Today I launched a new website for the Hong Kong Coalition for a Free Burma. The coalition was established in February 2008 as a loose coalition of HK-based human rights activists, faith-based groups, and regional and local organizations and institutions of women, students and migrant workers. The website brings together their various social networking feeds and provides a central focus point in Hong Kong for their campaigning during the pseudo-Burmese elections this year.
My travel notes are a slight departure from the norm this time round, as I decided to visit Myanmar over Easter – home to an oppressive military regime and target of an international tourism boycott. My reasons for going are set out below, and I attempted to minimise the amount of money I gave to the regime, though this was not always straightforward. I’ve also attached this email as a word document and since internet access was restricted, this comes to you shortly after returning to Hong Kong!
“Burma will be here for many years, so tell your friends to visit us later. Visiting now is tantamount to condoning the regime.”
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the League for Democracy (NLD).
“We don’t want tourists on the government tours; we want more tourists like you.”
Retired civil servant, Yangon.
“The cost of a holiday could be someone’s life”
Free Burma Campaign UK
“[We] fully support tourism and travel to Myanmar (Burma) as part of its support for the emergence of an open society.”
Free Burma Coalition
“We thank you coming during this difficult time”
William, travel agent in Yangon.