Friday, November 30, 2007

HINDRAF Rally Proposed to be Discussed in Indian Parliament

From the front page of The Hindu:

Malaysia incident figures in Parliament

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha was adjourned for a short period, even as the Rajya Sabha witnessed a charged discussion on the alleged ill-treatment of Indians in Malaysia.

While Speaker Somnath Chatterjee refused to allow much of what transpired to go on record, stating that it was not right for such a message to go out from the House against another country, the matter was raised in considerable detail in the Upper House.

In the Lok Sabha, the issue was raised by S.K. Karventhan (Congress). Pointing out that the Indian community, comprising mainly Tamils, had been living in Malaysia for several decades, he sought to go into the details of what happened in Kuala Lumpur on November 26. However, the Speaker intervened, urging him not to get into details.

While fellow members from Tamil Nadu and others who had given notice were allowed to associate with Mr. Karventhan, the insistence of the Bharatiya Janata Party to speak on the subject held up the proceedings.

With the BJP refusing to yield, Mr. Chatterjee ordered that the television coverage be switched off, and adjourned the House for 30 minutes.

Seek statement

In the Rajya Sabha, members sought immediate intervention by the Centre and a statement from the External Affairs Ministry. Raising the matter, T. Siva (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) deplored the action of the Malaysian government against the ethnic Tamils, who were demanding equal rights. The authorities were not addressing their problems, he said.

D. Raja (CPI) said though 8 per cent of the Malaysian population was of Indian origin, they were not enjoying equal rights. They were being discriminated against, and this led to protests, which he said, were peaceful.

Karunanidhi’s letter

Referring to India’s good relations with Malaysia, he said the government should act with a sense of urgency and take up the issue at the appropriate level.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, asking him to take up the matter with that country.

Mr. Raja was joined by Congress Chief Whip V. Narayanasamy and K. Malaisamy (All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) in expressing concern.

Sharing the sentiments of the House, Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan said the government would definitely take note of it.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachouri said he would convey the feelings of the House to the External Affairs Minister. If possible, the government would come out with a statement.

And, a response from Karunanidhi, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, on the Bodoh, Bodoh, Bodoh minister.

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