5 June, 2020

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An Open Letter From A Tamil To The Media Swamis

By Anonymous –

Dear Editors,

The media is awash with a plethora of views on the recent developments in Tamil Nadu – the students’ upheaval, the DMK’s pullout from the UPA and the state Assembly passing a resolution seeking a referendum on Tamil Eelam.

However, the ‘erudite’ edit and op-ed page writers of English papers and ‘informed’ talk show specialists chattering on national news television channels have just one thing to say: Tamilians are on the wrong.

The student uprising in Tamil Nadu on the Eelam issue has been a great success

Be it caustic or sarcastic, the remarks suggest or bluntly say that the people and politicians of Tamil Nadu cannot influence foreign policy or that the development in the state is tantamount to secessionist politics.

Such irresponsible and ill-informed remarks only indicate that the self-styled experts care two hoots about the sentiments of the people at the grassroots or, for the matter, at level of Tamil society.

That the latest churning – on the streets, the political party conclaves and Assembly – was triggered by the people’s aspirations is something the ‘experts’ do not want to acknowledge. Whether they are informed enough to fathom it is also not known.

It is in this context it becomes clear that the English media has not yet found a single ‘expert’ to put forward the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu vis-a-vis the Sri Lankan imbroglio in its right perspective.

Is it because those who own and run the English media organisations are not Tamilians? Or is it because there is no Tamilian worthy of writing on the issue?

Or is it because the English media is in cahoots with the decision makers at the highest levels – be they politicians, bureaucrats or from the diplomatic corps – and hence does not want to find any merit to the arguments put forth against certain government decisions? Yes, people of Tamil Nadu ask such questions, though no one wants to answer them.

Even without naming the media organisations and the ‘experts’, one can prove that the commentaries and analysis have been consistently anti-Tamils and the authors seemingly have a pathological hatred for Tamils.

The ‘specialists’ are cherry picked – they either live outside Tamil Nadu with no understanding of the local social dynamics or they belong to the elite group in the state that demands superiority on the basis of birth.

But what the media does not realise is that the commentaries and views cannot change the opinion of the Tamil people in any way.

All that it has done is to create anger and disrespect for the English media, which is seen more as ignorant. That those newspapers are read or channels watched in Tamil territory is no indication of the acceptability of the English media among the people (excluding that elite class that I mentioned earlier) as a dependable disseminator of facts.

Yet, if the shows go on and the newspapers continued to roll out of gargantuan printing machines, it is because the Tamilians can take criticism and believe in democracy, not like some newspapers and channels that try to define democracy in their own way.

Even when a politician, who cannot win an election to a panchayat ward on his own strength, threatens Tamilians with his plan to form his own army to counter the protestors in the state, they do not ask him as to why he gets worked up when they demand action against the Sri Lankan president. Does he have any personal link with such mass killers? Tamilians never ask.

For, they know that their strength lies in the collective aspiration of the people: To get justice for the Tamil people of Sri Lanka.

But the chattering talk show specialists and rambling writers feel that the Tamil people have no right to have an aspiration that they do not share. And with media organisations prodding them to express their flawed views, they go berserk, be it on print or TV.

But, no media house, however powerful it is in terms of financial and other powers, can change the basic desire of people.

Even after the English media ignored the many Tamil groups that were organising different forms of protests on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue for many years without giving any coverage for their activities and treating them with utter contempt, the message they wanted to send across to the people reached them effectively.

It was those sustained campaigns on various issues relating to Sri Lanka that led to the students upheaval, which spread throughout the state, making the two major Dravidian parties in the state to sit up and take note.

Despite the outsiders and elite insiders sitting together on television channels and predicting the failure of the students’ agitation, it triumphed.

The decision of the DMK to pull out of the UPA and the AIADMK government’s resolution in the Assembly in favour of a separate Tamil Eelam were landmark decisions made only after the students’ unity had sent shivers down the spine of the political class.

Even the Congressmen have woken up, rather late, to the reality of the people’s mood and are telling their party to boycott CHOGM.

So, the blabber of the chattering and rambling experts have lost their relevance in the socio-political landscape of Tamil Nadu, though they linger around pronouncing unsolicited verdicts, questioning the patriotism of the Tamil people.

In democracy, questioning a government’s action or decision is not anti-national. But the English media gives self-appointed guardians of national interest unfettered freedom to run down anyone whom they perceive as inferior or who do not share their views.

What happened to the watchdog bodies that should be monitoring the media’s prejudices and excesses? Well, the heads of such bodies go around seeking pardon for convicts.

Does that imply that Tamilians do not come into the radar of most of the powerful people – those from the judiciary, bureaucracy, diplomacy, central government and national media in particular?

Should Tamilians just nod in agreement to whatever the north Indians have to dictate to them? Including how the Tamilians should look at people who speak Tamil?

Does the English media honchos and their chosen experts have any inkling as to why the people of Tamil Nadu sympathise with the people of Tamils Sri Lanka? Apart from sharing a language, culture and lineage, Tamil Nadu has been hosting refugees since the early 1980s.

It exposed the people to the real travails of their brethren back in their homeland. There cannot be a Tamilian who has not heard a first-hand story of discrimination in Sri Lanka, where it is a well-known fact that Buddhist monks have brought shame to Gautama Buddha through their violence – one of them killed Solomon Bandaranaike in cold blood after getting access to his palace without being frisked just because he was in the saffron robes.

When one such monk was just pushed around, the media went to town as though it was a case of massacre.

Tamilians knew that Kenneth Lane in Egmore is a place where you can pick on at least a dozen Sinhalese people any time. But no one has ever done any harm to them.

When some emotional youth wants to express his token protest to the Sinhalese for their inhuman treatment of the Tamils back home, the English media sees it as genocide.

When a real genocide happened it kept quiet. When a demand was made to charge those responsible for the genocide, it calls its experts to discuss and decide that there is no need for that.

When students of Tamil Nadu hit the streets to press for the demand on genocide charges, it lets random self-centered people make denigrating statements.

When the students force political parties to take a firm stand on the genocide question, it says India should not be guided by Tamil Nadu.

Whom should India be guided by then? Not by its own citizens? Only by a few citizens who appear on TV screens and write for English newspapers?

It is time rest of India does some introspection. Are not the Tamilians Indians too? If so, why are their aspirations being mocked at on TV shows and newspaper editorials?

Yours truly,

(The writer wishes to remain anonymous)

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Latest comments

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    What a piece of bullshit. Not even worth reading. Good that you hide your name.

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    Whoever wrote this article, if you have “Like” button as in FB, I would have liked it 1000 times.
    (Adding to the above analysis),

    1) Most of the national English dailies are run by either Brahmins or by Christians. Those dailies run by Brahmins have notion that separate eelam will lead to voices for separate TN country. With this falsified notion in mind, they worry the plight of 5 % Brahmins live in TN This is the root cause for Brahmin run dailies to hate srilankan tamils request. Not only english dailies like Hindhu, even few Tamil dailies run by brahmin like Dinamalar always oppose Tamils supporting Ealam tamils

    2) The dailies run by christian largely favor congress govt hence they float the opinions of Congress as they believe that minorities in India are well taken care by Congress govt. This is another preconceived baseless notion by these dailies and hence side with Congress and propagate anti-Tamil sentiments.

    But at end its people voice that will soar sky high, not words that has no truth.

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      The writer is trying to equate the ground situation in Tamil Nadu with the ground situation in Northern Sri Lanka. The discrimination in the North and East of Sri Lanka, did not come from the Sinhalese majority, but from the so-called Upper Class Tamils, who were firmly esconced in the South of the Island. They created a myth of superiority calling themselves, ‘We Tamils’ and looked down on the people in Jaffna as JTs. Caste system created these divisions, and till the Tamil mentality is ready to dissolve caste differences, there can be no reconciliation.

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    what is this writer trying to say?.
    i have confusion.

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      You reap what you sow.
      The saying here goes never trust a low caste Jaffna Tamil nor give him a millimetre. There is no politics in that. During the 7/83 it became clear when JT’s in refugee camps of Colombo spoke of Indian Tamils as untouchables.
      We will never forget our dear PM Rajiv for the next couple of generations and we don’t need any Tamil terrorist media to change our attitude on that.
      Go jump in the sea and swim across to Desmond Do Do and perform the 69.

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      The author is slamming on those Indian media who always are against Tamils in TN supporting Tamils in SL

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    You have a right to protest against and for anything, in India. However, do not drag us the Tamils of Sri Lanka into the melee. You may be hurting us inadvertently.

    The government and the Sinhalese should not have any reason or excuse to suspect our loyalties. Consider our problems here as that of a community of humans in a neighbouring country and not as those of fellow Tamils. Voice your concerns as humans should and bring these concerns to the attention of your government. Do not make it a cinema style spectacle.

    We have come out of a long stay in hell and are just beginning to enjoy the simple joys of peace. Do not do anything that would jeopardise this fragile peace.

    You are welcome to visit us and understand issues in their proper perspective. We- all Sri Lankans- are a very hospitable people and you will enjoy your stay here.

    The LTTE was not our liberator and saviour. It was a marauding tiger. Thousands of Tamils died because of the malevolence of the LTTE. We were its victims. We are not missing them at all. Please do not eulogise them and project them as our saviours.

    Please do not forget that the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, fought a long and bitter war, which left the LTTE, defeated at the end. Your government played a vital role in defeating the LTTE along with several other major countries. We thank your government for that help. It was a brutal war that was fought to a finish. It was an inhuman war, not any more or any less than any war. The LTTE expended the lives of the Tamils as canon fodder.

    Please do not intimidate and harass fellow Sri Lankans who visit Tamil Nadu, in our name. They are our kin, despite our disagreements. We have to learn to live together. Our friends can only help us to come together.

    We have had enough of your interference and paid a very heavy price for it. My mother and brother were killed by the IPKF and left to rot for ten days. I have witnessed what your army did to the Tamils here. It was not any better than what the Sri Lankan armed forces or the LTTE did.

    Help us recover from the aftermath of the war, if possible. Your government is doing this already . Thank you very much!

    Let your government use its influence and experience to assist our government to resolve problems here. The international community should come together to help, not condemn.

    We may share a language and aspects of culture with you, but we are not Indians. We are Sri Lankans. We have to resolve our problems within Sri Lanka.

    You do not know enough of the intricacies, width and depth of our problems to even think of advising us correctly. Do not waste the precious time of your students, damage your valuable property and immolate yourselves on our behalf.
    No one who matters here will be moved by your antics.

    Please do not plunder the fish in our seas. They are our resource and wealth. Do not accuse us of intimidating your fisherman , who intrude into our waters. They are a curse for our fisher folk.

    There is an Indian Deputy High Commisioner in Jaffna, who is better informed of our problems and our priorities more than you do. I am sure the Indian government is well informed of the situation here.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      The LTTE was not our liberator and saviour? ahh ahh

      Have you fogotten that your brother Jeyadevan was the spokeperson of the LTTE and wanted to be in charge of the LTTE international Secretariat.

      Also you were ardent support of the LTTE to get a ministrerial post in the LTTE’s defacto government.

      This is know as the Fox and Grappes.

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        is it so?? Hmm..

        @ Dr. RN, I know one victim who manged to escape after rape by 6 militants ( dogs) person in 2009. So all those should be excused for the little joy??

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        Are you a student Gobelles ? Did you learn that a lie repeated over and over again becomes the truth? Work at it some more, it will be very good for the Tamils!

        Dr. RN

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          Dr RN,

          “Did you learn that a lie repeated over and over again becomes the truth?” – that is what you are doing. Repeating the lie over and over and over…

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            Anpu,

            Can you list my lies? I will be much obliged.

            Thanks in advance.

            Dr.RN

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      Yes, I agree, the antics of the TN politicians is not helping us those in the ground in Jaffna (or Vanni) but neither are you -like jackals and hyenas stripping away any dignity left in us you have descended from ABROAD to do that. While your advice is valid for the writer I ask you too to leave us to pick up the remaining pieces (albeit small pieces ) and move on, why don’t you go back to the greener pastures whence you came from???? Please don’t damage us more, you don’t have to help us but at least don’t harm us !

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      Dr Narendran,

      I’m a Tamil born in the north and lived through this war. I personally disagree with your view and the way you portraying our strugle. Also all the above opinions are just yours and you cannot generalize it as Sri Lankan Tamils voice. No one has the right to claim what are the aspirations of Tamils in Sri Lanka unless we give them a chance to express it freely. Diplomats, politicians and journalists all are trying to claim Tamils aspiration in the way that supports their view. You are welcome to give your personal opinion not a community one when there is no freedom of expression.

      I accept LTTE made lots of mistakes at various stages of the struggle and there were crimes too even then it was a freedom fight for Tamils rights, against a well supported racist government who had no mercy to kill their citizen and handle them most inhumanly even after the death, not just a Terrorism as government and you always express. That’s how this government is trying to dilute this issue and continuing in the way they wanted.
      You are bringing LTTEs negative side here that is fair as a neutral person but don’t ever underplay what these arrogant governments have done to,so called, ‘its Citizens’.
      I still couldn’t work out how could you be this confident to believe this government that they would share equal rights with us and we are going to have a bright future. There are no evidence from the past,none currently and even the current behavior of the government is not promising at all.I assume that you are not going to compare it with the war situation to declare it as bright.
      I think we all are going to hope for equal rights for the next century and i don’t have a capacity to predict events beyond that.

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        Well said !

        However as you can see in my comments above he represents the worst of the Tamils, like vultures wanting to make some personal gain from the misery of others and then again like vultures/jackals/hyaenas move onto another carcass (whatever that maybe ) to continue !

        This guy suggested a “public fund” for the ex-CJ to help her, I suggested he start it by donating some of his money–silence since then.
        Like I said, at that point the whole country was talking about the impeachment and so he descended on that like a vulture but when the media spotlight moved away…he too lost interest !

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        Well said Valluvan.

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      what is Rajapakse giving you, wine and women to speak on his behalf. We Sri Lanka Tamils wants the Tamil Nadu politicians to take our cause. Suffeeing of ours from 1956 onwards. There is nothing more to get hurt. If you are safeguarded by millitary dogs who did have not little joy but tremendourous one on the Tamils girls. Keep quiet.

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      DR RN:“My mother and brother were killed by the IPKF and left to rot for ten days.” Sorry to hear that but you and most Sri Lankans don’t want to know the IPKF forces from the north of India that were killed have lost their limbs etc. by the LTTE and SL Govt. Selfish indeed! I could not help crying seeing them and asking who’s war? Then came the diced meat of dear PM Rajiv.
      “Let your government use its influence and experience to assist our government to resolve problems here.”
      “You do not know enough of the intricacies, width and depth of our problems to even think of advising us correctly.”
      Aren’t both statements as above contradictory?
      Any war cost money so why should India get involved especially for an ungrateful Sri Lanka or its Tamils but not for its own Indian Tamils. Freedom of Bangladesh is an experience that India will never forget- ungrateful pricks and SL has proved it beyond doubt.
      Just because a couple of monks got slapped the vicious media played it. But there are worse atrocities that tourist go through that even this web site does not publish. It’s all to do with how much you pay these perverts to be running tax free businesses as if they are the only persecuted.
      India never looked for the problem it’s the SL’s who took it to TN way back in the 70’s with standardization introduced by Muslim minister on behalf of SL’s first Hitler Sirima.
      The problem is SL’s never knew or know how to mind their own homes that it sends low down folk to abuse other nations.
      If India is like Iran then it would not hesitate wiping SL off the map and constructing floating landmass.
      India is not stupid to be afraid of the international cards played but just it is tolerant so don’t push it too far because it is not interested in Sinhala or Tamil- all wars cost money.

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        You reap what you sow.
        The saying here goes never trust a low caste Jaffna Tamil nor give him a millimetre. There is no politics in that. During the 7/83 it became clear when JT’s in refugee camps of Colombo spoke of Indian Tamils as untouchables.
        We will never forget our dear PM Rajiv for the next couple of generations and we don’t need any Tamil terrorist media to change our attitude on that.
        Go jump in the sea and swim across to Desmond Do Do and perform the 69.

        Donald: …”Neelan and many others never wanted to take this case to the Privy Council and argue it.”
        Like you I lived at Horton Place close to Mrs B and Neelan’s home. Most of his student trainees on constitutional law were planning to leave the country because of the embargo and GL was striking off the answer scripts of Tamil students so they may not become lecturers or receive the gold medal.
        1972 constitution: Mrs. B did not expect the 90 seats so she had a coalition. She did exactly what RM is doing- giving post to NM, Colvin and forcing them to do the unthinkable- NM currency, Colvin constitution and plantation take over. All this happened at the height of the cold war, Suez Canal, creation of Bangladesh, in fact an east west divide where she was made chair of nonaligned. The all-important trade embargo in retaliation for the takeover of sterling companies. Interestingly, Chelliah Kumarasuriya her only namesake Tamil minister had mainly Tamil folk from Batti working for him at top level. Indira gifted Kachitevu and Diego Garcia and Sirima selling DG to UK/US for a nuclear base. Similarly if not for 9/11 there would not have been carnage. Both timings were used by Sinhala foxes to kill the innocent civilian minorities.
        Wuliangguobinjiu – April 1, 2013
        3:42 pm

        This guy is completely mental and should be confined to a Mental Hospital and declared insane under the Mental Health Act.

        This is his CV

        1) Lived in Horton Place.
        2) Hates Tamils and admits to discriminating and killing innocent Tamils.
        3) Now claims to live in the Diplomatic area in Delhi working at the Sri Lanka High Commission.
        4) Threatens that he will send the Red Van ( no doubt the advanced version of the White Van) with the State of the Art Killing Machine so must be an agent of the Sri Lankan Goverenment .
        5) Loathes India but loves and grieves for Rajiv Gandhi which is no doubt a human reaction to human suffering but selctive.
        6) His parents somehow came into contact with IPKF ( world away from Horton Place ) and were tragically killed but how and when reamins a mystery.
        7) Holds no grudge or animosity towards the killers of his parents. I think he is very forgiving but he only forgives North Indians. ( Some inferiority complex).

        Simply what he has written in reply to the Dr is grabage but then again what else do you expect from a Low Caste Racist Sinhalese.

        He is born a Punchi Banda but would love to be Amithab Bachan.
        His head needs examined and from what he writes it is clear that he is in a confused state of mind and needs head transplant. Really sad indeed.

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      What Dr.RN said was true. A few LTTE remnants seem to disagree.
      In any case any blind can see what is happening in TN is nothing but a drama,a tragicomedy.

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    The writer is confused.
    He is talking about a genocide in sri lanka which has not happened.it is only a myth.
    Writer is complainig about the attention they receive from the overnment and from the media.
    He must understand that just stories will not enough to make them count.

    In this article he highlits the cast issue they are having in tamilnadu.9he finds faults with everybody does not accept their view.

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      This is very balanced writing and it is to Indian hypocritical media..Genocide happened or not , you will come to know when UN releases the evidence, now they dont because they worry for the remaining Tamil victim’s saftey. UN already said, they have credible evidences with them, so just stop repeating what your government brainwashes you.

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        The UN can’t even reconcile the so called genocide figures of their own organization!! We are all agog to see this ‘credible’ evidence.

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      Tamil Genocide started around 1948, continued and is happening now.

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        Anpu

        Veddah genocide apparently started about 2,500 years ago, still continue.

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    i am absolutely in agreement with the writer……….one “distinguished ” expert came on the prime time show “face the nation” claimed that vaiko is equivalent to Jamaat-E-Islami of Bangladesh….while he is a strong secular man while that organisation is a dreaded extremist islamic org which committed genocide on its own people….given that vaiko is not only strident for eelam tamils, very recently he got praised by supreme court of india for his steadfast campaigning for environment……………….the so called experts simply say all “competitive politics”…….they never know the ground situation and never wanted to know…..there is a sustained policy of obfuscation of truth especially in print and electronic english media

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      Spot on Viswa..

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    Every syllable of what the writer has written is an accurate critique on the media he has referred to. One has to be familiar with the relevant shallow culprits who know little and think less but yet give expression only to their prejudices or personal agenda. One who loses one’s concentration midway or who fails to comprehend the reasoning will certainly get confused and inquire what the writer is about.

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    I agree with this writer he has many points for us to think.

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