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Petition against Lonely Planet Burma guide
21.02.08 | Marli Roode
A petition urging consumers to boycott Lonely Planet will be launched today (21st February), calling on parent company BBC Worldwide to withdraw the Burma guidebook. The TUC, Tourism Concern, Burma Campaign UK and the New Internationalist are behind the lobby, claiming the guide legitimises Burma’s violent military dictatorship.
According to the petition, the availability of the Lonely Planet guide encourages tourism to the country and gives the impression that such travel is ethical.
Tourism Concern’s Tricia Barnett said: "Given the appalling human rights situation in Burma, we don’t believe it is possible for any company, including BBC Worldwide, to adopt a neutral position on the issue of travel to the country, as it is apparently seeking to do with its Lonely Planet guidebook. The BBC should stop sitting on the fence and send a clear message of condemnation to the regime by withdrawing the Burma edition of its book."
But Stephen Palmer, c.e.o of Lonely Planet’s Europe, Middle East and Africa operations, said: "We share the aspiration for a change of regime, but we don't accept that, by publishing a guide book to Burma, we are legitimising that regime. We are in the business of providing travel information and if we didn’t publish the guide, people would be less informed about the ethical issues of going to Burma and how to make sure that, once they're there, they give as much money as possible to local business people."
The petition can be found at www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Burma-Campaign-Action