[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Thomas Deve reports from anti-IMF/WB people's forum
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Sun Sep 17 06:14:11 BST 2006
The Batam International People's Forum against the IMF
and World Bank kicked off as scheduled, with day one
dedicated to reviewing the situation in Indonesia.
A number of delegates were turned away in Singapore,
the official host of the IMF-World Bank 2006 annual
meeting. Some were detained for almost up to six hours
by immigration and security personnel who interrogated
them for a greater part of the time. this was in spite
of the fact that they had transit and multiple visa
entries for Singapore and their destination was
The few who were lucky to make it were threatened wih
deportation in Batam if they did not present papers
strongly stating that they were promised visa
clearance on point of entry.
Colleagues from Asia saw a group of four Africans in
handicuffs and we are not absolutely certain about
their identities. It has been confirmed that one GCAP
youth coordinator from Kenya, Kiama Kaara was among
some Africans who were sent back by immigration.
It has emerged that some of the people who were turned
away at immigration points were scheduled to appear as
witnesses at a Debt tribunal to be held in Batam on
the 17th. It has been confirmed that some farmers from
Korea were also turned away.
Notwithstanding the security concerns in Singapore and
Batam over what authorities see as destabilising
antigloblisation meetings running parallel to their
official processes, it is clear that NGOs and social
movements have voices and views that can no longer be
Meanwhile, the call by some NGOs to boycott the
official meeting is gathering momentum with clear
signals being sent to authorities, by some big NGOs
who have cancelled all their activities in Singapore
as a gesture of solidarity wth the victims of the
emerging undemocratic tendencies displayed in
Indonesia and Singapore whenit comes to restrictions
imposed on NGO activity during the summit.
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