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 Post subject: Scots Guards cover-up
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 5:40 pm 
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Lawyer tells how massacre by Scots Guards was covered up for 60 years
Soldiers on patrol during the Malaya Emergency (Getty)

Scotsman
Published on Tuesday 8 May 2012 00:58

Successive UK governments have covered up the killings of 24 unarmed Malaysian
rubber plantation workers by British troops in 1948, a lawyer representing
relatives of the victims said yesterday.

The current government's refusal last November to hold a formal investigation
into the massacre will be challenged during a two-day judicial review hearing
due to begin at the High Court today.

John Halford, one of the families' UK-based lawyers, said: "What happened at
Batang Kali was an extremely serious human rights abuse on any view at all.

"It was a massacre of 24 unarmed people who weren't in any sense combatants,
weren't offering any kind of threat to the British troops who killed them.

"That in itself is serious enough, but what then followed was a cover-up that
has basically lasted the following 60 years to this day, where the British
government has denied anything untoward happened at all."

The massacre, involving a platoon of Scots Guards, occurred on 12 December,
1948, while British troops were conducting military operations to combat the
post-Second World War Communist insurgency of the Malayan Emergency.

Soldiers surrounded the rubber estate at Sungai Rimoh in Batang Kali and shot
dead 24 people, before setting light to the village. Commentators have described
it as one of the most controversial incidents in British military history.

It has also been called "Britain's My Lai massacre", in reference to the killing
of hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese villagers by United States troops in 1968.

Mr Halford said the official account of what happened was that the victims were
attempting to escape when they were shot and "brought their deaths upon
themselves".

But he added: "The truth is that these people were killed ruthlessly in a series
of what can only be described as executions by British troops, probably in
reprisal for things that had happened earlier on in the Malayan Emergency, even
though those killed weren't responsible in any way for that.

"What's happened ever since is that officials – essentially British officials –
have conspired to maintain the official account and suppress that very basic
truth that these killings were unlawful and could never be justified."

Former defence secretary Denis Healey instructed Scotland Yard to set up a task
team to investigate the matter while Labour was in power, but an incoming
Conservative government dropped it in 1970, due to an ostensible lack of
evidence.

Mr Halford said the reason for the termination of the inquiry would be revealed
in the High Court hearing, which the families hope will lead to a public
inquiry.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokeswoman said: "This event happened
over 60 years ago. Accounts of what happened conflict and virtually all the
witnesses are dead."

She added: "In these circumstances, it is very unlikely that a public inquiry
could come up with recommendations which would help to prevent any recurrence."

Three of the victims' relatives, who were being taken away by lorries during the
killings, described the massacre at an emotional press conference in central
London.

Lim Ah Yin, 76, spoke of how the troops carried out a mock execution on her
mother as they demanded information about the location of Communists.

Mrs Lim, who was 11 years old, also heard the gunfire which killed her father.

Loh Ah Choi, 71, heard his uncle being shot three times.

"I would like the British government to apologise," he said. "I was about seven
years old."

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 11:04 pm 
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Do you think this will turn out to be true; or the Onionist dirty tricks brigade trying to make Scots feel bad about themselves?

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 8:31 pm 
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I think it's quite probably true. I've known one or two people over the years who served out there, and they had some stories to tell...

Quote:
the Onionist dirty tricks brigade trying to make Scots feel bad about themselves?


We're just as capable of barbarity as anyone else. There are Scots in history who were heavily involved in the slave trade, murdered the natives of various countries etc.

But it wouldn't have happened if we were independent. There weren't any Irish Army regiments out there. (NI maybe, but not ROI)

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:14 pm 
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The role of Scottish soldiers in Kenya in the 1950s has also come up for scrutiny recently. Large numbers of National Servicemen were deployed hunting Nationalists in the Kikuyu Highlands. And I mean "hunting".


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:42 pm 
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The whole joke is that I was watching the Melrose Sevens on TV a year or two back. The Scottish Army VII consisted mostly of Kenyans, with a white, plus some Fijians. Seems Kenyans are making up for the recruitment shortfall here.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:33 pm 
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scot47 wrote:
The role of Scottish soldiers in Kenya in the 1950s has also come up for scrutiny recently. Large numbers of National Servicemen were deployed hunting Nationalists in the Kikuyu Highlands. And I mean "hunting".


I can well believe it.

This shouldn't make us feel bad about ourselves but bad about the Scottish role in Britain.

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