Sunday, January 6, 2008

Our view on the Bar Council (and the Malaysian Bar)

M Manoharan, P Uthayakumar, R Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau, - have they been forgotten? - 2008/01/05 21:07 M Manoharan, P Uthayakumar, R Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau are lawyers and are of 4 of 5 Human Rights Defenders that have been arrested and detained under the ISA and I am most disappointed because all that I have seen the Bar Council (and the Malaysian Bar) do is issue ONE press statement - and even in that statement, the names of those arrested were not even mentioned.

Since then, we ho have an on-going "No Detention Without Trial Campaign" seems to have been not doing anything in the form of a campaign to immediately and unconditionally secure their release.

The Malaysian Bar has allowed itself to be distracted by other matters --- and this is SCARY --- and it surely does not install much confidence in other lawyers who have stood up and may stand up for the cause of justice without fear and favour.

Do tell us also about the steps taken to assist these lawyers as far as their practice is concerned? Do tell us also about the steps taken to assist their family and dependents?

I expected a FULL-BLOWN campaign initiated and led by the Malaysian Bar to secure the release of not just these 5 but also the others who still continue to be detained under laws that allow for detention without trial.

I know that elections are over - but that do not mean that our leaders of the Bar are permitted time-off to rest, relax - celebrate Hari Raya, Christmas and New Year as our fellow brethren in law languish in Kamunting.

I know that our chairman of the Human Rights committee was also recently arrested and charged in court - but that is no excuse for procrastination in action demonstrated thus far...I wanted to call for the immediate resignation of Edmund Bon - but let us give him and his committee a chance to prove me wrong in my criticisms.

Some of us may not have liked Uthayakumar and his methods - but that does not excuse us for our lack of real action.

THIS must be the priority of the Malaysian Bar - let us wear arm-bands, badges, etc... in protest. Let us do a signature campaign. Let our President and the Vice President go on an hunger strike --- let us do something serious here to get those detained under these NDWT laws released immediately...

Ambiga, Ragu, State Bar Chairs, ....let us BEGIN..

In solidarity,

Charles Hector

In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place-Mahtma

Singapore artist protesting Indian detentions in Malaysia ends hunger strike

SINGAPORE -- A Singaporean artist calling for the release of five ethnic Indian activists detained in neighboring Malaysia ended his five-day hunger strike Saturday.

Seelan Palay, 23, had been camped outside the city-state's Malaysian High Commission since Monday, consuming nothing but water. Seelan, an ethnic Indian, was protesting the arrest and detention of leaders from the Hindu Rights Action Force who led a massive rally Nov. 25 in Kuala Lumpur to highlight what the group says is racial discrimination faced by ethnic Indians.
The group's leaders were arrested in December under Malaysia's Internal Security Act, which allows indefinite detention without trial.

On Saturday, a crowd of supporters gathered around Seelan and presented him with a garland that he wore around his neck over a placard that read, "Give them fair trial."

"What I have done is only what I can do as an individual; if we had a hundred, we could make a difference," Seelan said. "One day, we will all achieve freedom."

Seelan said he hoped his hunger strike would draw attention to the detentions.
"I hope that the international community, regardless of race and religion, to look into this issue and pressure the Malaysian government to release the Hindraf five," he said.

Two men hoisted Seelan up and pumped their fists in the air as Seelan completed his protest.
"We are so proud that there is at least one Indian in Singapore supporting our cause," said Mayil Sapapathy, 36, an ethnic Indian from Malaysia who works in Singapore. "Indians like us don't get the same privileges in Malaysia like the ethnic Malays do."

Ethnic Indians form about 8 percent of Malaysia's 27 million people, and complain that the government denies them opportunities in jobs, education and business. They say that years of systematic repression have kept them at the bottom of society. The government denies this.

Officials could not be reached Saturday at the Malaysian High Commission, which was closed, while Singapore police said they had no comment on Seelan's protest.
Protests are rare in Singapore, where police permits are required for outdoor gatherings of more than four people.
Copyright © 2008 The China Post.
All rights reserved.
Please refer to the TERMS AND CONDITIONS of use

On behalf of HINDRAF and the entire Malaysian Indian community I thank and salute Seelan for his brave and sincere attempt to highlight the evil of ISA and seek the release of HINDRAF leaders.

Waytha Moorthy

"He alone lives who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive" Swami Vivekananda