One of the richest gemstone areas in the world is located in Northwest Pakistan in the Swat Valley. In a disturbing turn of events, Taliban militants have seized a major emerald mine in the area. While part of a much larger political framework, this particular action bears watching since, in the past, there have been […]
The President of the United States has just signed the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act (HR3890) into law. It is now official. Public law no. 110-286 officially bans the importation of all Burmese ruby and jadeite into the United States. Back in 2003, I said we could do this. And we have. We extend […]
I spent part of the morning between meetings on Capitol Hill with Voice of America. They are taping a feature story on gemstones and the human rights abuses tied to their sourcing. We did a lengthy interview and then spent about 15 minutes doing multiple takes for a taped filler section, with me walking down […]
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 […]
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?
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]