Friday, December 21, 2007

Struggle for equal rights must go on: Hindraf leader Uthayakumar from detention camp

Struggle must go on: Hindraf

P. S. Suryanarayana

SINGAPORE (Dec. 22, 2007): Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P. Uthayakumar, now in detention without trial under Malaysia’s tough Internal Security Act (ISA), has told his followers that “the struggle [for the ‘equal rights’ of Malaysian Indians] must continue.”

“He is in high spirits. He is doing fine,” said Thanenthiran, Hindraf’s new Coordinator, after meeting Mr. Uthayakumar at the Kamunting Detention Centre, about 350 km. north of Kuala Lumpur. Four other Hindraf leaders — M. Manoharan, V. Ganapati Rao, R. Kengadharan, and P. Vasanthakumar — are also being held there under the ISA, all without trial. They have been accused of fanning “racial hatred” and posing “a threat to national security.” All five Hindraf leaders were not being subjected to harsh treatment under detention, Mr. Thanenthiran said.

He said habeas corpus petitions had also been filed to secure the release of all five. The petitions might come up for hearing next week.

ANI reports:

Meanwhile, the island state of Johor Baru has claimed that the needs of the Indian community are being met. Johor Malay Indian Congress Liaison Committee Chairman Datuk K. S. Balakrishnan said the state had granted RM 9 million over the past several years for the development of Tamil schools.

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