A South Korean court has rejected a lawsuit filed by a group of labour unions against the IMF for alleged policy mistakes.
East Asia & Pacific
In February, about 300 activists from the Student Federation of Thailand, the Forum of the Poor and labour groups burnt effigies of IMF managing-director Michel Camdessus and some Thai politicians in a protest in Bangkok where officials were attending the UNCTAD-X meeting.
NGO activists in Jakarta wrote an open letter to World Bank President James Wolfensohn in February, asking him to meet directly with the people to hear their own solutions to reverse Indonesia’s economic decline based on small-scale, local initiatives.
The President of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, in Thailand in February for the UNCTAD meeting, refused to accept a letter from villagers affected by the Bank-backed Pak Mun Dam.
The World Bank’s project to improve the integration of the environment in its Country Assistance Strategies has a component to examine decisions made in environmental management which have had significant negative or positive impacts on economic development.
The World Bank should compensate communities affected by the Pak Mun Dam in Thailand, argues a new report by International Rivers Network.
The impact of the East Asia crisis on private infrastructure projects has been comparatively little discussed.
In November the Bretton Woods Project filed a submission to the International Development Committee inquiry into British aid to China and Pakistan.
The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), led by its new head Masaru Yoshitomi, has mounted an attack on the IMF’s use of conventional policies for dealing with the crisis in Asia and plans to hold meetings and seminars to challenge the IMF’s approach at the Bank/Fund annual meetings.
The International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) has criticised the Bank and Fund for failing to properly supervise the use of loan funds which were intended to help refinance the shattered banking sector.
Massacres perpetrated and condoned by the Indonesian army have led to calls to halt World Bank and IMF aid programmes to Indonesia.
Indonesian NGOs, concerned about the spread of oil palm plantations since the onslaught of the crisis, have formed “Sawat (Oil Palm) Watch”.