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8 December 2003
[This is the print version of story http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1005302.htm]
Pro-democracy activists in Singapore have been stopped from holding a public forum to support democracy in Burma.
Activists and opposition politicians from five countries were denied a permit by Singapore Police, who said the event was likely to be contrary to the public interest.
Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, in Singapore for the event, said he was saddened and surprised by the decision.
“I’m sad that a country that has reached this level of development is so close to the suffering, to the democratic aspirations of other people,” he said.
Organisers also claimed the Singapore Government had refused a visa for an exiled Burmese opposition MP who wished to attend the forum.
Singapore is the second largest investor in Burma and has been criticised in the past for dealing with a military regime.