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Reply-To: "W. Kesavatana-Dohrs" <dohrs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
The following excerpt is from the Boston Globe, April 6, 1997. Note that
the Northwest spokesman was quoted as saying they were not involved in the
Heroin Hotel promotion, which was, according to the article, not true.
Companies need to be held to their word. If not, we'll get lots of
rhetoric and no real action. Activists can contact Northwest VP Rick Dow,
to ask why Northwest was quoted in the press stating something that was
Mr. Rick Dow
5101 Northwest Drive
St. Paul, MN 55111-3034
Cc the Minneapolis Star Tribune at opinion@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
or by fax at 612-673-4359.
HOOKED ON HEROIN: BURMAS MILITARY GOVERNMENT HAS BECOME A
NARCO-DICTATORSHIP - AND THE WORLD IS PAYING THE PRICE.
By Dennis Bernstein and Leslie Kean
Burma is swiftly becoming a full-fledged narco-dictatorship, with
all aspects of the central government either heavily influenced by or
directly incorporated into the burgeoning drug trade. "Drug traffickers
have become the leading investors in Burma's new market economy and
leading lights in Burma's new political order," says Robert S. Gelbard,
an assistant US secretary of state.
``Burma is the world's largest producer of opium poppy by far,
particularly since...the SLORC took over the country,'' says Gelbard,
and is ``responsible for the vast majority of heroin on the streets of
the United States.''
Evidence now shows that foreign corporations investing in Burma
not only prop up the military junta financially, but they allow for the
expansion of the drug trade by providing convenient conduits for money
Other US companies are dealing directly with the drug traffickers
through a company known as Asia World, which is controlled by the
legendary Han. Under pressure from human rights activists, California's
Wente Vineyards last November canceled its contract with the company.
In December, Northwest Airlines offered bonus miles to travelers
staying at the Trader's Hotel in Rangoon, which is co-owned by Asia
World. Last week,a spokesman for Northwest said that the promotion was
discontinued ``sometime after the first of the year.'' But a
representative answering the hotel's reservation line provided written
confirmation that the policy was still in place.
"That the Burmese economy is based on narco-dollars is quite
obvious," says Dr. Sein Win, Prime Minister of Burma's Government in
exile. ``It is incredible that a US company would promote a business
owned by known drug dealers.''