The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Travel firms urged to pull out of Myanmar

London, July 14 (AFP): A British foreign office minister today urged travel firms that arrange trips to Myanmar to consider pulling out because of the country痴 human rights record.

The strongly-worded warning by Mike 達rien steps up the pressure on British firms doing business with the southeast Asian country following recent calls by both 達rien and Prime Minister Tony Blair for tobacco firm BAT to withdraw.

Myanmar痴 rights record has been put under the spotlight since Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was put in custody after vicious clashes between her followers and pro-regime elements at the end of May.

The military regime government says four people were killed in the clashes but dissident groups say dozens died, and blamed the violence on government-backed mobs.

In a statement released by the foreign office, 達rien said he had written to the head of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) to discuss the current situation in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

的n the light of the recent dreadful developments in Burma, I have today written to ABTA to ask tour operators to stop arranging holidays there," 達rien said. There were 田ompelling reasons not to take a holiday in the country, including the economic and political benefits the regime gained from foreign visits, he said.

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