THE first-ever assembly between the leaders of the USA and North Korea will probably be held at a luxurious resort on a spectacular island — with a really brutal previous.
Billed as Singapore’s high vacation resort, Sentosa Island attracts an enormous 20 million guests every year with its beautiful seashores, glitzy casinos and theme parks.
The island’s identify means “peace and tranquillity” and because it’s solely accessible through one bridge linking it to the mainland, it’s additionally secluded and personal — making it an excellent spot for US President Donald Trump and North Korean chief Kim Jong-un’s historic June 12 summit.
However till a couple of many years in the past, the island glided by a special identify, Pulau Belakang Mati — which roughly interprets to “island of dying from behind”.
And that provides some indication of this carefree island’s darkish previous.
One concept suggests the outdated identify derived from Sentosa’s former affiliation with piracy, because the 500-hectare tropical island was reportedly a preferred pirates’ hideaway.
One other concept faucets into legends of the spirit world.
“[The theory] speaks of the island being the ‘paradise’ of ‘warrior spirits’ whose our bodies had been entombed at [nearby island] Pulau Brani,” the Nationwide Library Board of Singapore mentioned.
However the ominous identify may additionally consult with a virulent disease that swept the island within the late 1840s and got here near wiping out your entire inhabitants.
The island’s affiliation with dying and bloodshed didn’t finish there — it additionally had an enormous, and horrific, function in World Warfare II.
After the give up of Singapore to Japanese forces in 1942, Sentosa was become a brutal camp for Australian and British prisoners of warfare.
It was additionally a killing subject for Singaporean Chinese language individuals who, throughout the Japanese occupation, had been accused of anti-Japanese actions and executed.
The accused, principally civilians, had been rounded up on a two-kilometre seaside — now an enormous golf course — and shot useless, with their our bodies hurled into the ocean.
About 300 corpses washed ashore throughout the Japanese occupation, the Straits Instances reported.
Fort Siloso, a serious attraction on Sentosa, was used throughout the warfare to protect towards approaches to Singapore. Its weapons, ammunition bunkers and tunnels are on show, together with Singapore’s greatest assortment of WWII memorabilia.
Issues modified throughout the Seventies when the Singaporean authorities developed the island as a vacationer vacation spot — and gave it its present, extra visitor-friendly identify.
Removed from the violence of its previous, the island started to be synonymous with out of doors leisure, purchasing and luxurious, and in addition to being a tourism powerhouse, it’s additionally house to a few of Singapore’s richest folks, with waterfront villas priced at as much as $39 million.
It additionally has 17 accommodations, two golf programs, a three-kilometre seaside lined with palm timber, an award-winning and a bunch of main sights — Common Studios Singapore, a Madame Tussauds museum, a water theme park, a nature park and big purchasing meccas.
Subsequent week’s summit — the primary sitting between the leaders of the US and North Korea — will probably be held on the luxurious, five-star Capella resort, a sprawling, opulent advanced that’s a favorite with A-list celebrities, and the place probably the most lavish rooms price near $10,000 for an evening.
The resort, which contains two colonial buildings that housed British officers within the Eighteen Eighties, is thought for its luxurious facilities, impeccable service and privateness, in keeping with the Related Press.
It’s been given a recent coat of paint and had pink carpets rolled in forward of the historic summit.