Monday, March 14, 2011

Uthaya: What Hindraf 5 reunion?

The most well-known face of the Hindraf five claims to be in the dark about the so-called plans for a reunion.
PETALING JAYA: P Uthayakumar is in the dark about the so-called “Hindraf 5 reunion” being planned by the Malaysian Indian Voice (MI-Voice).
The Human Rights Party (HRP) pro-tem secretary-general also stressed that he does not recognise the Hindraf 5.
“I am not aware of any Hindraf 5 reunion. I am not aware who the Hindraf 5 are. I am just the legal adviser to Hindraf,” he said.
Uthayakumar was responding to a FMT report on March 7 which quoted former Hindraf leader V Ganabatirao’s brother and MI-Voice chairman Raidu as stating that a reunion was on the cards.
He had said that they were persuading Uthayakumar to attend the reunion, scheduled to be held in Klang in May.
Following their mammoth street protest in 2007, five Hindraf leaders were jailed for nearly two years under the Internal Security Act.
Apart from Uthayakumar and Ganabatirao, the others were M Manoharan, K Vasanthakumar and R Kenghadharan.
However, there was a split in the ranks, leading Uthayakumar and his brother Waythamoorthy to rename Hindraf as Hindraf-Makkal Sakti.
Uthayakumar’s three conditions
Meanwhile, Ganabatirao told FMT that MI-Voice had roped in Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar’s aide, T Balakrishnan to negotiate with Uthayakumar to participate in the reunion dinner.
According to him, Uthayakumar had listed three conditions to confirm his attendance.
They are:
  1. The RM50,000 bail money posted by Raidu for Uthayakumar must be returned to Uthayakumar.
  2. A total of 15 parliamentary and 38 state seats that have been identified must be allocated for HRP in the next general election.
  3. Only Waythamoorthy, who is currently in London, must be acknowledged as Hindraf’s leader.
Ganabatirao said Mi-Voice rejected the conditions and explained why.
“The RM50,000 is still deposited in the court because Uthayakumar’s case has not ended,” he said, adding that the movement wanted to use the money for the development of Tamil schools.
He said it was impossible to agree to the second condition because there were already Indian politicians being elected reps in the identified seats.
As for the third condition, Ganabatirao stressed on the importance of equal status as opposed to Waythamoorthy being crowned leader.
MI- Voice said that the reunion dinner would be attended by Pakatan Rakyat heavyweights such as Anwar Ibrahim, Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and Lim Guan Eng.

HRP: Legal strategy in place to free 53

(Malaysiakini) The Human Rights Party today said that it has formulated a legal strategy to force the government to drop the charges against 53 of its national and grassroots leaders.

Uthaya at hrp HQ"We are preparing a legal strategy to file in the KL High Court. I don't want to reveal too much about it but we are asking the court to declare the 53 charges of taking part in an activity organised by an illegal organisation as ultra vires Article 10 of the constitution," said HRP secretary-general P Uthayakumar at a press conference at the party headquarters in Bangsar.

Article 10 of the federal constitution provides for the freedom of association.

Uthayakumar also questioned the arrest under section 43(5) of the Societies Act for participating in an illegal society, contending that Hindraf has already submitted an application with the Registrar of Societies.

"We submitted our application. It is they who denied it. If at all Hindraf is illegal, then so is Umno because Umno was declared illegal in the 1987 crisis. It is only Umno Baru that is not illegal."

However, he points out, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak calls himself the president of Umno, not Umno Baru.

He argued that under Article 8 of the constitution, all citizens are guaranteed equal treatment and protection under the law.

NONE"If they arrest us, they should also arrest the PM and Umno ministers," contended Uthayakumar who maintains that Umno is an illegal organisation.

Uthayakumar was referring to 53 HRP leaders who are being charged with participating in an activity organised by an illegal organisation.

The 53 were charged during the course of the last two weeks.

He said that the total bail required by the court thus far is RM111,000. While HRP has collected RM18,870 in donations from the public, the party appeals for more help to alleviate the costs, said Uthayakumar.

HRP: Legal strategy in place to free 53