Friday, November 23, 2007

Rally By Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) To Petition Queen Elizabeth II Stirring Religious Sentiments'

PUTRAJAYA: Police will not be issuing a permit for the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) rally this Sunday.

Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum said judging from text messages being circulated, Hindraf appeared to be playing up sensitive issues which included the demolition of Hindu temples.
"Some of the text messages are overboard and can incite feelings. They are blaming the government, the police and Umno. If a rally is held in such a situation, it can lead to instability," Johari said yesterday.
Hindraf is planning to hold a rally outside the British High Commission in support of a class-action suit against the British government for bringing Indians to Malaysia as indentured workers, for exploiting them for 150 years, and for failing to protect their rights as a minority in the federal constitution when Malaya's independence was granted.
The rally is to petition Queen Elizabeth II for a Queen's Counsel to represent the Indian community in the suit, which was filed on Aug 30 in the United Kingdom.

The sum sought is STG4 trillion (RM27.7 trillion) in compensation for the community from the British government.Second political secretary to the British High Commissioner Dawn Houghton said they will be ready to receive the petition on Sunday.
"We are aware of their plans. Any demonstration is between Hindraf and the local authorities. There should be someone receiving the petition," she added.
The application for a police permit was rejected by Cheras police chief Assistant Commissioner Ahmad Amir Mohd Hashim who explained that the application had been made by an individual, rather than by the organisation.Under Section 27 of the Police Act 1967, any application for a permit to assemble in a public place must made by an organisation or jointly by three individuals.
Police have expressed doubt as to the capability of the applicant to control the crowd, which could disrupt traffic as well as law and order.In response, Hindraf legal adviser P. Uthayakumar described the reason cited by the police as "flimsy", explaining that the organisation is a coalition of NGOs and not a registered body in its own right.
Uthayakumar also argued that the duty to control traffic and to ensure law and order lay with the police, not Hindraf."In fact, we have told the police that we will have 100 people helping to organise this peaceful assembly," he said.
Uthayakumar insisted the gathering would go on. It is expected to attract a large group of Indians. The MIC and police have warned the Indian community to stay away from the gathering, which is now deemed illegal.