Faked – “Burmese tycoon’s son (current Singapore student) sends “boastful” email to friends”
A verified response from UWC, if I read the context right, that came up from a particular mailing list. Old news maybe to a lot of readers, but I want to archive it in the blog for future reference on issues of blog-mob frenzy and believing what we want to believe.
“Recently a newspaper article was published in reference to a student who attends United World College of South East Asia, Singapore. The article is believed to be a fabrication and consists of inaccuracies. Unfortunately, it has since been reproduced in other publication which are now circulating further afield. The original article appeared in ‘The Irrawaddy’ and indicated that the authenticity of the e-mail was unconfirmed; this has liberally been altered of late to ‘believed to be genuine’.
The school does not take kindly to any matter that is likely to bring its name into disrepute. Thus the student in question was interviewed about the contents and nature of the e-mail. It is our genuine belief that the student is neither the author of the e-mail nor has ever expressed such sentiments. The pictures that accompanied the articles were taken from student shared internet site and replicated for the article.
As you can appreciate it is difficult to counter the ‘trial by media’ process. As such, we have no intention of further inflaming these rumours by entertaining a response for the media. The family’s lawyer has written to the newspaper concerned and asked that they print a retraction – unfortunately the syndicated nature of the article means that the damage has already been done. As members of the UWCSEA community we place great emphasis on upholding the values and practices of this wonderful institution. We will neither let any member undermine our reputation but equally not partake in any injustice. We will of course continue to monitor the situation and continue to act fairly and accordingly.”