Thursday, September 14, 2006

IMF Meet- Singapore a good example of security

It is a feature of IMF/World Bank meetings to engage with accredited representatives of civil society groups who stage protest rallies coinciding with major international economic conferences on a range of issues including the perils of globalization.

They also call for good governance and structural reforms of these lending agencies. These voices need to be heard and they play a vital role to bear pressure on these agecies to do what is right and fair.

When some of these civil society activists and they certainly are a minority, become over-zealous and engage in street battles torching vehicles and damaging buildings as was seen in Seattle and Hong Kong, that cannot be considered civil and it must be stopped. It should not be allowed as it is harmful to public safety.

Singapore has banned about 28 such activists from attending the meetings, saying they posed a threat to security. A secure area has been earmarked at the lobby of the conference venue for indoor protests by the accredited civil society groups.

Singapore does not allow street protests and it can be proud of peace and progress of a vibrant nation. It cannot take these for granted and therefore remains averse to unruly street protests.

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