Monday, February 18, 2008

An exprience shared by a HINDRAF supporter (blog writers)

taken from

JD says: This morning at 8.00pm B.Mahendran (Bolehland), Raaja (Raajarox) and I left my house and headed towards the DBKL building at Jalan Raja Laut to meet up with Seelan (Singapore) for the Campaign of Roses gathering.The roses were to be handed by children to the Prime Minister at the Parliament House. However this was not possible as the police had cordoned off the entire area. It was decided that the handing over of roses would be done at the Suhakam office which is near the DBKL building.

As the crowd began to gather, even though they were well behaved and civilized the police open fire with numerous rounds of tear gas and dye laced water on everyone. It was a good think that the leaders were able to anticipate that the police were going to react and asked that the children be quickly taken away from the area.Seelan was sprayed and had to change his shirt as it was soiled by the dye, his hands too were all green from it. We then proceeded to the Majid Jamek LRT area as we received SMS that the group was gathering at Dataran Merdeka.As the Dataran Merdeka area was blocked by FRU we had to make do of being around the LRT area. I saw the FRU and plain clothed police behaving very aggressively and abusively toward any Malaysian Indian standing around the area.

They were targeting individuals for arrest and had arrested a number of them. I personally saw two policemen push a man who was in an orange ‘MAKKAL SAKTI’ t-shirt on to the road and handcuffing him when he wasn’t even resisting. They treated him worst then an animal, at that point I thought to myself as Malaysian Indians this is the kind of respect we have in this country that we call home. In their eyes we are equal or worst then animals.At that moment, a plain clothed policeman was shouting to disperse and moving fast towards me. I immediately asked Raaja to move forward and turned around to get Mahendran to follow us. It was not to be as I saw two policemen grab Mahendran and dragged him away from us.Raaja and I stayed in contact with Mahendran thru SMS and learned that he was being taken to PULAPOL(Police Training Centre). I immediately contacted lawyer Mohan who told me that legal counsels are being sent to PULAPOL to see to the legal needs of those arrested.

Knowing that was all we could do for Mahendran for the time being, Raaja and I made our way to Court Pillayar Temple in the Pudu Raya area as we heard that the crowd was gathering there. When we arrived there, the crowd of around 1000 was shouting “Hindraf Valga” “Makkal Sakti Valga” when two trucks of FRU personnel arrived at the scene.

There was a stand off between the crowd and the police for around an hour where a few Hindraf leaders gave some speech on the current situation and requested that we continue the struggle and not give it up for any reason until our demands are met. Everyone was asked to disperse in an orderly fashion to which everyone complied.I seriously feel that the government is being intolerant and extremely harsh by using unnecessary force from the police when we can clearly see that the Malaysian Indians were totally non violent in requesting for our rights. Would it hurt to talk to us nicely and hear our grouses?

We were loyal to the BN government for years, is this how we are repaid for our loyalty? The BN government failed to realize that as a race the Malaysian Indians are the most loyal to them without asking for much in return.

As Raaja and I were leaving the area, I met Carol who has been a reader of my blog and who has kept me informed of various Hindraf activities. She was with her mother and I was so proud to see their commitment towards the Malaysian Indian cause. She introduced me to her brother who told me that they would be going to the Lock up Kuala Lumpur (former Pudu Jail) to protest the arrest of some group leaders. It is Malaysian Indians like these that give us hope for a brighter future.

When we arrived the Lock Up Kuala Lumpur area we found it totally secured by FRU personnel and it was then that I was informed by Carol that it would be better for us to move to PULAPOL to give support to all those who were arrested. We informed Seelan to meet us there and took a cab to PULAPOL.We checked with Mahendran and he informed us that he is being made to wait for statements to be taken and it would take sometime and we assured him that we and many others are waiting outside.I noticed buses loaded with Malaysian Indian passengers being driven into PULAPOL compound to have their particulars and statements recorded as to why they are in Kuala Lumpur. What kind of nonsense is this in a supposedly democratic country like Malaysia?

This is a blatant disregard of Human Rights and it is a shame that Malaysia is a country in the United Nations that endorsed The Human Rights Charter.

While waiting for Mahendran to be released we walked over to the Medan Selera opposite PULAPOL for a drink and were informed the Jayathas was just arrested there as he sat down for a drink. We then joined a number of Malaysian Indians who were there to give support.I was very pleased to have met these people who showed that all of us feel discriminated in our own country and that we are not treated fairly even though we have contributed so much in building this nation. Everyone I spoke to said they are standing up today so that our coming generations can have a better future. This is the true problem that the BN government should address instead of trying to squash the uprising as illegal and criminal.I felt very emotional to know and see that we Malaysian Indians are more so united and we have ever been before and sincerely one can feel the difference walking anywhere these days.Malaysian Indians acknowledge each other better and are much more willing to lend a helping hand to each other. The spirit of solidarity has begun. We achieved this without any government program or MIC propaganda, this came from our hearts and souls.

We remain there talking to people who came and went until Mahendran was released at 5.45pm. Everyone had a long and tiring day and had to part in our separate ways. I said my goodbyes to Mahendran, Raaja, Seelan and his friend before making my way home.Even though it was a harrowing day and I was really tired it felt good to know that by standing up today maybe one day my child and her child will benefit from all this.

To all the new friends that I met and for all the conversations and ideas that we shared I thank you for having the mind set that we can all make a change for the better if we are united in our stand.To my new brothers and sister Kartik,Suresh,Mohan,Kannan,Raja Bt.Caves,Sakthi,Ashok and Carol a big thank you from me to all of you for having the courage to stand up and make your voices heard. I hope to see all of you again real soon.

Until then Valga Makkal Sakti!

More comments from other blogs on Roses to PM Campaign

February 16, 2008 at 10:49 pm · Filed under Hindraf, Unnecsessary fear
Surprises, surprises and surprises. What a tragedy. A Prime Minister wailing that Hindraf is extremist. Before going further, MIC and its President Samy Vellu, submitted 7 proposals to the Government to improve the lot of the Indians. They were not termed as extremists. Perhaps Hindraf has 18 points, more in number and more complete proposals, if they had reduced it to less than 18 can they be referred to as another extension of MIC.
How can a small group disrupt the elections, is there some special indication that they were going to it. We have had many rallies in Kuala Lumpur, from November last. The latest one was by Bersih, and were they too, planning to disrupt elections. Frankly speaking, none of the rallies have raised fear in the people, contrary the Police have instilled fear in the people, that causes them to shiver in their pants, realising any group gathering can bring on chemical lazed water and tear gas. What a friend tells me any Police in vehicles rushing through the roads causes panic and discomfort to the people in Kuala Lumpur. Who created this.
You wail the democratic process, has been jeopardised, did the group that gathered had no democracy to speak of, they were just trying to give flowers to indicate their innocence in gathering and also to send the message please release the 5 Hindraf chaps in Kamunting. You could have received the flowers and said thank you for their gestures and thereafter decide on the ISA victims. This you did not do.
Disorders or orders the people will come out to vote, the general consensus being the ruling government must have their tails clipped. There is no way you can bring to the attention of problems to the Government unless you rally and gain attention. If the many letters by Hindraf were attended to, suitable replies given and action taken, do you think the people are stupid to rally and get arrested.
How many fights were recorded in the number of rallies held. The only sad point was people lazed with chemical water, tear gassed and dragged away by force by the Police. Did any thought was given to this.
Rallies are resorted to when the Government does not listen. Why must Bersih disturb the Agong if their grouses were attended to. Why must Hindraf gather a group if their grouses were the least, listened to and action/or no action was taken. Our Malaysian culture is slowing changing, Government does not listen, and the other alternative way is to gather and draw attention. By doing so, the Government gets rattled and action is taken. Remember Thaipusam holiday, will it come about without the Hindraf rally.
One relevant point, today was not election day, and whatever action taken by the group will not affect the polls on March 8.
This is just my preamble. R Thanenthiran has explained other things well I believe.

Voice from other media about Roses to PM campaign

What other Media are Saying on Roses Campaign???
Mon, 18/02/2008 - 09:47 — ds.gophekar.raaj
source by

Police sprayed water and fired tear gas after the crowd ignored warnings to disperse. At least 20 people, including a Hindraf leader S Manikavasagam, were detained on Saturday, said a police official, who declined to be named citing protocol. - by Sify News

With the Malaysian government concerned about street protests in the run-up to early general elections on March 8, around 100 policemen, including riot police with helmets and shields, turned out to disperse a gathering of about 300 men, women and children. - by Reuters

A heavy police presence kept them in the city centre - preventing their planned march to parliament to give the flowers to the Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi. - by BBC

Barricades were set up along main roads leading to Parliament but more than 200 people managed to gather nearby Saturday shouting "Long Live Hindraf" and "We want our rights." - by CNN

About 130 people, including one on the police wanted list, were arrested but most of them were released after their particulars were taken down. Only nine, including two women, all aged between 35 and 40, were remanded for repeatedly defying police instructions to disperse. by NST

Since Friday about 60 people, including two leaders of Hindraf who organised the protest, have been detained in a police crackdown, said N Surendran, a lawyer and Hindraf member. - by Al Jazeera

"It is an embarrassing attack on the Indian community and on people who just wanted to hand over flowers to the prime minister," said R. Thanenthiran, one of the rally organisers. - by ChannelNewsAsia

It was the first public gathering by the Hindu Rights Action Force since police used tear gas and water cannon to crush a Nov. 25 demonstration by at least 20,000 ethnic Indians in Kuala Lumpur. - by MSNBC

source by

PM labelled Hindraf as "extremist" !!

Abdullah lashes out at 'extremist' Hindraf
Feb 16, 08 9:44pm

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today labelled the Hindu Rights Action Force as an extremist group which aimed to disrupt the general election.According to a Bernama report today, Abdullah said that Hindraf’s illegal assembly in Kuala Lumpur this morning was an attempt to raise fear in the people and disrupt the polls which would be held on March 8."People who disrupt the elections do not respect the democratic process. When there is disorder, the people do not come out to vote for fear of getting caught in fights," he said after attending a function in Yan, Kedah.
This morning the police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse about 300 Hindraf supporters who had gathered along Jalan Raja Laut to hand in roses to Abdullah.Calling it the rose protest, Hindraf had wanted to give the flower to the premier, asking him, among others, to release the five Hindraf leaders presently held under the Internal Security Act.
The police arrested about 200 people, of which all but nine were released later in the day. The nine are held overnight on a one-day remand for failing to disperse despite repeated request by the police.Commenting on the gathering, which had been declared illegal by the police yesterday, Abdullah said the action of the Hindraf supporters was not a culture of Malaysians who loved peace.He added that the people would definitely not agree with such action aimed at creating chaos in the country.He also did not rule out the possibility of the Hindraf supporters resorting to blockade roads to prevent people from going to the polls.
Use of children condemned
On the use of children in the illegal assembly, the prime minister said it was most regrettable as the children's safety was put at risk."We regret that they (Hindraf supporters) use children to bring pressure to bear on their demands. This is not the way. The action endangers the children," he said.He also said that the authorities would not hesitate to use provisions of the legislation on child protection on those using children at such assemblies.

Meanwhile Hindraf’s national coordinator R Thanenthiran said that he was disappointed with the police action as well as with Abdullah.A highly-charged Thanenthiran told reporters that Abdullah should not be claiming to be representing the needs and welfare of all races in this country."We wanted to have 200 children to peacefully give Abdullah flowers but we were tear-gassed and water-cannoned by police," he said.Thanenthiran also said organisers decided it was unsafe for the children to take part in the protest and they were bused away from the scene.

Comments from blog,
I wonder how he could relate the peace rose rally as extremist and disturbing the coming soon election process. For his information, since he keep forgetting that we had 2 personal invitations to join the rose campaign, this peace rose campaign were planne weeks ahead before the polls date were decided !!
People and children whom came with a stake of rose are extremist ??
Than what shall we call the police whom were brutal to women and men gathered to show LOVE to PM ?
Dear PM, please do what have you been claiming as PM for all race. Please listen to the 70% poor, depressed, oppressed and systematically marginalized Malaysian Indian cry for justice and love.
HINDRAF is an ahimsa movemant and it always bid to these practice.
Please stop labelling HINDRAF as extremist as even the previous label as terrorist also were not proved and you had let all the govt mights against HINDRAF.

Ex DPM,Anwar criticises govt over peace rose rally crackdown

Anwar criticises gov't over rally crackdown
AFP Feb 17, 08 3:20pm

Former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim today criticised the authorities for using water cannon and teargas against ethnic Indians protesting against alleged discrimination.
Saturday's rally was the latest in a series of street demonstrations that have rocked this multicultural nation as political parties manoeuvre to win the hearts and minds of voters ahead of general election on March 8.
More than 300 people defied a police ban, gathering in downtown Kuala Lumpur to present roses to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and protest against alleged discrimination before police fired tear gas and water cannon to break up the rally.
"This is clearly a police state," Anwar told AFP.
"I mean a group marching peacefully to present flowers to the prime minister, what kind of treatment did the government give to these people?" he asked.
"It was very high-handed," said the de facto opposition leader.
Police detained 160 people in scuffles during the rally and later outside a Hindu temple nearby, the capital's police chief Muhammad Sabtu Osman told the official Bernama news agency.
Protester abused
Most have since been released but lawyers claimed a female protester - one of nine who are being held till Monday - was abused in custody.
"While being detained, she said she was beaten up by the police," lawyer Gobind Singh, who is representing the nine, told AFP.
"Although she was in pain, she did not receive any medical treatment," he added.
"These are not hardened criminals, they are normal people and should not have to face such violence at the hands of the police while in detention," said Singh, who is contesting as an opposition candidate in the upcoming polls.
The protest comes after the detention of five leaders of the Indian rights group Hindraf who enraged the government in November by leading a rally protesting at alleged discrimination against Indians.
The protest highlighted the grievances of Malaysia's Indians - descendents of labourers brought over by British colonial rulers in the 1800s - who say they are marginalised in terms of education, wealth and opportunities.
Ethnic Indians make up seven percent of Malaysia's 27 million population with Malay Muslims forming 60 percent and ethnic Chinese 26 percent.