Hindraf’s Waytha risks ‘freedom’ to return home

Tarani Palani | June 16, 2012
Although barred from entering the country, the Hindraf leader P Waythamoorthy will be back in Malaysia on August 1.
PETALING JAYA: Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy, who is scheduled to return to Malaysia in August, is prepared to face any eventuality as a result of his decision.
Waythamoorthy,  who has been living in exile in England since 2008, was one of the main leaders of the November 25, 2007 Hindraf rally which fueled the subsequent political tsunami that saw ruling Barisan Nasional lose five states to the opposition.
He left Malaysia to avoid a possible arrest under the Internal Security Act (ISA). Prior to November 2007, he had already been arrested twice, one of which was for sedition.
Hindraf advisor N.Ganesan, who revealed Waythamoorthy’s plans to return on August 1, said that even if  Waythamoorthy was detained immediately on his return, the organisation was prepared to deal with the consequence.
“He is returning because this is his country and he has achieved a certain mile-stone with the civil suit (against the British government…that is why he is returning now,” Ganesan told reporters at a press conference today.
The group is anticipating trouble as Waythamoorthy’s international passport was cancelled by the Malaysian government on April 21, 2008 just as he flew to London from Geneva where he briefed the UN Human Rights Commissioner on Malaysia.
After some glitches at the London airport, he now travels on a United Nations-sanctioned travel document issued by the British government.
The document gives him the right to travel to any country in the world, except Malaysia.
Case to be filed in July
Ganesan, who is in daily contact with Waythamoorthy, also said today that Hindraf’s lawsuit against the British government will be re-filed in United Kingdom courts on July 2.
The civil suit for reparations against the Queen of England on behalf of the descendants of the Malaysian Indenture Labour community was first filed on August 2007.
However this suit lapsed as it could not be pursued due to the rally and the limited resources.
Ganesan said today that Waythamoorthy has been doing much research while abroad and Hindraf was now more equiped to challenge the British government.
He added that Imran Khan and partners, who have won several landmark racial profiling cases in the UK will be the solicitors of the case.
“(The British government) left these indenture labourers as scrap when they left the country. And we believe the story cannot end there until the picture is completed out with due recognition of and for the significant contributions of the indentured Indian labourers,
“This is our case and we will establish it in the courts in the United Kingdom. We are doing what we said we will do and what we are saying now, we will do,” said Ganesan.

‘Waytha will unite fractions’
The civil suit demands  RM1 million in compensation for each Indian in Malaysia.
Ganesan today said that he was confident that the many fractions that have churned out from the original Hindraf movement will unite together after Waythamoorthy’s return.
As for pro-BN, Malaysian Makkal Sakthi Party (MSSP), Ganesan said that the leaders were “renegades” and that the people they lead have been mislead.
He however voiced confidence that MSSP supporters too will lend support to Hindraf’s original struggle.
Waythamoorthy’s brother, P Uthayakumar was notably missing at today’s press conference. Ganesan said that he had prior engagements.
When asked if Uthayakumar’s Human Rights Party will support this endeavour, Ganesan said: “HRP is Hindraf’s political wing. Of course they will support us”.

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