||Issue No. 170||14 March 2003|
Coke or Pepsi?
Poetry: If I Were a Rich Man
Interview: League of Nations
Industrial: 20/20 Hindsight
Organising: On The Buses
Unions: National Focus
History: The Banner Room
International: The Slaughter Continues
Legal: A Legal Case For War?
Culture: Singing For The People
Review: The Hours
Poetry: I Wanna Bomb Saddam
Satire: Diuretic Makes Warne's Excuses Look Thin
The Locker Room
A Plea for Legal Action
Johnny's Green Card
Veto The War
Law and Order
Intrepid Tourists Buck ILO Bans
Despite a call by the International Labour Organisation for all member countries to cease trade with Burma, Australian travel companies Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel, say "bad luck we're coming anyway".
Travel company bosses Tony Wheeler of Lonely Planet and Darrell Wade of Intrepid Travel say things are getting better in Burma and that the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest last year is high on their "positive signs" list.
But the democracy movement inside Burma - including Suu Kyi - are appealing to Westerners to observe the ILO boycott as a means of maintaining pressure on the regime.
Reports from the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions from October 2002 indicate that forced labour is actually increasing. And reports from an ILO officer in Rangoon just this week indicate that plans by the military to end forced labour are not yet adequate or plausible. There are also extensive reports of the use of rape as a weapon of war against ethnic minority women and children.
The travel gurus argue that they've been to Burma and spoken with people on the ground who are overwhelmingly in support of tourism in Burma. But who were Tony Wheeler and Darrell Wade talking to?
For many people in Burma their only connection with tourism will be as forced labourers on tourism infrastructure projects.
Intrepid Travel is a market leader in small group adventure travel, leading groups from Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand on tours in Asia, Russia and the Middle East.
The company withdrew from operations in Burma after consulting with stakeholders in 1999, running its final trip to Burma in January 2000. Intrepid's commitment to "Responsible Travel" is used as a key marketing strategy and the company emphasises its respect for the social, cultural and environmental aspects of the destinations it visits.
Intrepid Travel has recently announced that it will resume selling holidays to Burma. We are looking to send a strong message to them that we disagree.
Please consider writing to Intrepid Travel Director, Darrell Wade, about
the company's recent decision to resume selling holidays to Burma.
A suggested draft email follows:
Dear Intrepid Travel,
I am deeply concerned to hear that you are about to resume selling holidays
to Burma. It is impossible to operate in Burma without providing hard
currency and legitimacy to the corrupt military regime. You will be helping
to fund a regime that routinely uses rape, torture, murder and forced
labour to oppress its own people. Democracy leaders in Burma have said that
the time is not right for tourism in Burma.
If you are concerned for the people of Burma, please listen to the people
who represent them. Please reconsider, don't go back to Burma.
Send your message to:
11 Spring Street
Fitzroy VIC Australia 3065
Telephone: 1300 360 667
Facsimile: +61 (0)3 9419 5878
email Darrell Wade, Director of Intrepid Travel
For more information about the issue of travel to Burma, visit
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