Friday, December 14, 2007

Hindraf to continue struggle

Hindraf to continue struggle

P. S. Suryanarayana (The Hindu, Dec. 15, 2007)

SINGAPORE: Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has accused the Hindu Rights Action Force of resorting to an act of “treachery,” but the group’s leader P. Waytha Moorty vowed to carry forward its “struggle” on behalf of the ethnic Indian minority.

Meanwhile, Lim Kit Siang, leader of Malaysia’s multiracial opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), denounced the “most deplorable” manner in which five Hindraf leaders were being “incarcerated” under the Internal Security Act (ISA). Mr. Lim described the ISA as “a regime where proof [of wrong-doing] is not necessary at all.”

Five of Hindraf’s leaders and activists – P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, V. Ganapati Rao, R. Kengadharan, and P. Vasanthakumar – were on Thursday detained under the ISA for two years. They were accused of resorting to “sedition” and “activities that threaten national security.”

At Putrajaya, the seat of Malaysian government, Mr. Abdullah on Friday briefed a group of non-governmental organisations from the ethnic Indian community on the circumstances in which the ISA was invoked. He had earlier condemned Hindraf for its disparaging campaign against Malaysia over its alleged “ethnic cleansing” of the Indian-origin minority. He saw in this campaign some signs of “treason.”

Mr. Waytha Moorty on Friday told The Hindu over the telephone from London that he would “continue” to lead Hindraf’s “peaceful struggle” for the rights of Malaysia’s ethnic Indian minority. He would do so from London, where he had gone to mobilise international support for this “struggle.”

Mr. Moorty remains on the watch-list of the Malaysian authorities.

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