issue 131

July/August 2011




Sri Lanka boycott

Tamil group’s throughout the UK are asking people to boycott Sri Lankan textiles and tourism. The groups website states that the tourism and textile industries have helped fund a genocidal war and continue to help fund a government with an appalling human rights record. Campaigners list a number of crimes they say have been committed by the Sri Lankan government during the war against the Tamil minority in the South of the country in contravention of international law, including:
•  illegally detaining up to 300, 000 internal refugees.
•  using banned chemical weapons on civilians areas
•  repeatedly bombing hospitals and other civilians establishments.
Activists believe that economic sanctions are the only way to restore human rights in Sri Lanka. They are now asking consumers to email a number of retailers to ask them to stop stocking goods produced in the country. These include Gap, Marks and Spencers, Tesco and Next.
You can visit the site at



Short shelf-life stories

Librarians in the US have started a boycott of HarperCollins over leasing rights. Under a new policy e-
books purchased from HarperCollins will disappear after they have been loaned out just 26 times, libraries would then have to purchase a new issue. Several regional library systems, including Halifax, St. Louis, Albany, N.Y., Worcester, Mass, and Norman, Okla have joined the boycott. “We’re just a little blip on the prairie against a giant corporation,” South Sioux City library director David Mixdorf told the online news site. “But we needed to make a statement. I fear other publishers will do the same.”

HarperCollins posted a letter on its Library Love Fest blog saying:
“Selling e-books to libraries in perpetuity, if left unchanged, would undermine the emerging e-book eco-system, hurt the growing e-book channel, place additional pressure on physical bookstores, and in the end lead to a decrease in book sales and royalties paid to authors.” (Eds: How’s it different from selling paper copies to libraries?)

For more see



Burma update

The Burma tourism boycott is now being targeted at package tours. The National League for Democracy (NDL) announced the new approach in an interview with the Times. NLD leader U Win Tin said “We want people to come to Burma, not to help the Junta but to help the people by understanding the situation.” But he added “To have a very large cruise ship with hundreds of tourists coming in – that’s a lot of money for the regime and so we don’t like such big business.”

For more information visit



Badgering the milk industry

Viva! are calling for people to boycott Welsh dairy products. This is in response to the Welsh Assembly’s decision to press ahead with a five year cull of badgers in parts of Wales in an effort to curtail the spread of bovine TB. Badgers will be trapped, caged and then shot, despite contradictory evidence on the effectiveness of such action.
Viva! campaigns manager, Justin Kerswell, said “There was worry that the ‘cull’ would result in a backlash. Well, it was a worry that was well founded. People are angry that they have not been listened to; they are angry that the science that shows that killing badgers will not halt the spread of TB has been ignored” he continued “There is also growing anger that Welsh wildlife will be exterminated in parts of the country to prop up a failing dairy industry.”
For more information visit



Israel update

Blood Diamonds?

The Irish Palestine Solidarity campaign is asking people to stop buying Israeli diamonds. The campaign group says the industry bags the Israeli military $1 billion a year and that diamonds are Israel’s biggest export commodity, accounting for between a quarter and a third of Israel’s exports.
They are also lobbying the industry to change the classification of diamonds under the Kimberley Process Regulations.

At the moment Israeli diamonds fall outside the “blood diamond” classification and are classed as “conflict free” regardless of what human rights violations they are funding.
You can


Click here to see Boycott News from previous issues of the magazine.