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Indians face no threat in Malaysia: delegation
December 07, 2007 16:14 IST
As concerns were being raised in India over the 'harsh' treatment meted out to ethnic Indians -- especially Tamils in Malaysia -- a team of Tamil writers from Kuala Lumpur on a goodwill tour of Tamil Nadu said the Indians there did encounter problems due to their minority status but did not face any threat.
"There is no threat to Tamil language and Tamils in our country," P Rajendran, president of the Tamil Writers Association, heading a 34-member delegation of Tamil Writers Association of Malaysia said in Chennai on Thursday night.
Tamils, who constitute about 85 to 90 per cent of the 20 lakh Indians in Malaysia, were safe as of now, Rajendran said.
About the attitude of the Malaysian government towards the Tamil language, he said "with 523 Tamil schools, we have the liberty to study Tamil from the elementary level to P.hd."
Reacting to reports of 'marginalisation' of Tamils especially after the November 25 demonstration of ethnic Indians in Kuala Lumpur, leading to the arrest of 31 persons, Rajendran said the rally was taken without permission.
The delegation is on a visit to the state to spread Malaysian Tamil Literature and culture. Rajendran said though ethnic Indians were 'happy', they encountered some 'problems' and have their own 'demands' like the minorities of any other country.
Rajendran said in a fast developing country like Malaysia, the schemes and benefits were not equally distributed among the population. "It (demands) has come out in the open, since Indian-origin people are in minority," he said.
The comments came in the wake of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi taking up the issue of 'marginalisation' of ethnic Tamils in Malaysia with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images], which drew angry reactions from Malaysian Minister Nazri Aziz who asked the DMK chief to "lay-off".
The issue also figured in Parliament recently during which Dr Singh expressed concern over the developments in Malaysia. The views of the Tamil Writers delegation were in contrast to that of Waytha Moorthy, President, Hindu Rights Action Force, who led the rally on November 25 in Kuala Lumpur. Moorthy, who is currently camping in India after being released from detention by Malaysian Police, alleged that the ethnic Indians are being marginalised and persecuted.
He also said a number of Hindu temples in Malaysia have been demolished and relocated. He met Karunanidhi in Chennai last week and requested him to take a proactive role in the issue. Moorthy wants India to take up the issue officially with the Malaysian government and is now in Delhi to meet leaders of various political parties and Singh in this regard.
The Tamil Writers delegation, which visited Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore, to interact with local writers and intellectuals, plans to go to Sri Lanka [Images] and European Countries, where Tamils live in large numbers, Karthigesu, its vice president of the association, said.