Re: [Mtgvenue] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100

<nalini.elkins@insidethestack.com> Thu, 26 May 2016 16:10 UTC

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Date: Thu, 26 May 2016 16:07:07 +0000 (UTC)
From: <nalini.elkins@insidethestack.com>
To: Ole Jacobsen <olejacobsen@me.com>
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Subject: Re: [Mtgvenue] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100
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Cc: "mtgvenue@ietf.org" <mtgvenue@ietf.org>, Leslie Daigle <ldaigle@thinkingcat.com>, "ietf@ietf.org Discussion" <ietf@ietf.org>
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Ole,

>(see also answer from Harish)

Very good answer from Harish.

>The questions you list are almost identical to ones that were compiled 
>based on early discussions on this list and which have been presented 
>to various parties in Singapore and to folks in same-sex relationships 
>who travel there frequently. The answers to all questions were, as you 
>might expect, "no issues." 

I am very glad that this was done.

>These answers has been countered as 
>"unhelpful" by some because they do not offer an iron-clad guarantee,
>and of course the law in question still is on the books and therefore 
>there is a perceived risk and uncertainty about its application.

Whenever you travel, there is the potential of risk.   Life itself does not come with iron-clad guarantees.

I think now there needs to be some policy based on reasonableness.  This needs to be a part of the venue discussion.  Everyone has to decide for themselves what level of risk they are willing to assume.  I suspect for some people they will tolerate no risk.  For most people, a risk of less than 1% or 5% ( or .00001% which is what I suspect it is for Singapore) is probably good.

Note, that we pass drafts based on ROUGH consensus not ACTUAL consensus.  As in any situation, 100% agreement or consensus is almost impossible to achieve.

I would say 100% guarantees of safety are also nearly impossible to achieve.  If you want to stay completely safe, then stay at home.  But, actually, in California, there could be an earthquake at any time, so even that is not safe. 

The particular case of Singapore, I would say, is that it is an extremely polite and law-abiding society.   Far more so than the U.S, in many ways.  The problems you will have are if you chew gum and discard it recklessly or throw litter.

Do we ask for 100% guarantees of safety in any other venue?  This is why this all seems quite unpleasant to those of us who live in Asia or are of Asian origin.


>Speaking only for myself, I believe we can have a successful meeting 
>in Singapore and that none of the concerns raised will be experienced 
>by any participant or family for this meeting.

I am looking forward to it.  I recommend the Chili Crayfish and of course, Isetan Singapore.  Much lovely shopping to be done on Orchard Road.  I may be there rather than at WG meetings (just kidding, of course.)


>Let me just add that Singapore is one of the top destinations in the
>world for conferences and major events of all kinds (F-1 racing being
>perhaps the most famous) as well as a major medical destination for
>all of Asia. Many large corporations and organizations have offices
>in Singapore. I personally do not believe that these organizations
>and events would continue to support Singapore (financially) if there
>were frequent reports of harassment and discrimination for visitors.

>This is not to say that life for the LGBT community in Singapore is
>without problems or that the laws shouldn't be changed. But I agree
>with you that moving the meeting would not be in the best interest
>of the IETF.

Thank you.
Nalini