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News Release: APEC and Vancouver He

S E A T T L E   B U R M A   R O U N D T A B L E
2319 N. 45th St., #115, Seattle, WA  98103  USA
Tel (206) 784-5742, Fax (206) 784-8150




Vancouver, BC -- November 22, 1997 -- Protesters at the APEC Summit will
demand that Singaporean and Malaysian investors cut their ties to Burmese
narcotics trafficker Lo Hsing Han at a demonstration on Sunday in
Vancouver, during the Walk for Global Justice, starting at the Plaza of
Nations in downtown Vancouver at 12:30 p.m. 

Burma supplies 60% of the heroin in the US, according to the US State
Department.  The RCMP reports that "the vast majority" of heroin in
British Columbia comes from Burma. 

At a news conference in February, Robert Gelbard, then Assistant US
Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law
Enforcement Affairs said "Drug traffickers have become the leading
investors in Burma's new market economy and leading lights in Burma's new
political order.  Since 1988, over half of (investment) from Singapore has
been tied to the family of narco-trafficker Lo Hsing Han." Singapore has
never responded to the US criticism.  Malaysian investors including tycoon
Robert Kuok also have extensive ties to Lo. 

"It is outrageous for big Singapore and Malaysian investors to be
represented here at APEC, while the heroin exported by their Burmese
business partners flood the streets of our city," says Vancouver-based
author Alan Clements, director of the Burma Project USA.  "It is high time
for accountability." 

"As long as Singapore continues to play such a key role in supporting
Burma's drug trade through it's investments there, it seems unlikely that
any progress will be made in stemming the increasing flow of heroin from
Burma into Singapore and the rest of the world," says investigative
journalist Leslie Kean, co-author with Dennis Bernstein of "Singapore's
Blood Money" (The Nation, Oct. 20).  "Singapore has the potential to have
a huge influence in that regard, and they have taken the first small step
in that direction," she adds, noting that the Singapore Government
Investment Corporation (GIC), chaired by Senior Minister Lee Kwan Yew has
moved to liquidate a fund that joint-ventured with Lo. 

"Perhaps now other Singapore and Malaysian investors will follow suit and
take the same responsibility for their investments, by cutting their ties
to Burma's heroin traffickers," adds Kean.


Contact:  Larry Dohrs, Free Burma Coalition, 206-784-5742  
                 Alan Clements, Burma Project USA, 604-251-1781