Monday, January 28, 2008

Malaysian government like taliban; stop through trade and other means: HCUK

British Hindus liken Malaysian govt to Taliban

Tuesday, 29 January , 2008, 10:47

London: British Hindus are to hold a silent protest outside the office of the British premier this week to highlight the "new lite-Taliban" policies of the Malaysian government, an umbrella group for Hindus said on Tuesday.

The Hindu Council UK (HCUK) said Hindus would present a petition to Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Friday to protest the condition of Malaysian Hindus, "who number two million and are suffering religious persecution" by the government in Kuala Lumpur.

Full coverage: Malaysian crackdown

It said Hindu temples have been razed and damaged in Malaysia, "irrespective of their age" but added that the silent protest was against human rights violations of not only Hindus but also other religious minorities of Malaysia.

The issue hit the headlines in November last year when Malaysian police used violence to break up a march by Hindus in the capital Kuala Lumpur and arrested 31 protesters, five of whom, HCUK said, were still in detention.

The police action was criticised around the world.

Last month, members of the British parliament demanded that the Malaysian government scrap plans to demolish Hindu temples and to allow legitimate protests against it.

In a strongly worded statement, they also urged the British government to take up the matter on their behalf and "make the strongest possible representation" to Kuala Lumpur.

HCUK general secretary Anil Bhanot, in a statement on Friday, likened the Malaysian government's attitude to that of "the Taliban ideology which destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas (in Afghanistan)," and said it needed to be "challenged for re-education."

"We appeal to world communities to help stop the lite-talibanisation of the Malaysia government through trade and other means," Bhanot added.

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