Tour operator TransIndus has pledged to continue tours to Burma despite being placed on a list of companies consumers are being urged to boycott.

TransIndus managing director Amrit Singh said the operator is one of about a dozen operators blacklisted by the Burma Campaign UK, which is pushing for human rights and democracy in the country currently being ruled by a deeply oppressive military regime.

As the riots and demonstrations led by Buddhist monks over the last 10 days once again place the country’s plight in the spotlight, Singh has defended the operator’s Burmese programme, which is currently suspended due to the problems.

Singh said: “I was born in Burma and lived there as a child and I have always had a strong connection with the country and the people. By operating tours we are able to maintain links and communications with the people.”

Singh uses trusted citizens as private guides so only around 2% of the cost of a tour goes to the Burmese government. She also denied accusations by the Burma Campaign UK that the operator uses hotels and other infrastructure built by slave and child labour.

She added: “We send less than 150 customers a year to the country and financially I wouldn’t miss the programme if I gave it up, it is a tiny percentage of our revenues. I would give it up tomorrow if it became too controversial.”