Monday, November 26, 2007

Hindraf rally

Associated Press

Malaysian police fired tear gas and water cannon Sunday to disperse thousands of ethnic Indians who tried to stage a rally that had been banned amid government accusations that its organizers were stirring racial hatred.

Witnesses claimed dozens of demonstrators were beaten and arrested.

At least 5,000 people gathered before dawn near Kuala Lumpur's famous Petronas Twin Towers, in a rare attempt by Malaysia's ethnic Indian minority to highlight complaints that they are economically marginalized by the ethnic Malay Muslim-dominated government.

Thousands of others massed in Batu Caves, a limestone cave Hindu temple on the city's outskirts, hoping to join the others in a march to the British High Commission to protest how ethnic Indians have remained largely poor since British colonial rule.

Authorities fired tear gas and chemical-laced water at the crowds in both areas, said P. Uthayakumar, a senior representative of the Hindu Rights Action Force, a nongovernment group that organized the rally.

"Police went into Batu Caves and beat many innocent people," Uthayakumar said, adding that more than 100 people have been detained.

Police officers outside the Petronas towers confirmed that tear gas and water cannon were used.

Thousands of people regrouped later near the towers in a standoff with hundreds of police, who used water cannon again on the crowd. Shoes and slippers were scattered in the area and flower pots were broken after people fled the scene earlier.

An Associated Press reporter saw about a dozen people taken away in a police truck.

Police had obtained an unprecedented court order forbidding the public from rallying outside the British High Commission, and warned that protesters could be arrested on sight. Three of the Hindu group's leaders were arrested and charged in court with sedition Friday.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak indicated Saturday that the rally's organizers had "given seditious speeches that arouse the anger of the other races."

"They can speak up but cannot break the law," the national news agency Bernama quoted Najib as saying. "If their speeches are seditious and instigative and can spark racial clashes, legal action will be taken against them."

Ethnic Indians, mainly Hindus, form about 8 percent of Malaysia's 27 million people. Activists claim that more than two-thirds of them live in poverty, partly because they are deprived of opportunities due to affirmative action policies that favor Malays.

Sunday's rally is meant to support a US$4 trillion (�2.7 trillion) lawsuit filed by the Hindu group in London in August, demanding that Britain compensate Malaysian Indians for bringing their ancestors here as "indentured laborers" and exploiting them.

The Malaysian government has rejected allegations of unfair discrimination.

The rally was the second protest in Kuala Lumpur this month. Police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse activists Nov. 10 at an opposition-backed rally that drew thousands of people demanding electoral reforms.

here's more info..

mind wat is happening with malaysia..??
wtf..i think going to be like pakistan or myammaer?


Post a Comment