Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 04/20/2013 19:00 | By Channel NewsAsia

Events in Boston remind us not to take peace and security for granted: PM Lee

Events in Boston remind us not to take peace and security for granted: PM Lee

Events in Boston remind us not to take peace and security for granted: PM Lee

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the events in Boston this week remind us that we cannot take peace and security for granted, and must always remain vigilant.

Writing in a post on Facebook, Mr Lee said he's relieved that the terrorists who planted the bombs at the Boston Marathon have been found.

He also conveyed his deepest condolences to the families of those who were killed or maimed.

Mr Lee said although the events were on the other side of the world, a good number of Singaporeans study or work in Boston.

Eighteen Singaporeans had participated in the marathon.

And Mr Lee said he is sure their families here were following events closely, and are greatly relieved that their loved ones are safe.

Watching the news, Mr Lee said he was inspired by the many stories of people behaving selflessly when facing fear and danger - spectators rushing to help victims instead of running away, healthcare workers working extra shifts to treat the injured, shopkeepers offering free food and drinks to comfort the public.

Mr Lee said: "Whatever our differences, we are all bound by a common humanity".

And "if ever Singapore encounters an incident like this, may we have the courage and the humanity to respond with the same grace and unity as the Bostonians".

Channel NewsAsia spoke to a Singaporean studying in Boston, who recounted his experience when the city went into lockdown during the manhunt for the suspects.

Graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Marcus Wu said: "I'm so relieved that this whole thing is finally over because the whole of Boston, Cambridge, and Watertown was sort of in the siege since Thursday night following the first shooting of the MIT police officer who eventually passed away from his injuries.

“So the lockdown lasted nearly a day, from Thursday night all the way to Friday 8pm and during that time, the city was down and paralysed.

“I'm currently staying at the MIT dormitory. We had been told by the house masters of the graduate dorms to stay indoors. Most businesses, transport services like the subway, buses, and taxi services were suspended so there's no way you can actually go outside as well.

“Most students didn't have access to fresh food and water because probably (they) didn't have time to go to the supermarket to prepare. The house masters over here took the initiative to order food for the students.

“They set up a room where they screened live newsfeeds and at the same time they had food, drinks, and games just to keep residents occupied.

“Thankfully, telephone communication services as well as the internet was still up and running so contact within the community is pretty straightforward."

- CNA/ck

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