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Malaysian Indian sues officials over LTTE link charge

September 12, 2009

The Times of India : Malaysian Indian sues officials over LTTE link charge

KUALA LUMPUR: Firmly denying any links with Sri Lanka’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a Malaysian Indian legislator on Friday sued senior government officials for defamation.

M. Manoharan, a legislator from Kota Alam Shah in Selangor state and a former legal advisor of the now-banned Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) said neither he nor any of the other Hindraf leaders had links with the Tamil Tigers.

He filed an RM 100 million ($28.67 million) defamation suit against Inspector General of Police Musa Hasan, Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail and media organisations.

The two senior officials had told the court of the LTTE links to justify the detention of Manoharan and four others under the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA) in December 2007.

A fortnight before their arrest, the five had led a protest rally in Kuala Lumpur to protest discrimination against Tamil Hindus who form a bulk of the nearly two million ethnic Indian population.

The rally attracted 10,000 people. It was declared illegal and forcibly dispersed.

Detained for two years, Manoharan and his colleagues were released on bail in April this year by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who called it “a conciliatory gesture”.

Manoharan had got elected to the Selangor assembly while in detention, but was not allowed to perform his duties as a legislator.

“Ours is a people’s struggle, we are not terrorists and neither are the movement’s main members P. Uthayakumar, P. Waythamoorthy, S. Ganabathi Rao and K. Vasathakumar,” he said.

Manoharan added that his detention over allegations that he was linked to the Tamil Tigers was absurd.

“Never have I visited Sri Lanka and our movement has no links with the LTTE. It is a figment of the government’s imagination,” he said.

Manoharan said he now needs to catch up with his family, look for a house in Klang and resume his legal practice, The Star reported.

Sri Lanka’s Tamil rebels were defeated in May in a major military campaign that left the LTTE leadership dead.

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