theonlinecitizen

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TOC Breaking News: 50 Burmese nationals protest

Posted by theonlinecitizen on November 20, 2007

For more pictures, please visit Pseudonymity’s blogsite.

20/11/2007, 1930 hrs:

50 Burmese nationals gathered outside Orchard Hotel in groups of three. Standing in rows of three, they formed a line that snaked across the frontage of the Hotel. One group carried a banner that said: “Listen to Burma’s desire, don’t follow junta’s order”.

We want to meet Gambari

Mr Marc Myo, a protest spokesperson and a student at Singapore Management University, told the assembled reporters that the Burmese community would like to meet with UN Special envoy Ibrahim Gambari. Mr Gambari will soon be in Singapore to meet with Asean leaders.He said this show of force was to put pressure on Asean and Burma to effect the immediate release of jailed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Speaking to TOC via a phone interview, he said: ‘Asean has taken no responsibility or action to solve the problem in Burma. We want them to push for the release of our national leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’.The gathering dispersed without incident after they were warned by police officers that they could be in violation of the law.

Police attempt to detain local activist, unsuccessfully

Mr Isrizal, a local activist with SG Human Rights was at the scene observing the gathering. When the group of Burmese dispersed, he was approached by a group of six police who asked him for his identification and why he was there.

Mr Isrizal then told them they had no business to question him as he had not committed any offence. He then walked off. The police officers attempted to hold him back but he brushed them off. After tailing him for about 15 metres they gave up.The incident was witnessed by two other members of SG Human Rights.

Mr Isrizal was part of a group of local activists who walked to the police road block at Delphi Orchard earlier this afternoon.

20/11/2007, 1830 hrs:

A group of 20 Burmese nationals are now gathering at Orchard Parade Hotel in anticipation of a demonstration that expected to happen at around 1930 hrs.Organizers of the protest have not released details of what they are planning.

Six Special Operations riot vans were spotted coming out of Orange Grove Road 30 minutes ago, moving towards Orchard Road Proper.

Plainclothes police are lightly dispersed around the venue, with two on the second floor of Orchard Hotel and two on the street outside the Starbucks cafe. They were identified by members of the gathering who have seen the policemen before. Observers at the venue described the atmosphere as extremely tense.

Police have made clear that the Shangri-La is one of four protected areas within which they have the power to stop, search or detain at will.

Earlier in the day, a group of four civil society activists including Mr Chia Ti Lik, who took part in last year’s General Elections, attempted to present a petition to the Asean heads of state. They were allowed to walk from Orchard MRT to Orchard Parade Hotel, but were stopped by police outside Delfi Orchard. A member of the Asean secretariat came to receive their petition.

Today’s protests follow an attempt by nine international students to reach the Shangri-La.TOC will post updates as the situation develops.

20/11/2007, 1700

Singapore Democratic Party activists Ms Chee Siok Chin and Mr John Tan were arrested as they attempted to enter a road leading to the Shangri-La. They were bundled into a police vehicle which later dropped them off outside the protected zone at Orchard Hotel.

Special thanks to Isrizal for the pictures. 

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34 Responses to “TOC Breaking News: 50 Burmese nationals protest”

  1. […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptTOC Developing news: Protest planned by Burmese nationals Posted by theonlinecitizen on November 20, 2007 20/11/2007, 1830 hrs: A group of 20 Burmese nationals are now gathering at Orchard Parade Hotel in anticipation of a demonstration that expected to happen at around 1930 hrs. Organizers of the protest have not released details of what they are planning. Six Special Operations riot vans were spotted coming out of Orange Grove Road 30 minutes ago, moving towards Orchard Road Proper. Pla […]

  2. at82 said

    Got pic?

  3. Zheng Xi said

    Trying to upload, will attempt to get it out soon.

  4. Daniel said

    ya,

    It seems like ASEAN summit is nothing but just signing the business contracts between Singapore and other nations. As a burmese student, I feel that they (Singapore Government) are neglecting human right violation in BURMA, showing no consideration to people of Burma.

    If a law has no punishment and enforcement, it is not LAW but juzt a paper. ASEAN charter is similar to it.

    I support today protest: burmese people should go out and protest peacefully to show their genuine desire.

    FREE BURMA,
    Daniel Martin.

  5. Casey said

    Well done! At least the few blokes from England didn’t do it for nothing. Have the guts to stand up against such tyranny.A civilized nation got to at least have a Government that respect human rights and democracy. Your Government sucks at it by supporting the death penalty. Open your eyes.

  6. Ng E-Jay said

    The entire event went on peacefully. There was no shouting, no heckling. The Burmese totally DEBUNKED Lee Kuan Yew’s notion that protests end in violence or public disturbance. The 40-50 Burmese showed the perfect example of a peaceful, law-abiding protest that went so smoothly that all of us were impressed with them! No one was inconvenienced. Pedestrians walked freely around the area and there was little interruption to the normal routine of folks not involved. The protest was a great success. KUDOS TO THE BURMESE!

  7. […] in the biggest incident so far, some 40 Myanmar citizens held a large banner reading: “Listen to Burma’s Desires, […]

  8. newsman said

    More news and pictures here:

    http://linletkyalsin.blogspot.com/

  9. Peace Pagoda said

    The Burmese are being provocative and the police are being obstinate. If this keeps up, there will surely be trouble as it only takes one idiot from one side. Everyone should just cool it.

  10. Zheng Xi said

    Peace,
    Actually even the ST admits the protest was completely peaceful and went off without a hitch. If there’s an idiot who creates trouble, it won’t be from their side.

  11. The Beng said

    The turn out is so big. Police will definitely start arresting. The last thing on the Burmeses’ mind is to get deported back.

  12. […] ASEAN Summit – The Online Citizen: 50 Burmese nationals protest – Pseudonymity: Activists Test Singapore With ASEAN Protests – Random Thoughts of a Free thinker: […]

  13. Singapore Resident said

    http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BForum/Story/STIStory_178836.html

    ‘This is your last warning, leave now or we will remove you’

  14. Singapore Resident said

    ‘This is your last warning, leave now or we will remove you’

    Above applicable ONLY to Sillyporeans…FT are exempted

  15. Tay said

    LOL where is the “please”? The police are expecting something very soon so the organisers should take their time and plan it carefully as they have only one shot left. If they do it too soon, the Asean summit can close without incident, no need to rush into things and have an opportunity cost. Better to have the big thing on the last day.

  16. Another Singapore Resident said

    in the next standoff, who will start it? it takes two to tango. since it is tense situation, anybody can make the stupid mistake of escalating the confrontation. i bet the police now blur and panic.

  17. Gary Teoh said

    what is the intention of police in refusing peaceful protest? It is not a racial riot,dont compare to that happened in 1964 or 69 . Hence peaceful protest would not drive away foreign nvestment. On the contrary, if ASEAN is seen as a lame duck, then foreign investors will think twice about putting funds in this region.

  18. The Truth Hurts said

    The Burmese protest yesterday is good for Singaporeans. They take the risk, we harvest the returns. We cheer on along the side, but if they get busted by the police and deported, it doesn’t affect us. If anything, their arrest would make the government and police more vulnerable to criticism and cause further cracks in their credibility. The government would eventually buckle under pressure if this keeps up, and change to a more progressive one. The problem is getting enough cannon fodder to sustain the pressure on this government. These Burmese protestors are useful and should be encouraged. Let’s be brutally honest. To put it as a harsh analogy, they are somewhat like the foreign workers here – they do the dirty job and then we send them home after a while, and Singapore society benefits.

  19. George said

    Didn’t the govt got told to MYOB by the Burmese, Malaysian and Indons?

  20. Deep down inside i believe every police officer wished he could let the Myanmese marchers proceed. But do note some differences in approaches.

    The Myanmese gathered and marched but complied immediately with police orders.

    CSC and John Tan were more defiant and proceeded. Come on, lunch at the hotel?!?

    For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The type of peaceful gatherings the Myanmese engage in produce sympathy. The confrontational “peaceful” actions by the SDP provoke reaction.

    No right no wrong…. just different.

  21. shamil said

    see this!!

  22. Timmons said

    A while back, Chee Soon Juan had “protested” outside the Istana and his party had amassed signatures in their 2 in 1 petitions. But where is he when it matters most at ASEAN where all the leaders who can make a difference are all there? He is after all, the darling of all international media. Strangely, only his sister and party member went over to ‘give the Burmese support’.

    i salute the burmese students in their brave and sincere efforts for their march. they did not create a scene and cooperated with the police. i hope that no singaporeans or foreigners allows themselves to be used as any political party’s mouthpiece

  23. LifesLikeThat said

    Timmons,

    I am also curious why chee himself was not there. I am disappointed that the sdp got involved in this. The Burmese people had genuine grievances to air with ASEAN and they can’t do this in their own country. So they try and do this here in Singapore where the ASEAN meeting is being held.

    It is sad to see that an opportunistic opposition party is trying to piggyback on the Burmese people’s genuine sufferings in order to stage a sideshow or a wayang.

    I am really disappointed with the SDP. I think they need to give it a rest.

  24. Dingo said

    When Dr Chee is there, complain. When he is not there, also complain. HAHA.

  25. afa said

    With this kind of thinking.. ….. free rider..

    U still think Singpaore will benefits with ur thinking..

    The Burmese protest yesterday is good for Singaporeans. They take the risk, we harvest the returns. We cheer on along the side, but if they get busted by the police and deported, it doesn’t affect us. If anything, their arrest would make the government and police more vulnerable to criticism and cause further cracks in their credibility. The government would eventually buckle under pressure if this keeps up, and change to a more progressive one. The problem is getting enough cannon fodder to sustain the pressure on this government. These Burmese protestors are useful and should be encouraged. Let’s be brutally honest. To put it as a harsh analogy, they are somewhat like the foreign workers here – they do the dirty job and then we send them home after a while, and Singapore society benefits.

  26. […] Full Story […]

  27. SH Yeo said

    Burma have their ‘junta’s’, so have singapore. time to learn from the burmese what is worth fighting for in their life. Open yr BIG EYES folks!!!

  28. The Truth Hurts said

    Free-riding or getting a good deal, is the true Singaporean calculative way. If one is so gungho about it, stand with the Burmese protesters the next time they head out.

    It is almost like with voting in opposition during GE – everybody wants more opposition in parliament, as long as the opposition does not win the SMC or GRC they are living in. Let some other SMC or GRC take the risk, while the rest reap the returns.

  29. blackteeshirt said

    we have to consider if the burmese who protested in singapore would protest in burma when the protests were ongoing, when the military used extreme violence.

    they protested in singapore where they wouldnt be exposed to such violence by the authorities.

    if they wouldnt, it would be equivalent to the singaporeans in singapore wouldnt it?

    if they would, it teachs us a lesson in democracy.

  30. Aung said

    Hi Blackteeshirt:

    I am one of the Burmese demonstrators that day.

    By demonstrating in Singapore, we could be sent back. We knowingly took the risk. Most the Burmese oversea regretted that they were not in Burma during September uprising. If we were inside, surely we would join the protest as we did in 1988.

    Sometimes, you need to do for what you believe. In fact, the right to assembly is one of our fundamental human rights. If a party or a government is using unjust laws to violate our rights, it is better to defy those unjust laws rather than keeping quiet. For doing that, you may face the retialation from the government. But your effort will never be in vain.

    With best regards,
    Aung

  31. choon said

    Hi Aung and all

    a video of the burmese demonstration at Orchard Road

  32. choon said

    Aung and all

    forgot to place the link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0t3RYT6Xwds

  33. Aung said

    Hi Choon,

    Thank you for the video.

    With best regards,
    Aung

  34. […] 3. 50 Burmese nationals protest, The Online Citizen, 20 November 2007 […]

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