irish .  15/09/2006

Hundreds of activists have today gathered on an Indonesian
island near Singapore ahead of the annual meetings of the International Monetary
Fund and the World Bank.

Singapore has banned outdoor demonstrations
during the meetings, saying they could lead to violence and damage to property.
It set aside a small indoor area where activists can gather to express their

“We are deeply disappointed with the Singaporean authorities, who did not give
us seats at the IMF meeting,” said Walden Bello, a Thai activist on the island
of Bantam. “We are not terrorists, we are not a security threat. We only wanted
to give our input on how developing countries should avoid debt.”

of Indonesian police, including anti-terror officers, guarded the indoor
demonstration site, a large hostel, where the activists

Yesterday, the IMF and the World Bank said Singapore breached
an agreement by barring at least two dozen accredited activists from entering
the country to attend their meetings.

Singapore said it would honour its
obligations, but noted that it would take measures to ensure security during the
meetings, which are expected to draw 16,000 participants.