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Friday, June 9, 2017

Why ban Indian politician, but allow Zakir Naik, asks Hindraf

P Waythamoorthy condemns double standard by home ministry over barring of politician from Tamil Nadu, while 'harbouring Indian fugitive' Zakir Naik.
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PETALING JAYA: Hindraf has condemned the double standards practised by the home ministry in barring an Indian politician from entering the country, while “harbouring” Zakir Naik, who is a fugitive in India.
V Gopalasamy, a popular Tamil Nadu politician, and founder of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) party, was stopped by immigration officials at KLIA at 6.30am yesterday despite having a valid visa.
The 73-year-old, who is better known as Vaiko, was on his way to Penang to attend the wedding of Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy’s daughter.
“This is clearly a double standard considering the home minister allowed and harboured Zakir Naik, a wanted fugitive in India for terrorism related activities and money laundering.
“Naik was also wanted in Bangladesh for terrorism following the Dhaka terror attack at a cafe in an upmarket part of the city last year,” P Waythamoorthy said in a statement today, adding that by comparison Vaiko is a reputable and respected politician in Tamil Nadu.
Yesterday, a statement by Vaiko’s party, MDMK, said that he was questioned by Malaysian officials about his links to the defunct Sri Lankan separatist group, Tamil Tigers, and about several cases filed by Sri Lanka against him.
“Vaiko showed his passport and said he was an Indian citizen. But the officials did not let him go,” MDMK said.
Hindraf explained that Vaiko had simply advocated the rights and plight of the Sri Lankan Tamils and is well known to have involved himself in various international campaigns “to stop the genocide and killings of innocent Tamils who were victims of the Sri Lankan civil war”, which ended in 2009.
“The Sri Lankan government has blacklisted many leaders who spoke out in support of the plight of Tamils. But that should not make Vaiko a blacklisted person in Malaysia.
“Sri Lanka has good diplomatic ties with India. So, if at all they claim to have evidence of Vaiko’s involvement with the LTTE, then they could have deployed the various procedures to seek his presence for investigation purposes,” Waythamoorthy said in criticising the rationale for Malaysia to use the Sri Lankan blacklist as a basis for barring him from entering the country.
Waythamoorthy added that Vaiko was highly respected by the Tamil community in Malaysia and was never a threat of any kind to Malaysia.
“On the other hand, Zakir Naik is a dangerous man, radicalising youths worldwide and yet the government gave him a permanent resident status and VIP treatment,” he said. -FMT

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