Thursday, September 28, 2006

US's Schwarzenegger signs Pension Fund Bill to stop investing in Sudan

E Canada news report says a bill banning California's state pension funds from investing in companies with interests in Sudan went into effect Tuesday with the signature of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Excerpt:
The move comes a day after US Congress passed a bill imposing sanctions on the Sudanese government. The new California law could provoke protests and suits by trade organizations who claim that individual states do not have authority to intervene in international diplomacy.


Schwarzenegger said his bill would send a message to strife-torn Darfur that California "does not stand for murder and genocide."

"We cannot watch from the sidelines and be content to mourn this atrocity as it passes into history," Schwarzenegger said with actor and political activist George Clooney at his side.

"We must act and that is exactly why we will divest from the Sudan. Divesting will show our defiance against the murderers and their inhumanity."

George Clooney
What a load of dopey Hollywood twaddle. How would sanctions and divestment help the poor people of Sudan and its development? Sudan is poverty stricken and up to its eyeballs in debt. If misguided activists had not pushed out Western companies from Sudan, we might have been able to pressure oil companies like British Petroleum to help the locals and get drinking water piped and pumped where needed. I say, the more Western companies do business with Sudan and invest in the country's infrastructure, the better. Sudan needs technology know-how, skills and education. Don't pave the way for unscrupulous ruthless opportunists to fill the gap!

Don Cheadle

Photo: U.S. actor Don Cheadle (L) speaks as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger listens before signing legislation to divest state pension money from Sudan in Los Angeles, California. USA Sep 25, 2006. Activists have been pressuring companies and governments to divest from Sudan. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

UPDATE; More on the Sudan divestment thingy at The Sudanese Thinker.

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