19 DECEMBER

ENGLISH POLICEMAN DESCRIBES EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS IN PALESTINE

[ 19 December 1937 ]

On 19 December 1937,  Constable Sydney Burr, based at Haifa in the British mandate of Palestine, wrote home to his parents describing the extrajudicial executions of Arabs suspected of participating in an insurgency against British rule.

BRITISH GOVERNOR – VILLAGERS MORE FRIGHTENED OF US THAN THE COMMUNISTS

A suspect insurgent is held at gunpoint somewhere in Malaya –
 © IWM (K 13104).
)

[ 19 December 1948 ]

Today in 1948, it was just one week after 24 unarmed Chinese rubber plantation labourers in the Malayan village of Batang Kali were tortured and then shot dead by British troops, after which their homes were burned down [see 12 December 1948]. Consequently, it was with some confidence that Sir Henry Gurney, the British governor of Malaya, wrote to Arthur Creech Jones, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, reassuring him that the Chinese ‘are as you know notoriously inclined to lean towards whichever side frightens them more and at the moment this seems to be the government.’1 There’s no record of the Secretary of State’s response, but he can hardly have been surprised that the communist war of plunder against the wealthy plantation owners in Malaya was considered by low paid Chinese plantation workers to be far less terrifying than the British war of plunder against the rural poor, burning their homes, murdering the men and evicting the women and children from land they had cleared from the jungle.

THE UK’S REFUSAL TO PROSCRIBE THE UDA TERROR ORGANISATION RIDICULED

On 19 December 1980, an article appeared in the New York Daily News, based on a telephone conversation with Sam Duddy, the press relations officer of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), the largest Loyalist paramilitary organization in Northern Ireland. 

FOOTNOTE

  1. Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper, Forgotten Wars: The End of Britain’s Asian Empire, Allen Lane, London 2007, p. 455.

Please feel welcome to post comments below.  If you have any questions please email alisdare@gmail.com

© 2020 Alisdare Hickson All rights reserved

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