KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — Sixteen Pakatan Harapan (PH) elected officials today called the government to release two DAP lawmakers and five others arrested for their alleged support of defunct Sri Lankan terror group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
In a joint press statement, the 16, including Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Professor P. Ramasamy and Deputy Rural Development Minister R. Sivarasa, claimed it was “natural” for Tamils in Malaysia to express sympathy for their brethren in Sri Lanka, which was engulfed in a civil war that ended in 2009 with the elimination of LTTE leaders who were killed or jailed.
“During the height of the civil war In Sri Lanka, Tamils in Malaysia and elsewhere had natural sympathy for the Tamil cause in Sri Lanka. The Tamil cause was bigger than the armed struggle waged by the LTTE.
“Just like the Muslims in Malaysia who were sympathetic to the cause of Palestinians, Rohingyas and others, Tamils had a natural ethnic and emotional ties with their kind in Sri Lanka,” they said.
They added that it was not unusual for Tamil NGOs to hold functions to show respect to those who perished in the civil war.
LTTE was a separatist group which was involved in a 26-year civil war in Sri Lanka.
Federal police arrested Gadek assemblyman G. Saminathan, who is also a Melaka state executive councillor, Seremban Jaya assemblyman P. Gunasekaren, and five others allegedly for their ties to LTTE.
PH’s Indian leaders also claimed the arrest, made under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma), to be an abuse of the law and called for its immediate abolition.
“Sosma was supposed to have been removed by the PH government but its abuse continues. It is highly irresponsible to detain and charge them when there exists no links with the LTTE. The talk of the revival of the LTTE does not make any sense in the Malaysian context.
“We urge the government to immediately release those arrested without any condition. These arrests and detention is nothing but a gross travesty of justice. Such arrests and detention cannot be justified under the new PH government,” they said.
The statement bore the names of 14 other PH leaders nationwide, including Jelutong MP RSN Rayer, Batu Kawan MP P. Kasthuriraani, Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh, Klang MP Charles Santiago, Batu Gajah MP V. Sivakumar, Batu MP P. Prabakaran, and Senator R. Suresh Singh.
Two state executive councillors named were from Selangor V. Ganabatirau and Johor S. Ramakrishnan.
The remaining five state lawmakers were Sabai assemblyman Kamache Doray Rajoo, Bagan Dalam assemblyman Satees Muniandy, Bukit Gasing assemblyman R. Rajiv, Batu Uban assemblyman A. Kumaresan, and Sentosa assemblyman Gunaraj George.
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