Friday, May 22, 2009

The Eelam Virus by Sebastian Rasalingam

The Eelam Virus*


Thousands of protesters gather on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 21, 2009, to ask for the Canadian government to intervene in what they are calling a genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. (AP)

I have cringed with pain and clutched my head in anguish, watching my grand children's friends in Scarborough, Ontario, going out, with their friends, to join protest marches in the streets of Toronto. These young people are given the Tiger flag which is an insult to the best traditions of Hindu society or the Christian values taught by the prince of peace. These young people shout slogans and talk of the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Most of them actually believe that they are doing the "right thing". They think they are demonstrating for a "just cause". They think "Our people are being shelled, bombed. Those who escape are locked away in concentration camps and probably gassed like in Auschwitz. We have to pressure the Canadian government to demand an immediate ceasefire". They have seen movies and videos showing exactly that, and they need no other proof. After all, "there are young Tamils immolating themselves in London and Geneva. So all this must be true. Every Tamil grocery has these newspapers telling what is going on". Oh, what a delusion!

These slogan shouting people take me back to another era. In the 1950s, when we were relatively young, the political demonstrations launched by the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi were an attractive line of political action. I certainly felt that "Sinhala ONLY" was utterly unfair by us Tamils. But then, I somehow felt that the cry for "driving out the invaders from the Tamil homelands" was a dangerously racist, extremist cry. I went to live in Hatton and then Colombo. The society that I found in the Sinhalese areas was much more just and equitable than the social ethos of Jaffna and Mannar that I had already seen. The Tamils in Colombo had a dominant position in commerce, banking, professions and every walk of life. I felt that we, too, could easily prosper in Sri Lanka, even with Sinhala only or virtually no Tamil, just as the Jews have done in New York, with no Yiddish recognized as a national language. I began to understand the evilness of individuals like S. J. V. Chelvanayagam and E. M. V. Naganathan. The latter's pride in announcing that he was a descendant of the Chola aristocracy was particularly repugnant to me as I had seen the hard side of the Manu Dharma. Why didn't the Tamil leaders support the socialists who supported "Parity of Status" for the two languages? Why are the Tamil
leaders living in Colombo instead of relocating to the "Traditional homelands"? Would the Tamils in the North and the East be able to settle down in the south if the "Tamil homelands" policy were achieved? Would the Tamils living in the south be deported to the North if Arasu were achieved? Surely, Sinhalese discrimination against Tamils is nothing compared to what I and my wife, an estate Tamil, had to face within the Tamil society.

I could doubt the political programme that was gaining ground among the Tamils because I happened to be an educated low-caste Tamil with Estate-Tamil connections. The Tamil politicians worked very hard to polarize the people and drive a wedge between the two ethnic groups. The Arasu Kadchi people were actually happy that the Banda-Chelva accord was torn asunder. Ethnic division was necessary for creating the exclusive "Tamil homelands" Given such an inflammatory extra-parliamentary objective, the final struggle had to be war.

Looking at the young men going out to demonstrate in the streets of Toronto, I see them as just a continuation of the delusion initiated by the Chelvanayagams and Naganathans, already in 1949. Communist intellectuals and their young student activists blindly supported Stalin even when overwhelming evidence was presented to show that Stalin was a mass murderer. Today, the Tamil Diaspora is similarly blinded by its own beliefs and fails to accept the truth.

Instead of joining with the Sri Lankan government to defeat and decapitate Prabhakaran, instead of coming forward to help the displaced Tamils, the LTTE-conscripted children, and hostages who have managed to flee, the Diaspora is waving the Tiger flag. If 10,000 Tamils all over the world demonstrated for a week, even at the minimum wage of $8 per hour, this is a capital investment of over $6 million dollars totally wasted. According to Jane's Intelligence, if we aggregate the collection made from the Diaspora over two decades, there is enough money to
pension all the Sri Lankan Tamils, 3 million or more, at a standard of living never dreamed of. Instead, we used that money to supply the Tigers with claymore bombs, RPGs, AK-47s and the likes. Even the Tsunami aid was diverted for war. Meanwhile we created a Mafia to plague us.

Is there NO LIMIT to hate based on this "Eelam Virus"?

The IDP camps in Vavniya are far better than the IDP camps in India. The Diaspora has not risen to help our Tamils in the IDP camps in Sri Lanka or India. Instead, it chooses to wave Tiger flags in western capitals and use political blackmail by "fasting unto death", immolation and such undemocratic methods.

The Tamil Diaspora has to cure itself of the Eelam Virus. Then and then only can it help the Tamils.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Con artists

A picture says a thousand words. The picture released on Tamilnet:

The real picture, notice the girl with blue veil on righthand side with a very fancy Nikon camera, in the war-zone:

The fact is, I am not saying the shelling of innocents did not take place. But I am saying that a fair number of the Tamil diaspora media are massive manipulators - now that the LTTE is finished, we can hope for more true pictures to come out. After all, the GOSL has no excuse now not to show us what is really happening.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More Lankan thoughts

A couple of blogs - here are some more real views from some real Sri Lankans



Sunday, May 17, 2009

And so this day has come

Far beyond my imagination - I did not expect the war to end so soon. There is a great deal of work to be done, starting with the welfare, rights and rehabilitation of our Tamil people who have been suffering for too long.

I am glad to see the LTTE cower into a small guerilla group, they are finished - no doubt in my mind that this isn't over, i know there will be more suicide bombings, attacks and calls from tiny caves and lame websites saying this is not over. But it is, that chapter is closed, and the country which i have only known as a war-ridden island is now free of war in one scale. It has been an emotional day for Sri Lankans, at home and abroad - but that is what we are - we are all Sri Lankans, and we are united whether we like it or not, in a semblance of shock, relief, fear and emotional compassion for those who we know need it most.

For my family who are not here any more to see this day, as many others will be thinking now, I feel a great sense of loss. It was not what I imagined it to be, there are clear cut celebrations at home with people feeling the gravity of this situation possibly moreso. After all, the country has beat it's enemy. But the enemy was never the Tamil people, just a meglomaniacal group of people who lost the plot a long time ago.

Word is that the top leadership have killed themselves Hitler style, fled the scene (no surprise) or have been killed without knowledge yet. Soosai's wife, daughter and son were captured fleeing with Rs. 600,000/- in cash in bags, gold and jewelry - that's one way of caring for your people.

The fact is, I feel refreshed today. I feel like we can really implement the change that my generation has spoken about for many months and years... we can finally show the world that Sri Lanka is full of united, warm-hearted and constructive people who want their country to be all that it can be, after living in the shadow of war for over 30 years. We are not Tamil-hating, malicious, nationalistic war mongers like the West believes so. And we are a tiny island nation who managed to bring a terrorist organisation to it's knees - without the help of the big super-powers who are still battling with their own around the world.

To this day I say thank God we are able to be a part of history. And only each of us as individuals can make the change we want to see - we can't leave it to others to see our aspirations through.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Mad hattering

Another sunny day in London last weekend and we did a shoot for a night that Tasha is putting on in June with Nicholas and Gaultier. A Mad-hatters Tea Party - complete with bands and the like. Money going for a good cause, so dressing up with a positive vibe.

It was a great set and the players were incredibly easy to work with - Lee took the photos.

weekend traces

Had a fantastic weekend in Wales, Fforest is the peaceful place I love going to, to just chill away time doing things we lack in the city. Like gardening, long walks, several cups of tea and sunshine. Though we had a couple of grey days - it was perfect. Had a super day out for Lauren's birthday, we went to this restaurant in Llangsteffan where the owners open their house up to you and you can dine in their ecclectic designed dining room, complete with fantastic wall-to-wall photos and fairy lights. They serve you delicious Sunday roast and pudding for 10 quid a head and its BYOB.

They are an eccentric pair, previously film-makers - they have a cellar which is filled with cardboard boxes that they started throwing down there with the aim to recycle, but it was filled to the point that you just walk in there and bounce around. So they invite the local kids from the village to go in, screaming and jumping - throwing the boxes at each other and Tim (owner) stands outside flicking the light on and off. Ok, so a bit random to read, but damn fun to experience.

Though I have to say, we felt pretty worse for wear the next day - and Jesse sweetly drove us back to London. Blurgh.

So. My Uncle Tom has got a blog, and I thought I ought to big it up - he is a famous photographer and a great one at that! Here is a photo he took of Aunty Sriyani many years ago right after they were married... this is on one of our gorgeous Lanka beaches.