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S'pore flag burnt in Vietnam riots: MFA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has verified that a Singapore flag was burnt by demonstrators in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park 1 in Binh Duong Province in Vietnam on May 13.

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has verified that a Singapore flag was burnt by demonstrators in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park 1 in Binh Duong Province in Vietnam on May 13.

Responding to media queries, MFA said that is a serious incident as the flag is a sacred national symbol and should be treated with respect.

The Singapore Embassy in Hanoi promptly conveyed Singapore's strong concerns over the flag burning incident to the Vietnamese government on May 14 via a diplomatic note.

The Singapore Embassy had also made representations to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Public Security to ensure that such an incident does not happen again.

MFA said the Singapore government continues to monitor the situation closely, adding that there have not been any reports of Singaporeans affected by the demonstrations so far.

So far, more than 20 people have been killed and about a hundred others injured in the anti-China protests in Vietnam.

However, protests at affected Singapore-run industrial parks have since ended.

At least one Singaporean has cut short his stay in Vietnam because of the riots.

Another Singaporean also had a close shave with the rioters at a factory.

Chuah Boon Hwa, a Singaporean witness in Vietnam, said: "They tried to come into the factory. I don't know if they were carrying any weapons.

"They tried to break the gate and come into the factory -- (on) 300 or 400 motorcycles. When you see that kind of situation, you will be very scared."

MFA said Singaporeans in Vietnam who require consular assistance can contact the Singapore Embassy in Hanoi, the Singapore Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City, or the MFA 24-hour duty office. 

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