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Protect Tamils in Malaysia, Karuna urges Manmohan

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister writes a letter to the PM expressing deep concern at the treatment meted out to ethnic Indians in Malaysia.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2007 23:50 IST

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Tuesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manomhan Singh, expressing deep concern at the treatment meted out to ethnic Indians in Malaysia.

In the letter, Karunanidhi said that the people of Tamil Nadu are disturbed over the happenings in Kuala Lumpur, and pointed out that Tamils constitute the largest percentage among the Indian minority in Malaysia.

The Malaysian police on Sunday crushed a rally of more than 10,000 ethnic Indians who were protesting against marginalisation of the ethnic Indian community in that country and also to support a $4 trillion lawsuit filed in London in August by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), a rights group demanding that Britain compensate Malaysian Indians for bringing their ancestors to the country as indentured laborers and exploiting them.

The police detained over 240 ethnic Indians.

Karunanidhi added that he was much perturbed that the Malaysian police used water cannons and tear-gas shells against the Indian demonstrators.

Adding insult to injury, Karunanidhi said, the Malaysian police had detained 240 ethnic Indians.

"The protesters were carrying poster-size pictures of Mahatma Gandhi", he pointed out.

The chief minister urged Prime Minister Singh and the central government to take appropriate action to end the sufferings and ill treatment meted out to Malaysian Tamils.

Ethnic Indians constitute eight percent of the total population of 27 million but control just 1.5 percent of the economy.

The Indian community in that country also alleged that access to housing, education, financial loans and jobs is given to Malays on a preferential basis. The destruction of Hindu temples by the Malaysian government had inflamed the ethnic Indians' grievances.

First Published: Nov 27, 2007 20:25 IST