Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sending a priest to jail. Singapore denies the right of freedom of religion.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Lee Kuan Yew Singapore's strongman, who has criminalized the chewing of gum, dismisses a man's freedom of religion and sends him to jail. The dictatorial island's state controlled newspaper the Straits Times of July 25, 2009 caries the article "NS man drops protest. Teen punished for disobeying orders despite counselling".

Madana Mohan Das, an 18 year old Singaporean was forcibly drafted into the army of the island, which requires all male citizens to do military service. Das however was no ordinary citizen. He is a Hindu priest like his father at Singapore's Geylang Hare Rama Temple. He rightfully exercised his constitutional right under the Constitution guaranteeing the right to freedom of religion. He said he will not eat army rations and must grow a tuft at the back of his head in accordance with time honored traditions around the world which distinguishes the Hari Rama Hindu community.

In any other country which respects the rule of law, dispensation would have been granted to such a priest. He would be granted the right to serve in a non military capacity such as community services. This is only common sense. Muslims are not forced to eat the meat of the swine with food specially cooked by a Muslim alone. The Sikhs are permitted to grow their beards and hair while everyone else have to have the military cut. Such is the dispensation to Muslims and Sikhs in Singapore.

I have written before that Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore is not concerned about the rule of law, constitutional rights and the equal protection clause under the constitution. They do anything they want, anytime they want. And that is why only last year, the International Bar Association said exactly this in their 72 page report on Singapore. They did not pull any punches. They did not mince words. Singapore's judiciary they said is corrupt and beholden to the rulers of the country and it simply has no rule of law.

And this shame is amply depicted in their disgraceful action here. In spite of this young man protesting his need to follow his religion as a priest, they sent him to jail with a threat that unless he stopped his fast, they will imprison him for 3 years. Afraid of this, he had no choice but to submit, resulting in their releasing him after 5 days. A government that goes around threatening it's citizens!

Knowing their action is simply unjust, they get a man, a lawyer Srinivas Rai, a government sycophant for the last 30 years; who serves his master Lee Kuan Yew in some supernumerary capacity in a government set up Inter Religious Organization; to support this injustice by the government, which of course he willingly does. He makes this preposterous assertion, that it is impossible for any Hindu priest to be officiated outside India and since this young man had not been approved by any Indian temple in India, he is not a Hindu priest! According to his reasoning, millions of Hindu priest in countries all over the world would suddenly all become discredited and lose their positions all because the temples in India had not provided their seal of approval! And to make sure that he speaks for his masters no matter how illogical his argument, he says, that Hindu priests can eat any food as long as it is vegetarian! He does not say under what authority he comes to this conclusion!

I know Srinivas Rai personally. He was once a Nominated Member of Parliament and even though he did and said whatever he could in praise of his political masters, he was nevertheless removed from his position. I understand that once selected as a government minion, errand boy by Lee Kuan Yew as he was, it is almost impossible to lose that privilege. You have, I understand, to be particularly incompetent to achieve that.

As to how far he would go to get the favors of his master can be seen in this. He once stood up in Parliament and argued that there was no need for any opposition in Parliament. The PAP he said, can ask the questions, and they can answer them!

Srinivas Rai, the lawyer, has done more crawling by himself before his master Lee Kuan Yew than all the reptiles put together in the reptile enclosure of Mandai Zoo.

Madana Mohan Das will be forced to eat the food at his camp and cut his hair, against the tenets of his religion. He has been broken in body and spirit. At the end of his 2 years of forced servitude, he will returned to society a bitter man, ashamed of himself and his life. And Singapore has once again shown that it has no regard whatsoever to any niceties such as the Constitution of Singapore. And Lee Kuan yew would have shown one more time who is the boss in the chicken compound which is Singapore.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com
Blog: http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com/

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