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Breaking News: Burmese nationals throng embassy in S’pore

Posted by theonlinecitizen on April 27, 2008

Developing news story

Latest update:

15.50 hours

A group of six Singapore Special Ops forces were seen moving up the slope of St Martin‘s in full riot gear. A contingent of female police officers were also seen.

15.14 hours

Embassy staff slow voting to a trickle as almost 2500 Burmese throng embassy.

TOC thanks all eyewitnesses for their continued updates from the ground. Pictures and a fuller report will be forthcoming on TOC from our writers on scene.

Around 2500 Burmese nationals are thronging the Burmese embassy to vote in a referendum for their new constitution. Many were wearing red t-shirts and caps that said NO, in opposition to the referendum.

Embassy staff are allowing only two to three persons a time into the embassy to vote every five to ten minutes, in what Burmese democracy activists see as a blatant attempt to make voting impracticably slow.

The queue to participate in the referendum is snaking down from the embassy all the way to Orchard Rd, opposite Tanglin Place.

Mr Marc Myo Myint, a member of the Overseas Burmese Patriots activist group told TOC: “They (the embassy staff) are deliberately obstructing the right of our people to vote. They have a responsibility to accommodate everyone to participate in the referendum”.

According to Mr Myo, the embassy staff demanded that the Burmese strip off their red shirts and caps. TOC is seeking clarification from sources on the ground as to whether any Burmese nationals were actually prevented from voting for not complying.

The bottleneck was induced by embassy officials around one pm, as large numbers of Burmese began turning up in the red t-shirts and caps. Before that, more people were allowed into the embassy, at the rate of four to five persons every five minutes.

Burmese monks have arrived at the scene to tell the crowds to keep calm.

The constitution, drawn up by the military junta, is seen by many Burmese as a bald attempt by the junta to cement its grip on power. It disqualifies opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from holding key political positions as she is married to a foreigner. Miss Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, won an election in a landslide in 1990.



7 Responses to “Breaking News: Burmese nationals throng embassy in S’pore”

  1. CelluloidReality said

    Yeap, I saw a few of them when I was walking around Wheelock Place.

  2. CelluloidReality said

    Here’s the IHT report.

  3. LimChuKangGRC said

    Why no coverage about this on the news?

  4. Delay Tacticians said

    The Burmese people have been going to their Embassy since Friday,
    25 April 2008 to await for the Embassy staff to inform them
    whether they were eligible to vote. The Embassy staff kept
    playing the delaying tactic. That’s why, today, the 3rd day in
    a row, the crowd has grown to so big.

  5. CelluloidReality said

    It was on CNA around dinner time. There was coverage of the “Say No” protesters.

  6. Daniel said

    We have a junta-like government, aka Papta, in Singapore abeit not using violence but using financial and economic as the ultimate controlling tool. Both have the same purpose: To keep themselves in power and wealth forever and indulging in exploitation of the nation. But I do find Singapore government is a better actors in the wayang show than Junta. Coffers, keep up the acting because your acting suck nowsaday, and everyone can see that from Selamat’s case.

    If ask the government if it is possible to remove the GRC system, will our PM reply
    “It’s the system. What to do ? It’s happened.” ?

  7. nntrstd said

    I think universal suffrage (here) should stay at 21 years of age. To be more specific, I think that voting rights should be given on to those who have an interest in voting, home-ownership and employment being two.

    I mean, even at the age of 21 if I had been forced to vote I might just have drawn a rude picture on the card instead, that is, if I believed I could have gotten away with it.

    Back to the point about those ‘interested’ in voting, material and non-material interests including. It is important I think that voting rights are given to those who WANT to vote, not to those who are uninterested in and disapprove of politicians (in ruling and opposition parties), even if there are those who are capable or even good.

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