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 Post subject: Painting the Tiger with new stripes
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 2:33 pm 
Painting the Tiger with new stripes

Even a die-hard LTTE supporter would agree that the organisation, since the last two decades, has been responsible for the gruesome deaths of at least 46 Tamil politicians simply because they did not subscribe to its ideology. Add to this the number of Tamil civilians and Tigers who have lost their lives in the last two decades and the tally will show that the Tigers are no strangers to deaths of their ‘own kin’, even if they choose to define the term differently.

@New Indpress - Sunday September 3 2006
Usha Ravi


Truth is stranger than fiction! And what better proof of that than the daily accounts our media carry. Nevertheless, the picture that a popular vernacular magazine sought to paint of LTTE chief Pirabakaran, ironically in the week that India celebrated her 59th Independence Day, as a man devastated by the death of 61 children in Senchcholai, the orphanage in Mullaitivu, seems a little too strange indeed.

The arguments of the rightness and wrongness of the civil war in Sri Lanka apart, for any one who has assiduously followed the political developments in the island nation, it must take a lot of imagination to picture the LTTE chief in battle fatigue rushing to the orphanage regularly to recharge his batteries or being moved to tears over the death of children in the army bombing of Mullaitivu on Aug 14.

Even a die-hard LTTE supporter would agree that the organisation, since the last two decades, has been responsible for the gruesome deaths of at least 46 Tamil politicians simply because they did not subscribe to its ideology. Add to this the number of Tamil civilians and Tigers who have lost their lives in the last two decades and the tally will show that the Tigers are no strangers to deaths of their ‘own kin’, even if they choose to define the term differently.

While the accounts of the fate that befell the innocent children and the LTTE supremo’s reaction were indeed moving, what causes concern is what the article left unsaid. A mere two days prior to the fateful bombing, on Aug 12, Kethesh Loganathan, a former EPRLF militant-turned academic, journalist, and advocate of human rights and a return to democratic values in Tamil politics, was gunned down, presumably by the Tigers.

Kethesh’s unswerving commitment to human rights as the focus of the peace process, his stand on the Muslims and his position as the deputy head in the government peace secretariat is what made him an ‘infamous traitor of the Tamil race’ in the eyes of the LTTE. Thus, Kethesh joined a long list of ‘Tamil foes’ which include, besides politicians of different hues, academicians and members of the judiciary. And much like those who went ahead of him Kethesh didn’t merit much attention in the Indian media.

True, mass deaths are more gruesome than that of a lone man, especially when they are that of children who are yet to be drawn into political issues. That the children in question were orphaned girls makes their brutal deaths all the more pathetic. And indeed, our media must be lauded for pointing out the inhumanness of the act.

But why does the article that takes the trouble to inform that LTTE splurges on its orphanages as much as it does on the war, not address the more fundamental question for the need for so many orphanages in the region? How did so many children come to be huddled in an orphanage fortified for the regular visits of one of the most wanted man in the region? Simply because their parents, at least most of them, were unfortunate enough to be trapped in an endless war.

Indeed, if the children had not been the hapless targets of the Sri Lankan army, what would have been their future? In perhaps less than a decade, most of them would have followed their parents’ death trail, forced to take up arms for a cause they do not understand. This is neither to justify the Sri Lankan’s army action nor to decry the demand for Eelam. This is just to point out the incongruousness of the way in which some media choose to represent events and to build heroes, perhaps, where there are none.

A discussion in the Media Research and Training Centre (MRTC) in Jaffna of the irrelevance of ‘objectivity’ and ‘truth’ in reporting in times of war could perhaps be condoned. But how is one to understand misrepresentation of facts in a neighbouring country in an attempt to paint the principal accused in the assassination of a former prime minister of that country as a hero?

More worrisome is the tone of reverence that the article adopts to convey that soon after the army action, the Tigers retaliated by triggering off a ‘powerful car bomb’ yards away from President Rajapakse’s resident. This was supposedly aimed at drawing international attention to the situation in the north-east. What however was not mentioned is that incidentally, in the vicinity is also the Taj Samudra that played host to the Indian cricket team!

It is a matter of pride to learn of the role that vernacular media played in the Indian nationalism project. But looks like the vernacular media is set to undo all that it has done, for somewhere in the guise of fellow-feeling it seems to be sowing dangerous seeds of dissension.


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 Post subject: "It's state-sponsored terror in Sri Lanka" - Y-Ko
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 2:43 pm 
"It's state-sponsored terror in Sri Lanka" - Y-Ko
Says only solution is formation of a separate `Tamil Eelam'

Special Correspondent
@ The Hindu / 03Sep206


Image

CHENNAI : The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) always stood for unity and integrity of the country and its support to Lankan Tamils was for their fight against the "state-sponsored terrorism" unleashed on them, said the party's general secretary, Vaiko, here on Friday.

Addressing partymen at the end of a rally taken out in support of Sri Lankan Tamils here, Mr.Vaiko said that there was misconception in certain quarters that formation of "separate Eelam" would lead to a demand for a separate Tamil Nadu. A similar "misconception" prevailed when Bangladesh was formed, which later proved to be wrong.

The MDMK leader said Sri Lankan Tamils were forced to take to arms as all their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the ethnic issue failed. Any solution to the issue should be decided only by the Tamils living there and it should not imposed on them by outside forces.

The only solution, he said, was the formation of a separate "Tamil Eelam."

Pazha. Nedumaran of the Tamil Nationalist Movement said in this crucial hour Tamils throughout the world should support the Sri Lankan Tamils.

Earlier, party volunteers took out the rally from the Munroe statute to State Guest House here.


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