Children's Day Installation art application rejected again

Posted by Sinapan Samydorai under Breaking News on 18 September 2003

The story repeats as Think Centre's application to hold an installation art display at public grounds to celebrate International Children's Day on Oct 1 is rejected by PELU. September 2002, Pelu rejected the display of 20 dolls.

September 2003, In a letter dated 15 Sept from PELU, TC's proposed display of dolls on a blanket was refused on grounds of "law and order considerations".

Think Centre had applied for the Public Entertainment License to display the artwork at two locations: Raffles Place and junction of Stamford Road/Armenian St. Instead the PELU advised TC to use the Speaker's Corner or an indoor venue.

This is ironic since in early 2003, TC's request to use a community centre and void-deck for a similar art display was categorically rejected by the authorities. TC wishes to reach out to the ordinary people and the general public, hence our choice of public areas for the art display.

Think Centre's desire to promote awarenesss on International Children's Day aims to send a positive signal to the world that Singapore is indeed advancing the rights of Children. In 1995, Singapore ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Children. Thus, the government of Singapore and civil society organizations like TC have an obligation to promote this.

Why then are the authorities disallowing an art display to create awareness of children rights to the public? Requesting Think Centre to exhibit at locations where the public do not gather indicates the failure to understanding our aim to create awareness.

There are several local Voluntary Welfare Organizations serving the needs of children here and overseas. Why can't civil society organizations, like Think Centre, promote and advocate for the rights of children, especially for those with disabilities? The authorities' convenient rejection of our applications is thinly veiled and does not make sense.

Think Centre questions if there are any "internal criteria and/or policy" instructing the police/PELU not to issue permits for events promoting human rights? TC would like to question this infringement of our civil right to create public awareness of the children rights. Ironically, this is a UN Convention to which Singapore has put its signature and ratified. TC's installation art is a creative way of promoting public awareness on the rights of children?

Think Centre would like the authorities to embrace the spirit of remaking and to explain its position on this matter. We need certain civil and political freedoms more than frivolous freedoms such as bar-top dancing and bungee-jumping.

Think Centre would apply to hold an installation art display at the Speaker's Corner to celebrate International Children's Day.

18 September 2003

Sources and Relevant Links:

Think Centre Playing with Dolls a Law and Order Problem - Think Centre's Permit Application Rejected 30 September 2002

Think Centre From Singapore 21 to Remaking Singapore: Dolls Don't Have Space, Much Less Arts3 October 2002

Think Centre IWD: 200 dolls planted at Speakers' Corner 8 March 2003

For further information contact:
Sinapan Samydorai
President of Think Centre
Tel: 9479 1906

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