23 October, 2017

Say ‘No’ To Sri Lanka, And Dilmah Tea

By Trevor Grant

Trevor Grant

Trevor Grant

It was a scene that has been played out many times since the brutal end to the civil war in the Tamil homeland.

Last year the Sri Lankan defence secretary and accused war criminal, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, stood alongside one of Sri Lanka’s richest men, Merrill Fernando, cutting a ribbon to open a new war memorial that purports to be about peace and reconciliation but, in reality, glorifies the murderers of at least 70,000 innocent civilians in 2009 and enhances the process of genocide and ethnic-cleansing in traditional Tamil lands.

Partly-financed by Fernando, it is yet another triumphalist edifice built by a ruthless regime that is under an official UN investigation for war crimes and crimes against humanity and which, five years after the war, continues to torture, rape, and jail thousands of Tamils as well as steal their land and reduce them to abject poverty.

To add to the Tamils’ misery, while these memorials are placed in Tamil areas which have been renamed in Sinhala, any recognition of fallen Tamil fighters has been expunged from public view. Tamil war memorials and cemeteries have been bulldozed and Tamils are banned from commemorating their dead, under threat of retribution from the military occupiers of their land.

pic1What is important here is to acknowledge the collaboration of Fernando, who is in lockstep with the Rajapaksa regime and, as a result, benefits significantly from its genocidal program.

Fernando is the founder and owner of the Dilmah Tea company, which is one of the country’s most prominent and successful exports. It fills the supermarket shelves in Australia, the UK and many other countries, branding itself as a “family business built on family values”.

Yet, as you sit sipping a cup of Dilmah tea, you may wish to know that by buying this product you are helping support a regime that, according to many widely-respected human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, engages in rape, torture and disappearances of innocent people every day of the week.

Indeed, armed with these facts, you may begin to question the so-called “family values” of the likes of the Dilmah Tea Company and even choose another brand.

It is with this goal in mind that the Tamil diaspora – through the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam — has launched “Say No to Sri Lanka”, which aims to raise awareness to the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka through a Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions campaign similar to the very successful worldwide BDS campaign against Israeli products.

The anti-Israel BDS movement began back in 2005, to a chorus of detractors. These included supporters of Palestinian statehood who didn’t think it could be effective against the might of US-backed Israel. Today, it goes from strength to strength, as it continues to pick up credible support from so many quarters, and, of course, increasing harassment from worried Israelis and their supporters who fear the economic impact.

Recently in Australia, we have seen the Israeli lobby take an Australian academic to court for daring to support the global BDS campaign against Israel. It’s a sure sign that BDS is making a big impact and it’s interesting to note that US authorities are moving to try to stop academic institutions from giving support to the BDS movement against Israel.

They wouldn’t be doing it unless it was working. Indeed, some Israeli academics have criticized the court action saying that all they are doing is promoting the BDS movement and shining a light on Israel’s apartheid policies.

The fact that the genocide in the north and the east of Sri Lanka continues to gather pace means that new methods, new strategies and new tactics must be developed and engaged, and this constant development and engagement must become part of the everyday struggle. Without intelligent new ways of peaceful, direct action, the nation of Tamil Eelam has a very grim future, indeed, for, as we have discovered on so many occasions, waiting for the duplicitous world powers to render genuine assistance is the surest way to guarantee the continuation of the genocidal ways of the Sri Lankan government.

One of the pro-Palestinian BDS movement’s strongest supporters has been South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who said recently: “Whether used in South Africa, the US south or India, boycotts have resulted in a transformative change that not only brought freedom and justice to the victims but also peace and reconciliation for the oppressors. I remain ever hopeful that like the non-violent efforts that have preceded it, the BDS movement will ultimately become a catalyst for honest peace and reconciliation…”

“Say No to Sri Lanka” aims to do the same for the Tamil people in Tamil Eelam as they seek freedom from a brutal military occupation, freedom from the oppression that they have suffered for generations and the freedom to exercise the inalienable right of all peoples to self-determination.

*Trevor Grant is a former chief cricket writer at The Age and now works with the Refugee Action Collective

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Latest comments

  • 16
    8

    Keep Going DIE-ARSE-Pora ! Ruin our cricket, do a hatchet job on our tea and what will you have left ? How do you propose to develop your homeland if two of it’s prize assets are destroyed in the eyes of the world ?

    It only proves that all you want to do is what Prabhakaran wanted….destroy our motherland !

    • 3
      7

      Trevor Grant –

      Hey white man.

      You guys mess up up the country and the world, anf now want to boycott tea?

      Are you guys out of your mind?

      If you mean business, send Tomahawks and Drones.

      Even Rajiv Gandhi sent plane.

      He had Guts, even though killed by LTTE, VP.

      • 1
        0

        Did you mean Tomahawk Bale Shredders and Agricultural Drones?

  • 17
    7

    Say NO to Terrorism and the influence of LTTE terrorism now spreading across the globe. My experience overseas is that the average civilian in these nations are quite irritated by the LTTE criminal activities, such as credit card fraud and human smuggling. They are aware of the similarity between the activities of those flying the recently created LTTE flag and the Nazi flag created during the 2nd world War. They are also aware of the around 70,000 killed in the conflict was caused by the LTTE terrorists and not the armed forces. Yes, lets say NO to LTTE propaganda and criminal activities.

    • 5
      3

      Raja

      “They are aware of the similarity between the activities of those flying the recently created LTTE flag and the Nazi flag created during the 2nd world War.”

      The

      There are similarities of origin of LTTE and Sri Lanka flags.

      Both are decorated with animals.

      Both animals never could call this island a home except the ones caged in zoo.

      Both look horrible

      Both are armed

      Both are held closed to heart by two stupid people.

      Both were expected to act as unifying symbols but history shows the flags are increasingly polarising the people.

      The history/basis/origin of both flags can only be traced to North/South India and not to this island. Lion ancestry of the Sinhalese, – Vijay the exiled criminal – Sword and the lion, successfully sold to the stupid Sinhala/Buddhists.

      In the case of LTTE the Tiger was borrowed from pirates of the Indian ocean the Cholas – Tamil Legends – fashionable Kalashnikov rifle – flag was supposed to have been designed VP (the psychopath)in Tamilnadu, successfully sold to a section of stupid Tamils.

      Both the Sinhala/Buddhists and LTTE never able to convincingly argue the case for two horrible animals in their respective flags.

      Exiled Vijaya the criminal had suppose to have been carried the lion flag when he landed these shores with 700 thugs.

      It appears that symbols are more important than simple people.

      • 1
        2

        I read somewhere that Lanka flag is the only national flag with violent animal carrying a murderous weapon. If Tamils wins Elam, Lanka national flag will not be along as NV says..

      • 1
        0

        Why are Dogs and Puppies not welcome in the Zoo? I still wonder why Shakespeare never said “An animal is an Animal is an Animal”.

  • 18
    8

    This white boy found a new job to survive. Trevor was born in 2009. In the same year as his “Uncle Praba” got killed.

    • 1
      6

      If anyone has called you a brown boy or black boy you will be un in arms shouting racism! Why cannot you discredit his article with facts without making reference to his colour? You called him a white boy while scavenging in white land!

      • 2
        0

        So far three ‘Unlikes’ for this scavenging comment… Most of us brown parasites do not see themselves as scavengers in white land.. So many migrants blame & criticize white (savage??) culture openly but make their most loved children grow up and educate here. There is Australian book called “Living Among Barbarians” discussing about these scenarios.

  • 10
    4

    This Man has forgotten the misery the innocent Sri Lankan people suffered for over 30 years. He is worried now the western world cannot continue to sell arms to SL Government and LTTE.
    The Amnesty International is a private company mainly funded by USA. What does the Company wants Money profits etc This man’s estimate of 70,000 comprises at least half of the people who are are now in Mumbai settled down there doing lucrative businesses and the affluent Tamil people who saw the opportunity to go to UK, USA, Australia and Canada fleeing the country, when the Sinhalese looters were robbing the innocent Tamil people when the LTTE killed 13 army people travelling in a bus.
    If these people were genuine victims, they should have gone to South of India where Tamil is the spoken language and Hinduism is the faith they believe. But they choose the west. Why? these people are economic refugees they came to west to earn money.
    Tamil people are very hard working people. They have done very well. Well done to them. The only problem was the LTTE Plc managed to get money from these hard working innocent people in the name of justice exploitation of their Race & Religion which they did in a very organised way. The LTTE Plc is running out of funds so they still try hard to instigate separatism in Sri Lanka.

    • 4
      3

      HariDakuma

      “He is worried now the western world cannot continue to sell arms to SL Government and LTTE.”

      If it is about arms business, China, Pakistan, ……… should be worrying, not the west though it sold arms to Sri Lanka it amounted to no more than few millions.

      “The Amnesty International is a private company mainly funded by USA.”

      Check your facts.

      “This man’s estimate of 70,000 comprises at least half of the people who are are now in Mumbai settled down there”

      Forget his estimates now tell us the exact figure.

      “If these people were genuine victims, they should have gone to South of India where Tamil is the spoken language and Hinduism is the faith they believe.”

      Why do you think they should go to South of India? People are free to chose their destination. Why did former JVP leader and his fellow terrorist ultimately end up in Europe, North America and Australia? Shouldn’t they have found asylum in Bihar or Tamilnadu?

      “Why? these people are economic refugees they came to west to earn money.”

      For the same reason the Sinhala/Buddhists are increasingly seeking asylum in Australia and other European countries.

      “The only problem was the LTTE Plc managed to get money from these hard working innocent people in the name of justice exploitation of their Race & Religion which they did in a very organised way.”

      Am I the only one seeing crocodile tears dripping from your both eyes?

      Ask yourself a question, a fundamental one, how did this island managed to create two types of Terrorists both nationalistic, did not hesitate to kill and kill again, one in the North and other in the South and the state which has a long history of terrorising its own people?

    • 0
      1

      “misery the innocent Sri Lankan people suffered for over 30 years.”. This should be corrected as “misery of innocent Sinhalese. Because most of Tamils (innocent & non-innocent) talking about 50~60 years of misery and they, Tamils, do NOT say suffering is over .
      Selling arms to SL.. SL total military $2bil. 50% of that goes as salaries of soldiers (200,000++ people??) and perks of high end soldiers. 25% absorbed by Ghota and extended R family. Max 25% of $2b, i.e. $500 million available for arms. This is peanut in developed world. India defense budget is $36 billion… I think China is $150 billion range… These are the money that interest the West, but not just peanuts from small war torn country like Lanka.

  • 11
    4

    This is why Trevor wrote this shit.

    *Trevor Grant is a former chief cricket writer at The Age and now works with the Refugee Action Collective.

    Trevor, your former Premier of NSW Bob Carr thinks Gota is a hero.
    ” Despite the “Tamil narrative,”, there is another view.
    For over thirty years Sri Lanka was fighting a savage war with terrorists while the “world looked the other way. The suicide bomb was invented and used in that war. If the war went the other way and Sri Lanka was divided, the North would have been run by the most vicious regime that would have been worse than Pol Pot.”

  • 12
    3

    Trevor Grant is another joker with fairy- tales! Kicked out of cricket writing because he was ignorant that the umpire was pointing his finger up to indicate a cricketing decision and not telling him where to go. Now he has got a new job finding the lost marbles of Prabhakarn! Give Eelam to Tamils at the back of your garden, not in Sri Lanka.

    • 5
      3

      Right, all these out-of-work losers find employment with tamil tiger fronts. They get paid out of blood money earned through prostitution and drugs.

      The Australian population should be aware that the former deputy head of the tamil tiger air wing has been apprehended in Malaysia (declared as a refugee by UNHCR) he could have been resettled in Australia in time. Arrested by the Malaysian Police and deported to Sri Lanka one week ago.

      The Australian Government is quite right in its asylum seeker policy – i.e to protect the Australian people from undesirables.

      • 4
        7

        Are they really Lynx? Are they pimpin out your mother and sisters? Why does it hurt the Sinha-lames when people talk the truth?

  • 7
    3

    Dear Mr Grant,

    I think you need a lessons both in English and History… Let me get you started:

    Genocide is what the early white settlers did to the aboriginal people of Australia.

    Genocide is what the early white settlers did to the Native Americans in North America.

    Genocide is what the white slave traders and plantation owners did to the people of Africa.

    What went on in Sri Lanka was an Ethnic conflict. People died on both sides. Call it what it really is
    is…

    Based on the actions of your racial predecessors you are in no position to judge.

  • 5
    2

    It seems to me Trevor Grant should have chosen a different photo to accompanying his article, one in which he had some headgear on, because here he is clearly talking through his hat!

    The poor fellow seems to have fallen hook, line and sinker for the propaganda of the so called Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) and their ilk. Note how he uses the stock phrases from their lexicon – ‘Tamil homeland’………….’process of genocide’…….’ethnic cleansing’ ‘the nation of Tamil Eelam’ and so on.

    The man is silly enough to accuse the SL government of ‘ethnic cleansing in traditional Tamil lands”. Quite apart from the fact that there are no areas called ‘Tamil lands’ in Sri Lanka, how on earth can you have ethnic cleansing of Tamils in ‘Tamil lands’? If he had done his homework he will have discovered that the only time there was ethnic cleansing in the North and East was when Prabhakaran and his goons chased the Sinhalese and Muslims out from those areas. Mr Grant, please do us – and yourself – a favour; ensure the accuracy of what you have to say.

    Not merely does Grant hold the SL government to account, for alleged crimes against the Tamils, for good measure he has Merrill Fernando and Dilmah Tea also in his sights. What a piece of arrant nonsense.
    So, the TGTE wants a boycott of SL and SL goods. Does the TGTE (also Mr Grant) not realise that anything that will hurt the SL economy will also hurt the Tamils in SL on whose behalf they purport to take up cudgels? Members of the TGTE, the Global Tamil Forum and all the Diaspora Tamil bodies are comfortably settled in Western countries, enjoying all the benefits and advantages that those countries have to offer. They are not the ones who carry the burden of the consequences of the war that the LTTE began. They should leave the Tamils in SL to get on with their lives instead of poisoning their minds and hearts.

    I see that Grant is noted as having been a former cricket writer with the Age. I haven’t read his cricket writing but on present evidence, I imagine I could not have missed much. I imagine also that he’d make a hopeless umpire

    • 1
      2

      Gamarala,

      If one were to accept that there is a Sinhala land in Sri Lanka, it will be inexorable that there is a Tamil land too in Sri Lanka!

      By the way, LTTE cruelly expelled the Muslims from the North that is granted but the Sinhala left on their own accord once the troubles had started to unfold. I am not saying that LTTE would never have expelled the Sinhala had they remained but merely pointing out your inaccurate statement.

    • 2
      1

      Your question as to whether the anti-Sri Lanka mob doesn’t realize that boycotting Dilmah will affect the tamils:

      The diaspora and their paid lackeys don’t care. They just want some consolation for the defeat of their champion (ltte). Actually the diaspora and (who control the TNA)would like the Tamils in the North and East to suffer more. Then they can internationalize the ‘plight’ of ‘their’ people to get gullible westerners to support asylum seekers.

  • 5
    1

    It is so sad to read articles like this, without any base at all. First of all he calls Gotabhaya “accused war criminal” and that is news to all of us and would like to know who has accused and on what grounds? That is the first lie of this man. Secondly he has got a figure of 70,000 killed by the SL forces and I would like to know where did he get that figure and has he got any proofs which none has seen so far. This “white man” is not talking about who was hiding behind the civilians and forced these civilians into danger and to be killed and also how many Tamil civilians were saved by the forces. It is a shame “white men” trying to abuse freedom of speech and talk utter rubbish. Why is this man not talking about millions of innocent Vietnamese (women and children) killed by the Americans and the millions killed by the Americans and British in Iraq and Afghanistan. Aren’t they human enough, their lives are not worth living or they are not paying him enough to talk? Why is that this idiot not talk about the rehabilitation provided to ex LTTE cadres by the government and that most them are released and back in the community compared to Gautanembe prison. I challenge this man to provide the evidence for his claims, if not “shut up” and don’t make yourself a fool in front of the world.

  • 2
    0

    Genocide by whom? What did the tigers do? killing thousands of Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims and ethnic cleansing of the North. Who killed all the moderate Tamil leaders like Thiruchelvam, Kardirgarmer and the entire leadership of the Federal Party? Who forced little children to take up guns and sacrifice them as cannon fodder?
    How many have died from war related action since the elimination of the world’s most ruthless terrorist outfit? None.
    Is this what the Tamil diaspora want back in Sri Lanka. If there was genocide committed by the Sinhalese how come the majority of the tamils live amongst the Sinhalese in Colombo and suburbs? an how come all Sinhalese and Muslims were chased out of the homes in the North by the LTTE isn’t that genocide by the tamils and ethnic cleansing?
    Answer you human right dogs living like vultures on the misery of hapless people. Those economic refugees aka Tamil diaspora should be examined for drug smuggling, credit card fraud, bribery of English politicians and taking ransom money from innocent Tamils living outside Sri Lanka.
    Remember Tamils are safer now that ever before and they don’t starve of shit on the streets and go with hardly any cloths like your brethren in Tamil Nadu? Why don’t you all go there and establish your dreamland

  • 3
    1

    Trevor Grant, Hey man this is your last chance and the challenge to prove your are not being paid by the criminal Tamil Diaspora in Australia to lie using the “Free Media”. Can you tell me have you spoken, demanded and challenged the Australian government when there was a serious accusation that the Australian troops has entered a Afghanistan village and killed babies, children, women and old people in the pretext of looking for a “terrorist” in that village. This was on TV and newspaper so please don’t try to say that it didn’t happen or you are not aware. What do you call that “part of duty”, “Genocide” or “Criminal activity” by the Australian troops. What are you going to do about it? So what I suggest to you, first sort out problems in your back garden before poking to other people’s business and also spreading 90% of lies provided by the Tamil terrorists in Australia. What a fool you are, Damn Fool.

  • 2
    1

    “Yes to Sri Lanka” say the cricket fans.The “Mankand” runout of Jos Butler at the non strikers end during the 5th ODI …has apparently spiced up the forth coming England V Sri Lanka test matches with ticket sales increasing “Yes To Sri Lanka” says English cricket fans , majority of them blaimng England Captain and the batsman for the debacle.

  • 1
    0

    nice one scoop, in your haste to demonize a company that has set a new standard in socially responsible business, you forgot to observe that the project you show benefits over 5,000 Tamil schoolchildren, over 100 war widows in the area (formerly LTTE) and many former LTTE cadres. I have worked with these guys are know this is truth. Go and see for yourself before you write this stuff. Merrill Fernando may be rich, but I wish Australia had one rich man like him. He came from a poor family, built his fortune ethically and this year gave away 600 million rupees through his foundation and conservation efforts. A significant amount of that goes to the North and East. Get the facts friend, and whilst you may have an agenda, try to be a little less obvious about it when choosing your targets.

  • 1
    0

    Hey Trev, interesting piece of keyboard morals here. If you ever visit the places you talk of you will find that unlike the Tamil diaspora, the victims of war in the North and East want to get on with their lives. This guy (Fernando) has done a lot of great work amongst the war widows. If you speak to Fr. Damian in the North or Pas. Ravi in the East you will learn that Meril Fernando’s charity has helped Tamils even before the war ended. They worked with the LTTE to get to people in some areas and with the army to reach others. Today they work with the army, the authority in the areas, to help the population. There is an option – not to engage with the army and like the disapora, sit back and do nothing. But the Tamils in these areas need help now. God bless Meril Fernando and his Dilmah. It will always be my cup of tea.

  • 1
    1

    Trevor

    I assume you are drawing a parallel between the palestinian struggle and the “plight” of the LTTE tamils to try and give some credibility to your unbelievably biased article based on a whole lot lies. Let me point out the BDS is gathering phase because normal people like us can digest reason when its put before us i.e the palestinians are held captive by the Israelis and all the information available supports this without creating any form of confusion. So her is my confusion with this “plight’ of the LTTE Tamils, the former “homeland” of the LTTE is now available for anyone to freely investigate so where are the mass graves of this 70,000 people who got killed?, why are these LTTE tamils looking for a homeland in another country stone throw away from their own state in India (tamil nadu) , which is roughly three times the size of Sri Lanka, and the only place in the world the Sinhalese can call home? (annexation perhaps?), how come there are millions of Tamils still living among Sinhalese in the capital of colombo and prospering and have done so for hundreds of years if the sinhalese majority governments in the past and present is hell bent on killing tamils?

    I do give you credit however for having the audacity to put your picture up and owning up to this ridiculous piece of journalism.

  • 1
    0

    Dear Trevor

    I have read article with some interest unfortunately I am struggling to ascertain if you are deliberately lying or if you are forcing yourself to justify your position with a valid protest movement such as the BDS because you don’t have all the facts.So let me furnish you with some facts about the conflict which might enlighten you.

    The Sinhalese and the Tamils have lived in relative harmony for thousands of years. After the arrival of the English in the 1700’s however they used the minority Tamils to govern the majority Sinhalese because it is easier to control a minority than a majority (this is a tactic they have used all over the british empire), as you can imagine this created some tension between the two, then they broke down the majority in to further small segments by highlighting the cast system to ensure the majority could not gather to challenge them (this tactic was also used in India). When they left in the 1940’s the constitution they devised however did not allow for any solutions for this tension they have created, leaving Sri Lanka to sort it out themselves.

    In the 1980’s when Sri Lanka was outgrowing India with the backing of the US who used SL to keep tabs on the Soviet backed India, then Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi decided to use this underlying tension with tamils and Sinhalese to undermine this threat to her power by financing and training whole lot of terror groups, which LTTE was part of. Obviously there is no reason to fight without a cause hence the excuse of a Tamil homeland was dreamt up. Unfortunately they managed to stay alive and grow in strength via funding of the diaspora for the last 30 years.

    So if 70,000 tamils died in the final stages of the war as you have stated (which is yet to be proven) the blood of these people are on the hands of India as they created this terror outfit who used their own subjects to shield themselves. The current democratically elected government has only freed the 20 million people (Sinhalese, Tamils, Anglo Asians and Muslims) from 30 years of terror and consequently economic oppression.

    Just imagine if the above facts applied to Australia (which I am part of). I wonder what the 20 million people who have been freed by our government would do to someone like you if you wrote this article in effect nullifying their right to prosper and to be free.

    If you have written this article to subvert the truth for personal gain then rightfully those relatively less prosperous and free people of Sri Lanka should say to you .. Shame on you Trevor, shame on you.

  • 0
    0

    Wrong. The blood of these people are in the hands of those who fired the weapons that killed them. Trevor is right and more importantly world opinion is with him. The vile comments on this site simply make Trevor’s point more strongly – that is that international boycotts and sanctions are the only things that will make the racist sinhala state reconsider its position. Well done trevor – keep it up.

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