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Later this month the 70th anniversary of one of the most discreditable  incidents in the history of the British Army will occur. On the 12th of December 1948 men of the Scots Guards murdered 23 rubber plantation workers in Malaya. On the previous night they had shot another of the workers at the Batang Kali camp. I should qualify my opening statement: one of the worst incidents that we know of. Until December 1969 very few people knew of the Batang Kali Massacre. That was when some former Scots Guards who had been there spoke to the People newspaper. The Labour government of the time asked Scotland Yard to investigate but the inquiry was shut down by the Tory government which took power shortly afterwards.  Until recently former senior Scots Guards officers vehemently denied there had been a massacre and many journalists and writers took them at their word. In 2012 the Royal Courts of Justice  put an end to that nonsense by ruling that there was a massacre but it refused to order a fresh inquiry. Further attempts through the courts, all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, to force the British authorities to tell the truth have all foundered for one technical reason or another. What makes me so angry is that the army and government seems to have got away with making sure the truth about what happened 70 years ago never comes out. The official version remains that the men were shot while trying to escape, the unofficial version is that it was a work of a rogue patrol. We know there was a massacre, we will probably never know who ordered it.  See Batang Kali Revisited  

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