Monday, 23 July 2012

Waytha Moorthy be allowed to return safely

Waytha Moorthy be allowed to return safely

Statement by Friends of Suaram Working Committee Johor
23 July 2012

The 30,000-strong mass rally organized by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) on 25 November 2007 in Kuala Lumpur, highlighted the dissatisfaction of the marginalized Indian community and their perseverance in demanding equality and justice. The mass rally drew nationwide attention, and rocked the UMNO-led BN government. Contemplating that his detention might be imminent, Mr. Waytha Moorthy, as Hindraf core leader, left the country the following day, in order to preserve the leadership for the purpose of continuing the just struggle for the interests and dignity of his community.

On 13 December 2007, five Hindraf leaders were arrested under ISA. They were released separately in the months of April and May 2009. On 21 April 2008, Mr Waytha Moorthy was informed by the UK Border Agency upon entry into UK, that his passport had been revoked by the BN government. He has been in exile since then.

An official reply from the UK Border Agency to Mr. Waytha Moorthy’s solicitor, stated that the Malaysian government had informed the British authority in a letter on 14 March 2008 that Mr. Waytha Moorthy’s passport had been revoked as he was facing criminal charges. On 2 July 2008, the BN government wrote to the British authority demanding that the British authority hand over Mr. Waytha Moorthy’s passport to the Malaysian High Commission.

Since his passport had been revoked, Mr. Waytha Moorthy applied to the British government for political asylum. He managed to obtain a travel document from the British government granted according to the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees. He is now able to travel freely around the world, except Malaysia.

He filed a legal suit in the British court against the British government. The grounds for filing such suit are: Since Independence of Malaya in 1957, the British government abandoned the Indian community. The Indian community was left to be dominated at the mercy of the racist UMNO regime. In the circumstances, the British government must be held responsible for the plight of the Indian community in Malaysia.

Mr. Waytha Moorthy representing the poverty-stricken Indians in Malaysia has made known to the various governments and peoples all over the world that “the Malaysian institutional racism has brought about unending disasters to the various oppressed communities”. Now, it is time for him to return to his beloved country, be with the people, and to carry on the struggle for new democratic revolution.

Hindraf has announced that their visionary and courageous community leader will be returning home on Wednesday, 1 August. As a grassroots organisation striving for democracy and human rights, Friends of Suaram (FOS) Johor hereby declare our unreserved support for the uprighteous stand and resolute move taken by Mr. Waytha Moorthy and Hindraf . We firmly believe that:

1. The struggle for preserving the dignity and rights of the Indian community under the leadership of Mr. Waytha Moorthy, is a social movement against racial discrimination and racial oppression. It does not violate human rights or the rights of other ethnic communities, nor does it constitute a threat to national security or terrorism. The BN government is unable to proffer any convincing fact or reason so far to justify its action against Mr. Waytha Moorthy. The following facts bear testimony to this:

The BN government had in fact informed the British government of the revocation of Mr. Waytha Moorthy’s passport. Despite such glaring fact, the government remains in a state of denial. According to news reports1, both the then home minister Mr. Hamid and the present home minister Mr. Hishammuddin still refused to admit such fact.

According to 6 October 2009 Malay Mail2, the IGP Mr. Musa Hassan indicated that the police had no reason to arrest Mr. Waytha Moorthy. The police would not issue a warrant of arrest against him on his return to Malaysia.

2. Mr. Waytha Moorthy and Hindraf have launched various forms of struggle. Though they have declared that their struggle is a “new democratic revolution”, it is not in breach of any law of the country, and it is well within the framework on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and International Covenants.

Article 13 of UDHR :
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
Article 14 of UDHR:
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
Article 19 of UDHR:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.

Despite the unjustifiable revocation of Mr. Waytha Moorthy’s passport, Mr. Waytha Moorthy has travelled to many countries to carry on with his work yet to be completed, using a travel document issued under the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees that has been endorsed by many countries globally.

In view of the above, the BN government should return Mr. Waytha Moorthy his passport, and allow his safe return to his own country on 1 August.

We welcome the return of this visionary and courageous leader, with a view to carrying on the struggle for the marginalized Indian community as well as the rights and well-being of other communities, until the dawn of the new democratic revolution strived for by the various communities.


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