Waytha begins hunger strike for Hindraf blueprint

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In a drastic move, Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy has embarked on a solo hunger strike to press BN and Pakatan Rakyat to endorse Hindraf's five-year blueprint to solve the problems of the marginalised Indian community.

"The purpose (of the hunger strike) is for them (BN and Pakatan) to acknowledge that the human rights of Indian (Malaysians) have been violated.

"Both have to sign it (the blueprint). If both do not sign it, they don't respect human rights," Waythamoorthy ( right ) told reporters after prayers at the Rawang Hindu temple last night, before beginning the hunger strike.

He said BN has not been in touch with Hindraf to discuss the blueprint, while in Pakatan's case, the discussion between Hindraf and the opposition coalition had reached a stalemate.

Disappointed at Pakatan's lack of a definitive answer to endorsing the blueprint in the coalition's manifesto last month, Waythamoorthy announced that he would embark on a hunger strike.

The purpose of the strike is to press home the need for "permanent and comprehensive solutions to these serious problems".

He said he would be limiting his intake of water during the duration of the hunger strike.

According to his wife K Shanti ( left ), Waythamoorthy took a vegetarian lunch yesterday, before starting his fast.

"I'm a bit sad, there is no need for him to do this... but I am blessed as I have a husband like him," Shanti told Malaysiakini, adding that the family was throwing their full support behind Waythamoorthy's struggle.

Waythamoorthy's daughther, W Vwaishhnnavi, also expressed worry over her father's fasting stint.

"(But) I feel very proud... My friends like my father because he helps the poor Indians," said the Standard Five pupil before Waythamoorthy began his prayers yesterday.

Amid the fragrant of burning incense, some 80 people attended the prayers at 8.30pm.

Coinciding with the Hindu festival of Maha Shivaratri, the crowd appealed to the Lord Shiva to ensure the success of Hindraf's struggle.

Under the guide of a priest, Waythamoorthy, garbed in white, the crowd sprinkled light-blue flowers and nine types of grains to pay the homage to Lord Shiva.

After an hour of prayer, the crowd sang the Hindraf anthem Tholvi nilayane ninaithal (Failure isn't permanent) and hoisted Hindraf's signature orange flag.

Waythamoorthy said he would continue the hunger strike for as long as his body could endure it.

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