What is of interest is the police's justification of banning protests, banning CSOs and activist's entry into the country, and of course the rally/march to be held this Saturday at Speaker's Corner. Can the reason of "law and order" be justified in every occasion?
By Asha Popatlal, Channel NewsAsia
Posted: 11 September 2006
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