Rainbow Warrior drops by Singapore

The New Paper 31 May 18;

A ship with a famous name arrived in Singapore on Monday to continue its global mission for action against climate change.

The Rainbow Warrior, first launched by environmental organisation Greenpeace 40 years ago, made its first official visit to Singapore, having previously visited only to rest its crew and stock up on supplies.

The third version of the Rainbow Warrior was docked here for three days as part of Greenpeace's five-month climate action tour of South-east Asia.

More than 100 Singaporeans from environmental groups and civil service sectors were invited to view a climate change exhibition and attend a campaign talk aboard the ship on Tuesday.

"Greenpeace is grateful for the opportunity to be here in Singapore with the Rainbow Warrior," said its captain, Mr Peter Willcox.

"(She) stands in solidarity with the people fighting to reclaim their rights to a healthy and peaceful environment."

Greenpeace was founded in 1971 in Canada, with a message of a green and peaceful future, which it chose to spread by ship.

Its first flagship - also called Rainbow Warrior - held its first voyage on April 29, 1978, to Iceland, to oppose the commercial whaling programme there.

Its exploits have not always been welcome. In July 1985, the Rainbow Warrior was bombed by the French secret service in an attempt to counter its protest against French nuclear testing in Mururoa Atoll. One man died.

Mr Willcox would not trade his job for anything in the world.

"I have three children. I want to leave them some kind of planet that is fit to live on, and right now, we are not doing it."

The Rainbow Warrior's South-east Asian voyage began in the Philippines in February.

It left Singapore yesterday for Malaysia, and will round up the trip in Phuket. - ESTHER KOH

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