September 11, 2006
THE World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, two organisations that repeatedly praise the role of "civil society" activist groups in poor countries, have protested against a decision by Singapore to bar representatives of several such groups at their meeting with the leaders of poor countries next week.
The action by Singapore was taken out of fear of protests and violence, according to the Singapore police. But several of those barred were invited by both the World Bank and IMF to attend the meetings, as part of an effort in recent years to reach out to non-government organisations.
"We believe that all individuals who have been accredited to the annual meetings should be allowed to attend," the two organisations said last Friday. "We strongly urge the Singapore Government to act swiftly and reverse their decision on entry and access to the meetings for these representatives."
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