The Mumbai terrorists were targetting Americans and British citizens. So why was Singaporean Lo Hwei Yen, 28, shot? Lo is a Chinese lady married to an Indian Singaporean. Her death was confirmed on 28 November 2008 at 9.35 pm Singapore time. She first spoke to her husband at 2 a.m. on Thursday 27 November, informing him hotel staff had told her to move to another level in the Oberoi Trident Hotel. Later, at 6 a.m. she told him she was taken hostage.
An Indian news channel had reported earlier that the terrorists had held the woman at gunpoint and ordered her to tell the Singapore Government to tell the Mumbai authorities to refrain from acting against them or she would lose her life.
Perhaps the clue lies in the ill choice of words in the following communication from one prime minister to another:
HE Manmohan Singh
Republic of India
27 November 2008
Dear Prime Minister,
I was shocked to learn of the series of terrorist attacks in Mumbai on 26 November 2008. On behalf of the Government of Singapore, I convey our deepest condolences to you, the Government of India and the families of the victims .
The terrorists have taken several people of different nationalities as hostages, including a Singaporean . We are already working closely with the Indian authorities on this. Singapore stands ready to assist the Indian authorities in any way to secure the safe release of the Singaporean and other hostages .
I am confident that the Indian people will rally around your government as it deals with the Mumbai terrorist attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice . The Mumbai attacks are another reminder that terrorism continues to be a common threat to all of us. We strongly support your government's efforts in fighting the scourge of terrorism .
Lee Hsien Loong