Sunday, January 17, 2010

Batang Kali massacre.

The Batang Kali massacre is an incident that supposedly took place in Malaya on December 12, 1948 during British military operations against the communists in the post-World War II Malayan Emergency.

It was claimed that the 7th Platoon, G Company, 2nd Scots Guard surrounded a rubber estate at Sungai Rimoh, Batang Kali, Selangor in Malaya and shot 24 villagers before setting fire to the village. The only adult male survivor was Chong Hong, who was in his 20s at the time. He claimed to have fainted and was presumed dead by the guardsmen. Eye witnesses include the victims' spouse and children and others including Tham Yong age 78 and Loh Ah Choy age 67. At least one female eyewitness has questioned his account[citation needed]. The men had been separated from the women and children for interrogation before the shooting began. The incident today is sometimes described as "Britain's My Lai massacre". It was in this campaign that Sir Gerald Templer first coined the now famous phrase "hearts and minds" as part of his strategy for victory.

The British Defence Secretary (Denis Healey) instructed Scotland Yard to set up a special task team (lead by Frank Williams) to investigate the matter. A total lack of evidence caused the incoming Conservative government chose to drop the investigation in 1970.

On September 9, 1992, a BBC documentary, an investigative report into the massacre entitled "In Cold Blood" was aired in the United Kingdom and revealed fresh evidence about it. The documentary includes accounts from witnesses and survivors, including confessions of an ex-Scots Guards soldier and interviews with the Scotland Yard Police Officers who had investigated the case in 1970.

(source: wikipedia)

Recommended readings/websites:
1. Condemning Batang Kali Massacre Signature Campaign and Legal Action against the British Government,
2. Past lessons for occupying forces,

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