Tuesday, August 22, 2006

World Bank wants Singapore to waive ban on outdoor protests

The Singapore government does not allow any outdoor protest during the upcoming World Bank-International Monetary Fund joint meetings here but guess what - the World Bank doesn't mind them. In fact, they think Singapore should waive the ban on outdoor protests. Good on ya, World Bank! From Bloomberg:
``The bank's preference is that civil society groups should be able to peacefully express their views outside of the conference facility in a way that doesn't cause disruption,'' World Bank Singapore representative Peter Stephens said in an interview. ``We have our preference and Singapore has its laws, so we're trying to find an area that's acceptable to all.''

Singapore forbids the public assembly of more than four people without police permits and is unused to the mass rallies associated with global trade and finance summits. At the 2005 World Trade Organization meeting in Hong Kong, police used tear gas to quell crowds and arrested more than 1,000 people, while 600 were injured during IMF meetings in Prague in 2000 after cobblestones were pulled from the streets and flung at police.

``We have made maximum effort to facilitate the involvement of civil society organizations, within the framework of our laws,'' the Singapore government's committee organizing the meetings said in an e-mailed response to questions.

``We are unable to waive the current rules which prohibit outdoor demonstrations and processions, so as not to compromise the high level of security that will be in place during the conference,'' it said.


Boywonder said...

World Bank cool factor: 10
Singapore cool factor: 1

Johnny Q said...

No outdoor protests but got indoor.

Zoom3 said...

Why does the World Bank want protests?

mr black said...

indoor protest has no oooomph!

Anonymous_X said...

What's so cool of having outdoor protests? There are times that such protests would go wrong.

I don't understand either why World Bank doesn't mind them. Is it because the meeting usually is so dull that they need outdoor protests no matter how "peacefully" expressed to spice up their days? :-\

Chuang Shyue Chou said...

Considering that Chee Soon Juan has stated his intention, well, I doubt if this will ever happen.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see a real outdoor protest for once.

Anonymous said...

Urmm, most of the time the world media don't care about the Work Bank meetings unless there's a protest to report on :)

So outdoor protest might do the city good e.g. ppl around the world will see protesters running around the clean, tree lined streets behind the backdrop of an impressive convention centre on a nice sunny day.

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