Friday, April 10, 2009

Hindraf offers Najib 100-day ceasefire

Malaysiakini - Apr 10, 09 1:33pm

Banned movement Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) will refrain from organising protests or submitting memorandums for 100 days to give new Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak (photo left) a chance to reform.And in that 100 days, Hindraf chief P Waythamoorthy said he hoped Najib would release the three leaders of the movement who had been detained under the Internal Security Act since Dec 13, 2007.Najib, as his first measure after coming into power, released 16 ISA
detainees, including two Hindraf legal advisors V Ganabatirau and R Kenghadharan.
Three other Hindraf leaders are still being held.

They are Waythamoorthy's elder brother and the public face of Hindraf Uthayakumar (photo below), Kota Alam Shah state representative M Manoharan and T Vasathakumar."The previous administration had acted unilaterally, with arrogance in a form of fascism against Hindraf although our cause was a genuine grievance that is faced by the Malaysian Indians," said Waythamoorthy in a statement from his current base in London.

He left Malaysia in November 2007 to gain international support for the movement. The Home Ministry had banned Hindraf last October for advocating extremism.Waythamoorthy (photo) said that Hindraf hoped that Najib's administration will move away from the methods of the old government and will reach out and engage."We hope Najib and his ministers will engage with us to address and solve the perpetual systematic marginalization and discrimination of the Malaysian Indians in the Malaysian society."As a gesture of goodwill and in anticipation of positive and actual reformation in addressing the plight of the Malaysian Indians, Hindraf shall for the first 100 days of the current administration restrain from activities such as street protests, or memorandums," he said.

Be a government for all

He also wished that the new administration will govern every segment of its people fairly and justly for a better Malaysia.Hindraf gained international prominence in 2007 for organising a series of protests against the government over the plight of the Indian community.In November that year, the movement organised a mass 30,000 rally in the heart of the capital to highlight its issues.The government then arrested five of its leaders under the ISA in December 2007.

With Waythamoorthy operating from London, the movement continued to hold demonstrations and protests to highlight their grievances.It is also well-known for submitting memorandums to various parties on numerous issues affecting the Indian community.