Editorial Comment – September 2007

Big business exercises social responsibility

While the world is experiencing repeated disasters in the form of tidal waves, earthquakes, monster hurricanes, excessive rainfalls, heat waves and frosty weather, on the other hand war weapons are being manufactured and in many parts of the world we see carnage and destruction. Nuclear power is being explored without regard for the dangers of such exploration.

Nuclear accidents and its effects have been heard of and yet not widely publicized.  As we observe Hiroshima Day last month we need to apply our minds to how we as citizens can become more vigilant and help in curbing the unbridled manufacture and use of dangerous armaments that not only have a harmful effect on our communities, as seen in Hiroshima and Nagasaki but also deteriorate the environment and cause untold damage to our fragile planet. 
Like our body any harm that occurs in one part of the body of necessity affects other parts of the body so the world too cannot remain unconcerned and unaffected when there is carnage and destruction in any one part of the world. 
In that spirit we pay tribute to U.K. institutions which are about to withdraw hundreds of millions of pounds from firms linked to the manufacture of controversial cluster bombs.  Responsible Investor an on line magazine reveals that French insurer Axa announced it was pulling its investments from companies that manufacture cluster bombs….The pension fund Hermes has recently written to the board of BAE to establish whether it plays a part in the industry” The magazine further states that “Cluster bombs have been widely used in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in Israel’s air strikes in the Lebanon.”  It further states, “Giant arms manufacturers such as EADS, BAE, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin are expected to face a battery of questions from fund managers….Other firms linked to the production of cluster bombs include GenCorp, whose subsidiary Aerojet produces cluster munitions for Lockheed Martin.”

It is said that, “A number of Dutch institutions have pulled out of investing in cluster bomb manufacturers after criticism in a television documentary. And Norway’s Oil Fund has also left this market.”

Cluster bombs like land mines lie dormant in an area where they are placed and can explode years later and cause untold damage both to people and to the land.  We urge every company to begin to ask questions about who is manufacturing these weapons and let us isolate them as a deterrent to such manufacture. 
We would also like to apologise to our readers for not producing a paper in August.  There are many reasons for this but the important aspect is the outcome of the delay.  We hope that you will like the new look of our newspaper and the shorter but focused articles.   We have been evaluating and bringing about changes to both the appearance of our newspaper, as well as in order to ensure sustainability we are now looking at selective advertising.  We have increased our distribution with the help of Postnet we are reaching many more people now and as a result we are hoping to attract advertisers.     

We assure you that we will continue to produce a quality paper which will be of help to you as you grapple with the day to day issues.