Sg Human Rights members stage march to present petition to ASEAN

Singapore Democrats
20 Nov 07

Four members of Sg Human Rights, Mr Chia Ti Lik, Mr Ho Choon Hiong, Mr Isrizal and Mr Seelan Palay walked from the Orchard Road MRT Station to Shangri-La Hotel this afternoon to present a giant “greeting card” to the ASEAN Secretariat. (See AFP report below)

The card, calling for freedom in Burma, was signed by attendees at a public forum held on 18 Nov 07.

Mr Ng E-Jay, another member of the newly established group, released a press statement which stated that the four activists were accompanied by about 20 members of the press as well as policemen who video-taped the activity.

The statement also said that the petitioners walked from Orchard MRT station to Orange Grove Road whereupon they were stopped by the police on standby.

The police did not allow the four men to proceed to the hotel even though it was was open to the public. The reason was that the petitioners were holding an item that could prove “embarrassing to the Burmese representatives at the ASEAN Summit.”

The activists eventually handed over the greeting card to a representative of the ASEAN Secretariat who came to collect it.

They answered some questions from the journalists before dispersing. Mr Ng said that the group will provide more details of the event as well as video footage of the activity in due course.

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Protesters barred from giving Suu Kyi card to ASEAN leaders

20 Nov 07

Singapore activists were barred Tuesday from delivering a greeting card bearing the image of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to Southeast Asian leaders meeting here.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit has been dominated by the issue of the military state, which earned global condemnation for its violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests in September.

Singapore authorities have tightened laws against public protests as part of an intense security campaign surrounding the summit, but four activists marched toward the venue in an attempt to deliver the card.

Wearing T-shirts with the message “We pursue peace, justice and democracy for Burma,” they proceeded down the famed Orchard Road shopping strip under the watchful eye of police.

When they reached the approach road to the heavily guarded hotel where the meeting is being held, they were stopped by police who refused to let them pass and arranged for an ASEAN official to collect the card.

Measuring about two feet (60 centimeters), it contained about 40 signatures and messages which organizers said were mostly from Myanmar people.

“Human rights and peace for all” and “We all want human rights now” they read.

“What has been done in Burma should not be condoned,” said one of the protesters, Chia Tilik.

“We come in peace to deliver peaceful messages,” said another of the group who gave his name as Isrizal. He said they were upset over ASEAN’s decision to cancel a planned briefing on Myanmar by UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari.

They were “really disappointed that ASEAN has snubbed Gambari. That’s the whole hypocrisy of the matter,” he told Agence France-Presse.

On Monday another group of nine foreign students from Singapore universities tested the city-state’s laws, which ban protests of five or more people without a permit, by marching in small groups along Orchard Road.

Carrying candles and wearing the same red T-shirts as Tuesday’s group, they later dispersed without incident

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