Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hunger strike to mark Hindraf’s 2nd anniversary

K Pragalath
Two factions of Hindraf will each host events to commemorate the second anniversary of the Hindraf’s (Hindu Rights Action Force) mass rally on Nov 25, 2007. The faction led by P Waythamoorthy plans to hold an 18-hour hunger strike as well as a memorandum handover.

NONEHindraf legal adviser and ex- ISA detainee, P Uthayakumar (right) said that 18 Hindraf supporters would take part in the strike, which is scheduled to begin at 9pm on Nov 24 at their respective homes and scheduled to end at 3pm on Nov 25 at KLCC.

The time of the strike was selected to mark the time when police began harassing the mass rally participants two years ago.

They are expected to break their fast at 3pm in the compound of the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya after Waythamoorthy’s daughter, W. Vaishnavi, submits an 18-point memorandum to the Prime Minister, Najib Abdul Razak.

The memorandum would be the first to be sent to the Najib administration. Hindraf has submitted memorandums to the previous administrations as well.

The anniversary celebration does not end there.

On Nov 29, the movement would hold prayers at the Agora Veerabathrar Sanggili Karuppar Temple in Rawang, Selangor in hopes that the 18-point demands are fulfilled by the current government.

Prayers are also expected to be held simultaneously in 100 temples nationwide.

Different way of commemorating event

Another Hindraf faction led by K Vasanthakumar and V Ganabatirau is also holding celebrations in Dewan Hamzah, Klang.

“We have nothing to do with that event,” said Uthayakumar when asked to comment on the other Hindraf anniversary.

NONEHe added that he only recognised the Hindraf faction that was led by his brother, Waythamoorthy.

Two years ago, Vasanthakumar, Ganabatirau, Uthayakumar, R Kenghadharan and M Manoharan led 30,000 Indians in a mass rally to protest marginalisation and discrimination of the Indian Malaysians.

It led the five to be detained under the Internal Security Act, resulting in Waythamoorthy (left) going into exile in London.

At the time, there was a public fallout between Uthayakumar and Vasanthakumar. The fallout led to split loyalties within the movement as members chose sides in the Uthayakumar-Vasanthakumar squabble.