Was reading my previous posts when i realised that i may have appeared to be overly defensive of Singapore’s decision to not allow outdoor protests at the IMF Meet, and the govt’s decision to not allow 28 activists onto our sunny shores.  I realised that a lot of media on the Internet are either inaccurate or skewed in their reports of the incidents.  So here’s an article from Channel News Asia on why these nuts were banned.


Title: Singapore bans 28 from country during IMF/World Bank meetings

By: Asha Popatlal, Channel NewsAsia

Date: 11 Sep 2006 2238 hrs (GMT + 8hrs)

At least 28 activists from eight civil service organisations, including some in Asia, have been barred from entering Singapore during the IMF/World Bank meetings.

Police explained the sort of activities these people had engaged in that put them on the no-entry list.

“Among the people that we have raised objection to, they are characters who were involved in disruptive activities in Seattle in 1999, in Genoa in 2001, in Cancun in 2003,” said Soh Wai Wah, Chief of Staff, Singapore Police Force.

He was referring to violent anti-globalisation protests which have marred the World Trade Organisation and other international meetings in these cities.

He said one of those barred is known to have broken into the World Bank headquarters and stolen confidential documents while another was involved in the takeover of a consulate in San Francisco.

“So we are talking about characters that are of security concern, that are of law and order concern,” he said.

While these individuals had already been accredited by IMF/World Bank, police say it is the Singapore government’s decision whether to let them in or not.

“The World Bank makes the decisions on who to accredit. And the Singapore government makes the decision on who is to be allowed into the country,” said Soh.

For now, the Police are trying to contact these individuals through the World Bank or their embassies in Singapore so that they do not end up making an abortive trip.

Despite these developments, police say discussions are still ongoing between Singapore and the IMF/World Bank and relations remain cordial. They say that although they may not agree on everything, every effort is being made to reconcile differences. – CNA/ir

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September 2006