Waytha suspends HINDRAF coordinators

April 17th, 2009 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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In a surprising move, HINDRAF chairman Waythamoorthy suspended all coordinators of HINDRAF with immediate effect, to be replaced with a 3-man interim committee (no info on who they are). Initial response from Thanenthiran is that he supports the move made by Waytha.

Hindraf’s London-based leader P Waythamoorthy has suspended the movement’s 10-member coordinators with immediate effect and replaced them with a three-man interim committee.

Among those dropped from the line-up included the movement’s national coordinator RS Thanendran who was helming the show for Hindraf locally while Waythamoorthy was leading from London.

Waythamoorthy has also put a gag order on these dropped coordinators.

“All Hindraf coordinators are to refrain from issuing statements in the name of Hindraf though they are free to express their personal opinions on any matters they choose,” he said.

He also said that the reason for the change was to allow the movement to move forward with its original cause and aims.

The 10-member coordinators were appointed at the end of 2007 after Waythamoorthy had left the country to seek international lobby in the face of government arrests…

Since then Thanendran (photo) and the other nine coordinators have been keeping the Hindraf movement alive and relevant, including successfully turning the Indian voters to support the opposition in the 2008 general election.

However there have been complaints recently that the movement and some of its coordinators have become politically ambitious.

The final fallout was apparently the showdown the movement had with PKR’s leader Anwar Ibrahim after he decided to pick someone from outside of Hindraf to contest for the Bukit Selambau state by-election early this month.

Hindraf supporters had originally proposed that Thanendran was given that seat.

The matter came to a close only after a phone call from Anwar to Waythamoorthy, who then instructed his coordinators to stand down and throw their support behind PKR, which eventually won the by-election.

At the same time, there were other coordinators who had started acting on their own and without any coordination with the Hindraf leadership.

Waythamoorthy told Malaysiakini today that he had to make the startling changes in order to keep Hindraf in the mainstay of fighting for the community’s rights.

“Hindraf’s struggle has entered a new phase where the situation in the country has qualitatively changed since our mass protest on Nov 25, 2007,” he said.

He said that the needs, expectations, desire and the aspiration of the Indian community from Hindraf has developed beyond the initial demands and seeking the release of its leaders currently held under the ISA.

“In light of these developments and the need to restructure the working groups, Hindraf with immediate effect suspends its 10-member coordinators team including its national coordinator, event coordinator and publicity coordinators and all state and district coordinators,” he added in a statement.

He also said that a new committee of volunteers and working groups would be set up nationwide to meet the need of the Indian community.

He said this would be done after consultations with the grassroots supporters of Hindraf/Makkal Sakthi.

When contacted Thanendran said he accepted Waythamoorthy’ decision and that he will continue to fight for Hindraf’s struggles.

I will continue to back the movement. This is a good strategy to ensure that Hindraf remains apolitical in its struggles,” he added.

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