Saturday, December 1, 2007

Post-Hindraf: Tamil Nadu’s reaction to Nazri’s remarks

It is disheartening to learn that the media in Malaysia namely The Star Online was making a conflicting report about Parliament of India's reaction to a Malaysian minister's sarcastic remark. I knew that the government controlled the mass media in the country for the "benefits" of the people but never thought it dares to make so obvious contraction as compared to the news in India. Hindraf motion in the Parliament of India had gained momentum and MPs even suggested the Government to raise the issue before the UN and the Commonwealth. Seldom see such short news from the Star Online. I shall quote in full here before it is taken off the Net.

The Star Online: Hindraf motion in India shot down (Friday November 30, 2007)
NEW DELHI: India's Parliament has rejected a call to discuss the Hindraf demonstration. Parliament Speaker Somnath Chatterjee refused to discuss the issue, leading angry lawmakers to block the proceedings in the lower house of Parliament.  



The, which responded to Nazri's comments, had caused an uproar in the Parliament of India and that New Delhi was taking up the issue with Kuala Lumpur. Quote:

India taking up Tamils issue with Malaysia Friday, November 30, 2007 : 1505 Hrs

New Delhi (PTI): With ethnic Tamils under attack in Malaysia, the Government on Friday told the Rajya Sabha that New Delhi was taking up the issue with Kuala Lumpur.

"The matter is being taken up through diplomatic channel," Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachouri told the House during Zero Hour.



Quote in part:


Uproar on Malaysian leader's remarks (30 Nov, 2007, 0340 hrs IST)


NEW DELHI: A Malaysian minister's remarks asking Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi to "lay off" and "worry" about his own state after the DMK chief expressed concern about the reported mistreatment of ethnic Malaysian Tamils created an uproar in Parliament on Thursday.

Nazri Aziz, a minister in the Malaysian prime minister's department, was blunt, saying Mr Karunanidhi's place is in Tamil Nadu, and not
Malaysia. "His place is in Tamil Nadu, not Malaysia . He should worry about his own state. His own state has got problems," Aziz was quoted as saying by the local media. "This has got nothing to do with him... lay off," he said.

The Malaysian minister's remarks were in response to statements by Mr Karunanidhi, who wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing his anguish over the mistreatment of ethnic Indians and asking for
India's intervention in the matter.

Led by Congress member SK Kharaventhan, the agitated MPs spoke about purported ethnic discrimination against Indians, mostly people of Tamil origin, in
Malaysia, and demanded that New Delhi address this issue immediately. As the members urged the central government to take steps to "protect" the ethnic Indians in Malaysia , Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, cautious of the diplomatic sensitivity involved in the matter, asked them not to say anything that would affect relations with the friendly country.

As their protest gained momentum, some members from the BJP benches were heard referring to the alleged demolition of temples in
Malaysia. On his part, the Speaker ordered some reference to the reported police attack on the Indians. "We are a very responsible democracy. We don't discuss... any other country in such a manner," he said.

Mr Chatterjee also shot down the demand of the MPs that external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, who was present in the House, make a statement on the issue. "The external affairs minister is a very responsible person, his presence in the House is enough," the Speaker told MPs. When the MPs continued to give vent to their feelings, the Speaker directed that the live telecast of the proceedings be switched off. He, then, adjourned the House for 30 minutes.

In the Rajya Sabha, too, Tamil Nadu MPs registered their protest, prompting deputy chairman K Rahman Khan to come out with an assurance that the government would definitely take note of it. The BJP asked the government to raise the issue before the UN and the Commonwealth while the CPI expressed concern over "discrimination and repression" of people of Indian origin.




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