SDP applies for protest permit during ASEAN summit

The Singapore Democrats have applied for a license to hold a protest on 19 Nov 07 during the ASEAN Summit (18-22 Nov 07). The application was submitted yesterday.

ASEAN heads of government will be in Singapore for its annual meeting during which it will sign its charter, a full 40 years after its inception.

The charter promises to look into the protection of human rights in ASEAN states.

But the promise already looks very unpromising given the fact the charter will be signed in Singapore, a state that prohibits protests (with the exception, of course, of those aligned with the PAP). In addition, the Singapore Government is the current chair of the regional body.

Nevertheless, it is important that democrats and human rights defenders across the region continue their campaign to impress upon the member states that democracy plays a vital part in the region’s development.

As such, the planned protest on 19 Nov, Monday, outside the Shangri-la Hotel where the summit is taking place will be important event.

The protest will also be used to express the Singaporean community’s anger at the representatives from Burma. We are determined to show our solidarity with the oppressed people of Burma and continue our call for the military junta to restore peace and democracy in that country.

It will also be a prime opportunity to press ASEAN to take firm action against the pariah regime that has no business participating in the summit.

In light of all this, the SDP calls on the PAP Government not to make a laughing stock of Singapore: You cannot chair ASEAN, sign a charter pledging support on human rights, and then ban a protest at the summit.

The hypocrisy is too glaring, even by PAP’s standards