Hindraf leaders to restructure banned movement

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 18 Apr 2009

PETALING JAYA: Leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Front (Hindraf) have agreed to restructure the banned organisation. However, they are at loggerheads as to whether it should be transformed into a political party.

Self-exiled chairman of the movement P. Waythamoorthy, in a move to bring the movement forward, suspended his 10 national and state coordinators.

“We are just moving on to the next stage by re-strategising and re-energising ourselves for the next general election,” said Way- thamoorthy when contacted in London.

In a press statement yesterday, Waythamoorthy said Hindraf was suspending its coordinators with immediate effect.

They were also instructed not to make statements on behalf of Hindraf.

He said working committees would be set-up to look into the many issues that needed addressing.

“A new committee of volunteers and working groups will be set-up nationwide to meet the needs of the Indian community after consultations with the grass roots supporters of Hindraf/Makkal Sakthi,” he added.

R. Thanenthiran, who was a national coordinator until Waytha- moorthy issued the suspension order, said the movement was now taking steps to become a formal political party.

He said an official statement about the formation of the new party was expected at the end of this month or early next month.

“Since Hindraf was banned, we have been facing difficulties and we need to continue being mobile to take care of the welfare of the Indian community,” he said, adding that it would be the alternative to existing Indian parties.

He said the process to form a new party is nearly completed.

The movement’s new structure is expected to comprise a non-government organisation and a political party.

Thanenthiran’s goal, which had earlier appeared in an online news portal, seemed different from what Waythamoorthy was pushing for.

Yesterday, Waythamoorthy, who has maintained that Hindraf/Makkal Sakthi should remain a non-political pressure group, said: “It is Thanenthiran’s right to become involved in politics or to set-up a political party. I cannot stop him and will not stop him.”

Another former national coordinator, S. Manikavasagam, agreed with Waythamoorthy’s stand, saying Hindraf should remain apolitical.

“Waythamoorthy had from the very beginning stressed that Hindraf/Makkal Sakthi will not be involved in politics but function as a pressure group,” said Manika- vasagam.

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