• Cox's Bazar
  • Thursday, 06 August, 2020

Tell Harry Winston: Stop Selling Burmese Genocide Gems


Cox Gazette | NAYLA HAYEK, CEO OF HARRY WINSTON, INC. July 9, 2020, 11:33 AM Tell Harry Winston: Stop Selling Burmese Genocide Gems

Tell Harry Winston to stop buying genocide gems from Burma (Myanmar).

For decades, Myanmar’s military has committed numerous war crimes against ethnic minorities in Burma including the Karen, Shan, and Kachin. The military has systematically burned down villages, gang-raped women and girls, and killed those who resist. Moreover, Myanmar now stands at the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide against the Rohingya. Together, we can demand that Jewellery retailers, such as Harry Winston, stop buying Burmese gems that help fund the military’s atrocities against the peoples of Myanmar.

Myanmar produces more than 90% of the world’s rubies and jade, and these stones command the highest prices on the international market. The military dominates the gemstone industry in Myanmar. Its extensive commercial interests in gemstone extraction and trade mean that the military stands to profit when high-end jewelry retailers – like Harry Winston – buy Burmese gems for their collections.

Call on Harry Winston to stop purchasing gems that fund the Burmese military’s atrocities.

 

To: Nayla Hayek, CEO of Harry Winston, Inc.
From: [Your Name]

We are writing to express our concern with Harry Winston’s use of Burmese gems in its collection in light of the Burmese military deep involvement in the extraction and trade of gems in Myanmar.

For decades, Myanmar’s military has committed numerous war crimes against ethnic minorities in Burma including the Karen, Shan, and Kachin. The military has systematically burned down villages, gang-raped women and girls, and killed those who resist. Moreover, Myanmar now stands at the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide against the Rohingya.

Myanmar produces more than 90% of the world’s rubies and jade, and these stones command the highest prices on the international market. The military dominates the gemstone industry in Myanmar. Its extensive commercial interests in gemstone extraction and trade mean that the military stands to profit when high-end jewelry retailers use Burmese gems in their collections.

In recognition of the risk to the company’s brand image, both Tiffany & Co. and Cartier have adopted policies of not purchasing or using Burmese gems.

We commend Harry Winston's commitment to responsible business practices and the ethical sourcing of gems. However, we believe that effectuating this commitment requires avoiding the purchase of any gems mined in Myanmar that provide profits to the Burmese military.

Your responses to the following questions are appreciated.

1. Do you have any knowledge as to where Harry Winston's Burmese rubies, jade, and sapphire were mined?
2. Would Harry Winston adopt a policy of not purchasing gems mined in Myanmar?
3. How would your company best communicate and implement this policy with your suppliers?

We look forward to learning how Harry Winston will ensure that, in the future, its pieces are completely free of gems whose trade benefits the Burmese army.

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