BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007, 16:36 GMT
Malaysia Hindu activists arrested
Muslims take part in Friday prayer at the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur
Majority ethnic Malays are mostly Muslim
Three Hindu activists in Malaysia have been charged with sedition over plans to stage a rally in the capital to air the grievances of ethnic Indians.

They are seeking reparations from the UK for bringing Indians to Malaysia as indentured labourers a century ago.

The activists also demand measures to improve the living standards of Hindus.

But the government has banned the event, saying it could inflame racial tensions. It warned that anyone trying to take part would be arrested.

The three detained on Friday include the chairman of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), Waytha Moorthy Ponnusamy, and two of his associates.

'Discrimination'

Hindraf hopes to hold a demonstration outside the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

Map of Malaysia
The three men were later charged with making seditious comments - and could face up to three years in jail if convicted.

The government has set up a security cordon around Kuala Lumpur, and banned the rally citing possible violence.

Malaysia bans public meetings of more than five people without a police permit.

Ethnic Indians - mainly Hindus - form one of Malaysia's largest minority groups.

Activists say that many Hindus live in poverty, partly because of policies granting jobs and economic advantages to the ethnic Malay Muslim majority.

The government has rejected claims of unfair discrimination.



SEE ALSO
Malaysia seeks to avoid faith row
07 Dec 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Pressure on multi-faith Malaysia
16 May 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Malaysia: Islam and multi-culturalism
07 Feb 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Malaysia
18 Oct 06 |  Country profiles

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific