Sunday, 17 June 2012

Waythamoorthy to return after refiling British suit

Waythamoorthy to return after refiling British suit
Author / Source : Aidila Razak / Malaysiakini


London-based Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P Waythamoorthy is expected to return on Aug 1 after about five years of exile.

According to Hindraf advisor N Ganesan, he will return a month after the movement refiles its claims for reparations against the British Queen in the London courts on July 2.

NONEGanesan said Waythamoorthy (right), who fled in November 2007 following "news of imminent arrest (so) he can provide leadership from outside", will attempt to enter Malaysia on a United Nations travel document issued to him following his Malaysian passport confiscation.

"The UN document clearly states that he is allowed to travel to all countries except for Malaysia (but) we are prepared for all eventualities," said Ganesan at a press conference in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur today.

He said that this will include the likelihood of arrest once he steps onto Malaysian soil.

Ganesan said that upon his return, Waythamoorthy will head a nationwide roadshow to publicise the lawsuit, although details are pending.

Heading home after setting milestone

He noted that Waythamoorthy is returning after "achieving a certain milestone" in reviving the 2007 lawsuit which had lapsed following the crackdown on Hindraf and will unite the currently splintered movement.

He said the suit, handled by UK law firm Imran Khan and Partners seeks "declarations and orders by the UK courts as to the cause of marginalisation of descendants of indentured Indian labourers and commensurate compensation".

The quantum demanded is the same as per the 2007 suit: a staggering RM1 million for each Malaysian descendent of an indentured Indian labourer.

N Ganesan, HRP advisor June 4However, Ganesan (left) stressed that Hindraf is in "not promising anyone a single sen" from the suit, whose main goal is to "correct a historical wrongdoing".

"Our intentions are not about the money. A lot of mischief has happened with people trying to show that we are trying to cheat the Indians.

"We are not doing this for votes, but for change," he said.
He added that the suit will be backed by Waythamoorthy and his team's four years of research into historical records of the British colonial governments.

These records are sourced from the British Archives in London and other sources in Indian and Singapore records office.

Marginalisation done deliberately

"New information is going to surface (to show)...the process of marginalisation of the descendants of indentured Indian labourers...was not an accident of history but was an act of concious omission by those in power," he said.

In saying this, Ganesan likened the case to several recent landmark cases such as that on the Armenian genocide and the genocide in what is now Namibia by the German army in early 1900.
On the Hindraf splinter factions, he said that its "political wing" Human Rights Party led by P Uthayakumar who was absent today as "he is engaged with other work is expected to support the lawsuit".

"I can venture a guess, but there will certainly be support...

"There is only one Hindraf," Ganesan said.
When asked whether the BN-supporting splinter Hindraf group, Malaysian Makkal Sakhti Party (MMSP), will also back Waythamoorthy and the suit, Ganesan seemed less optimistic.

"It is a party of reneged leaders. The people who have gone behind (the leaders) are misled but the people will support the cause," he said.

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