Having telephoned your office I was advised to look at the statement on your web site regarding your investments in the arms trade to see if my concerns re these investments have been allayed.
I am pleased to note that you are conducting an urgent review into where money raised by an innocent public is invested and that you have withdrawn the shares relating to BAE Systems until the review is completed.
However, I urge that you put out a statement confirming that you will never again invest money with BAE Systems or any other arms company. Arms dealers are very cunning and can make investors believe that countries need weapons for the purpose of defence, so it is okay to invest your money with them. This is of course untrue, the decimation of countries and killing of innocent civilians is really what supporting the arms trade means.
That you then have projects in countries torn apart by war to alleviate poverty and suffering does not excuse your investing in this trade, a trade I would link to the slave trade, making money out of death and destruction, for much of the poverty and suffering has been caused directly by weapons that have maimed, killed, destroyed infrastructure and decimated ways of life.
I have seen the devastation first hand in East Timor, a country independent since 1999, but still struggling against a brutal occupation of 25 years by the Indonesian military, made possible by the purchase of Hawk Jets and other weapons manufactured by BAE systems and Heckler and Koch. Many of the weapons were purchased by soft loans given to its government by our government. It will take years to heal the scars of the many who were maimed and had family murdered, every family in East Timor lost at least one member of their family murdered, indeed one third of the population was killed within the first 3 years of occupation. Villages, towns and its capital city were destroyed, infrastructure was decimated, rebuilding the country is a huge task, adding to the trauma the population is suffering.
This is one country, imagine the destruction, resulting in loss of life and poverty, caused by weapons manufactured by BAE systems on a world wide scale. Investors in the trade are in many ways saying it is fine to carry on in this way as long as we have good returns for our money.
I once more urge you to desist in supporting this trade in any way