25 November 2007

Another Protest , Another Tear Gas , Another Water Canon

This is really happening in Malaysia. 2 weeks after BERSIH rally, now Hindraf protest.
Source from www.malaysiakini.com/news/75246

Hours before the protest organised by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) is due to take place, the police have already begun firing tear gas and chemical-laced water to disperse crowds in three areas in Kuala Lumpur.

The protesters defied the police's 'arrest on sight' order as they turned up in the thousands to join the demonstration.

The police fired a volley of tear gas at Jalan Ampang at about 7.40am today to disperse a large crowd who had gathered there. The area has been declared a curfew zone by the police.

Earlier, the police also used tear gas to disperse a crowd which gathered at Batu Caves and the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) areas.

According to Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar, police fired tear gas at those sleeping in Batu Caves temple at 4am. Unconfirmed reports said about 700 people were arrested there.

Uthayakumar also said that the police attacked a crowd near Maxis Tower in KLCC, firing at least 15 tear-gas canisters. About 20 were said to be arrested with some suffering from injuries.

Despite roadblocks and a tight police cordon to seal off the city, thousands of Indians from all around the country have arrived in Kuala Lumpur since last night.

Some of the protesters were already at Jalan Ampang near Hotel Nikko and Ampang Park - a stone throw away from the British High Commission - early this morning.

Despite repeated firing of chemical-laced water against the 5,000-strong crowd, the protestors appeared defiant and refused to budge.

However, by 8.30am the police have successfully forced the crowd to move out of the area, many of whom congregating near the National Heart Institute along Jalan Tun Razak.

Meanwhile, another group which has gathered near Tabung Haji building was pushed back by the volleys of police tear gas to near the United States embassy further down Jalan Tun Razak.

By 9am, the police numbering about 1,000 have cleared most of area in the vicinity of Ampang Park and the British High Commission of protestors.

UPDATE 9.30am, 10,000 in KLCC: The protesters are split into three major groups - about 3,000 south of Jalan Tun Razak with the police pushing the crowd back into Jalan Kia Peng and Jalan Bukit Bintang.

Another 3,000 are north of Jalan Tun Razak near the National Heart Institute. Many of these protesters are moving to KLCC to join the third group.

Meanwhile, the crowd in KLCC has surged to between 10,000 and 15,000.

The protesters - a mix of young and old from all parts of the country - were being addressed with loudhailers by Hindraf leaders, including Uthayakumar. In the bid to disperse the crowd, the police fired tear gas into the defiant crowd every 10 minutes.

The rally has been declared illegal by the police, who have also obtained an unprecedented court order to prohibit people from taking part in it.

Large groups of people have gathered at various spots around the city centre even at dawn - all hoping to break the police cordon to march towards the British High Commission at 10am.

Jalan Ampang - where the high commission is located - and three other roads have been closed since 3am to stop the crowd from arriving at the protest venue.

Also closed are two LRT (light rail transit) stations near the area - the Ampang Park and KLCC stations.

Why the protest?

The planned protest is to support a lawsuit against Malaysia's former colonial power for bringing Indians to Malaysia as indentured labourers and exploiting them for 150 years.

Furthermore, the suit sought a declaration that the Reid Commission Report 1957 failed to incorporate the rights of the Indian community when independence was granted, resulting in discrimination and marginalisation to this day.

The quantum being sought is about US$2 million for every Indian currently residing in Malaysia.

Following the filing of the suit, Hindraf held nationwide roadshows explaining to grassroots about the case.

Coupled with their work to prevent rampant state-sanctioned demolition of Hindu temples, Hindraf won over a wave of support for their cause.

Today's memorandum was to petition Queen Elizabeth II to appoint a Queen's counsel to argue the case on their behalf.


Anonymous said...

A rather interesting set of pictures on the rally in KL.


Anonymous said...

Internet articles should be cited thus:
Sandy English, ‘Former surgeon general describes Bush administration’s interference on science and health issues’, 17 July 2007, World Socialist Web Site www.wsws.org./articles2007//july20007/surgj.,-shtml ,accessed 18 July 2007

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Myint

Anonymous said...

Your english seems to be improving rather drastically or did you plagiarize the article without changing them into your own words. If Plagiarized it shall be cited as below. Good effort anyway.

Yours sincerely,
Pn. Shamalah