Wednesday 28 November 2007

INDIA'S Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Concerned on Malaysia's Treatment of Tamils

Read here in Hindustan Times (India)

Protect Tamils in Malaysia, Karunanidhi urges India's PM

India's Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Tuesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manomhan Singh, expressing deep concern at the treatment meted out to ethnic Indians in Malaysia.

In the letter, Karunanidhi said that the people of Tamil Nadu are disturbed over the happenings in Kuala Lumpur, and pointed out that Tamils constitute the largest percentage among the Indian minority in Malaysia.

The Malaysian police on Sunday crushed a rally of more than 10,000 ethnic Indians who were protesting against marginalisation of the ethnic Indian community in that country and also to support a $4 trillion lawsuit filed in London in August by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), a rights group demanding that Britain compensate Malaysian Indians for bringing their ancestors to the country as indentured laborers and exploiting them.

The police detained over 240 ethnic Indians.

Karunanidhi added that he was much perturbed that the Malaysian police used water cannons and tear-gas shells against the Indian demonstrators.

Adding insult to injury, Karunanidhi said, the Malaysian police had detained 240 ethnic Indians.

"The protesters were carrying poster-size pictures of Mahatma Gandhi", he pointed out.

The chief minister urged Prime Minister Singh and the central government to take appropriate action to end the sufferings and ill treatment meted out to Malaysian Tamils.

Ethnic Indians constitute eight percent of the total population of 27 million but control just 1.5 percent of the economy.

The Indian community in that country also alleged that access to housing, education, financial loans and jobs is given to Malays on a preferential basis. The destruction of Hindu temples by the Malaysian government had inflamed the ethnic Indians' grievances.


MDMK General Secretary Vaiko on Tuesday requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take immediate steps through diplomatic channels to protect ethnic Indians in Malaysia.

In a letter to Dr Singh, a copy of which was circulated to the media here, he said the Malaysian authorities had used police force against ethnic Indians, mostly Tamils, when they took out a peaceful rally on November 25.

"Making up some eight per cent of Malaysia's population, Indians are historically underprivileged, compared to other ethnic groups and have long felt discriminated."

"More than 90 per cent of ethnic Indians in Malaysia are Tamils. They have contributed to bring economic prosperity in Malaysia, shedding their sweat of labour all these years. But they have been discriminated in education, jobs and business opportunities by Malaysian authorities," he added.

Stating that the reported statement of the Malaysian Prime Minister against the peaceful rally was "disturbing and causes apprehension" about the future safety and welfare of ethnic Indians, Vaiko requested the Prime Minister (of India) to take steps to protect them.

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