International World British minister says 'active debate' on apology for India massacre

British minister says ‘active debate’ on apology for India massacre




- Advertisement -

A British minister said Tuesday there was an “active debate” in government about apologising for the killing of hundreds of Indian civilians, as India prepared to mark the 100th anniversary of the atrocity.

The April 13, 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, in which British troops opened fire on thousands of unarmed protesters, remains an enduring scar of British colonial rule in India.

Colonial-era records show about 400 people died in the northern city of Amritsar when soldiers opened fire on men, women and children in an enclosed area, but Indian figures put the toll at closer to 1,000.

Former British prime minister David Cameron described it as “deeply shameful” during a visit in 2013 but stopped short of an apology.

- Advertisement -

In a debate on the subject in London on Tuesday, Foreign Office Minister Mark Field said the massacre was a “shameful episode in our history and one that we deeply regret to this day.”

He said: “It would not be appropriate for me, in the context of this particular debate, to apologise today, but I have found many of the speeches very very compelling and I will take up with the foreign secretary and number 10 Downing Street a sense that we perhaps need to do a little more than the very deep regrets that I have set out today.”

He said representatives from the British High Commission would visit the site to lay a wreath and that the government would also publicly acknowledge the centenary in Britain.

A ceremony was due to take place at the site of the massacre on Saturday.

Earlier Bob Blackman, the Conservative MP who organised the debate, also called for the British government to say sorry, “not just explaining away what happened, but apologising for our involvement and what was done in our name”.

© Agence France-Presse

Send in your scoop to 

- Advertisement -

Mixed reactions to Shanmugam’s promise to install ‘many more’ police cameras across Singapore

Singapore—Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said in Parliament on Monday (March 1) that many more cameras will be installed in Singapore in addition to the 90,000 already located in public places such as car parks, neighbourhood centres and Housing...

‘Can we get a breakdown on those numbers?’ asks PSP’s Kumaran Pillai

Singapore — Progress Singapore Party's (PSP) Kumaran Pillai took to Facebook on Monday (Mar 1) to clarify his party's position. He made it clear the PSP did not want to close the Singapore economy but wanted a breakdown of the number...

Father tells daughter $650 monthly allowance is not enough and threatens to sue

  Bullied by her father who wants more money, a woman is asking how much children should give their parents once they start working. The post has gone viral. It was submitted to the anonymous confessions platform, the NUSwhispers Facebook page. NUSwhispers cannot...

Send in your scoop to