract
>> Bar Harbor, Maine.  In the first application of a policy passed last
winter, College of the Atlantic recently rejected a nine thousand dollar
contract with the Taiwan based Acer Computer Company as a result
of the company's dealings with the military government of Burma .
The company will also be ineligibly for bidding for the fiteen to twenty
more computers the school will be purchasing later in the year.  The
"Burma Policy" was adopted last winter after students expressed
concern over the increasing human rights violations in the country
and relayed calls by Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the party that
won the 1990 Burmese elections but  was never allowed assume
power, for the immediate withdrawal of international investment in
Burma.   The policy effectively bans the school
rom purchasing goods from  companies that do business in Burma.

According to College of the Atlantic President Steve Katona,
Decisions about where to spend money are among the most direct
messages that individuals and institutions send.  In addition to
procuring the goods or services needed, such decisions can support
appropriate environmental orsocial goals or causes, reward preferred
ways of conducting business or accomplish other desired actions."
The Burmese military junta, the State Law and Order Restoration
Council (SLORC), has been documented by Amnesty International,
the US State Department and Congress, as well as the United Nation
to be guilty of wide-spread human rights violations. Wide-scaled
forced labor, oppression of basic human rights and political activity,
targeting of minority ethnic and religious groups, devastation of the
tropical rainforest, forced prostitution, and government complicity in
heroin trafficking are among the charges. Recent reports also claim
that over 60% of the heroin entering the United States originates in

Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National
League for Democracy (NLD), the party that won over 80% of the
seat in the 1990 Burmese elections with over 60% of the vote but
was never allowed to assume power, has repeated ,called for the
immediate and complete withdrawal of all foreign businesses from
Burma. She requested that tourists not visit Burma (renamed
Myanmar by the military dictators) and that nations not provide
consumer goods or financial aid because the money is used to enrich
the military and to further oppress the people. Consequently, as with
South Africa under apartheid, the call for sanctions on Burma comes
from inside Burma from a person who can legitimately claim to be a
representative of the Burmese people.

According to the Washington DC based Investor Responsibility
Research Center, since 1996 Acer Computer Company has donated
computers to the Burmese government and has been distributing
computers in Burma through its authorized dealer Myanmar
Computer Technology.
"In a country where it's illegal to own a modem without a permit,
Acer's presence only serves to maintain and support the status quo."
declares Rob Fish, organizer for the campaign at College of the
Atlantic, "The Burma selective purchasing policies seek to make it
costly for companies, such as Acer, Mitsubishi, Best Western, ARCO,
and Unocal, who by investing in the country are in essence cohorts
with a brutal military government that is forcing people into slavery."

In addition to College of the Atlantic, Seventeen U.S cities, one
county and the state of Massachusetts have also answered Aung
San Suu Kyi's call for an end to foreign investment.  This type of law
proved highly effective in bringing democracy to South Africa. The
rapidly-growing number of selective purchasing laws concerning
Burma have already persuaded a number of companies -- including
Apple Computer, Eastman Kodak, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, and
Philips Electronics, PepsiCo and most recently Texaco-- to end their 
support of the military regime in Burma by withdrawing from that