Seelan Palay: I was present at this press conference where local Burmese activists were trying to publicize the plight of 6 of their compatriots who have had the renewal applications for their PR re-entry permits, employment passes, work permits, or social visit passes turned down.
The case that disturbed me the most was that of Hlaing Moe, who was a part-time student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, studying for a Diploma in Technology (Mechanical) with exams on 14 – 24 August 2008. He appealed for an extension of his Social Visit Pass to enable him to complete his exams, but this appeal was rejected, also without any reason. If only he was allowed to stay on for 2 more weeks, he could have finished his exams.
The Burmese have already suffered so much under the Junta. Must they suffer even more under the Singaporean authorities?
I find the Overseas Burmese Patriots in Singapore a highly inspirational group of people who have defied the restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly here to show their solidarity with the righteous Burmese struggle. They set an example for all Singaporeans.
Here are links to longer, more detailed reports on the press conference by other attendees:
Singapore shows Burmese dissidents the door (Yawning Bread)
Burmese citizens hold press conference on being denied visa renewals in Singapore (SG Politics)
Buddies-in-autocracy: Singapore helps junta in victimising activists (SDP)
Burmese citizens denied renewal of visas in Singapore (The Online Citizen)