Authoritarian Despots Visit Authoritarian Despots


President of Uzbekistan to visit Singapore
Posted: 23 January 2007 1902 hrs

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov will make a state visit to Singapore from January 24-26.

He will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Rustam Azimov, Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Norov, Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade Elyor Ganiev, officials and a business delegation.

President Karimov will be calling on and hosted to a State Banquet by President S R Nathan.

President Karimov will also be meeting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

Speaker of Parliament Abdullah Tarmugi will be hosting President Karimov to lunch.

President Karimov will also be visiting Parliament House.

Singapore’s Foreign Ministry says four agreements will be signed during the visit.

They are an Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Standardisation, Metrology and Accreditation, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan and Singapore on Bilateral Consultations, an Air Services Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Singapore Business Federation and the Chamber of Commerce of Uzbekistan. – CNA /ls

The article below makes rather bizarre reading.

Suddenly my belief that Singapore is unique, under threat from Islamic extremists, not ready for democracy, and that tight controls on the media are necessary to get all Singaporeans working together rather than have a Prime Minister having to ‘fix’ the opposition, is shattered.

But “Singapore is Unique” I hear you argue.

Really?

While reading below just replace the name of the country and the name of the president with that of Singapore and LKY and his cronies.

Uzbekistan from the BBC

President: Islam Abduganiyevich Karimov

Islam Karimov keeps a tight grip on the country

Islam Karimov has dominated the leadership since 1989 when he rose to be Communist Party leader in then Soviet Uzbekistan. The following year he became Uzbek president and continued in the post after independence. A referendum held in 1995 extended his term until 2000 when he won the presidential elections unopposed.

A further referendum in 2002 extended the presidential term from five to seven years. The next presidential elections are due in 2007.

Mr Karimov takes a ruthlessly authoritarian approach to all forms of opposition. The few western observers who monitored parliamentary elections at the end of 2004 condemned them as having failed to meet international standards and pointed out that all the candidates supported the president.

Mr Karimov has been accused of using the perceived threat of Islamic militancy to justify his style of leadership. Observers point out that the combination of ruthless repression and poor living standards provides fertile breeding ground for violent resistance in a volatile region.

[…]

The state maintains tight control of the media. Despite a constitutional ban on censorship and guarantees of press freedom, the media rights body Reporters Without Borders said in 2005 that the use of violence against journalists and disinformation by the authorities were commonplace.

In the aftermath of deadly unrest in the eastern city of Andijan in 2005, journalists were expelled from the area and foreign TV news broadcasts were blocked. The BBC’s coverage of the uprising led to the closure of the corporation’s bureau in Tashkent some months later.

Pre-publication censorship of the press by the state was abolished in 2002, but self-censorship is widespread.

The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists says that many Uzbeks rely on foreign sources – including Russian TV, the BBC and other broadcasters – as a counterpoint to the stifled domestic news media. The government controls much of the printing and distribution infrastructure.

Private TV and radio stations operate alongside state-run broadcasters. Foreign channels are carried via cable TV, which is widely available.

Uzbekistan had around 675,000 internet users by 2005, according to government figures.

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About soci
Lived in Singapore for 6 wonderful years and has been blogging since 2003, under various names but always on Singaporean issues.

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