CHENNAI: MDMK general secretary Vaiko, a vociferous Tamil rights campaigner, who just got released on bail in a 2009 seditious speech case, was denied entry into Malaysia on Friday morning, charging him of being a member of LTTE and thus a ‘dangerous’ person to the country.
Vaiko was kept in an isolated place, charged the MDMK, which staged a protest before the Malaysian consulate in the evening.
As soon as he reached Kuala Lumpur Airport around 6.30 am, Malaysian immigration officials reportedly told Vaiko that his name was on the restricted list, though his visa was cleared in Chennai a week ago.
Accompanied by his secretary, Arunagiri, Vaiko was there to attend the wedding reception in the family of P Ramaswamy, Deputy Chief Minister of Penang State on Saturday evening.
Later, Vaiko was interrogated by immigration officials. Alleging him of being a member of LTTE, they posed many questions, including about the many cases that were pending against him in Lanka. Denying the charges, Vaiko showed his Indian passport. But officials refused to accept it, maintaining that his name figured in the list of persons who are dangerous to the country, which has a sizeable Tamil population.
Penang Deputy Chief Minister Ramasamy was informed about the incident. The Chief Minister of the state, Lim Guan Eng, too, tried to help resolve the issue. However, the officials were firm in not allowing him enter Malaysia, stating they had the orders from the Deputy PM.
The officials said since Vaiko’s secretary Arunagiri has a Malaysian visa, he could go to the restaurant and get some eatables for him. But protesting his detention, Vaiko declined the offer.
This led to protests in Chennai when MDMK cadre staged demonstration in front of Consulate-General of Malaysia.
Meanwhile, condemning the Malaysian government, TNCC president S Thirunavukkarasar said denying him entry despite having all necessary travel documents including visa and passport was not in accordance with the law. “Centre should intervene in the issue,” he said.
DMDK founder Vijayakant, too, condemned Malaysia in this regard. “How did the Malaysian authorities give him the visa if Vaiko is on the restricted list? Malaysian authorities should apologise to Vaiko and allow him into their country.”
Condeming the attitude of Malaysian government, DMK working president M K Stalin said: “The Ministry of External Affairs should summon the officials of Malaysian Consulate and convey our displeasure over the denial of entry for MDMK general secretary Vaiko into Malaysia.”