• March 13, 2015


The outcome of a case before the, UK Supreme Court, involving the massacre of civilians by the British army in Malaya in the 1940s could have major implications for hundreds of unresolved killings during the Troubles and may leave them unresolved.

The Batang Kali massacre took place on 12th December 1948 when British troops killed 24 civilians at the village during the so called Malayan ‘Emergency’.

The case is currently before the UK Courts with an argument predicated on the fact that the killings contravened Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The ECHR was itself incorporated into UK domestic by the UK Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998. The United Kingdom will attempt to argue that killings that predated the adoption of the HRA fall outside its jurisdiction.

Prominent Irish Rights Groups such as the Pat Finucane Centre and Rights Watch (UK) are extremely concerned about the implications of the case which could shut the door for actions on murders such as that of Pat Finucane (the Belfast Lawyer) and hundreds of other deaths involving the British Army or paramilitary gangs run by Army Intelligence.

In a statement Darragh Mackin, KRW LAW LLP, Solicitor for The PFC and RWUK said;

“This is a hugely significant case for families and victims who continue in their efforts to bring about effective investigations into legacy related deaths, and to secure justice and accountability. The Ba-tang Kali Massacre is a self-evident example, as to why legacy related cases in this jurisdiction, require an investigation which is effective, and in particular secures the right to the truth.”

(The full press release can be accessed at the RWUK link below)

There is a lot at stake for the United Kingdom who would like to ‘shut down’ judicial inquiries into not just the deaths in Ireland but the many hundreds of other deaths inflicted by the British army and Colonial Police Forces in Kenya, Aden and Cyprus.

Ironically the system used by the British in Malaya of organising paramilitary murder-gangs was developed in Malaya, ‘fine-tuned’ in Kenya and then used to deadly effect in Ireland.

The theory of ‘gangs and counter-gangs’ was taught for many years at the British Army’s staff college. Again in a stroke of irony the military forces of Ireland and the UK will now co-operate through the recently signed infamous British – Irish Defence agreement.



Link to Frank Kitson who wrote ‘Gangs and Counter Gangs’ and went on to teach at the British Army staff college:

Interesting observation on Frank Kitson in our recent CL News post about the British – Irish military agreement here:


Website with video on the Malayan village massacre:

BBC Video: In Cold Blood

J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

Internet site at:



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