19 December, 2018

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Larger Questions Of Responsibility For The Failure To Screen Demons In Paradise In Jaffna

A Tamil lady intimately familiar with the militant struggle who watched Demons in Paradise in London last year said: “The film is balanced.  Have you seen it?  It speaks of government atrocities and mob violence against the Tamils and then about Tiger atrocities, very explicitly about the TELO massacres and then Manoranjan speaks of his experiences, about the torture and killings of NLFT cadres etc.

“I thought it was a good film. It was shown to a really good audience in numbers in London and many people liked it a lot.”

However, the screening of the film in Jaffna confronted unexpected obstacles. Following the removal of Demons in Paradise from the schedule of the October 2018 International Film Festival in Jaffna, the film’s Director Jude Ratnam says: “Festival Director Anomaa Rajakaruna during her phone conversation very clearly told me that people came to Festival Manager Dr. S. Raguram and that they had a petition of sorts signed by some 60 odd people.”

This is completely denied by Dr. Raguram of the Dept. of Media Studies University of Jaffna, who said that he had nothing to do with the decision to screen the film or to exclude it. He said, “I expressed my views regarding the screening… and I said that since I have different views about the opportunity of screening of [this] particular film and its consequences,  allow me to resign from the position which I hold and continue the schedule as it [stands]. Later, they informed me that they have changed the schedule after discussion with the partners and requested me to continue [in my present position of Festival Manager]…

“Accordingly, I admit that the arrangements should be made to screen the film in the University or anywhere in Jaffna and have a constructive discussion on it. I definitely say that I’ll be a participant for it and I’ll ask all my Media students to attend it even though we may have divergent views.”

As revealed in a Facebook exchange between Anomaa and Kesavarajan Navaratnam, an actor cum director from the North, it appears that some Tamils who are friendly with Anomaa instead of encouraging her to go ahead with the screening of the film and mobilising support for it using their connections in the North, chose to defend Anomaa’s decision. We have in a Facebook exchange cited after the Festival organisers decided to remove Demons in Paradise:

Kesavarajan Navaratnam: Good decision Anomaa, we are with you.

Anomaa Rajakaruna: Thank you Kesa, our struggle continues and hope as a country one day we can stand together.

Kesavarajan Navaratnam: Yes Anomaa, if you screened in this festival it will be the last festival in Jaffna

Personal and other factors, some of which we do not fully understand, influenced the fate of the film in Jaffna. Kesavarajan Navaratnam acted in a recent film on inter-ethnic reconciliation sponsored by the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation. As an artist supposedly involved in reconciliation, he should have supported a film that calls for introspection, but instead, he became a willing tool of anonymous groups who would squander the opportunity for reconciliation provided by the film festival. 

Public discussion about the film started with the official press release on 13th April 2017 when Demons in Paradise was announced in the Official Selection for the Cannes Festival and was among the nine, including Vanessa Redgrave’s Sea Sorrow, selected for Special Screenings.

In an interview to the web journal Catamaran (19th April 2017), Navaratnam said that although he rejected the idea of fighting with guns, he did work for the Tigers and made films for them. He added: 

“There are lies being told about the Tamil people in some of those films. I do not think anyone who does not know Jaffna, can make a movie about Jaffna. Without seeing the environment here, how can anyone make a movie about the place?”

If that is how he felt, the screening of the film and the discussion would have given him ample opportunity to expose Jude. Cannes Film Festival on 8th May 2017 announced the screening of Demons in Paradise, which it credited as a fruit of commitment, hard work and ingenuity in these terms: 

“Reminiscing the hidden souvenirs of fighters and Tamil Tigers, he unveils the repressed memories of his compatriots, opening the door to a new era and making peace possible again.

“DEMONS IN PARADISE is the result of ten years of work. For the first time, a Tamil documentary filmmaker living in Sri Lanka is seeing the Civil war from the inside.”

Controversy about the film did not arise until it was scheduled for screening in Jaffna. Ilankai Thamil Sangam in New York on 25th May 2017 gave the film an introduction quoting from commendatory reviews, which would not have pleased LTTE supporters.

As regards screening in Jaffna, Jude says that Anomaa asked him for the film for last year’s festival and he told her that as the film was travelling globally, he would give it for this year’s festival, but he was not asked for the film this year. He adds, GIZ, an agency funding the festival had been told by the festival organisers that he did not want to screen the film in Jaffna; “it was only after queries from GIZ, to whom I had clarified that that was not the case and that I was more than willing to give the film, did she contact me directly to ask for the film.”

Controversy about the film arose, Jude wrote to the Festival Director Anomaa, when the BBC published a feature article on the film on 16th September 2018. The article gave an edited version of a statement he had made, not during the interview, but taken from the film. The ‘incognito Tamil media’ he said, used this as a pretext to create an uproar.  

He clarified, “I reproduce here the statement I make within the context of the film:  “When the war was coming to an end, I wanted the Tigers to lose the fight. The struggle we had begun, this madness, I wanted it to end, even if my own people had to be killed”.  

“This I do after having established and justified the Tamil armed struggle during the first half of the film. Of course I negate it during the second half of the film according to the integral logic and laws of the film as my point of view (I needn’t reiterate that art and art objects and in this case cinema is a parallel universe with its own integral laws). It needs to be noted that I make this statement in the film not as someone outside of the Tamil community (as I’ve been accused of being a Tamil from the South), but as someone who had in my youth believed in the armed struggle.”

Similar reactions came from several Tamils who had been committed to the struggle, but had become disillusioned upon seeing the internal bloodletting; and especially its last years where the people were increasingly conscious of being held hostage under intensifying fire, as the Tigers’ last hope of a sordid bargain.

Based on what has been stated above, the primary responsibility for the removal of the film from the Jaffna Film Festival lies with the Festival Director. Dr. Raguram has been consistent and correct in what he said. He had a problem which he could have overcome, if he were a stronger man, after organised bad mouthing of the film by a disparate Tamil lobby that has a stranglehold on opinion in Jaffna.

A Facebook comment in Sinhalese based on conversations with Dr. Raguram said, “The reason we decided to remove the film from the initial list of films was that it only portrays the war or the struggle from the point of view of one side alone. We decided that a film that contains an idea of one side alone is not suitable for a film festival. How can we select a film of a filmmaker who had claimed that ‘I wanted to see the war end even if people die’? We accept without any doubt the right to express and the rights of Jude as a filmmaker. Nevertheless, we cannot recommend this film without understanding the emotional difficulties of the children whose parents have disappeared, the mothers and the fathers who had lost their children, when they see this film.”

An academic familiar with both Jaffna and Peradeniya Universities reacted to this, “Several events happen in Jaffna and other parts of the N&E regularly glorifying the LTTE and memorializing its heroes and achievements. Would Dr. Raguram ask their organizers stop those events because they are hurtful to the friends and families in the N&E of those who were killed and abducted by the LTTE? Aren’t those forgotten persons who fell victim to the LTTE’s senseless violence part of the society that Dr. Raguram and we live in? Doesn’t he know that most, if not all, of the Tamil nationalist events that happen in Jaffna and other parts of the N&E narrate only one side of the struggle?”

When this was read out to Dr. Raguram, he conceded that there was justice in what the academic said and that the issues need a much broader discussion. But that given the climate of opinion in Jaffna, showing Jude’s film might brand the Festival as pushing a particular line, and it may become difficult to continue with Film Festivals. It was pointed out to Raguram that on his own admission the public response to the Film Festivals was poor and unenthusiastic. Could it not be because the organisers were trying to be uncontroversial to the point of making the exercise lifeless? Raguram admitted that there was a point in that criticism. 

As Festival Director Anomaa Rajakaruna who was responsible for the choice of the film Demons in Paradise for screening, says in her statement after it was dropped:

“[Jude] was reluctant to take the film to the location where a majority of the film was shot. One wonders why? Why was he reluctant to take his film there during the last 16 months?” 

This is innuendo against Jude Ratnam and in bad taste. She should have shown greater loyalty and concern for a fellow countryman whose film had won wide acclaim with international awards. Any questions of this kind could have been discussed with him in person. The rest of Anomaa’s letter is equivocation which amounts to nitpicking.

Jude Ratnam stands by what the Festival Director said to him about the alleged petition to Dr. Raguram from scores of people, which Dr. Raguram denies. 

The Tigers insisted that only their accredited spokesmen could speak to the World on behalf of the Tamils. Many peacemakers around the world fell in line. Is the attitude to Jude’s film a carryover from the days of the peace mafia and the monopoly of Tamil opinion it implied? Is the anger, and frequently envy, against Jude because he broke out of the hallowed circle?

The issues raised by these events urgently concern the future of the Tamils, the integrity of their institutions and their interaction with the rest of the world.

Compiled by Dr Rajan Hoole

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Latest comments

  • 4
    7

    The 2018 Jaffna International Cinema Festival must have autonomy.
    Rajan Hoole’s effort is to override it with behind the scene Colombo backing. This is the ‘Open prison’ life we lead.
    By the way, ‘Demons in Paradise’ is no ‘Pathar Panchali’ or ‘Gamparaliya’. Jude Ratnam is no Sarathchandra. The theme of ‘Demons in Paradise’ is different and satisfies Hoolean urge.
    .
    What next?
    Remember the Dr Subramanian Swamy? He set his eyes on the post of VC of Jawaharlal University, New Delhi. He did not succeed.
    This man is a close friend of MR. His aversion for the struggles of N&E is phobic.
    Will Swamy be the next VC of Jaffna University? Watch this space.

    • 10
      1

      K. Pillai,

      Your heart is burning with jealousy, no? Every time Rajan Hoole opens his mouth, why do you rush like a fool? Is it because you don’t have the ability to make critical interventions under your own name like the bold Rajan Hoole? Shame shame! Puppy shame! Now don’t think that I am interested in finding out who you are. I don’t care.

      • 0
        1

        Pras,
        I accept that Rajan Hoole’s academic achievements are far far beyond mine. This should dispel your jealousy whatever. We admire Rajan for meticulously compiling records of pre-war, war and post-war details. We are worried that he may edit the compilations allowing too much of his prejudices to dominate.

        PS: By the way, Look no further – I am K.Pillai – you can call me “Pill”.

  • 10
    0

    Anomaa Rajakaruna and Kesavarajan Navaratnam are the main culprits in this despicable attack on the right to free speech and artistic expression of the Tamil people. It may look incongruent with their ‘role’ as filmmakers, purveyors of culture, and social justice warriors. But this is how the fascist LTTE worked systematically and insidiously to set up its totalitarian grip on Jaffna society. It came up with all kinds of conspiracy theories to brainwash the Tamil people and impose censorship and curbs on free speech. It worked because the Sri Lankan state was also oppressive and ironically helped the Tigers cut off the free flow of information and ideas from the liberal and progressive sections of Sinhalese society. Racist extremists on both sides worked to polarize the two communities and create a siege mentality among the people, paving the way for authoritarian regimes in both north and south, and eventually full scale war. Sadly Anomaa Rajakaruna and Kesavarajan Navaratnam seem to be working to restart the whole treacherous descend into racist Tamil nationalism all over again. Don’t they realize censorship per se is dangerous, that it can set in motion the return of fascist control of public life in Jaffna. It is obvious LTTE ideologues are slowly reasserting their control of Jaffna University and the cultural activities in the north. Dr. S. Raguram seems unable to provide proper leadership to the festival amidst sabotage from inside and threats from outside. Jaffna will always be a contentious place because there everyone is second to none.

    • 4
      7

      As far as Tamils are concerned LTTE members freedom fighters against the State terrorism of the Sinhala Buddhist fascists and racists. No place for film against them in Jaffna. If a films tells the point of view Tamil people firector will be hounded by intelligence service racist . Will you people fegend in the namefreedom of expression you dirty racists

      • 4
        0

        Raja

        Could you retype what you have typed above.

        • 0
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          Native,
          Raja is correct. LTTE and Tamils are the same. Nothing I regret more than the time wasted in arguing with my Sinhala friends that it is not. When the Tamils always call it “civil war ” I now take it as their collective admittance. When the Sinhalese consider it as total elimination of the most ruthless terrorist outfit saving even the Tamils themselves Tamils take it as a victory over them. And people like you are throwing fuel into the fire.

          Soma

          • 1
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            somass

            Did you read once you finished typing?
            Seriously can you type the above once again this time making sure we understand your gibberish.

            “And people like you are throwing fuel into the fire.”

            On the contrary I am trying to find a suitable place for you to relocate and build your own Sinhala/Buddhist fascist ghetto, a mutant homeland for the noisy minority.
            Do you know anything about unitary state, integration, one nation, sovereignty, ………………… ?

  • 0
    1

    what assertive countries do is hold the film at customs and do no release it. So it is late. Now burn it saying it is against Reconciliation.

  • 3
    1

    Assertive countries would have not released Tamil films at all in the name of reconciliation. Look what happens in Myanmar. We have to work towards reconciliation in one hand one religion (Buddhism) and one language (Sinhala).

  • 11
    2

    Has no one learned the lessons of the war? When the LTTE was clearly dominant, and an appeasement policy was adopted by certain local and global players, it led inevitably to a certain kind of response in the South and overall outcome or endgame in the North. If pro-LTTE ism is once again dominant in the North, backed by external appeasement, the same dynamics will inevitably be repeated in a predictable time-frame. The world over, there are two ways of settling the issue of national unification. One is that of the solidarity of progressives of all communities (“api”). The other is that of a much harder option. Asia isn’t the UK, Canada or Spain. This Film Festival issue is the last chance for it to go the easier way but also the best indicator of which way it will go– because the progressive voices are so marginal, confused or silent.

    • 6
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      The war crime denying shameless public racist types:

      “When the LTTE was clearly dominant, and an appeasement policy was adopted by certain local and global players, it led inevitably to a certain kind of response in the South and overall outcome or endgame in the North. “

      Of course it did.
      Premadasa gave money, weapons, medicine, diplomatic cover, political support to LTTE, which under its psychopathic leader fought the Hindian IPKF and died saving cowards in uniform from fighting the invaders.

      MR paid handsomely to VP in return for its services, rigging balot.

      Much harder option is to explain what “Api” is and how does one define it when fascists are scheming to launch an intellectual Putsch from every corner to reinstall the Sinhala/Buddhist Hitler/Pol Pot.

      Api, sovereignty, integration, one nation, ………… are some of the fancy words used by crooks, dishonest so called intellectuals, political analysts, ……………… to deny people their democratic rights, or what is theirs.

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekere

      Is there any way we can negotiate a barter deal with Russia, tea for Vodka?

    • 4
      0

      DJ@

      Please tell us if you have learnt it before jump and asking the others ?

      Shortly before you got posted to Russia, you hung on with most abusive men that destroyed almost everythign in this country. Sure he earned some respect since MR was the leader and whose terms collectivity succeeded in elemnation of terror within lanken bounderies.
      But he himself did more harm to the nation (not restrict to nothern) but also others in other areas – being intoxicated by power right ? You lived in the country licking their balls, but your paranoid theories only supported them on and on.
      You even betrayed the educated by having sat with them – as we thought went nuts.

    • 3
      0

      Dayan talks progressives?
      The same Dayan who was a Minister in a Tamil Liberation movement short lived UDI government?
      Dayan’s idea of a progressive is one who switches and switches and switches sides till you reach the land of the culture of corruption/nepotism/impunity?
      Much to the glee of Rajan Hoole Dayan says ~ “….. Film Festival issue is the last chance for it to go the easier way….”.
      As simple as that? And Dayan masquerades as a ‘Political Scientist’! My foot.

      • 1
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        On top of Dayan’s list of progressives is ‘All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU)’.
        Dayan will not see the misogyny in Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA1950)

    • 2
      1

      What war are you talking about.call that a war.Bah.Real war battle of Stalingrad,Kursk

    • 0
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      This Film Festival issue is the last chance for it to go the easier way but also the best indicator of which way it will go I am little loss of understanding, here.

      Just like in May 2009, at UNHRC, Appe Aanduwa won the Film Festival too.

      Then, may I know what way the things are going.

    • 0
      0

      Dayan,
      The motif of external appeasement is being overdone. There are two principal factors at work here.
      1. I am now compelled to think that Sinhalese nationalistic politics which dominates institutions wants to deliberately undermine the development of quality in the Tamil areas. Correcting the University of Jaffna would put many things right. In 2017 it was the UGC which vetoed a quality applicant for vice chancellor from the USA. Applicants with internationally accredited qualifications, experience and commitment are being deliberately kept out of the University for laughable reasons. The UGC, which must ensure that students to whom it assigns universities must get their money’s worth, pretends its hands are tied by university autonomy – a rich concept that the UGC and few here understand.
      2. A culture in which foreign aid funds are pumped in as loans, which has resulted in the creation of a professional elite that simply wants to get the money and spend it. They are not at all interested in the social and environmental consequences. One example is the water project for Jaffna that would eventually dry up the wells in Jaffna and pauperise the Iranamadu farmers.
      3. The two factors above have contributed to corrupting Northern politics to the point of hopelessness.

  • 10
    0

    Why are people excited about it? An International Award winning film must have something worth watching. Despite bias that is always present, we gain something in the process of making a critical judgment. What is happening in Jaffna after the war is not at all a post-war scenario, where people try to improve their economy. All what you see is with the foreign money flowing, those who have the means, the wedding halls and parties while another sector continues to suffer. Are we really worried about the people who lost their dear ones, children and families as a whole? If so, we would have organised our contributions in giving new life to the families in the Vanni, rather than dumping on consumerism. What we are shedding are crocodile tears. How many of us have the concern for the people in the war torn areas. Why were they made into objects who sell their bodies to support their family.
    Internally we are all happy that the Tigers are finished and we have breathing space to lead a normal life. All political parties too use a short cut to grab a vote base – simply drop Prabhakaran’s name at political meetings, without explaining what right they have to be in politics after being certified as traitors by the late leader.
    But when someone tells the truth there is a big criticism. Who denied government’s atrocities? But, how many rejected opportunities for a better settlement? We were brought to nothing.
    Prabhakaran was compared to Hitler. But after the war German leaders who had opposed Hitler, made Germany an industrial power once more. Unlike our leaders who hypocritically promote LTTE symbols they thoroughly eradicated Nazi symbols. Instead of learning from others, we live comfortably, lighting candles to heroes and taking photos of it.

    • 1
      3

      Hitler was fascist. Pirapaharan was freedom fighter who fought the fascist

  • 3
    0

    Why are people excited about it? An International Award winning film must have something worth watching. Despite bias that is always present, we gain something in the process of making a critical judgment. What is happening in Jaffna after the war is not at all a post-war scenario, where people try to improve their economy. All what you see is with the foreign money flowing, those who have the means, the wedding halls and parties while another sector continues to suffer. Are we really worried about the people who lost their dear ones, children and families as a whole? If so, we would have organised our contributions in giving new life to the families in the Vanni, rather than dumping on consumerism. What we are shedding are crocodile tears. How many of us have the concern for the people in the war torn areas. Why were they made into objects who sell their bodies to support their family.
    Internally we are all happy that the Tigers are finished and we have breathing space to lead a normal life. All political parties too use a short cut to grab a vote base – simply drop Prabhakaran’s name at political meetings, without explaining what right they have to be in politics after being certified as traitors by the late leader.
    But when someone tells the truth there is a big criticism. Who denied government’s atrocities? But, how many rejected opportunities for a better settlement? We were brought to nothing.
    Prabhakaran was compared to Hitler. But after the war German leaders who had opposed Hitler, made Germany an industrial power once more. Unlike our leaders who hypocritically promote LTTE symbols they thoroughly eradicated Nazi symbols. Instead of learning from others, we live comfortably, lighting candles to heroes and taking photos of it.

  • 1
    0

    Ajay, …. ‘ … there everyone is second to none’. I wish to know what you meant. You didn’t mean that all are equal, did you!

  • 0
    1

    Ilankai Thamil Sangam in New York on 25th May 2017 gave the film an introduction quoting from commendatory reviews, which would not have pleased LTTE supporters. Let deal with this naive teasing first and pass as this has no connection to the topic. Unfortunate this foolish teasing is so abandon in Holley’s comments and in the posting on this subject.
    Hooley is again on his slippery slope and inviting us to climb up there. He is saying ITSNY introduced the movie with the reviews that were there. He did not talk about if ITSNY is recommending or not. But that is not the real point; Ilankai Thamil Sangam is exactly as what it sounds; a NGO promotes and protects Tamil. It is not an armed organization, does not ask for a solution Tamil Eelam Tamils problems. Neither has it been an advocate of LTTE. With its main objects, Tamil Sangam, in the same stage, had invited TNA, TPNF, Sangari group, EPDP and other Tamil political parties for debates. It will accommodate anything related to Tamil through its stages. Of cause the urgent protection Tamil now needs is mainly from Government, some of its action may be viewed by government propagandist as anti-government and thus pro LTTE. So Hooley clapping his hand as Jude had wedged between ITSNY and LTTE. If that is the silly opinion he is trying to create here, he is an immature child.

    Hooley made big deal here that that Director Anoma allowed Professor Raguram reversing a scheduled screen. Then he said when they asked Anoma on how she can remove one that already scheduled, she was going deftly silence. (Please refer our earlier posting). So we asked for some evidences to that story. We asked many more to test their sincerity as we are familiar with their unnecessarily confronting with teasing nature. No reply for any of those.

  • 0
    1

    Now we see a cart load of garbage, but nothing new. No point for us to run on the same track for this evasive game as we had already pointed out the truth. But let us review the entire story through Hooley’s eyes (words) and then summarize to see if here is a real issue exists or Hooley and Jude, as usual using all of us to gain some cheap name.
    Hooley tells on behalf of Jude “Writing a letter to Festival Director Anoma Rajakaruna, Ratnam said Dr. S. Raguram, the festival committee chair, had insisted on the removal of the film. The film was expected to be screened at the festival on October 05 at 06. 45 pm. “ Here as per Hooley, Jude Ratnam is not asking Director why was it removed or reinstated it back, if no proper reason. Jude did lodge with director that Chair had unfairly removed (If that was his sole decision). But with all convulsing feeling, Jude was telling Director Anoma as it was Prof. Raguram had concocted the idea of removal, it is not agreeable to him, irrelevant of any reason.
    “ The sudden removal of the film from the schedule and the festival’s decision not to screen the film comes as a surprise to me, heeding to pressure from a group so far identified as the ‘community’, ” Ratnam said in his letter. Note here please, it was sudden and surprise to Jude, but Hooley did not think so because he has seen visitors with Prof. Raguram, earlier. These are a PhD holder Hooley saying, as decent appeal by Documentary director, for not admitting his Movie. These backward crowd should get out and read an official letter from UK, US, Canada,( may be from other EUs too, though I never read their language). The writings here suggest that Hooley and Jude mission would have jeopardize the professor’s job, character, community standing and even his peaceful life at home too, given the notoriety of Appe Aanduwa.

  • 0
    1

    Now Hooley is putting in his words, “I am not surprised that Dr. Raguram of the Department of Media studies had ‘visitors’. I immediately sensed the kind of atmosphere where concerted attempts were made in 2014 and 2015 to stop ………… the University and then to stop the discussion of Palmyra Fallen, my book commemorating Rajani…. .” Even if Prof. Raguram’s brother -in-Law had visited him in office, and if one is suspicious of anything, he/she always going to come to the conclusion that prof. Raguram out on a plot against them. That talk is so Chaff, no flesh.
    The witness for Hooley’s chaff talk of what happened in Prof. Raguram office while Hooley was watching out is, director Anoma, Here it is : “Festival Director Anomaa Rajakaruna during her phone conversation very clearly told me that people came to Festival Manager Dr. S. Raguram and that they had a petition of sorts signed by some 60 odd people.” Bravo…. Hooley connected the dots! I never saw a Tamil PhD talking like a Lankawe Rapist CID Modaya Police. Is that Hooley so jealous of Prof. Raguram and 24/7, relentlessly kept an eye on him to wedge or trap?
    That poor fellow seems to be not aware of what Hooley was doing, so Hooley is claiming, to his hook Prof. Raguram came for the bait and Hooley caught him red handed: “ This is completely denied by Dr. Raguram of the Dept. of Media Studies University of Jaffna, who said that he had nothing to do with the decision to screen the film or to exclude it. What the point here is, Hooley is saying Prof. Raguram even denying of having consulted or talked about the movie to Director Anoma. Man…. Hooley is not ready to let Prof. Raguram, the Chair of the festival, even talk to his wife like “there was movie is at the festival in my office”! Then, is still he the Chair of the Festival or not?

  • 0
    1

    Here is Hooley version of Prof Raguram’s Opinion, translated from Sinhala. “The reason we decided to remove the film from the initial list of films was that it only portrays the war or the struggle from the point of view of one side alone.” (The problem seems to be in Prof. Raguram opinion here is, he is at JOU-not fitting there, should have bugger offed to Yale, Oxford or Harvard.)
    Hooley is ending this saga citing that after somebody (Name not there-Probably a Sinhala Buddhist PhD) confronted Prof Raguram with a question of if he had been fully watching and ensuring so far that no pro LTTE events were taking place in Jaffna. Then Prof. realized his mistake of not doing that and caved in to the movie to be screened. Congratulations Hooley! Does Hooley knows when a man’s duty for a work starts and the authority that flows out of that obligation, ends? I doubt it!
    What happened here seems to be is, two got together, choked and canned successfully a professor from making an independent decision, with the government‘s possible back up. Not yet happy, want he to confess a guilty, too. If Appe Aanduwa going to reconcile with “Lies Agreed Upon” & “Demons in Paradise” that is how the independent decisions have to be killed in the North.

    After the movie is scheduled and the problem is solved out in JOU, now Hooley is bringing in Tamil actor this already ended tussle:
    “ Kesavarajan Navaratnam: Good decision Anomaa, we are with you.
    Anomaa Rajakaruna: Thank you Kesa, our struggle continues and hope as a country one day we can stand together.
    Kesavarajan Navaratnam: Yes Anomaa, if you screened in this festival it will be the last festival in Jaffna “
    This is a clip Hooley bring from a long discussion. It seems, Hooley is convinced that this sarcastic three sentences clip is enough to prove that Kesavarajan is a tongue twister in his entire life.

  • 0
    1

    Does Kesavarajan has any obligation to be bound by legal, complying requirements of JOU or other organizations’, to public & Aanduwa? Is he not a free man to act on his own? Why Hooley did bring this dialogue here? Is Kesavarajan the mysterious person visited Prof. Raguram at his office? If he acted in his own capacity then would that amount to a Prof. Raguram’s plot?
    Here Hooley is telling what an actor is obligated for: “Kesavarajan Navaratnam acted in a recent film on inter-ethnic reconciliation sponsored by the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation. As an artist supposedly involved in reconciliation, he should have supported a film that calls for introspection, “ Is Hooley’s claim is government has already paid him extra on the “reconciliation movie” for him to work for Hooley too? What is this logic? Who is this comedy Club ONUR? Are they the ones carries out War for Peace? War for Peace is a real reconciliation concept? Has Kesavarajan become an employee of ONUR? Or is he under a contract with ONUR? Did he sign any deed with ONUR to stay out of any pro Tamil protests? As possibly because by pressure or for money he might have acted in government propaganda reconciliation movie, should he has to support any movie that Hooley is rating as “Introspection”. If he doesn’t, is that a plot against Hooley or Jude? Does Hooley know what the Tamils Doctors appeared in the Appe Aanduwa’s reconciliation series of “Lies Agreed Upon” are telling when they get out of Lankawe?
    Let me ask Hooley the final question on this: Hooley is saying that Jaffna people should let him to show them what he likes, because it is the freedom of expression, then where is he coming out of his logic that Kesavarajan or whoever visited Prof. Raguram should not have expressed their opinion of the movie screening. Is Hooley working as the relaying tower of Colombo Oppressors?

  • 1
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    “ Controversy about the film did not arise until it was scheduled for screening in Jaffna. “ Jude’s opinion of “That Tigers must lose” is not being accepted by majority of Tamils and so they have the right to protest and stop the movie only when it comes to their ground. If Kesavarajan is not an international activist and he is only a local activist, then what wrong Hooley finding in that? How Jaffna People’s right to protest is being affected because them not knowing that Jude was starting a film against them under the blessing of Old Royal as early as 2009? They can start to protest even after that rubbish was screened couple of time in different places in Jaffna.

    The environment out there is, not just in South but nowhere in Lankawe could the Killing Field can be screened. It is not a brain washing or programming movie like Jude’s. It is an actual events’ video clips complied documentary. It is not acted. It was not filmed to promote LTTE’s course. It was compiled to show Appe Aanduwa’s War Criminal activities. Hooley has a wrong side violent opinion on that about media freedom. If not, why can’t he advocate that documentary to be played in Southern theaters?
    Here lets me summaries our points, from the three articles appeared here.
    “We stand with our opinion posted on the first news piece on this topic. To repeat it, we are for free media and multiple, dynamic views. But Jaffna cannot be oppressed. If JOU decide a movie is not good for its environment, Appe Aanduwa should respect the professors’ independent decision. Appe Aanduwa used Vansathi to send out memo to staffs and students unions to work for Chitanta government. Appe Aanduwa should take its hand off from the University. Period!”

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      @Mallayuran, you have wasted
      too much ink writing responses in the comment section. thalaivar would not have been happy. Thalaivar wanted eelam Tamils to spend their time productively. Ask yourself, have you live up to Thalaivar’s requirements. As the torch bearers of Eelam strugle and hairs of Thalaivar ‘ s legacy, we would like to advice you to spend your tim
      in the interest of Tamil Eelam. elam tamils should follow Thalaivar s vision. we do not need talker. we need action. get your ass out, and pay your dues to Nediyawan thambi.

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    Rajan Hoole works at Jaffna University. I never been. I share with Rajan the advantage (or is it disadvantage(??)) in not having many academic friends. Luck will have it, I remembered one at Jaffna University. I contacted the person and suggested “Why not organise a protest boycott of Demons in Paradise?”. His answer (expletives and school language deleted), “Pill: My rented house in Thirunelveli (now called Thirunelvelliya) will go up in flames. The Police will say in Sinhalese ‘Inside job’. Can you find me a house?”. I then posed the question to a non-academic friend, who been through all the thick and thin. Answer, ” We speak at the election Pill”.
    .
    Is it really the illusive ‘freedom of expression’ to screen ‘Demons of Paradise’ to an audience who do not have it?

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    I think this movie has come not through the customs but via Tamilnadu, sent by NEDIAVAN GROUP OF LTTE and to show BENEFIT SHOWS FOR MAVAI SENATHIRAJA, VIGNESWARAN, VIJAYAKALA MENDIS etc.. Wijaya kala would say I am talking only wigneswaran an Mahinda Rajapakse (Goddess Paththini).

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    I heard the targetted Audience is University students and they finished it. After that, Wigneswaran who wanted publicity over this movie . Wigneswaran is so sure, that he would lose this time so he wanted to arose political contraversy among Tamils (GODs Kataragama and Vishnu))

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    Wigneswaran knows that his name is mentioned so often. HE says, he is not sure coming through the Provincial councils. He is very much focused coming into the Colombo Central govt parliament. vijayakala Will proceed that way. That may be why TNA is silent. TNA says we do not want out no of seats to be decreased to FOUR. Instead, increase thr number of seats to 25 and call it is REconciliation (GOd Jaggernaut and Ganesh.)..

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    if Hooley is so interested that Jaffna people should see the film why cannot he show it at his house. Jude was showing this film all over in Colombo where people gather just for his popularity why doesn’t he do that in Jaffna?

    Tamils did not support all what LTTE did but they new LTTE was the only group that was sincere to the cause of the struggle thats why they still respect LTTE. Tamils want respectable status like that enjoyed by majority of Singhalease. If a Tamil is assaulted by a Singhalease it not an issue if a Tamil is unreasonably penalized by the system its not an issue, if a Tamil is denied what is lawfully is his it is not an issue, this what Tamils have been witnessing in this democratic country. How many Singhala thugs were convicted for what happened in 56, 77, 83 and in between? who fought for the Tamils sincerely it was only LTTE, Thats why the respect. Hooley go and learn some basic things in life. This film is a non issue for Tamils.Did the SL government allow Channel 4 film to be telecaster ? why there was no major issue about it? What are you bugger talking.

    If you want to show this film go and show it in your house no one is bothered. You and Jude can watch.

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    Mallaiyuran,

    If you are suffering from verbal diarrhoea you could find a public facility in the Central Park or one of the facilities available in the Empire State Building!

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      News! News! So… Mallaiyuran is a jobless Tamil diaspora person living in New York City.. Not surprised… who else could write such crap.

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    Mallaiyuran,

    You are getting so worked up, aren’t you? Relax brother, relax. you need to find a good editor. and say a few words and to the point. Isn’t there anyone in your family or friends circle to help you edit your comments? Or you don’t show them to anyone because they reveal how stupid they and you are?

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      Asuran,

      I can try that too, but is there a hard pressed need that you should read it all and understand? Sounds like too difficult to ignore? In that case I may think about what you suggest too.

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    Many of us in the South would desperately like to establish some understanding with the people of the North. If we are to succeed, we cannot be the arbiters of what Tamils in the North think, and of whom they admire. Those who admire the LTTE are free to do so, although if you display overt admiration of their use of violence, you are bound to run in to trouble; that is understandable.
    .
    However, what I sense here is something different. While I agree that there may have been a cause that the LTTE espoused, and another struggle that the government’s Armed Forces were engaged in, now that it is all over, we must shine a light on all that happened. However, it looks as though some in the North decree that the World should hear only some of the Tamil voices. Probably the majority of Tamils want an end to this enslavement to Tiger propagated myths. No, I don’t want to substitute our Sinhala version; please start allowing a diversity of opinions amongst you.
    .
    Are you afraid to have all crimes exposed, including many perpetrated by the Tigers? Many of us are urging the government to come clean; is it not reasonable for you to allow the public in the North to make up their minds about the various militant groups that you had there?

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    No adult has the right of censorship over another adult W H A T E V E R is the material. In this respect people can be devided into only TWO categories : those above 16 and those below 16.

    Soma

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      soma

      Most of the time why are you so determined to prove you are in the second category?

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        Ha ha ha.
        Like judgement of the organising committee over the people of Jaffna.

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    What Hoole says and writes seems to be not his own stuff but that of His Masters’ (HMV) Voice. Dr.Dayans options seem to be the best solution for the problems of the Tamils although they sound worse than that of Hitler , Pol Pot and Idi Amin.

    If the Tamils love Prabhakaran still, it is because of People like Hoole and Dayan pursuing their wicked ideologies and thrust down the throats of the Tamils.

    It looks the screening of the film may have boomeranged and gained support to the pro LTTE faction. Hoole should also fight for the screening of Channel 4 documentaries to the Jaffna Audience to be fair to what he is fighting for. And I challenge him to try ,

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      Hooley is playing politics without knowing. He is obviously not playing it for power. The other Hoole(election commission man) is playing for power. The day Hooley realizes that he has a political stand and his opinions are based on this political stand he will stop writing and grow above that level. I hope it will happen soon so that he will find the peace of mind.

      Prabaharan, MR, Sirisena and the rest will come and go. And their power politics will have good and bad things. There is no point in harping about their bad things all the time. Prabaharan is the only leader amongst Tamils who stood firm for the Tamil cause. After being chased away from the all over the country like dogs Tamils were able to atleast show some resistance through the activities of LTTE. They were ruthless, they were murderers, they lost track and were immersed in power and authority which will corrupt anyone. But the boost that they gave the Tamil psyche will remain for ever. That is the only reason that Tamils have some respect for LTTE.

      Just because of this film is shown the opinion is not going to change. Besides everyone knows the atrocities committed by LTTE, that is not news to Tamils. Hooley please grow up realise that you are also playing politics.

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    I have not seen this famous or infamous film, “Demons in Paradise”. When I read about it in the morning it struck me that this is a film that should have been shown to the audience in Jaffna – those who wanted to see it, so that they could make up their minds about it.
    .
    Now, I begin to realise that it is far more important than that. It looks as though I’ve been asleep t what is going on around me. There are at least three articles on this in CT alone. Clearly it is a film that I ought to see; but it may be it’ll have to be dubbed in Sinhala. In fact, the government (if it is serious about fostering good relations amongst all communities) should take the lead.
    .
    I also don’t understand the attitude of the Director, Jude Ratnam. He’s made a fine film, it has been acknowledged by all the discerning critics, but he’s not been trying to get it shown. It should have made a good deal of noise in 2017. Why doesn’t he get it screened extensively, starting right now and going in to next year as well?
    .
    As for others, there is all this fuss about this Vijayakala Maheswaran making some vague pro LTTE noise. Instead of seeing that in its context, and promoting intelligent discussion of this film which appears to look critically at the Tiger record, it looks as though some people want this film banned. I don’t know if I’ve got this clear. I’m getting confused – let me the first to admit it!

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    I give below yet another indication that Liberal opinion is giving up:
    .
    http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/-Demons-in-Paradise-Is-Jaffna-ready-for-full-scope-of-freedom–156592.html
    .
    This is a piece of balanced writing, but leading to the conclusion that not much can be done to bring the film to screens. Thanks for the rationality, but the conclusion is sad.

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    Dear Mallaiyuran,
    .
    Before I say anything else, here’s yet another article on the film. Just noticed it:
    .
    http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2018/10/07/news-features/fleeing-your-demons
    .
    You said somewhere that some people have questioned whether I’m a Tamil; why? I think that it is because I try to be understand your point of view. You say that nobody has cast similar doubts on the “race” you belong to. Why? Because you don’t make any attempt to understand other view points. On the other hand, Tamil “Pushpam” and I share views, and can claim to be working towards the same goal of reconcilliation. Mallaiyuran, I agree that all Sinhalese must painfully view “Killing Fields” as expiation; I have persuaded some, but I know that many will continue to live in denial, just as much as you do.
    .
    You have told Asuran that there is no need to read all that you write. I don’t; I just glance – will soon stop doing that as well. Asuran has advised you to get your writing edited; Mallum has complained about your verbal diarrhoea. I, myself had appealed to you paragraph your writing. “Eelam Tamil Action committee” has told you, “Thalaivar [does that mean Prabhkaran?] would not have been happy.” All to no avail. You are impossible: ineffective and a nuisance.
    .
    The main article has been “Compiled by Dr Rajan Hoole”. Why do you call him “Hooley”. Infection spreads: “Hoolbanda” has caught it, but his content shows him respectful.
    .
    Mallaiyuran, your real colleagues are Gnanasara, Wimal Weerawansa, and Mrs Udubaddewa; there is a symbiotic relationship between them and you. Euthanasia of the lot of you is a logical prescription; our attempts are thwarted by a sense of morality that we have inherited.

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      Sinhala_man

      The entire thing is rubbish. The essays you cited are irrelevant because they rushed to accuse before the process was over. That is only ill will and extreme war mentality, winning wars, celebrating victories and consolidating the victories one after other. Those wring show sincerity. One of them explicitly claim that laws should be passed to prison Tamils for talking. That is the kind of essay you take example for.

      I don’t care what is appearing in Colombo media which is main one starts and conduct the annual pogroms, with the white wash of it is doing reconciliation. Lake House, Hiru, Derana, Sirasa, now BBC Sinhala service… these are media guing people.

      Last year Uthayan Editor gave Ranil on the stage in an International Press Reporters safety meeting the 43 Tamil reporters killed. No action. Lankawe killed Sinhala writers like Lasantha or Ekneligoda not because they were writing the truth, but because those writing were ending up supporting Tamils claims of the past 70 years.

      It is not Tamils issue. You watch the Lankawe on, internal administration, law and order, economical development, a name for the country on the international stage……. Why blaming these also on Tamils? why have you not fixed all these.

      The only reason is Sinhalese are unanimously looking for candidate who will only marginalised Tamils, not care of other thing. That is why you want Old King or New Ling or Nagananda

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