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Singapore Denies Activists Entry for World Bank, IMF Meeting

The government of Singapore has banned 28 foreign activists from entering the country for a joint World Bank-International Monetary Fund meeting next week, despite the fact the activists have invitations to attend.

World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz has protested the ban, as has the European Union.

Those who will not be admitted include representatives from the World Development Movement in Britain, Thailand's Focus on the Global South, the Freedom from Debt Coalition in the Philippines and the Forum on Indonesian Development.

Singapore police have also restricted activities by delegates to the meeting and several preliminary events, and have set tough restrictions on demonstrations.

The government says its policies will prevent violent anti-globalization protests such as those that have plagued IMF and World Bank meetings in the past.

Singapore is allowing about 700 activists from more than 70 organizations worldwide to gather at a specially designated zone in the convention center where the meeting will take place.

And Indonesian authorities have decided to allow foreign activists to gather on the island of Batam, 40 minutes away from Singapore by ferry.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.