SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Darfur Divestment Bill Would Restrict Investments
of Permanent Fund, Other State Funds


January 10, 2008

(SitNews) - Representative Bob Lynn, R-Anchorage, and Rep. Les Gara, D-Anchorage, are prime co-sponsors of a bipartisan bill that would require divestment of the Alaska Permanent Fund and other state retirement funds from corporations that do business with Sudan, and thereby support the continuing genocide in Darfur.

Corporations that provide food, clothing or consumer goods to Sudan are excluded from the bill. So far, about 20 states have passed similar legislation.

"If this genocide were occurring somewhere on the American continent, or someplace in Europe," Lynn said, "would we want to invest Alaska's money with corporations that do business with the perpetrators? I don't think so. Genocide is genocide, whether in Darfur, Africa, or anyplace else."

The United States Senate and House of Representatives, by a unanimous vote on July 23, 2004, declared "that the atrocities unfolding in Darfur, Sudan, are genocide," and the White House agrees.

"Alaskans wouldn't want their government to invest in genocide," said Gara. "Given the thousands of good companies we can invest in, taking a moral stand against the unconscionable won't cost the Permanent Fund a dime."

The proposed legislation would be repealed when the President or the Congress declares the Darfur genocide has been halted, or if the legislation interferes with United States foreign policy.

Last week, President Bush signed a bill passed unanimously by Congress, which paves the way for states and companies to divest from Sudan and from businesses profiting in Sudan. Like the federal legislation, Lynn and Gara's bill is expected to garner strong bipartisan support. Sen. Hollis French, D-Anchorage, is introducing similar legislation in the Senate.



Source of News:

Office of Rep. Les Gara


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Ketchikan, Alaska