Photo by AP
Two Malaysian riot police, foreground, stand guard as Myanmar activists from All Burma Democratic Force hold placards during a demonstration outside US embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007. Some 50 Myanmar activists turned out in front of the Singapore High Commission against its trading involvements with the Myanmar military junta, and called for stronger US support while demonstrating near the US embassy. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

Photo by AP 2
A Myanmar activist from All Burma Democratic Force wearing a headband is seen behind police line during a demonstration in front of the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007. Some 50 Myanmar activists demonstrated in front of the Singapore High Commission against its trading involvements with the Myanmar military junta, and called for stronger U.S. support while demonstrating near the U.S. embassy. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

Photo by AP 3
With a background of Malaysia’s landmark Petronas Twin Towers, a Myanmar activist from All Burma Democratic Force holds a placard as he marches through to the Singapore High Commission during a demonstration in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007. Some 50 Myanmar activists demonstrated in front of the Singapore High Commission against its trading involvements with the Myanmar military junta, and called for stronger U.S. support while demonstrating near the U.S. embassy. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

Photo by AP 4
A Myanmar activist from All Burma Democratic Force, who wears a T-shirt with a print of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi holds a placard during a demonstration outside U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007. Some 50 Myanmar activists demonstrated in front of the Singapore High Commission against its trading involvements with the Myanmar military junta, and called for stronger U.S. support while demonstrating near the U.S. embassy. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

Myanmar nationals protest against S’pore’s business ties with junta by By Carolyn Hong, Malaysia Bureau Chief In Kuala Lumpur, 23 Oct 2007, Straits Times website

KUALA LUMPUR – About 50 Myanmar nationals demonstrated outside the Singapore High Commission here on Tuesday to demand that the Republic break its business ties with Myanmar.

Holding placards with bold red lettering and wearing red head bands, the group, who called themselves “All Burma Democratic Force”, chanted slogans like “Free Burma” under the watchful eyes of policemen.

Hundreds of curious motorists slowed down their cars on the busy road fronting the High Commission to watch them.

Their spokesman Dr Mohammad Sadek read out a memorandum claiming that Singaporean companies are among the biggest investors in Myanmar, and supporters of the country’s military junta.

He also charged that that Singapore companies have supplied computers and communications equipment to Myanmar’s army, and that the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation has invested heavily in Burma.

“We urge the Government of Singapore to immediately review its policies and to cut off all kinds of supports to the Burmese military,” he said.

The memorandum was later handed over to Singapore High Commission’s first secretary Mr Heng Aik Yeow.

But in Parliament on Monday, Foreign Minister George Yeo had said that Singapore’s trade with Myanmar last year amounted to just $1 billion, or 0.1 per cent of total trade.

He added that Myanmar was only 50th among Singapore’s trading partners, and that cumulative total direct investments by Singapore firms at the end of 2005 was just $742 million.

The Minister also stressed that defence sales to Myanmar over the years have not been substantial, and that Singapore will always behave in a responsible manner.

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