Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts

Vol. V, No. 44      December 11 - 17, 2005      Quezon City, Philippines











Web Bulatlat


(We encourage readers to dialogue with us. Email us your letters complaints, corrections, clarifications, etc.)

Join Bulatlat's mailing list



(Email us your letters statements, press releases,  manifestos, etc.)



For turning the screws on hot issues, Bulatlat has been awarded the Golden Tornillo Award.

Iskandalo Cafe


Copyright 2004 Bulatlat


4 Anti-WTO Filipino Activists Detained in HK
Solon threatens to file diplomatic protest

Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño threatens to file diplomatic protest against the Hong Kong government if more Filipinos will be barred from entering Hong Kong for the anti-World Trade Organization (WTO) activities.


A DIFFERENT FESTIVAL: Anti-globalization activists stage a Mardi Gras against the WTO in Hong Kong last Nov. 27. More protests are expected as the WTO's sixth ministerial conference starts there Dec. 13.

Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño threatens to file diplomatic protest against the Hong Kong government if more Filipinos will be barred from entering Hong Kong for the anti-World Trade Organization (WTO) activities.

The Hong Kong government heightened security measures because of the 6th WTO ministerial meeting slated on Dec. 13-15. Casiño said it was “directed against activists primary coming from workers and peasants organizations whose respective memberships and representations have serious charges against the WTO.”

Among those held were Dr. Carol Pagaduan-Araullo, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan or national patriotic alliance) chairperson, Elisa Lubi of the International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS) and Gabriela women’s group, and Norma Binas of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU, May First Movement) who were detained on Dec. 8, and Danilo Ramos of the Kilusang Magbubulid ng Pilipinas (KMP or Philippine Peasant Movement) who was detained Dec. 9. The first three were reportedly harassed, detained and subjected to interrogation for about seven hours by HK authorities while Ramos was held for three hours. All four are set to participate in the coming People’s Action Week (PAW) led by the HK People’s Alliance on WTO (HKPA), a parallel activity to the ministerial conference.

"This is harassment and tantamount to curtailment of political rights to express dissent,” Casiño said. “The Hong Kong authorities have no right to arrest visitors to Hong Kong if they choose to become involved in the popular protests and other activities that seek to expose the WTO meeting for what it really is: a gathering of the world's top exploiters."

Based on a Dec. 9 statement signed by Araullo, the HK immigration officials refused to answer their questions on why they were being held. Araullo and company were detained and interrogated separately upon arrival from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Their bags were also searched for anti-WTO materials before they were released, she said in the statement.
”This is clearly a move by the HK government to intimidate overseas protesters and prevent them from expressing their sentiments against the upcoming trade talks,” Araullo said.

ILPS, RESIST! and Bayan contingents will be one of the biggest delegations from overseas for the PAW.

Meanwhile, Bayan spokesperson Renato Reyes said that an article in the Sunday Morning Post in Hong Kong revealed that 300 WTO protesters have been “blacklisted”. The list, though never officially acknowledged, was said to have been supplied by the Interpol. Prominent figures present during the WTO protests in Seattle and the recent APEC protests in South Korea are said to be on the list. Persons in the list will allegedly be denied entry to Hong Kong and taken to Victoria Prison.  The WTO conference will be held at Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.

The official representatives of 200 governments all over the world are expected to attend the WTO. But also set to converge in Hong Kong are workers, farmers and members of other marginalized sectors from underdeveloped countries to speak out against the WTO and its devastating impact on their lives and welfare.

WTO meetings have drawn wide protests in the past because of what is believed to be exploitative and oppressive trade practices of industrialized countries. Some protests were aimed at stopping previous rounds of negotiations that will further liberalize poorer economies.

So far, the groups that have figured in incidents with the HK immigration are Koreans and Filipinos while a peasant from the group Via Campesina in Brazil was also briefly detained before being allowed entry to HK. Bulatlat




© 2005 Bulatlat  Alipato Publications

Permission is granted to reprint or redistribute this article, provided its author/s and Bulatlat are properly credited and notified.