Detained Hindraf leader’s mother meets Malaysian PM

April 16th, 2008 - 3:31 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, April 16 (IANS) Detained Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P. Uthayakumar’s mother met Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to plead for early release of her son who is seriously sick. Uthayakumar’s mother K. Kalaivaniy was accompanied by 100 supporters and the movement’s coordinator, R.S. Thanendran.

Thanendran urged Badawi to consider Kalaivaniy’s request, adding that since there was no guarantee that Uthayakumar would get proper medical attention, it was only right that the government allowed his family to send him for treatment.

Badawi met them in his office Tuesday, The Star said. It did not report Badawi’s reaction, if any, to the delegation, the first that has met him since November last year.

Hindraf, claiming to speak for two million Tamil Hindus, had staged a protest rally Nov 25. The government disapproved of the rally and it was dispersed forcibly.

Uthayakumar, 46, is the legal adviser to Hindraf and the Malaysian Peoples Reform Party.

He and three others - M. Manoharan, 46, V. Ganabatirau, 34, K. Vasantha Kumar, 34 - have been held under the Internal Security Act (ISA) since November.

The government said it suspected Hindraf to have terror links, particularly Sri Lanka’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and arrested some participants of the rally.

This was the second appeal in a week from the 66-year-old widow, who lives in Seremban.

She said her son’s release was urgent, as he needed to take medicine for diabetes.

“He has not taken medication for his diabetes for a month, and this is very dangerous,” she said Tuesday, adding that authorities’ lack of concern for Uthayakumar’s health could put him serious danger.

“When I visited him last week, he complained of being ill because he had not been on medication. I plead for my son’s release and I will bear all his medical expenses myself,” she added.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar said he would not go by “sentiments” and the decision to be taken by the cabinet would be dictated by “national interests”.

The government has yet to take a decision on the representation made last year by 66 men charged with participating in the Hindraf rally.

Deputy public prosecutor Nik Suhaimi Nik Sulaiman Tuesday told the court they were still considering the representation and asked for more time as they needed to verify certain details. He asked the court to fix trial dates instead.

He told Sessions Court judge Azimah Omar that the prosecution would call between 80 and 100 witnesses to the stand.

Azimah fixed two weeks for trial beginning Sep 15.

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