Extradition of London-based Hindraf leader demanded

June 26th, 2008 - 4:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, June 26 (IANS) An opposition lawmaker in Malaysia has asked for the extradition of a London-based ethnic Indian leader if his activities were found inimical to national security. The government should make its stand clear on the nature of activity of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) chairman P. Waythamoorthy “whether he should walk free, or be arrested”, Tian Chua, an ethnic Chinese lawmaker, said Wednesday in Malaysian parliament lobby.

He belongs to the Parti Keadalan Rakyat (PKR) of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

The opposition front, the Pakatan Rakyat, of which the PKR is a constituent, has repeatedly, asked the government to come clear on the nature of charges against the Hindraf leaders, The Star newspaper said Thursday.

Waythamoorthy left Malaysia to campaign for the organisation’s cause while five of his colleagues - M. Manoharan, V. Ganabatirau, P. Uthayakumar, S. Kengadharan and Vasanth Kumar - are in jail under the stringent Internal Security Act since last December for organising a protest rally in November.

Tian Chua (PKR-Batu) said the home ministry should make its stand on the matter clear, and announce whether Waythamoorthy should be allowed to walk freely or be arrested.

“If he is a threat to national security, then arrest him. Send a request to the British government to repatriate him. If he is on the wanted list, then we should restrict his international activities,” he said.

Waythamoorthy has been residing in London since last December after his colleagues were detained.

Chua said he had submitted a question to the Dewan Rakyat (parliament) asking if the home ministry would arrest Waythamoorthy, and if yes, under which act.

However, the question was rejected under Standing Orders 23(1)(h) as it was considered “hypothetical”.

“The question is not hypothetical. I feel it is unfair that the question was turned down. We do not know if there is an (arrest) warrant out for him,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Hindraf, accused of collecting funds for engaging in “terror-linked activities” by the Malaysian authorities, has asked its cadres to stop any fund-raising drive.

It has asked the public not to be duped by individuals seeking donations supposedly to raise funds for the group.

Its coordinator V. Raidu Wednesday disapproved of those doing so under the guise of selling tickets for charity concerts.

“Hindraf does not approve of such methods as we have stopped collecting funds from the public a long time ago,” he told reporters Wednesday after visiting his brother Ganabatirau, one of the five Hindraf leaders detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) at the Kamunting detention centre.

Raidu said he learnt of the fund-gathering charge when he accompanied Ganabatirau’s wife, B. Buvaneswary and K. Vickneswary, wife of detainee K. Vasanthakumar, to visit their husbands.

The five Hindraf leaders were detained after they organised a protest rally highlighting alleged discrimination against the two million-plus ethnic Indians.

The detainees told Raidu that the Hindraf was being accused of raising funds for “covert activities linked to terrorism”.

Raidu said some cash had been raised last year but the RM68,000 ($21,250 approx.) collected was spent to pay for bail of those detained for participating in Hindraf-organised rallies.

Both Vickneswary and Buvaneswary said they had not received any of the “donations”.

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