3 December, 2020

Blog

Another Insult By Sri Lanka: It’s Time India Took A Stand

By G Pramod Kumar –

A shockingly vulgar cartoon published by a Sri Lankan newspaper featuring Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa and the prime minister Manmohan Singh in extremely bad taste is yet another instance of the proxy-speak of the island nation that should ideally provoke a tough reply from India.

On Sunday, Lakbima, a well-circulated Sinhala language daily in Sri Lanka, published a cartoon lampooning both Jayalalithaa and Manmohan Singh, ostensibly peeved at the recent tensions between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, where a school football team was sent back, and a number of Sri Lankan pilgrims in the state came under attack.

The cartoon, gross and nasty, has created some ripples in Sri Lanka as well, but the government of India is yet to react. Presidential spokesman Bandula Jayasekera reacted on Twitter saying that the government did not condone the ‘vulgar’ cartoon, but there has been no official reprimand from the Sri Lankan government, and one of the employees of the newspaper has defended the cartoon, saying they were merely exercising their right to free speech.

Using proxies to target, smear and even attack opponents, while the government officially takes a conciliatory position, is a time-tested Sri Lankan practice of silencing dissent and running down people. That the newspaper is owned by Thilanga Sumathipala, a Colombo district MP of the National Freedom Party, (an ally of the ruling SLFP), is an easy giveaway of the State’s complicity.

Within the island, this double-speak of the government, while unleashing its proxies to do the dirty-work, is a common practice.  For instance, when the tensions with Tamil Nadu came to a head, the country’s deputy External Affairs Minister, Neomal Perera, told the Daily Mirrornewspaper that the matter could be discussed in a cordial manner without the need to create diplomatic discord.

On the other hand however, powerful Sri Lankan Minister Wimal Weerawansa addressed a media conference and issued a not-so-veiled threat, asking what would happen if Sri Lankans chose to treat thousands of Tamil Nadu citizens who regularly visited Sri Lanka in a similar manner. (Read more)

And the practice is by no means a new one. Some time back, powerful minister Mervyn Silva led a video documented attack on the State run Rupavahini TV, but continued to be in the cabinet despite the government promising action.

The government then said that it stood for freedom of speech, but the minister under its patronage did exactly the opposite. The only punishment he got was a reprimand.

The attack against journalists, including disappearances, was rampant both during and after the war and in all the cases, the “investigations” reached nowhere. The attack on privately run Sirasa TV, and the murder of an outspoken editor Lasantha Wikramatunga, were among the possible examples of the extra constitutional proxy operations that mute difference of opinion in the country.

The role of the proxies was evident in the attack against Sirasa because the station’s cameras captured and broadcast the assailants arriving in a state transport bus and pelting stones at the TV station. Despite video evidence of people involved and the details of the bus and the operation, there was no action taken.

Similarly, a state role was alleged in the murder of Lasantha, for the precision and impunity with which it was executed in a heavily guarded Colombo. The real culprits are still at large.

The proxy-attack spares nobody. Not even the UN.

At the height of the war, while the government used diplomatese to deal with the UN pressure, its proxies called the organisation names, attributed motives and planted stories. And cabinet minister Wimal Weerawasana laid siege to the UN building along with a mob of unruly party workers. Perhaps it was a rare instance anywhere in the world when a minister picketed the UN while the government looked the other way. The newspapers also carried rabid anti-UN stories.

Similarly, in the recent past, the Sri Lankan high commissioner to India attributed motives to some politicians in Tamil Nadu for supporting the cause of the island nation’s Tamils. And it was only a couple of days ago when the same high commissioner said, in the wake of the recent developments, that “India is a relation while China is a friend”.

The point is proxy-speak, proxy-attacks and proxy-campaigns are a way of life for Sri Lanka’s ruling establishment and it spares nobody. And these are as vicious as physical attacks. Their language is rabid, nasty and sometimes outrightly vulgar as in the case of the Jaya-Manomohan cartoon.

The cartoon against two top leaders of India, which strives to side with Sri Lanka against the sentiments of Tamil Nadu and the international community, should be a strong wake up call for India on the way it deals with its island-neighbour.

The government of India is one of the top aid donors for the reconstruction of the post-war Sri Lanka, and goes out of its way to indirectly protect the latter’s regime from international action including from the UNHRC.

Sri Lanka might justify that it is a democracy, it believes in free speech and it cannot silence a free media although evidence as described here points to the control it can exercise. But as it has proved in the past, it can take action when it so desires.

Jayalalithaa and the politicians of Tamil Nadu should certainly intensify their demand to the union government to be tough with Sri Lanka, even if the PMO doesn’t feel ashamed of the way Manmohan Singh has been ridiculed in the cartoon.

It’s time they demanded that Sri Lanka came clean and stop its silly double-speak with us.

Courtesy First Post

Related stories;

LAKBIMAnEWS Cartoon Controversy: Why I stand By Our Cartoon the acting editor speaks

LAKBIMAnEWS Cartoon Controversy: ‘Women And Media’ Urges Editor To Apologize

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Dearest Pramod Kumar,

    I have nothing against opportunistic Jayalalitha getting the response she deserves from the press in SL.

    However, this cartoon is way out of line. As a citizen I condemn it.

    On the otherhand, you are trying to use the cartoon to rock relations between Sri Lanka and India. Fishing in muddy waters Pramod Kumar?

    You think GOSL is the only actor with double speak on the wolrd stage? You want India to intervene to stop GOSL from using proxies?

    Do you have an agenda Pramod Kumar?

    Take it easy mate. Though abominable, it is just a cartoon. After all.

    • 0
      0

      Mate if India responds with cartoon with Mahinda and his genitals, take it easy..

      Speaking of “double speak”,yes India shamefully is one,claims to be a “Gandhi Nation” but opposed a resolution brought by UN in 2009, condemning GOSL’s conduct of war and brought a resolution “praising” it, hilarious isn’t it.. Also claims to support eelam tamils but send ITAK and killed thousands and continue the same after 20 years through Mahinda..

      Tell me one reason, why Pramod Kumar should not use the cartoon to “rock” the relations between India and Srilanka?I say India must boycott Srilanka, just like the way America boycotted Cuba when Cuba played the Russian Card.

  • 0
    0

    Sorry Pramod, but you are out of line. While this cartoon may be tasteless to many, freedom of expression is freedom of expression. Whether they are ‘proxies’ or not, Whether government owned or not, all should have freedom of expression/ freedom of speech.

    If you find this cartoon tasteless, you have the freedom to express that opinion. But what you are doing here is trying to stir up tensions, and create more conflict. You have taken a tasteless act to the next level – and that is hate speech. Which of course you have a right to also practice.

    I however will therefore practicing my right to freedom of expression to state that while the cartoon in question is indeed of poor taste, this article is far more damaging to society than the cartoon in question.

    • 0
      0

      I disagree, they say a “picture is worth a thousand words”, so the picture is more effective than the article hence more damaging to the society..

      • 0
        0

        Jegath, are you seriously claiming to be able to use an expression to justify your argument? (I can’t believe I’m bothering to even reply to this)

  • 0
    0

    While Jayalalitha’s action is both childish and lacks in the expected diploacy from a senior political leader, Tamilnadu – and, by extension, the Indian Govt, is responsible for failing to provide the necessary protection to the visiting Lankan tourists/pilgrims despite
    much advance information the local Police received trouble lay ahead.
    Sri Lanka’s knee-jerk reaction in sending a plane to fetch the pilgrims, without consulting the Indian HC or Delhi, was poor judgement.

    Room has been left to argue the wily Rajapakses have allowed this matter to snowball as a cover for protection against public anger against them artciulated by daily demos by University lecturers, students, trade union workers and, in general, a “conditioned” population suffering from the skyhigh Cost of Living. Rampant and institionalised birbery, Corruption and the excesses of Familial rule are other matters the Rajapakse Bros are aware is very much against them. It is likely the regime will use this issue and the current vogue of the Tamil diaspora bogey to buy time to cushion the disillusionment against the ruling clique.

    Meanwhile, sections of the Indian Press – like this article – will go to town in response more against the Rajapakses and their cronies and less against the people of Sri Lanka. One hopes atavastic behaviour will not be seen against visiting Indian cricketers and their fans
    in the current IPL series – although I would’nt risk my bet there.

    Senguttuvan

    • 0
      0

      Senguttuvan, all stakeholders, from the various politicians to journalists, have a lot more vested interest in conflict, as opposed to unity. What is best for mass society is often the opposite of what is best for leaderships, who depend on failures in society to generate ‘work’, and sustain their jobs. The actions of the likes of Jayalalitha, through to the actions of the various Governments of Sri Lanka, India, and even the likes of the US, UK, China, Russia etc, over the last 30+ years, have all been nothing but selfish attempts at sustaining their own interests. Add to that the vested interest of journalists and NGOs in conflict, and mass society becomes nothing more than a bunch of scapegoats and props on a stage that is Earth.

  • 0
    0

    G Pramod Kumar from wherever he is certainly wants to muzzle artistic freedom and freedom of speech in Sri Lanka.

    The cartoon may be in extremely bad taste nevertheless it expresses the perceived vulnerability of Sinhalese. When the Sinhalese perceive their race is threaten they always stoop to lowest of lower level of human behaviour irrespective of how their perceived enemy had helped to stabilise the country in the past.

    Their Tamil brethren are no different to them either.

    Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa and the prime minister Manmohan Singh should look back their track record on their handling of the war in Sri Lanka and how much hurt (both physical and emotional) they have caused to the people of Sri Lanka. Their behaviour then and their inaction now is greater insult to whole of humanity than this little tasteless cartoon has caused them.

    Being big sister to MR India should stop making mountain out of a molehill.

    G Pramod Kumar would do well to remember what Voltaire had to say about freedom of expression:

    “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire

    My worry:

    Is India helping MR using this incident as an excuse to further muzzle the timid press?

  • 0
    0

    There wont be any response from the Indian Govt.They are a bunch of morons and nincompoops and they need to be lampooned,

  • 0
    0

    How would you like if Jayalalita was replaced by Gym-pappa (Duminda Silva) and head of state Manmohan replaced by SL head of state?

    (This is high-culture; nudism of Wanni dead bodies, Pahalagama Thero’s child abuse…..)

  • 0
    0

    #1 Dick Perera 2012-09-11 02:14
    Under the J R regime , Indira Ghandhi
    considered this nation to be under Western
    influence . She punished this nation by
    unleashing a Tiger that ravaged the country for over 30 yrs . The very same
    India is now in cohorts with the same West and endeavouring to meddle with the Internal Affairs of this struggling nation. Geo-politics is one thing ;
    playing stupid games with unsuspecting
    sovereign nations , is another matter
    altogether ! Do not underestimate the
    intelligence and capabilities of small
    nations .Let the West and others remember that the most vicious Tiger in the World unleashed by our neighbour
    was vanquished by a tiny , but proud nation ! Please do not meddle with us .
    Quote

    • 0
      0

      Dick Perera says:

      “Let the West and others remember that the most vicious Tiger in the World unleashed by our neighbour was vanquished by a tiny , but proud nation ! Please do not meddle with us .”

      The same big stick wielding neighbour along with their friendly and not so friendly International Community helped the tiny little nation to commit war crimes and crime against humanity and provided diplomatic cover to protect the war criminals.

      India always turned a blind eye when Sri Lankan state committed war crimes since 5th April 1971.

      You warn:

      “Please do not meddle with us .”

      VP thought he was the game changer and you think your tiny little stupid nation is the game changer.

      You are not only stupid but a stupid with no knowledge of recent history.

      Have you decided to suffer for another 30 years of self destruction?

      • 0
        0

        “VP thought he was a game changer”.

        Interesting point, sad you cannot prove it..You thought that VP thought he was the game changer, you thought wrong..But he did change the game, but he did not think “he” alone was the changer..

        • 0
          0

          Jegath

          is sad:

          “Interesting point, sad you cannot prove it”

          You are right. I cannot prove it. However, the proof out there for you to see. It is up to you to see it.

          Every attempt by the world class Chanakya led to shrinking area of control eventually the man himself surrendered to the armed forces and was hacked to death. That was the climax of the game changer.

          Denial can be the first and last line of defense for you until you make peace with yourself. The only way out is for you to accept that the game changer was a liability and not an asset.

          You have miserably lost the war but the Tamil Speaking people are yet to commence their struggle. There is a huge difference between war and struggle. Being stupid Tamil, I am not sure whether you understand the difference.

  • 0
    0

    scure you dumb ass

  • 0
    0

    The government of India housed and aided the LTTE during its formative years in the early 80s, and vacillated on helping GOSL until October 2008 when it was apparent that the LTTE’s days were numbered and a military victory by GOSL was inevitable. Indian intransigence has driven SL into the arms of the evil Beijing regime. I could go on and on but wont. The point is both the Central government and all the more the Tamil Nadu State government (AKA the Dravidians!) , has no right to lecture SL about anything.

  • 0
    0

    “govt of India is one of the top donors” Is this a joke? Pramod Kumar is stretching too thin.. Give us some data to back up your ridiculous claim.. This is the county that gave us indian troops by force and looted everything in Northern and east of SL.. yes I can give plenty of proof. Then even looted and removed heavy gates from our holiday home in Trincomalee.

    Problem with the indians are that they are not civilised.. and cartoon is right on the target.. indians prefer tv’s to the toilets.. 52% have no toilets in india but 76% have tv’s… so figure yourself what these so call civilised morons preach…

    • 0
      0

      living in a cloud:

      |“govt of India is one of the top donors” Is this a joke? Pramod Kumar is stretching too thin.. Give us some data to back up your ridiculous claim.. !

      Had I known you were going to ask to see the data I would have kept a diary of Indian state support to Sri Lanka since 2000. All aids including grants, materials, military,export guarantee loans, …………have been regularly published on Sri Lankan as well as Indian media.

      Before you shoot from your hip do some home work. Why don’t you (lazy fellow) spend some time searching for these information. You not only sound stupid but you are very stupid indeed.

      Majority of Chinese support were in interest bearing loans. Almost all Indian aids were grants.

      You say:

      “52% have no toilets in india but 76% have tv’s…”

      Sinhalese have 76% genetically related to Tamils in Tamilnadu and 24% affinity to Bengali. This should mean something.

      • 0
        0

        Ahhh so Vedda is finally speaking my language..Genetics..You are wrong Vedda..Bengalis are related to Sinhalese than Tamils.

        82% of Sinhalese Genetics originate from Bengali admixture.

        Sinhalese also share the allele “MTHFR 677T” with Bengalis, 13% in sinhalese compared to 17% sinhalese..

        • 0
          0

          *13% in Sinhalese compared to 17% in Bengalis%.

        • 0
          0

          Jegath

          Why do you have this death wish to prove yourself stupid. I recommended two books and a number of research article on Genetics. As usual without substance or backed by scientific proof you pick figures out the sky and demand us to accept you are right. Bullshitting will take you nowhere.

          This the comment I made few days ago I am copying it below:

          (Native Vedda – September 8, 2012
          10:44 am
          Boycott Sri Lanka Till Tamils Get Justice

          Jegath asks:
          “Wikipedia or google is your friend..But do you understand complex scientific facts?”

          Jegath wants to know whether Native Vedda is capable of understanding complex scientific facts.

          I am not going to pretend that I do. Only the Sinhalese and Tamils are capable of pretending what they are not.
          The simple answer is no I don’t.

          However I would like to help you pretend that you have done some reading on the subject and feel free to drop few names. Your wife/partner would be impressed if you quote the following research papers:

          The Legend if Prince Vijaya – a Study of Sinhalese Origins by R L Kirk
          American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Volume 45, Issue 1

          Blood Genetic Markers in Sri Lankan Populations – reappraisal of the legend of Prince Vijaya By N Saha.
          American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Volume 76, Issue 2

          Genetic Variations in Sri Lanka By S S Papiha, S S Mastana and R Jayasekara
          Human Biology October 1996

          Genetic Affinities of Sri Lankan Populations By Gautam Kumar Kshatria
          Human Biology December 1995 Volume 67 No 6

          Peoples and Cultures of Early Sri Lanka By Dr Siva Thiagarajah

          Peopling of Sri Lanka by S Vishan

          Jegath go on make your day.

          Now I have given you information please read those papers and let us know what you understood and tell us the story in simple day to day language. I must warn you there are no colour pictures in those four articles.)

    • 0
      0

      jayalalitha is pale skinned pretty lady.sinhala women are black and ugly. in order to draw a cartoon of a sinhala woman , you have to use black ink instead of colour. rajapaksa’s wife is a fat and ugly woman . war of words is no longer an option. india should send in an ” agni” missile with nuclear war head and destroy shit lanka. shit lanka is a pariah country full of primitive sinhala savages.sinhala primitive savages have been unanimously voted as the most thickest race in the world. in the so called 2,500 year history , shit lanka hasn’t made any contributions to the advancement of science or art. begging has been the main occupation of sinhala layabouts. british had no other choice other than to bring in tamil labour from india because sinhala lazy scum didn’t want to work for a living. sinhala scum preferred to swing on trees instead of doing a days work. i bet the cartoonist’s wife is a fat and black cow. sinhala scum are the 21 century slaves. in the middle east sinhala women are the hosemaids. sinhala men are working as toilet cleaners. black sinhala scum are treated as dirt in the middle east. in italy most of the road sweepers and toilet cleaners are black sinhala scum. now sinhala scum want to go to korea to clean their toilets.tamil tigers are often described as ” ruthless terrorists” by sinhala savages. it’s not true . tamil tigers are ” ruthless avengers” who avenged the murders and killings of tamils by sinhala primitive tribe. all in all shit lanka should be wiped out from the world map and sinhala savages should be wiped out from the face of the earth.

  • 0
    0

    Timid and stupid India, have you no shame? Rajapaksha regime under the evil protection of China have now begun to piss on India which will soon be followed by all sorts of insults defamations and attacks. Already they are attacking the fishermen. This goes on to show the justification of a recent foreign newspaper article comparing the Indian head of state to something like a “timid effigy”! What India fails to understand is that Rajapakshas are good at making the extraordinary and abnormal quite ordinary and commonplace. They experimented with this perversion with Sri Lankan people. They committed all sorts of deformities, breaches, irregularities, irresponsibility, HR violations and crimes with complete impunity; people were overwhelmed and astonished to see those crimes but could not do anything due to the prevailing state of impunity; Rajapakshas committed war crimes, the IC were equally flabbergasted and exasperated having witnessed those crimes against humanity but the Rajapakshas paid no heed and went on; it now looks that IC too have been tamed by the Rajapakshas! This is truly a mad world governed by mad cows! The world is losing humanity, sense of justice and freedom.

  • 0
    0

    I FULLY AGREE, INDIA MUST TAKE A STRONG STANCE. THIS LAKBIMA PAPER,
    OWNED BY THE DESPICABLE BOOKMAKER AND NOW EDITED BY A GUY, CALLED
    RANGA, WHO IS NO JOURNALIST, JUST A MISCHIEF MAKER
    HE TOO SHOULD BE GIVEN THE TREATMENT, HIS “BOSS” WAS GIVEN.

    • 0
      0

      hey Ayma;

      why did not you apply for Hangman post at prison department?.

      Do you think this Jayalalitha is an another PATHTHINI AMMA TO WORSHIP.

  • 0
    0

    Grow up, Kumar. It’s just a cartoon. Fortunately, your central government is manned by adults and not juvenile delinquents, unlike Tamil Nadu.

    • 0
      0

      David Blacker

      reminds us:

      “Fortunately, your central government is manned by adults and not juvenile delinquents, unlike Tamil Nadu.”

      So there is not much difference between the Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.

    • 0
      0

      Hey Mark Webber,TT, kalu Albert

      Where have you been in all my life, i missed you dearly in this blog, welcome to the CT once again in your real name Blacker.

      • 0
        0

        Unlike you, Srilal, I always say what I have to say under my own name. I am not ashamed of my opinion, again unlike you.

    • 0
      0

      David mate, tell you mates who arrested French tourist for kissing Buddha, that it is just a “statue”, a “stone” take it easy..

      • 0
        0

        Jegath “mate”, why don’t you drop your BS mateyness and tell whoever it is yourself? If you can manage a sentence on your own. “Mate”.

        • 0
          0

          David Blacker:

          “why don’t you drop your BS mateyness”

          After the demise of LTTE and VP I suspect Jegath is suffering from “belonging needs”, perhaps he is lonley.

          He longs for friendship, love and attention.

          Could you not be nice to this person who needs support.

          Please stop being tight arsed.

  • 0
    0

    PM Singh does seem level headed and calm, unlike the histrionics of the hideous hefer that is Chief Minister in Chennai. HE is the one who should be offended as she is accurately depicted while he is portrayed as looking at her untouchables.

  • 0
    0

    India? come on people what,any other country we can talk about?

  • 0
    0

    American Lanka Lover is true to form.

    Just like the American Iraquis who destroyed Iraq, he like Gota and Basil are monstar fascists…

    You have no right to compare the uneducated Sinhala politicians with Tamil Nadu politicians who are far more educated and humane than any of you living on borrowed Sudda money and using U.S. style pottys and feeeling superior…

  • 0
    0

    What this fuss about degrading women and nudity etc.etc. After all it is a cartoon. Jayalalitha is treatig Tamil Nadu as her private fiefdom. Those Tamil Nadu fanatics deserve leaders like Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi. The cinema mad Tamilians there had been voting for cine actors, actresses and script writers and install them as Chief Ministers.That is the reason why Tamil Nadu is one of the worst developed and backward Indian states today. And these Tamil Nadu leaders are not original Tamilians. MGR was a Keralite, Karunanidhi is a Telungite, Jayalalitha is a Kannadiga, Vaiko is another Telungite ( this guy speaks Telungu at home),and MDMK leader & cine actor Vijakanth is yet another Telungite. In Tamil Nadu today you do not find good leaders like former Chief Ministers Kamaraj and Bakthavatsalam who were real servants of the people. Tamil Nadu politics is such a sorry state today that only thugs, rapists, murderers and other such undesirable characters get elected to the State Legislative Assembly. No wonder the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora bribes them to stirr up trouble against the Sinhalese and Sri Lankans.

  • 0
    0

    Jayalalitha acts as a headless political leader. Indian Central govt behaves like that Tamilnadu is the Indian – govt which is responsible for foreign relations and they are – the central govt – is some state entity of chicken.

    This Pramod Kumar guy does not want to understand how stupid their leaders and how stupid he himself is because he is not talking abut their stupidities and instead chose to talk about others’ reactions. In this case not the govt action or something sanctioned openly by the govt.

    Anyway, it is an open secret that MGR may have checked it out so many times. No one can deny that. Only thing is they don’t discuss it in the open. So, what it wrong if some news room chose to illustrate it in a cartoon.

    • 0
      0

      You seem to be a behavioral expert? What about srilanka and sinhalese?Do they behave like angels?

    • 0
      0

      Jim Softy:

      “This Pramod Kumar guy does not want to understand how stupid their leaders and how stupid he himself is”

      He must be closely related to either Sinhalese or Tamil.

  • 0
    0

    How would you like if Jyalalitha is replaced by Gym pappa Duminda Silva and Indian head of state Dr. Manmohan Singh, replaced by SL head of state?

    This our culture; nude parades of Wanni, Pahalagama thero’s child abuse, child rape, killer monks, politicos & citizens……

  • 0
    0

    If India tries to bully Sri Lanka like the way she did in Pakistan and Bangladesh, they we have to rope in China to nuke the balls off her.

    As simple as that.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.