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  Media Release from Burma Campaign UK

For immediate release 3 February 2004


Orient Express challenge British government policy on Burma

The Burma Campaign UK has condemned news that Orient Express has invested in Hosia Company of Hong Kong. Hosia owns the Pansea Hotel chain, which includes the Pansea Yangon Hotel, situated in Burma's capital. Orient Express also has an option to purchase 100 percent of Hosia equity. Pansea Hotels is also considering building another hotel in Burma.

"Orient Express are behaving disgracefully," said Yvette Mahon, Director of the Burma Campaign UK. "By expanding their interests in Burma they will be helping to fund Burma's brutal military dictatorship."

Orient Express's decision also represents a major challenge to British government policy on Burma. The government has called on companies not to trade with Burma, and specifically called on travel companies to pull out of the country.

"Orient Express must be stopped. If the British government are serious about stopping trade and tourism to Burma, they must introduce an investment ban now,' said Yvette Mahon. "Words are not enough when it comes to immoral companies like Orient Express."

Orient Express already feature on the Burma Campaign UK's 'Dirty List' as they operate a 'Road to Mandalay' cruise in Burma.

Tourism is a vital source of income for the dictatorship in Burma, providing it with millions of pounds every year. The regime spends forty percent of its annual budget on the army. The British government wrote to British travel companies in July 2003, asking them to pull out of Burma.

For more information Mark Farmaner, Media Officer, on 020 7324 4713, mobile 0794 123 9640, or Yvette Mahon, Director of the Burma Campaign UK, on 020 7324 4714, mobile 07957 301 346.


Mark Farmaner

Media and Campaigns Officer

Burma Campaign UK
28 Charles Sq
N1 6HT