Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Indian Government Refused to Met Waytha Moorthy of HINDRAF.

Pranab Mukherjee, The Foreign Minister of India.

India washes hands of Malay protest

8 Dec 2007, 0154 hrs IST , TNN

NEW DELHI: "A terrorist is a terrorist. He has no religion and his origin does not matter," said foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee. Reacting to a question on a reported comment by the Malaysian government that the protesting Indian community in the country were sympathisers of the LTTE, Mukherjee said this issue was not discussed with the Sri Lankan foreign minister Rohitha Bogollagama who met him on Friday for bilateral discussions on the sidelines of the Saarc intersession meeting.

The Malaysian government's comments have introduced a twist to the raging debate on the issue of Indian minority in Malaysia who have rioted against discriminatory policies of the Malaysian government. Mukherjee said there were international conventions that governed how the issue of terrorism was tackled, and every government was committed to supporting it. The Indian government refused to meet the leader of the protesting Indian group Hindraf — Waytha Moorthy — on Thursday. Waytha Moorthy, in India for a day before heading to Geneva and Washington for support could only meet the leader of the Opposition, L K Advani. Speaking to TOI Waytha Moorthy said "the bureaucracy" made it difficult to meet the leadership. He said they were looking for Indian support and India to pressure Malaysia to give them a better deal. He said their ultimate aim was to have a better life in Malaysia. India is not going to give the protesting Malaysians more traction. This is clear from the recent actions of the government that they consider the protests to be part of an internal matter of Malaysia, because these were all Malaysian citizens. To the extent that they are persons of Indian origin, they would receive notional support from India. But, India will not place its relations with Malaysia on the line for them. This is a clear message. So even though there will be expressions of support for the protesters the government will not be seen to be backing any group that might have sympathies with the LTTE. This will complicate its relations not merely with Malaysia and Sri Lanka but could prove to be a legal hot potato — because LTTE is banned in India.

collection by ALHSA

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