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编者按:本文章转载自《网络公民》(TOC)网站:

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/03/open-letter-dominiques-family-response-safs-statement/

李瑞峰

(中/英文版)李瑞峰家属回应国防部的声明

以下的帖子上张贴在脸书(FACEBOOK)网页上。这个网页是为了纪念李瑞峰逝世2周年。他是于2012年4月在一场例常的军事训练中牺牲的。这帖子是为了回应在新加坡武装部队发表的声明在高等法院驳回了有关其家属申请诉讼后发表的。(请在此阅读原文:read original post here

本文撰写自李瑞峰家属

随着李瑞峰的母亲在脸书上发表了帖子,我们感到惊讶和对社会人士给予的支持及温馨的激励语言,身为李瑞峰的家属,我们仅此衷心的感激予以我们支持和激励的社会人士。

身为李瑞峰家属,我们愿意在此澄清我们的立场和我们说明对一些由于缺乏完整的信息而导致产生错误想法给予澄清。

验尸官的调查和验尸庭的结论

国防部于2016年3月7日在其脸书网页发表了(得出了导致李瑞峰死亡的主要证据)说,李瑞峰的死亡是“不像是预先知道的”。假设这是李瑞峰死亡案件的基本原因,那么,咋会在李瑞峰参与的训练一开始就有安全条例里规定:(军人)在进行特定的训练时限制只能使用2颗烟幕弹。新加坡武装部队是如何制定在训练课程时,在安全条例里规定限制只能使用2颗烟幕弹?

假设安全的危险是必然与燃烧氯化锌烟雾有关,那么,条例所限制的使用严烟幕弹的数量本身就根本不应该与烟幕弹联系在一起。就这个问题而言,我们在此要问国防部在死亡事件发生前,有关N452 烟幕弹是什么时候被引进来在进行使用的。他们是如何改进以前的烟幕弹的性能的?是否有进行任何的实验以确定其性能?假设是(把烟幕弹)集中在一起,或者是曝光效应的烟雾将会造成急性过敏的反应?国防部/新加坡武装部队是否可以与社会大众分享在这方面评估(假设有这方面)的安全知识吗?新型烟幕弹是由哪些化学成分组成?

事实已经说明了,抛出的烟幕弹的烟雾是导致李瑞峰死亡的原因。与此同时,事实也已经说明,抛出的烟幕弹数量已经超出了安全所规定的数量三倍了。我们不知道还有其他可以与此联系在一起导致李瑞峰死亡的原因。

验尸官是要确定造成死亡的原因。验尸官并不是要确定那2位军官/国防部是否应受到出发或者有罪!

国防部是否可以在其声明里就这一点说明清楚。

国防部长于2012年11月在国会发表的部长声明说,验尸庭的结论是:

是2名军官忽视了。

但是在他们(国防部)的脸书网页刊载的声明却说,

验尸庭“并没有找到任何证据证明2名军官必须直接负起造成李瑞峰死亡事件的责任。”

请国防部再一次澄清这一点,国防部的声明或者国防部在脸书网页上的说明是错误的?

国防部/新加坡武装部队应负起的责任

国防部至今尚未就李瑞峰死亡事件向家属提出正式的道歉。在过去我们已经要求国防部长就此直接向李瑞峰母亲道歉,作为国防部确认就此事件的忽视所造成,以安抚给她带来的悲痛。但是,他们拒绝了我们的这诉求。我们被告知,

国防部或者任何国防部/新加坡武装部队的高级官员不会以任何形式就此事件向李瑞峰母亲进行道歉。

接着,我们又提出另一个和解的方案给国防部。我们要求国防部在李瑞峰的葬礼上以象征式的敬意,不是以个人的道歉。但是,这个要求也被拒绝了。由于上述的要求被拒绝了,采取法律行动是受到约束的。一直到今天(2016年3月7日)我们才看到国防部在自己的网页上向社会大众发表道歉声明。

我们无数次的要求提供有关如何处理涉案的2名军官的情况。正如国防部长在2012年11月在国会里所说的,这2名军官是在执行时的忽视所造成的。验尸官也发现他们并没有遵循有关的安全条例进行实习课程。

我们无意追究2名军官,或者对他们进行惩罚。我们不是那种以牙还牙的人。我们只是要求国防部承担起应负的责任。三木根部长本身于2012年5月在国会里也说了,

正义不仅要为之,还必须要让人知晓 。它是要做了要让人知晓

但是国防部/新加坡武装部队迄今为止却拒绝让我们知道“

正义已经做了什么!

我们所能确实知道的是:网民在脸书网上上载了那2名军官其中的一名于2014年7月已经擢升军阶。对于一个普通市民,我们的理解是:这似乎是与国防部/新加坡武装部队确认有关军官在李瑞峰死亡事件上犯上了疏忽职责是互相矛盾的。这就是所谓的:

正义已经得到伸张!

国防部是否可以澄清其在脸书网页上发表的声明,“已经采取行政和纪律的行动处罚2名军官”说法是否已经执行?请你们告诉社会大众,这2名军官是已经“依据军事法律受到惩罚”。这样社会大众就可以看到正义已经伸张,而不是只是知道被伸张吧了!

改进安全管理制度

随着“(国防部/新加坡武装部队)设立了安全和检讨主管职位制度,呼吸医学专家咨询委员会检讨哮喘病的医学分级和派遣更多全职的安全管理官员到训练现场”,同时,说明有关新的N452 烟幕弹的性能……以取代原本在训练时使用的烟幕弹。

对于李瑞峰家属来说,这是值得我们感到宽慰的是由于李瑞峰死亡事件,这将确保所有的国民服役人员得到安全获得了保证。我们期望所有的安全措施能够尽快到位。这样不会再有另一个李瑞峰死亡事件的发生。这样能够让新加坡武装部队能够认识到自己的疏忽行为,进而确保所有的国民服役人员的安全受到保障。

对于家属的支持

国防部的声明披露说,“我们在过去已经提出过了预先赔偿的申请了,后来我们又撤销了”。法院已经“赔偿额判给了国防部”,就是他们已经放弃的。国防部的这个说明没有真正反映事实:他们所说的所谓“申请”主动撤销是因为总检查署要求家属与国防部之间进行调解。调解的条件是所有的法律费用全部放弃。法院的这个调解方案并没有得到实现。因为国防部不愿意接受我们的要求:国防部长向家属道歉或者国防部赔偿李瑞峰葬礼费用。在别无选择的情况下,家属被迫选择最困难的途径:到民事法院寻求赔偿。

我们要再次明确的说明,这场诉讼官司并没有涉及有关金钱的问题。它是为了通过法律诉讼得到应有的答案。如果国防部已经全面的“确认协助和提供”我们所寻求的答案,我们是不会采取法律行径的。

为了让关心这起事件的社会大众知道事情的实际情况,我们愿意在此澄清:至今我们并没有接受或者收到国防部/新加坡武装部队任何有关李瑞峰死亡的最终赔偿款。李瑞峰家属一再拒绝国防部/新加坡武装部队提出的拒绝赔偿的建议。我们只有接受国防部/新加坡武装部队支付在他逝世的当天把他的遗体安置在棺木后运回家给予的补助金费用。依据新加坡武装部队告诉我们,这笔费用并不是包括在(国防部/新加坡武装部队的)赔偿金的一部分。

最后,我们原因在此呼吁社会大众,应该公平对待徐顺全博士,是我们主动提出与他会面的。但是,最终的决定是我们自己。

我们无意也没有任何意愿把李瑞峰死亡事件转变成为政治课题。在过去3年,我们已经见了不少于4名行动党的国会议员,其中包括了显赫的部长和1名集选区的主席,寻求他们的援助。我们甚至几次写信给总理,要求他们协助取得有关李瑞峰死亡的答案。他们就是把我们在信件转给了国防部给我们复函。他们这样的协助,就如常说的,梳子是迈克尔乔丹的(即是这件事上谁负责的事谁来回复的意思)。我们并不扁担任何一个政党,我们只是为了寻求得到一个更加接近有关李瑞峰死亡原因的答案。我们只是要得到国防部/新加坡武装部队应给予负责任的答案。

我们并没有要求新加坡人改变这个政府,我们只是要求新加坡人民要求政府改变法律条款,以便为我们实现“正义与平等”。当我们知道政府已经在法律上把自己承担责任的标准降低时,我们还怎能相信政府呢?事实上,他们必须对自己提出更高的要求水准才对。

我们并不像国防部一样拥有一支专业的法律团队或者公关专业人士起草发出的声明。他们像医生一样的寻找自我模糊技巧。他们在李瑞峰案件上通过高压手段以便控制我们的诉求情况下出现了目前惨败的局面。面对这样的局面,我们只有依靠自己内心的反应说出自己真正所要的正义的事实。我们这么做并不仅仅是为了我们自己的利益,而是为了全新加坡人民。

请展现透明度吧!我们并认为李瑞峰死亡事件并不是涉及到任何有关国家安全的问题,不需要保密。当您是处于我们的位置,请您的同意并批准我们向社会大众披露有关您们有意赔偿给李瑞峰家属的款额。这样全新加坡人民将会知道:一个充满希望的年轻人生命是值得贡献给国防部的。

 

李瑞峰

Open letter by Dominique’s family in response to SAF’s statement

Related link :

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/03/open-letter-dominiques-family-response-safs-statement/

 

The below post is made on the Facebook page that was created in memory of Dominique Sarron Lee who passed away due to an accident during a routine army training exercise in April 2012.  This was made in response to an earlier statement made by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to clarify issues surrounding the lawsuit that was struck out by the High Court. (read original post here)

By Family of Dominique Sarron Lee

Following the Facebook post by Dominique’s mum, we have been surprised and touched by the show of support and words of encouragement from members of the public. We, the family, would like to sincerely thank those who have given their support and encouragement.

The family would like to clarify our position and address some of the misconceptions that have arisen due to lack of accurate information.

CI AND COI FINDINGS

MINDEF in its Facebook posting today (Key Findings from the Death of PTE Dominique Sarron Lee, 7 March 2016), stated that Dominique’s death was “unlikely to have been predicted”. If this was the case, why then is there a Training Safety Regulation to limit to 2, the number of smoke grenades to be used in the specific exercise that Dominique was involved in to begin with? How did SAF decide on this limit as being within safety regulation of such an exercise?

MINDEF has also repeatedly reiterated that the coroner had noted that Dominique “had under played and under declared his asthmatic condition.” Yet the coroner had also opined that asthma had a weak correlation to the allergic reaction that Dominique suffered in the exercise. Furthermore, the Minister for Defence himself had said that even those without asthma may be affected by the effects of zinc chloride. So our question is, did Dominique’s alleged under play and under declaration of his condition contribute directly to his untimely demise? Our layman conclusion is that it does not.

In the Facebook statement, MINDEF stated that “the coroner noted that more smoke grenades than necessary were used during the exercise, but could not ascertain whether the acute allergic reaction was due to concentration and/or the mere exposure of zinc chloride fumes”. We had learnt anecdotally from SAF personnel, immediately after the tragic incident, that Dominique had taken part in a similar exercise before where the TSR had not been bridged. This to us, suggests that the fatal allergic reaction occurred due to concentration of rather than mere exposure to zinc chloride fumes, which brings us back to the question of MINDEF’s TSR of 2 smoke grenades as being within safety limits.

If the safety hazard has to do with mere exposure to zinc chloride fumes, then the regulation on the number of smoke grenades would be irrelevant as the grenades should not even be in use at all. In that regard, we would like to ask MINDEF about the new N452 smoke grenades that have be introduced since the incident. How are they an improvement to the previous smoke grenades? Has any test been done to ascertain if the concentration and/or mere exposure to the fumes would result in acute allergic reaction? Can MINDEF/SAF share the safety aspect(s) of such an assessment (if any) with the public? What are the chemical compound(s) found in these new smoke grenades?

It is a fact that Dom died from the effects of the smoke grenades thrown. It is also a fact that the number of smoke grenades thrown exceeded thrice the safety limits. We do not know how more direct a link one can infer from this, about the factors leading to Dominique’s untimely death. The Coroner’s Inquiry is to ascertain the cause of death. The Coroner’s Inquiry does not determine whether or not the 2 officers or MINDEF is/are culpable or not.

Can MINDEF kindly make this point clear in its statement? The Minister for Defence, in his Parliamentary Statement in November 2012, stated that the COI concluded that the two officers were negligent. But in the Facebook statement, BG Chan stated that the COI “did not find that the two officers were directly responsible for PTE Lee’s death”.

 Can MINDEF again, kindly clarify if the Ministerial Statement or the Facebook statement was erroneous?

ACCOUNTABILITY OF MINDEF/SAF

MINDEF/SAF has not apologized formally to the family for the incident resulting in Dominique’s death. We had previously requested that the Minister for Defence offer the apology directly to Dominique’s mum as acknowledgement of the negligence on their part, and of the grief she has suffered, but we were rebuffed. We were told by the MINDEF representative, in no uncertain terms, that the Minister will never apologise for the incident, nor will any senior official from MINDEF/SAF.

Subsequently, we offered an olive branch to MINDEF. Instead of the personal apology, we requested for MINDEF to pay for Dom’s tomb as a symbolic gesture, but this was again rejected. Legal constraints were cited as the reason for the rejection. It is only today (7 March 2016) that we see the first statement of apology from MINDEF in their Facebook statement addressed to the general public.

We have repeatedly asked for details on how the two officers have been dealt with as the Minister for Defence had said in Parliament in November 2012, that they had been negligent in their duties. The COI had also found that they did not comply with safety regulations.

We are not out to persecute the two officers, nor asking for them to be crucified. We do not believe in an eye for an eye. We are only asking for MINDEF/SAF to be accountable. Minister K. Shanmugam himself had said in Parliament in May 2012, that “justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done”. But MINDEF/SAF has thus far, refused to show us how the justice has been done.

All we know for sure from recent Facebook postings by netizens, is that one of the officers was promoted in July 2014. To our layman understanding, this seems to be a contradiction of the assurances by MINDEF/SAF that the negligent officers have been duly dealt with, that justice has been done.

Could MINDEF kindly clarify their statement in the Facebook posting, that ‘‘administrative and disciplinary action against the two officers” have been taken? Please inform the public how the two officers have been “punished according to military law” so that the public can see for themselves that the justice has been served, and not just know it to have been served.

IMPROVEMENTS TO SAFETY

It is of small comfort to the family to know that following Dominique’s death, improvements have been made to ensure the safety of all National Service men, with “the setting up of a Safety and Systems Review Directorate, the convening of a Respiratory Medicine Specialist Advisory Board to review medical classification Asthma, and the deploying of more safety officers on the ground as full-time Unit Safety Officers”, as well as the introduction of “new N452 grenades … to replace the smoke grenades used in that training exercise”. We wish all these safety measures had been in place sooner so that it would not have taken a death, Dominique’s death, for the SAF to realize their lapses in ensuring the safety of all National Service men.

SUPPORT FOR THE FAMILY

MINDEF’s statement revealed that we had “previously taken out a pre-action discovery application, which [we]subsequently withdrew” and that the court had “awarded costs to MINDEF”, which they had waived. What the statement does not mention is the fact that the said application was withdrawn because we accepted the AGC’s request to enter a mediation with MINDEF, and the agreement was made on the condition that the legal fees were waived. The mediation did not go as planned as MINDEF was not willing to accede to our request for either the Minister to apologise to the family or MINDEF to pay for Dominique’s tomb. Left with no other recourse, the family made the difficult decision of seeking redress in a civilian court.

We would like to clarify that this law suit has never been about money. It has always been about getting answers to our questions. We would not have taken the legal route had MINDEF been fully “committed to assisting and providing” us with the answers we seek.

To concerned members of the public, we would like to clarify that to date, we have not accepted nor received any compensation from MINDEF/SAF for Dominique’s untimely demise. The family has repeatedly rejected offers from MINDEF/SAF to discuss monetary compensation. We have only accepted a funeral grant to defray the cost of the funeral, on the same day Dominique was sent back home in a coffin. This grant, according to the SAF, is not part of the compensation.

Finally, we would like to appeal to the public be fair to Dr Chee Soon Juan. We had initiated the meeting with Dr Chee as we are at our wit’s end. We do not intend nor wish for this to be a political issue. We had, over the past 3 years, approached no less than 4 PAP MPs, including an anchor Minister and a GPC Chairman for their assistance. We had even written to the Prime Minister several times, pleading for help in getting answers. All they did was to direct our questions to MINDEF for their reply. Such help is as useful to us, as a comb is to Michael Jordan. We are not siding with any political party; we are just seeking answers to get some closure. We only seek accountability from MINDEF and SAF.

We are not asking Singaporeans to change the government; We are asking Singaporeans to demand that the government change the laws to achieve “justice and equality” for all. How can we continue to trust the government when we now know that they have set lower standards of accountability for themselves in law, when In fact they should set higher standards for themselves?

Unlike MINDEF, we do not have a team of lawyers or PR personnel to craft out statements. While their spin doctors spin ambiguities to manage the fiasco that they have created for themselves through their high-handed handling of our case, we can only rely on our own heartfelt responses to speak about what we intrinsically know to be an injustice to not just us, but the people of Singapore. We lay all our cards on the table. MINDEF, we ask that you do the same.

Please be transparent. We do not think that Dominique’s death is in any way a matter of national security that requires secrecy. While you at it, kindly, with our permission, reveal to the public the compensation that you had intended to offer the family, so that all Singaporeans will know how much the life of a promising young man is worth to MINDEF.

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