KUALA LUMPUR: Next stop, Buckingham Palace!
Having failed to submit their memorandum to the British High Commission, Hindraf has now pledged to take it directly to Queen Elizabeth II. Hindraf legal adviser P. Uthayakumar said that they would get a second bite at the cherry when they go to London in mid-January.Uthayakumar, despite being one of the main men behind the rally, was not seen in the frontlines all morning.
From noon onwards, the protesters began getting restive and started calling repeatedly for the lawyer.
Shouts of "We want Uthaya!" could be heard echoing again and again and the mob refused to disperse even after being told repeatedly by police and other rally leaders to disperse.They said they would not go until Uthayakumar came.
Hindraf lawyer, A. Sivanesan tried to calm them down, to no avail.
When pressmen asked him where Uthayakumar was, he said Uthayakumar had gone home because he had something important to do.When questioned as to what could be more important than the rally, Sivanesan said Uthayakumar had a meeting to attend. He refused to say what the meeting was about.
Uthayakumar finally arrived, to cheers, at 1.15pm. In his speech to the protesters, he said that Hindraf would continue protesting, even under the threat of imprisonment under the Internal Security Act. "We speak the truth and will continue to speak the truth.
"We have been independent for over 50 years and we've been told to be patient and to be silent, but that mindset has now changed."We don't want to rely on Indian-based parties anymore.
"We want to go directly to Umno because it is they who hold power," said the lawyer who was in the midst of the illegal gathering yesterday.Uthayakumar hailed the demonstration as a victory, despite not being able to hand over the memorandum to the British High Commission.
"We have won today. Victory is ours," he said while the crowd cheered.He claimed Hindraf gathered 100,000 protesters yesterday. But independent estimates put the figure at less than 10,000.Earlier, Sivanesan demanded that the government set up a Royal Commission to investigate alleged police brutality during the rally.
Both Uthayakumar and Sivanesan were treated as heroes by the crowd, and they were repeatedly hoisted onto their supporters' shoulders and feted by the mob.
DAP Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran who turned up at the gathering at about 1pm urged the crowd to disperse saying "we have been heard today".
"Today we saw a change in the Indian community. A change for the better."Uthayakumar is expected to face a fresh charge of contempt at the Klang Sessions court today as he had ignored an earlier court order not to turn up at the gathering yesterday.
Police had obtained a court order on Thursday where Uthayakumar together with Hindraf leaders M. Manoharan, P. Waytha Moorthy, V. Ganabatirau, R. Kenghadaran and members, were barred from taking part in the illegal rally.
Uthayakumar, his brother Waytha Moorty and Ganabatirau were also charged on Friday for inciting racial hatred, an offence under the Sedition Act.
Uthayakumar and Ganabatirau had posted bail of RM800 each and were released. They were ordered to be in court today for mention of the case.