Sunday, March 16, 2008

At least 10 arrested for staging street protest in Singapore

I, Seelan Palay, was also arrested yesterday. I fell down as they were dragging me away so I ended being dragged on the road (like a sack) and pushed into the police van. Photographs are below the news article.

SINGAPORE, March 15 (Kyodo) - Singapore police arrested at least 10 political activists Saturday who staged a rare demonstration against the government's response to rising inflation.

Nearly 30 people took part in the protest by the Singapore Democratic Party in front of Parliament House, making it one of the largest demonstrations recently in Singapore, where street protests political are illegal without police approval.

Led by the party's Secretary General Chee Soon Juan, a former university lecturer who has become one of the government's most vociferous critics, the demonstrators were wearing red shirts emblazoned with the slogan "Cannot stand it anymore."

They carried placards and chanted, "No more price hikes, no more exploitation, no more repression, take care of our poor."

They accused the city-states high-salaried Cabinet ministers of being out of touch with the plight of lower income Singaporeans.

After Chee and other senior party members refused police orders to disperse and tried to continue their march, a scuffle with the police ensued.

At least 10 protesters were hauled up, some struggling and kicking, into three waiting police vans and taken away, amid curious stares from dozens of passers-by who had gathered near the site.

Chee earlier said his application in November last year to stage the protest had been rejected by the police but he decided to go ahead with it anyway. "The important thing is to give Singaporeans a voice so that they can stand up for themselves," he said.

The inflation rate has been creeping up due to a global rise in food prices and last July's hike in the country's consumption tax from 5 percent to 7 percent.

The Trade and Industry Ministry has projected that Singapore's inflation rate, which has hovered between 1 and 2 percent in recent years, is expected to rise to between 4.5 percent and 5.5 percent this year.

More photos at Pseudonomity


JD said...

Bro Seelan.It is wonderful to see more and more Singaporeans standing up in protest of the rising cost of living.The T-shirts were spot on "Tak Boleh Tahan".Even here in Malaysia we cannot tahan.

Just wanted you to know that you will always have our support and prayers.take care bro.Valga Makkal Sakti!

bmahendran said...

aduh Seelan, just knew that u got arrested! damn.. dude, one day will join u there.

remnember, they can put our body in jail, not the spirit, never the soul!

Freedom of Speech!