Friday, July 18, 2008

Hindraf wants dialogue with PM

Hindraf wants dialogue with PM
Athi Veerangga Jul 16, 08 7:19pm

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should have a dialogue with leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) if he is sincere in his efforts to improve the lives of the Indian community in the country.

Exiled Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy wants the dialogue session to be a closed-door affair and on a one-to-one basis between Abdullah and, either himself or detained Hindraf legal adviser, P Uthayakumar.

"If the prime minister and his government are sincere and honest in wanting to resolve all outstanding issues on the political and socio-economic status of Malaysian Indians, I am prepared to return for the dialogue session," he told Malaysiakini in a telephone call from London.
He added that the dialogue must be held soon if the premier is committed to putting an end to the dilemmas facing the Indians in the country.
"I am prepared to return to Malaysia to have a dialogue with the prime minister. But only the prime minister and not any other political leader
," he said.

However, Waythamoorthy is convinced that Abdullah would detain him under the Internal Security Act if he returned to attend the dialogue.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar told Parliament on Tuesday that an arrest warrant had been issued for Waythamoorthy since before the last general elections.
Besides Uthayakumar, four other Hindraf leaders – M Manoharan, R Kenghadharan, V Ganabatirau and T Vasantha Kumar have been detained for two years under the ISA for allegedly being involved in a rally on Nov 25 last year.

`Empty promises'

Waythamoorthy called for the dialogue with Abdullah because the prime minister's office was the "rightful authority" in the country to resolve the problems facing the Indians.
Under the Barisan Nasional government, MIC and its president S Samy Vellu represent the interests of the Indians. Waythamoorthy said this an arrangement was "rejected by the Indian masses when they voted against BN in the recent general elections" and urged the government to do away with it.

The Hindraf leader also listed down 18 issues that Hindraf wanted Abdullah to address immediately. Among them are the non-existence of kindergartens in Tamil schools, high suicide rate among Indians, indiscriminate demolition of Hindu temples and direct discrimination, marginalisation and racism against Indians, both at the public and private sectors.

Waythamoorthy also slammed past and present prime ministers for turning the MIC general assembly into an annual event to make empty promises to mislead the Indian community.

http://www.malaysia news/86249