'Free them, I'll take full responsibility'
Rahmah Ghazali Dec 14, 08 3:06pm
ISA detainee and banned movement Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar made a startling revelation last night when he vowed to take full responsibility for the fevents which led to the detention of his ‘fellow lawyer brothers’.
Delivering the message through his 14-year-old nephew V Prasad (right) at the anti-ISA forum in Klang, he said that he would take complete responsibility for the 18-point demands the group had submitted to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in the administration capital Putrajaya in August last year.
"I stand by those demands made and urge the government to release my fellow lawyer brothers who merely acted in helping me and my brother (Hindu Rights Action Force chairperson) P Waythamoorthy in various matters in court.
"The three lawyers have suffered in prison for a year and there are no valid reasons for the government to hold them and they should be immediately released," said lawyer and Hindraf’s legal adviser Uthayakumar in his brief statement to the 250-strong crowd who had gathered at the PAS hall.
Uthayakumar was referring to lawyers M Manoharan, R Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau who were detained together with him on Dec 13 last year under the tough security law for allegedly carrying out activities which threatened national security.
The other Hindraf leader who has been detained is the movement’s organising secretary, T Vasanthakumar.
Forty-seven-year-old Uthayakumar is elder brother of self-exiled Hindraf chairperson Waythamoorthy, who is currently in London and is likely to face arrest under ISA should he return home.
‘One year in prison taught me to be strong’
As Prasad delivered his uncle’s message to the somber but high-spirited crowd, Uthayakumar also said that one year in prison has taught him to be strong.
"I’ve resolved to struggle for the rights of Malaysian Indians. The Umno government has cheated Malaysian Indians for more than 51 years and this has to come to an end," he said.
Uthayakumar also pointed out that it was crucial for the minority Indians to be united and speak in a single voice.
"With this single voice we should continue to push forward and I urge all of you to be prepared for a higher task of not only demanding our rights from this government but to also make yourselves available to serve the community in a positive way," Uthayakumar added.
As 2008 comes to a close, Uthayakumar urged Malaysians to dedicated themselves to serving the community in the new year.
"I urge all of you to come forward to join us in our next agenda to serve the public," he said.