27 Mar 2007

Singapore's Lee to face student protest

The Age
March 27, 2007 - 7:29PM

Former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew will face protests when he is awarded an honorary doctorate at Canberra's Australian National University on Wednesday.

Mr Lee's award has angered some ANU academics who accuse him of running an authoritarian regime.

He will be awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Laws at a ceremony on Wednesday morning.

ANU's branch of Young Labor Left is organising a protest against the award, saying it will draw members of all ANU colleges and a large number of staff, students and organisations on campus.

The rally is due to begin at University House at 10.30am (AEST).

A motion condemning the decision will be debated at the ANU Student's Association's ordinary general meeting on Thursday afternoon.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer on Monday acknowledged there had been international concern about human rights issues in Singapore but praised Mr Lee as a "great regional leader".

"The fact is in the overall sense, Singapore has been a spectacular success," Mr Downer said.

Mr Lee will receive the doctorate from ANU Chancellor Allan Hawke at 11am (AEST).

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