[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index
Northwest/Traders Hotel Release
Reply-To: "W. Kesavatana-Dohrs" <dohrs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Seattle Campaign for a Free Burma
2319 N. 45th St., Suite 115 Seattle, WA 98103 Ph: (206) 784-5742
P a r t o f t h e F r e e B u r m a C o a l i t i o n
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
BONUS MILES AT "HEROIN HOTEL"
NORTHWEST PROMOTES HOTEL OWNED BY BURMESE DRUG LORDS
MINNEAPOLIS--JANUARY 14, 1997--Northwest Airlines is offering its frequent
fliers bonus miles if they stay in the Traders Hotel of Rangoon, according
to its December "WorldPerks Update." The Christian Science Monitor said
on November 20 that the Traders Hotel is "a dark reminder of the power and
influence exercised by (Burma's) drug lords."
The Traders Hotel is co-owned by Steven Law and his father Lo Hsing Han.
Lo is a reputed heroin trafficker known as the "King of the Golden Triangle."
In August, Law was barred from the US by the State Department due to
suspicion of his involvement in the narcotics trade. Burma produces more
opium and heroin than the rest of the world combined, and State Department
sources say 60% of the heroin on US streets comes from Burma.
"It's simple. When the US Government says Steven Law is involved in
heroin trafficking, US companies shouldn't promote Steven Law's hotel"
says Dan Orzech of the US-based Free Burma Coalition.
Northwest doesn't deny that Law and Lo are co-owners of Traders Hotel
Rangoon. It acknowledges reports that Law is barred from the US, but it has not
ended the promotion, according to a company spokesman.
Robert Gelbard, US Assistant Secretary of State for International
Narcotics Affairs wrote in the November 21 Far Eastern Economic Review that
Burma's military junta "has brazenly exploited drug-trafficking money" to
stay in power. The drug lords are "buying real estate in Rangoon and
Mandalay, investing in Burma's economy, and openly courting military
"That the Burmese economy is based on narco-dollars is quite obvious" says
Dr. Sein Win, head of the NCGUB, BurmaÕs democratic government in exile.
"Burmese citizens weren't even allowed to possess foreign currency for the
past 30 years. Now all of a sudden, you find local investors coming up
with millions of dollars for projects like the Traders Hotel. It does not
come as a surprise that these investors are either notorious drug
kingpins, like Lo Hsing Han and Khun Sa, or their close associates."
One US company, Wente Vineyards of California, was successfully targeted
by boycotters over connections to Steven Law. Numerous other companies,
including Motorola, Amoco, Eddie Bauer, Heineken and Carlsberg have
withdrawn from Burma under consumer pressure, citing corruption, human
rights concerns and "business reasons."
"US interests are clear. We need to fight the Burmese narco-dictatorship"
says Orzech. "We don't want a boycott of Northwest Airlines, but we do
want them to do the right thing. Don't promote the 'Heroin Hotel'" he
Contact: Larry Dohrs, Free Burma Coalition, 206-784-5742
Dr. Sein Win, National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma
Vinita Koshal, Northwest Airlines, International WorldPerks Marketing