Monday, March 21, 2005

Here's one more for the xenophobes: foreigners stealing our jobs, our women, and now our voices? From Reuters: Singapore prefers foreign protesters over its own

The organisers of next year's event, Singapore's central bank, have said that some 300 authorised foreign NGOs may be allowed to hold peaceful protests.

The government would strictly enforce its zero-tolerance policy towards public protests, organisers said. But protesters affiliated with NGOs participating in the meetings might be allowed to demonstrate if they went through the proper channels.

"Our domestic law is not at odds with this. If they are properly registered and subject to certain conditions, we will allow the demonstrations to take place," said Goh Chye Boon, co-chairman of the planning committee.

Public protests are rare in Singapore, where public gatherings of more than four people require a police permit. A person convicted of unlawful assembly can be fined up to S$1,000 ($615).

Probably not false reporting (even if exaggerated), since an earlier Channel News Asia report has:

The IMF World Bank annual meetings have seen their share of demonstrations in recent years - and the committee says it is fully prepared to handle them.

Police said they would allow assemblies and processions if organisers apply for a permit, but will clamp down on unlawful demonstrations.

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