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Singapore Boosts Security Ahead of ASEAN Summit


Singapore has boosted security ahead of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, and has banned groups from protesting Burma's presence at next week's meeting.

Authorities rejected an application from at least one group planning an outdoor protest against Burma, following the country's violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

Officials from the 10-nation group are arriving in Singapore today, while Burma's Prime Minister Thein Sein is due to arrive on Sunday.

Member nations are expected to sign an agreement giving ASEAN a legal status similar to that of the European Union, clearing the way for economic integration.

On Friday, U.S. lawmakers voiced concern about Burma's membership in ASEAN due to its poor human rights record. The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to urge Asian leaders to suspend the military-ruled country from the group.

ASEAN officials say the charter does not provide a method for expelling members.

ASEAN members are Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam

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