BURMA/MYANMAR: Singaporean citizens also at risk from indiscriminate shooting and killing by Myanmar security forces

The Asian Human Rights Commission has obtained an account of how a Singaporean citizen, living and working in Burma, was arbitrarily fired upon by Myanmar soldiers even though he and his wife were not involved in any demonstration and in fact, were not anywhere near a demonstration in Yangon on September 27, 2007.

The following is the text of the person’s message. Other reports also suggest indiscriminate shooting and killing in the area where he was hit. Although the government of Myanmar has maintained through its newspapers that only nine persons were killed yesterday, many accounts including this one, suggest that the numbers may be far higher.

The photographs of the injuries this person sustained and evidence of the use of riot ammunition are attached.

The text of the message:

“I am a Singaporean working in Myanmar for the past 11 years.

I was on my way to office (near Thuwana area) at around 4 to 4.30pm when the riot police block the road near “Super one, ILBC area”. I stop my car with my wife and walk out. Suddenly riot police and soldiers drove the truck around the corner and start firing shots at the crowd. We quickly ran to the side and squat down near the wall.

The soldiers came down and start to shoot at us. I was shot twice but I did not know what hit me. Both legs were bruised. The soldiers and police kicked us and the rest of the crowds into the drain and shouted that they would kill us if we look at them.

We were forced to stay in the drain for 15 minutes and gathered into a group. A commander came and gathered his troops and drove off to Tamwe direction.

After that I looked at my legs and found injures on [both] my left and right legs.

My wife found the “40mm riot control ammunition” empty cartridge that the soldiers [used to] shoot at me.

I would like the [Singapore] embassy and media to know the actions of this army.

We are just ordinary citizen going to work and they just shot at us for no reason. Imagine what they would do to the protesters!

I would like the Singapore government would make a strong stand against this violence crack down on the monks and people.

Attached is the photo of my injuries. I have been attended by a private doctor on my injuries. The doctor said I was very lucky that the shot missed the groin area.”

The Asian Human Rights Commission believes that all people in Singapore will be gravely concerned about the security of their fellow citizens living in Myanmar at this time. Furthermore we believe that they will be shocked at the extent of violence used by the Myanmar military and subordinate forces and would expect that your government will take all steps available to put an end to the bloodshed. We sincerely believe that political change in Myanmar will be of benefit not only to the people of that country but also the people of Singapore.

The Asian Human Rights Commission therefore calls on you to obtain and verify accounts of the dead and injured in Myanmar including of your own citizens and do everything you can both through direct contact with the government of Myanmar and through the international community to see that the violence is stopped and political change is achieved.

Yours sincerely,

Basil Fernando
Executive Director
Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong



Bruising caused by riot ammunition
Bruising caused by riot ammunition

Injuries caused by kicking
Injuries caused by kicking

Casing from 40 Mil Riot Ammunition
Casing from 40 Mil Riot Ammunition

Document Type : Open Letter
Document ID : AHRC-OL-034-2007
Countries : Burma (Myanmar),
Campaigns : Burma Peoples Protests