Thursday, April 23, 2009

New place to debate

A new blog to debate the Sri Lankan turmoil, new posts, new participants and old. And replies/answers to those who have been commenting.

Waging Peace

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Temporary safety

Tamil's fleeing the LTTE's clutches... the truth will come out slowly but surely - the real Tamil people who have been living the war, unlike many (NOT ALL) people who have been living abroad and away from the carnage. As I have said, I do not support the Govt of Sri Lanka but I do support the fact that these Tamil refugees who deserve a much better life, one equal to mine, will more likely get it on the Govt side, as long as they do not sit with the LTTE who are forcing them to suffer too. Because, hey guess what? This could be the beginning of a new chapter... one that only we, the Sri Lankan people, can make.

I do not deny that in the past, the Sri Lankan Government have made grave mistakes, stupid decisions and racist policies from 1948 on, that hurt the Tamil people and resulted in their cry for a separate homeland. But that cry, made by accident during a passionate speech in 1970's has now resulted in the absolute suffering of the very people it was designed to protect. Therefore, I ask - give us the Sri Lankan people, all of us - Muslim, Sinhalese, Burgher and Tamils in the rest of the country - a chance to prove that we are no longer of that time, and of that horrible/shameful place where there were majorities and minorities. I truly believe the country that many of you do not know, has changed drastically. You can see it in the silent, humanitarian efforts by civilians - just yesterday I know that 10,000 litres of water were purchased at a personal cost, and shipped up to the Vanni for the refugees. This is just one tiny example of the show of care and compassion of the people for their brothers and sisters.

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka is galvanising massive cooking facilities which are being set up in the NE to feed the refugees fresh food - at the personal cost of the group who have pulled this together. Now you might say that oh I thought the Muslims were put down by the LTTE, slaughtered in villages and mosques when the LTTE conducted their own ethnic cleansing in the mid 1990's. But has this stopped the Muslims reaching out to the Tamils? No. Because today, in this time of crisis the Sri Lankan people do not associate the LTTE with Tamil people. And that is the kind of compassion and attitude that exists in Sri Lanka amongst a majority of people - forgiveness, remorse and an aim to rebuild. So anyone who says or thinks otherwise, join the current hypocritical bandwagon and bring it on - we'll show you the truth. And you will recede back into your cave of provoking and racial divisiveness.

BBC talks to Tamils fleeing the LTTE hold
- how does one dispute this? How do the Tamil's protesting hoist the LTTE flag on Parliament Square in Westminster in protest when the LTTE are clearly killing their own? Let us start our own united movement to ensure the rights of the Tamil people without violent, hypocritical intent.

I will soon reply the many who have left their rather uncompromising comments on my blog, however in the meantime, read this article by a right-thinking, moderate Tamilian:

Are you Tamil? Time for some soul-searching

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tagore perfect

From his English translation:

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the
dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever-widening
thought and action -
Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake.

Friday, April 17, 2009

More diaspora talk

Been catching up on the buzz around the current protests from the Tamil community here and around the world. Seems that some prominent members of the Tamil diaspora were invited by the Sri Lankan Govt a few weeks ago to visit for talks and they were then taken to refugee camps and transit camps of their choice to see the real ground situation and talk to their people.

Interesting finds:

Diaspora calls on LTTE to release Tamil civilians

The Island Speaks

A new gallery

A friend of mine has just opened her own Gallery in Colombo - congratulations Saskia, can't wait to see it finally. For now, check out a quick breakdown on her intentions:

The Saskia Fernando Gallery

Cool idea

Great new website that we hope to be working with - which is all about helping young creatives to get a foot in the door to help their careers shoot off.

A moderate voice

An article by Nirmala Rajasingham - prominent voice of the real moderate diaspora, former member of the LTTE and sister to Rajani Thiranagama who co-authored The Broken Palmyra and was assassinated by the LTTE for her views.

She explores the twisted intentions and unfortunately disillusioned beliefs behind the current protests by the Tamil communities who live abroad and how they do not match those of their sisters and brothers who are in the middle of the war. Those who are suffering and have had everything taken away. Those that this war is really about. Yes, some of the Tamil people living here in the UK and other parts of the world are ones that fled this same war, but then they seemed to have forgotten that the LTTE too were pointing the gun at them. SO, we have to carve a place in the middle, where Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims, Chetties and Burghers can have a moderate voice together - not in support of either extreme but one of new change, supporting the right to equality and justice.

I have had the fortune to know Nirmala and I support her views - she is the kind of voice that we need to support. One that encourages moderate voices to grow stronger within the diaspora, she is the inbetween that I feel I belong to - not at all a supporter of the LTTE and cautious of the Govt's intentions and methods.

Read her article here on

Thursday, April 16, 2009

France and Britain call it like it really is

The LTTE have been officially criticised (finally!) for holding back the civilians, using them as human shields and labour to hold their trenches while they fire back at the Army. This has emerged in the last 48 hours as a few hundred people have escaped the safe zone into the Govt territory during the temporary ceasefire. We knew this was happening however it is good to finally hear it coming from the international community.

I once again, I DO NOT CONDONE govt actions whereby innocent people die at the hands of guns, shells and bombs. I am against war - but the LTTE want war and we cannot allow them to intimidate their own people, let alone the rest of Sri Lanka. However, we know that these innocents would not be dying if the LTTE did not hold them hostage so as to use their innocent deaths to their own media advantage in order to prolong their existence.

France and Britain condemn LTTE

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Tamil innocent's ordeal

Sri Lankan Tamils tell of ordeal at the hands of the Tamil Tigers:

BBC Article

You can't argue with hard facts and first hand accounts. It is what so many of us feared was happening, but in a small way it is a relief to finally hear the truth.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wales = wonderful

Just on the last few hours of our lovely easter break to Brechfa. It has been a luscious 4 days of sunshine, quiet time and wonderful company. Have missed being down here, you can hear the birds sing, the lambs baa and well pretty much anything that you're normally supposed to hear above the din of regular city life.

It has been super fun, Tasha, Helena and Danny down with us, along with the Turgels and Davies. Bobby and Netta have done up Fforest over the winter and it looks gorgeous, not to mention the front room is warm and cosy: we tried it out last night complete with amazing roast dinner and Helena's version of 'Articulate' which was hysterical.

We went to the beach, collected mussels and cooked them for dinner. We planted seedlings in Netta's garden, painted easter eggs all day yesterday, fired up the sauna, Lee built a style for the new field and we went for a massive walk today which was perfect to end the weekend with. I love being down here, it puts the mind in perspective and helps to clear the rubbish from the good stuff. I needed it, now I just need to put my ideas into action and not allow London to bring me down. Its the perfect place to be if one wants to be in the creative industry, so I'm just going to throw myself in there and see what happens.

Pictures to follow.

LTTE Let my people go

Ceasefire has been called, two days is better than nothing - shows more willingness than the LTTE and now, they won't let the Tamil people go. What kind of sick minds do they possess? Thing is they realise that if they do, it will be the end of them because they will lose their cover and be singled out to be beaten by the army, irrelevant of whether we think it is right or wrong.

So instead, they sacrifice the ones they love and are supposed to protect.

I've had some comments left on my blog by someone who claimed not to know anything about the Sri Lankan conflict and asked me for more information. I then received a rather odd comment from the same person today with a link to a video of the army filming dead bodies of the LTTE cadres and this person citing a sudden opinion on how bad the army is. Quite laughable - when are the outsiders going to realise that you can't assume anything and you can't just immediately take this conflict as black and white. I thought that video was sick, but then war is sick, war is dark and war is a violent means for a struggle that goes drastically wrong almost every time. If this person wants to challenge and talk about this conflict - at least have the balls to leave me their email address. Not just anonymously leaving comments. Plus the whole blog she/he found that video on was in Tamil, so how do they know it is legit? Unless they aren't who they say they are.

Also - Stop the War Coalition. Come on, I was even on their list of volunteers, now I might have to think twice as they joined the demonstration against the genocide of the Tamils over the weekend. What message are they sending as an impartial group when they side with terrorist supporters? Again, not so black and white because these protesters are fighting for many reasons, one which I support wholeheartedly - the freedom and safety of the 1000's of Tamils trapped in the war zone. But we know who is responsible for their suffering - LTTE. And whose flags did these protestor's wave at the demo's? The LTTE. Confusing, isn't it?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

To the Tamil people

Violence breeds extremism. The power and violent hungry of the world want fanatics and extremism so that they can control us further, tell us what to do and what to believe. Scare us into thinking we need their protection, need them to make our daily rightful decisions for us. What we need is moderates - think about all the political killings we have witnessed in our lifetimes, who do they target? Who are they killing? Moderates. People who talk peace, compromise and keenness to stop violence. We need to encourage moderate views - not to be tricked through religion and morals, but the right to choice. I have grown up with a war all my life and I am sick of having to watch these extremists warp the life that I (and so many others) have the right to live.

"Children are tools to implement God's means" Taleban recruiter, Dispatches interview.

Look what we have done, look at what we have allowed in our short lifetime - take the Taliban out of Afghanistan, free the oil rich and regionally strategic land so that few may enjoy their lives in full. But then the Taliban move into Pakistan and turns it into a melting pot of extremism, so now we sit and watch as it turns on itself and it's own people. Once a strong contender as one of Asia's leading countries, now a tug of war tool between several hopeful parties.

We allowed that.

I have been feeling incredibly overwhelmed these past few months. I am torn between what to believe and what I should do. This war, our war, has got so completely out of control - there are people being brainwashed on all sides (2nd generation Tamils living abroad, Sri Lankans living in the south, Tamils in the East) I mean how are we supposed to find peace and resolution when we can't even get our hands on the truth? Why is something so crucially fundamental to our lives as humans on this earth, so unattainable? I won't even touch upon the devil's tool that is the media, and I am sick and tired of watching what few misguided individuals use as "news".

The fact is, we the innocent people of Sri Lanka - Sri Lankans all over the world (because that's what we are: irrelevant of Tamil, Muslim, Sinhala, Chetty) the fact is if we deplore apartheid and Rwandan genocide then we have to deplore the outrageous acts of violence against innocents in the north and east of our country, by BOTH the LTTE and the government.

I deplore the LTTE, I find that they are skewing the truth more so than most - they lie to their people and they shoot upon those who they are supposed to be defending. What kind of freedom fighters are they? I will never support them or their cause, because they are not true to their roots. I feel so sorry for the Tamil people, the real Tamil people who are caught in the middle, those who have just wanted nothing but to live a life that provides them with education, shelter, food, joy and freedom. Basic Human Rights.

The Tamil people in foreign lands, they have not asked these innocents what it is they really want - they are not for Eelam. They just want freedom. If the diasphora wanted peace (which they would if they would stop funding the guns that are shooting their own people) then they would fight for it another way. Instead they march to Westminster and put on a show of "solidarity" to shout about the genocide of the GOSL against their people. They wave the hideous flags of the Tamil Tigers but are they so blind? What word of their brother's and sister's who are shot by the emblem of these flags - the Tigers? I believe these protesters are just afraid, afraid that if this war ends, if the LTTE lose, then they will have to go back to their "beloved" land. And that is NOT part of their agenda.

I feel guilty. I feel sick to my stomach each day as I scour websites, news and hear from my friends and family back home - I feel this is my war, my fault that it is happening and my responsibility to change it. The Tamil people are my people. I am half Ceylon Moor, quarter Colombo Chetty and quarter Sinhalese - I am proud of my heritage and even though the history of my country is marred with violence and despicable acts of injustice against its' own people - I still stand as a Sri Lankan because as long as I am alive, I have the ability to change it.

We are not against each other - I am 29 years old and I know there are hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans around the world and at home who are in a similar age bracket, who all harbour a secret opinion about this ethnic conflict. We are the future, we are the ones who can make this all change. Let me send a question to the 2nd generation Tamil people - do you really believe all that you hear? Are you going to blindly accept what your parents, uncles and aunts tell you about who is right and who is the real enemy? Yes I agree with you 100% that people are suffering in our country and they should not be. And yes, you have a reason to feel badly done by - we have let you down.

But - BUT - do you honestly believe that the picture is so black and white? That "Sinhalese people hate you and want to annihilate you"? If you do, then you are too far gone and far too narrow-minded to want to change. Have you met real Sinhalese people? The Sinhala and Muslim and several other ethnic minorities (smaller than you!) do not want you dead and gone, we want to work together - we want to make it good again and leave behind all this death and destruction. Imagine what we could achieve if we decided to work together, as a team - to change the way our country worked.

I leave the ball in your court. I am ready to listen and want to work with you to make this change happen.

Costume party

Jim had a rocking house party (a great one after a long time) out by Caledonian Road, and the theme was come as "what you wanted to be when you grow up". From Sponge Bob Square Pants, a cool dude strapped to a Penguin to my very own sister as Wonder Woman - it was pretty fun.

Lee found his grandpa's fantastic RAF Uniform which fit him perfectly and I went as, yes, a dancer. But not just any dancer, a flashdance dancer! (Better said in Nebraska American accent).

A Librarian, Ballerina and 80's street dancer