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Singapore Govt. Expells Three Burmese Activists

Terry Evans

The Singapore government expelled three Burmese activists this week. The activists' immigration passes were cancelled by the Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

The three expelled Burmese are members of the Overseas Burmese Patriots (OBP), an informal group of activists that emerged last October to raise awareness about the political situation in Burma.

Last year, the OBP staged a street protest on 20 November during the ASEAN summit. Members marched outside the Orchard Parade Hotel to voice their discontent with the Burmese junta. The three recently expelled Burmese activists were part of this protest. A spokesman for the OBP said "We will continue with our political agenda in the most appropriate way that will serve justice and democracy without endangering Singapore society".

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng said persistent defiance of the laws was the reason why a number of Burmese nationals were asked to leave, not political pressure from the Burmese generals.

The Singapore government has fostered a close relationship with the Burmese regime and their business cronies over the last forty years, providing a crucial money laundering haven for Burma's generals and supplying them with arms. During the last year, Singapore has trained Burmese intelligence officers in cyber warfare, helping to establish a crucial computer espionage centre in Rangoon, monitoring the activities of dissidents in the country and in exile.

ENDS

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