24 Jan 2007

Authoritarian Despots Visit Authoritarian Despots


President of Uzbekistan to visit Singapore
Posted: 23 January 2007 1902 hrs

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov will make a state visit to Singapore from January 24-26.

He will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Rustam Azimov, Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Norov, Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade Elyor Ganiev, officials and a business delegation.

President Karimov will be calling on and hosted to a State Banquet by President S R Nathan.

President Karimov will also be meeting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

Speaker of Parliament Abdullah Tarmugi will be hosting President Karimov to lunch.

President Karimov will also be visiting Parliament House.

Singapore's Foreign Ministry says four agreements will be signed during the visit.

They are an Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Standardisation, Metrology and Accreditation, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan and Singapore on Bilateral Consultations, an Air Services Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Singapore Business Federation and the Chamber of Commerce of Uzbekistan. - CNA /ls


The article below makes rather bizarre reading.

Suddenly my belief that Singapore is unique, under threat from Islamic extremists, not ready for democracy, and that tight controls on the media are necessary to get all Singaporeans working together rather than have a Prime Minister having to 'fix' the opposition, is shattered.

But "Singapore is Unique" I hear you argue.

Really?

While reading below just replace the name of the country and the name of the president with that of Singapore and LKY and his cronies.

Uzbekistan from the BBC
President: Islam Abduganiyevich Karimov

Islam Karimov keeps a tight grip on the country

Islam Karimov has dominated the leadership since 1989 when he rose to be Communist Party leader in then Soviet Uzbekistan. The following year he became Uzbek president and continued in the post after independence. A referendum held in 1995 extended his term until 2000 when he won the presidential elections unopposed.

A further referendum in 2002 extended the presidential term from five to seven years. The next presidential elections are due in 2007.

Mr Karimov takes a ruthlessly authoritarian approach to all forms of opposition. The few western observers who monitored parliamentary elections at the end of 2004 condemned them as having failed to meet international standards and pointed out that all the candidates supported the president.

Mr Karimov has been accused of using the perceived threat of Islamic militancy to justify his style of leadership. Observers point out that the combination of ruthless repression and poor living standards provides fertile breeding ground for violent resistance in a volatile region.

[...]

The state maintains tight control of the media. Despite a constitutional ban on censorship and guarantees of press freedom, the media rights body Reporters Without Borders said in 2005 that the use of violence against journalists and disinformation by the authorities were commonplace.

In the aftermath of deadly unrest in the eastern city of Andijan in 2005, journalists were expelled from the area and foreign TV news broadcasts were blocked. The BBC's coverage of the uprising led to the closure of the corporation's bureau in Tashkent some months later.

Pre-publication censorship of the press by the state was abolished in 2002, but self-censorship is widespread.

The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists says that many Uzbeks rely on foreign sources - including Russian TV, the BBC and other broadcasters - as a counterpoint to the stifled domestic news media. The government controls much of the printing and distribution infrastructure.

Private TV and radio stations operate alongside state-run broadcasters. Foreign channels are carried via cable TV, which is widely available.

Uzbekistan had around 675,000 internet users by 2005, according to government figures.




6 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

You know something? I really like (relatively) "open borders". Singapore has tightly policed, but open borders — "Fortress Singapore".

Virtually anyone can come to Singapore.

Come one, come all... Maybe they should erect something like the Statue of Liberty.... "bring me your tired and homeless"...

It's a shame that the "liberty" part is patently missing. Oh well, can't have everything I suppose...

Anonymous said...

Uzbekistan is that bad? Hmm..no wonder Borat always curses Uzbeks... :-)

aygee

Anonymous said...

Rejoice Sillyporeans !

eks said...

ah, i do so love the opinions of westerners on the state of our political landscape.

they're so unbaised, all freedom-fighting and generally trying to help us become the best we can be - forged in the image of western-style democracy and capitalism.

wouldn't life in singapore be so much more enriched if we followed the model of the free british press?

we would still be lied to on matters economic and political (there is no such thing as the absence of agenda or bias), but we'd be better able to judge the ability of our leaders by their sexual habits and personal lives.

we must also move towards the american system of democracy. nothing says "first world" like taking power away from the citizens and giving it to the rich and powerful corporations who rule the first world, by way of k street and the supposedly citizen-sponsored lobby groups.

imagine, the poverty will be a thing of the past when singaporeans are paid by the hour to protest on the lawns of the istana for causes we don't even understand, just like in wishywashington!

we'll be able to free up our domestic budgets - cutting funding for education (hurrah for spelling like an american) and healthcare (who needs healthcare when we have drugs!), and use the money we've saved for doing more important things, like waging war on the third world (korea, vietnam, iraq, afghanistan, iraq again, and countless smaller engagements) and welfare (what better way to control the distribution of wealth?).

why should singapore deal fairly with its neighbours? i'm sick of it.

we should be more like the americans, who demand that other nations open their markets, while engaging protectionist measures on their own imports and exports.

screw multiculturalism. lets be blatently racist! if america wants to buy a piece of china it does. when the newly rich china wants to buy pieces of america, the goverment steps in to block these sales (haier-maytag, cnnoc-unocal) on the grounds of national security.

i mean, lets not give the chinese access to sensitive american washing machine technologies. the stain of corruption might wash off far too easily.

why should we pay fair market prices for anything? lets model ourselves after the french, and destroy our crops in order to keep demand (and price) high.

it's bad enough that china and india are getting richer and competing with the first world for resources. why should we let south america or africa reach that same level of developement? they're better of starving while we line our pockets with money.

lets not forget the virtue of hypocrisy. nuclear weapons in the hands of the worlds biggest aggressor is fine, but imagine what might happen if "rogue nations" (who can barely afford food) develop nuclear technologies? they might destroy the world out of spite!

i am so thankful that there are those in the west who look to singapore, and work to undermine our society so that we might become more like them.

i am also very thankful that they've forsaken their old religions in favour of capitalism.

it wouldn't do us any good if the west one day decided to read the bible and recall the words of their prophet, "how can you say to your brother, 'let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?".

god bless america. god save the queen.

hell, if this keeps up, god save us all.

Anonymous said...

eks said...

"ah, i do so love the opinions of westerners on the state of our political landscape."

Well said!

Hypocritical bastards.

The lying scumbags who undertook a war of aggression should be brought before the Hague and tried as war criminals. Yes that Cheney,Rumsfeld, Babee Bush and Blair gang.

Every time Blair or Bush utter such codswallop about freedom and democracy ... I wanna puke.

Disgusted

Matilah_Singapura said...

Folks, there are inherent dangers in generalising. But, I note your points.

There are many westerners who make Asia their permanent home. There is a general agreement (here we go with more generalisations) amongst them that their own countries are so totally screwed — so they had to get out and start new lives elsewhere — places where they, as individuals could be FREE (or at least feel freer). The risk is worth it, as is the cost of relocation.

When I relocated to Asia (Thailand and Singapore) from Australia 5 years ago, 4 of my buddies joined me 8 months later. Today 2 of them are waiting for the government's decision on their application for Singapore PR.

If you know how to, you can pretty much do anything you like in Asia. And pay less tax too!

Man, its anarchy. And it rocks!