Detained non-Muslim trio in anti-ISA fast

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Detained non-Muslim trio in anti-ISA fast Empty Detained non-Muslim trio in anti-ISA fast

Post by swatika on Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:45 pm

Athi Veeranggan | Sep 29, 08 12:52pm

Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P Uthayakumar and two Buddhists are said to be fasting in solidarity with Muslim fellow-detainees at the Kamunting detention centre in Perak
Muslims each year fast from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadan, which began on Sept 1 this year.
“This is the fourth week my brother Uthayakumar and the other two detainees have joined their Muslim friends to fast. This is also to protest their detention without trial,” said London-based Hindraf leader P Waythamoorthy.
He said Uthayakumar wants the prime minister to release the detainees, some of whom have been held for nearly eight years under the Internal Security Act (ISA), so that they can return to their families for upcoming festivals.
Waythamoorthy also claimed that, despite ‘zero’ racial or inter-religious conflict among the detainees, “the authorities are attempting to break their solidarity”.
He alleged that the non-Muslim trio, for instance, do not get food for buka puasa (break of fast), unlike Muslim detainees.
However, he said all the detainees are aware that they are equal before the law, as stipulated under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution.
“No detainee receives special privileges and none of them has attempted to exert supremacy based on religion, race or the social contract,” he said.
“The majority of the Muslim detainees support the Hindraf struggle for equal opportunities for the minority Indian Malaysians, who have been excluded from mainstream development since Independence.”
Inspiration for Hindraf
He further said that a Muslim detainee had told Uthayakumar that he and his children had been educated abroad on government scholarships, but that his Indian neighbours in Kluang, Johor, have remained in poverty.
The detainee, said to be a member of Jemaah Islamiah (JI), is said to have welcomed Uthayakumar “with an open heart” and to have told him not lose hope and keep up the struggle.
“His inspired words have helped Uthayakumar (left) and Hindraf to keep going,” said Waythamoorthy.
Many of the detained JI and Darul Islamiah members support Hindraf’s 18-point demand submitted to Premier Abdullah Ahmad on Aug 12 last year, Waythamoorthy claimed, based on information from his brother.
On a lighter note, he suggested that Barisan Nasional backbenchers should have visited Kamunting rather than Taiwan on Sept 8.
“At least the MPs could have learnt about racial unity and multi-religionism,’ he said.
Uthayakumar, 47, T Vasanthakumar, 35, M Manoharan, 47, R Kenghadharan, 41, and V Ganabatirau, 35, have been in custody since Dec 13 following their role in the Hindraf rally last November.
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