UALA LUMPUR: The Action Committee Con-demning the Batang Kali Massacre will not give up their fight despite a refusal by the British government to hold an inquiry into the 1948 massacre.
Lawyer Datuk Dominic Puthucheary said the committee was determined to fight Britain’s provisional decision to reject any probe into the killings.
“We will pursue without doubt until justice is done. It must be resolved by establishing the truth. It cannot continue with all these uncertainties and anxiety on how and why it happened.
“Until that is cleared, we are determined and we are going to continue the fight,” he told a press conference yesterday.
The lawyers representing the committee met with British government officials in July and Britain replied in a letter this month that it is “minded not to establish a public inquiry and not to take any other investigation in to those events”.
The main reasons given for refusing an inquiry and any further investigations were “the passage of time” and that it would be “resource intensive”.
Puthucheary said its British lawyers are currently campaigning among British MPs to drum up awareness and support for the inquiry.
“We will also do so in Malaysia by organising public opinion to support the inquiry,” he said.
Lawyer Firoz Hussein said the committee would continue to put in further representation and see what is the final decision before considering legal options.
He said they were also waiting for certain documents from the British Defence Ministry to shed more light on the massacre.
On Dec 12, 1948, in a military operations against the communists, a group of British soldiers allegedly shot dead 24 villagers in a rubber estate near Batang Kali before setting their village on fire.
In March last year, families of the victims and several non-governmental organisations formed the action committee.
The committee submitted a petition to the British High Commission calling for an official apology, compensation for the families of the 24 victims, and financial contribution towards the educational and cultural development of the Ulu Yam community.
Source：The Star, 30/8/2009, http://thestar.com.my/services/printerfriendly.asp?file=/2009/8/30/nation/4618440.asp&sec=nation