Category Archives: Politics & Government

In the Fray over Burmese Ruby & Jade Ban

I am back in Washington DC working hard to get the Burma legislation moving forward. There are some minor obstacles unrelated to the legislation itself holding up the bill. Hopefully, we will see the logjam clear and HR3890 will soon be law. In the meantime, I keep racking up the frequent flier miles between Chicago […]

Block Burmese JADE Act Sails Through US House, Hits a Nerve

The Block Burmese JADE Act (HR3890) has cleared the House of Representatives by a unanimous vote. Shortly thereafter, our company came under cyber-attack. (A Denial of Service attack, according to our IT team.) The word is, it originated from either Thailand or Burma. I guess the passage of the bill hit a nerve?

Brian Leber’s International Media Tour Promoting Ban on Burmese JADE

It’s been a busy month, media wise. We are hard at work doing what we can to keep the Block Burmese JADE Act moving forward. In the last month, I’ve been interviewed and/or quoted by the Bangkok Post, Voice of America, Agence France Press, Associated Press, Fox News (!), the New York Times, International Herald […]

Brian Leber Testifies Before Congress on Burma Sanctions

This afternoon I offered testimony on the Burma issue during a Congressional hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill organized by the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, The hearing, entitled, “Burma Sanctions: Gems, Oil, and Money.” Covered a range of areas related to the pending legislation. Brian Leber, President, Leber Jeweler Inc, Testimony […]

A Bill is Born

It’s official. After a lot of hard work, a bill that will ban the importation of Burmese gemstones into the United States has been officially introduced by Representative Tom Lantos. This legislation (officially HR3890) is “An act to impose sanctions on officials of the State Peace and Development Council in Burma, to amend the Burmese […]

Working with Sen. Obama on Burmese Human Rights Abuses

Good news. As a follow-up to our meeting back in November, today in the US Senate, Illinois Senator Barack Obama introduced the following: Mr. President, I rise today to call attention to the heroic efforts of Dr. Cynthia Maung and her Mae Tao clinic to provide hope on the border of Thailand and Burma. Dr. […]

Traveling with an “Unsung Hero of Compassion”: Dr. Cynthia Maung of Burma

I had a very busy day in Washington DC. I’m glad to be catching my flight home shortly. A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend an award ceremony in California. The Dalai Lama was presenting Dr. Cynthia Maung with the Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award. While it would have been an incredible opportunity […]

Exploring Ethics and Diamonds with College Students, and on Capitol Hill

I was a guest lecturer at DePaul University this morning. I gave a talk entitled “Ethics and the International Diamond Trade.” It seemed to go well. The more questions I get asked the more I feel I got some people to think about these issues. Ethics is at the core of everything we do and […]