28 banned from attending IMF/World Bank meet
Singapore, Sep 12: Singapore police have banned 28 people from attending the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank, saying some of the members of the group from the eight civil society organisations (CSOs) were found to be involved in disruptive activities in the past.
Some of the 28 were involved in staging violent protests which marred international meetings in cities such as Genoa, Seattle and Cancun, Mr Soh Wai Wah, Senior Assistant Commissioner, said yesterday.
Responding to rising international criticism that Singapore is being too tough in its stance on the accrediting CSO representatives, he said the barred people were only a small proportion of the more than 500 CSO activists attending the IMF/World Bank meeting from tomorrow.
The CSOs give voice to a variety of causes related to environment, workers rights, global poverty and international trade.
SAC Soh said the activists have been given a prime spot indoors about the size of a badminton court at the Suntec City meeting venue so delegates could easily spot them.
While the IMF/World Bank could accredit activists for its meeting, the Singapore authorities would decide who enter the city state for the event, said SAC Soh, warning that those who insisted on coming would be stopped at the immigration checkpoints.
But some activists are not convinced about the arrangements. Mr Antonio Tricarrio, coordinator of the Italy-based Campaign to Reform the World Bank, said lawyers were being consulted on the implications of being blocked from attend the meetings.