25 January, 2021

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Trevor Grant Stood With The Tamil People Until The End

By Usha S Sri-Skanda Rajah

Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

A tribute to Trevor Grant: “the fine ethical journo” and “a true friend of Eelam Tamils”.   

Trevor Grant stood with the Tamil people until the end. He stood with them in their hour of need when their governments failed them and world governments had forsaken them.

Sadly, Trevor Grant succumbed to cancer on 5th March, his death deeply affecting the Tamil world – victims, refugees and activists alike – who owed him a deep debt of gratitude for his relentless campaign for justice on their behalf.

As such, although he first became famous as a great sports writerand broadcaster, his prolific writings, speeches and interviews, educating the world and the international community on the genocide perpetrated against the Tamil people living in the NorthEast of the island of Sri Lanka and the injustice caused to them after they had to flee their land, will go into the annals of history of the Tamil people and their struggle for freedom – as true evidence of their story as persecuted people in their own homeland and as forgotten and ill treated refugees in various parts of the world and in his own Australia.

Here was a man who was not reticent about calling the 2009 Mullivaikkaal massacre exactly what it was, a genocide and put the issue front and center without fear or favour. Listen to him here making the case for the Tamil genocide:

Through his book, ‘Sri Lanka’s secrets: How Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away with Murder‘, he revealed the exact intentions of the “corrupt and brutal Rajapaksa regime” and that of the Australian government which he said was complicit. 

As ‘convener’ of, and spokesperson for, the Tamil Refugee Council, he was a fearless and vocal defender of the rights of the Tamil people and an outspoken critic of both the Rajapaksa and the Sirisena governments until the very last.   

Trevor Grant

Even as a lover of sports he advocated for the boycott of the Sri Lankan Cricket Team on a matter of principle. Hear him explain how Rajapaksa, “a brutal dictator interfered with and used cricket to launder his own image”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz-HE5IFgOw&t=157s He wrote about how Mike Atherton, former captain of the England cricket team, was horrified by what he saw in the documentary ‘Sri Lanka: Killing Fields’ – to make his point. 

If one checks his twitter handle his tweets were all about Tamil issues. His last retweet on 24th February 2016 a year ago under this handle, was a tweet from the journalist, academic and activist, Wendy Bacon who called him, “the fine ethical journo.”

Constantly exposing the Australian Government’s complicity he tweeted about, “how Australia had become an enabler for accused war criminals. In that tweet he shared his article in which he wrote, “he was not surprised,” by the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremaeinghe’s revelation, made to the ‘Australian’ newspaper, “that the Australian Government had kept silent on the human rights abuses of the brutal regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa in order to get his co-operation to stop asylum-seekers fleeing to Australia.”

Not once hesitating to expose even the Sirisena government, Trevor Grant wrote Sirisena was an “offshoot” of Mahinda Rajapaksa. His assessment of Sirisena written in January of 2016 can’t be further from the truth, a little more than a year on today as the 34th sessions of the UN Human Rights Council is taking place right at this moment:

I quote:

The extent of Sirisena’s duplicity knows no bounds, as we saw this week when, after casting doubt that any crimes took place at the end of the war when Sri Lankan Army bombs rained down on 300,000 trapped civilians, he also declared that he would “never allow international involvement” in any war crimes tribunal….On its own, this statement may sound like another routine reaction but when you add the fact that Sri Lanka co-sponsored a UN resolution last year aimed at setting up a war crimes tribunal, with international representation, you begin to appreciate the Sirisena government’s brazen disregard for honesty and decency….Despite all the lofty words about governing for all and righting the wrongs of the past, the degradation of the Tami continues in the north and east of the island, through a military occupation, mass incarceration and disappearance, brutal sexual abuse and rape, torture, permanent seizure of land and denial of job opportunities.

End quote.

Sharing this article he tweeted all in capital letters: S-LANKA HAS NEW PRESIDENT BUT OLD WAYS OF TORTURE, IMPUNITY AND DENIAL PERSIST…READ LATEST…

Writing about, “war criminals’ promotions reveal ugly truth about Sirisena,” Trevor Grant didn’t mince his words when it came to the hypocrisy of other governments who put geo-political interests before human rights either: “The elaborate public facade carefully constructed by new president Maithripala Sirisena, with the hidden assistance of India and the US, is crumbling by the day, revealing the discomforting truth that Sri Lanka remains a brutal regime dominated by a military mindset,” he wrote. This he wrote when he was condemning the promotion of Major General Jagath Dias and General Sarath Fonseka by the Sirisena government, men who presided over the Mullivaikkaal Genocide of Tamils, truly expressing his feelings thus: “Nothing could be more obvious after the recent elevation in the country’s public life of two men who, if the world was a place where justice served us all rather than a powerful elite, would be now be living off porridge in a cell at The Hague.” 

Tributes poured in on social networks, websites and journals upon his passing. “Trevor Grant who died on Sunday was brave in everything,” Gregory Martin Baum, Australian Sports Writer wrote of him. Journalist, Nick McCallum tweeted, “saddened by the death of veteran sports journo Trevor Grant. Always feisty and passionate, he was a tenacious advocate for asylum seekers.”  JDS Lanka tweeted, “Trevor Grant: A tireless fighter for Justice bids adieu.”

Most aptly, the tribute from Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, (TGTE) to be read out at his Memorial Service, Friday in Victoria, told of his monumental work for the Tamil people: Captioned, ‘The World Lost a Great Sports Writer and a Champion for Human Rights – Eelam Tamils Lost a Friend’, the eulogy from TGTE echoed the sentiments of the Tamil people on what it was to lose him:

“The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is deeply saddened by the demise of veteran journalist and human rights activist, Trevor Grant. Following a decades- long career and recognized as one of the finest sports writers of his time in Australia, Trevor Grant took a keen interest in the plight of Tamil refugees arriving in Australia at the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka in May 2009. He thus became a passionate advocate for refugee rights and a campaigner and spokesman with the Tamil Refugee Council, while also taking care of the emotional and material needs of asylum seekers and refugees through working in several fronts within the wider Australian community in his home State of Victoria…Admirers of Trevor Grant have noted his commitment to principles and fair play and his determined stand in not letting authorities get away with power. It is, therefore, not surprising that he did not limit his concerns to the future of the disenfranchised and downtrodden refugees arriving in Australian shores. He also took a journalist’s interest and curiosity to dig into the causes for their fleeing from their native lands….Trevor Grant exhibited his moral anger over the Genocide perpetrated by the Sri Lankan State on the hapless Tamil civilians in Mullivaaikaal in May 2009. This resulted in the publication in 2014 of his book ’Sri Lanka’s Secrets: How the Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away with Murder’, a book which was described by analysts as ‘a determined and forceful portrayal of the nature of the Sri Lankan society and the corrupt regime that was running the country’. As part of his advocacy work, Trevor Grant has also been scathing in his criticism of successive Australian governments for their foreign policy obsession that was focused on turning back boats with refugees rather than on the human rights of the Tamil refugees….As a brave and compassionate man, Trevor Grant felt the necessity to bring out the truth as best as he could even through the period of his recent illness. He used his pen and his sharp and powerful style of writing to bring out some of the ugly truths of the new ‘good governance’ regime of President Maithripala Sirisena in Sri Lanka, and the complicity of  powerful members of the international community in allowing Sri Lanka ‘to keep its secrets’. Equally, he has been active in sharing details of the mesothelioma that has now taken him from us so prematurely. His honesty in telling us about the things that made him angry and those that made him sad through his illness is a measure of the caliber of the man he was….It is tragic that the voice of Trevor Grant is no more with us at this time when new forms of nativism and populism are emerging in the West, contributing to a hostile environment for refugees fleeing persecution, violence, and environmental degradation, and seeking safe haven. The craft of journalism that he much loved and practiced is facing new challenges at this time as well. Let us find solace in Trevor’s own words, as stated in his book, ‘You can kill thousands of people, but you can never kill the human spirit’…We, Tamils, shall remain in eternal gratitude for Trevor’s tireless work and unparalleled service to a vulnerable and oppressed people. Farewell, dear friend!”

Though not a Tamil, it would not be remiss to say Trevor Grant was a true Tamil in the real sense of the word. He is irreplaceable and will be sorely missed. The world is poorer for his loss.

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Latest comments

  • 10
    5

    We have lost a friend.

    RIP Trevor

  • 10
    5

    Journalists like Trevor Grant are extremely rare.
    He stood for the truth, rather than sensationalism.
    Tamils of Sri Lanka still bear the burden of a military regime, unique among nations of the world, long after the war was over, and are still struggling for equality as citizens.

  • 2
    1

    [Edited out]

    • 3
      1

      Johnny Boy

      “[Edited out]”

      Brilliant, thanks for keeping it brief.

  • 0
    1

    [Edited out]

  • 10
    10

    Trevor Grant sold our dead Tamil carcasses of the Youth & Children and made money for himself.
    A vulture, leach and an opportunists of the highest order..

    May he ROT in Hell………………………

    • 10
      5

      Thondamannay

      After you drop dead you will find in Hell, your friends who slaughtered thousands of Tamils during the 1983 pogrom organized by JR J. The Hell-keeper would not have heard of a Trevor Grant.

      • 7
        7

        K. Pillai
        Why pretend to be a good man. It is a fact that your man Prabakaran supported by the Tamil separatists still operating from foreign countries, slaughtered and brutalized tens of thousands of innocent Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim and others in Sri Lanka. How on earth did Trevor Grant failed to see the truth and campaign on behalf of these brutes and their supporters? It is a strange world where the victims are blamed for the actions of extremist, violent terrorists.

        • 4
          2

          Never claimed “to be a good man”. Are you? Ten why the hell did your friends butcher Tamils in 1958, 1977 and in 1983?

        • 3
          2

          Raja

          ” It is a fact that your man Prabakaran supported by the Tamil separatists still operating from foreign countries, slaughtered and brutalized tens of thousands of innocent Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim and others in Sri Lanka.”

          Where is Prabaharan operating from? Why is he free? Didn’t MR/GR order his death?

          Didn’t the gallant army men capture VP, torture and hack him to death?

      • 2
        3

        Tamils themselves organised and started the 1983 events. I don’t think you feel sorry for loss of innocent lives. Get a life!

  • 3
    1

    et tu Obama?

    Where are the Tamils for Obama?

    Obama came saying “No more Darfur!”. and so many high falutin’ words!

    Double faced liar. No better than Trump.

  • 7
    9

    As such, although he first became famous as a great sports writer, and broadcaster

    A fired Sports writer became a Tamil saviour.

    I can understand that. Evil never have easy time. So, he is with Satan.

    • 4
      2

      jim softy dimwit

      “Evil never have easy time. So, he is with Satan”

      Fighting to save you from hell.

    • 2
      3

      He is with Peter Rosebud, the late English cricket writer and anti Sri Lankan sports writer. The fellow was to be questioned by police for sexually molesting young boys. He jumped out of a window and made a horrible mess of the pavement below. Oh! they forgot to give him a cyanide capsule. Together now!

    • 1
      0

      Satan is BBS. I can assure he didn’t go to jail like the BBS leader, venereal disease carrying cross-dresser.

  • 6
    5

    May he Rest In Peace.
    He had a good and an innocent heart, the reason he fell for terrorist Tamil’s fake stories.

  • 7
    7

    If he supported the Tamil terrorists and the diaspora that sponsored horrendous human rights violations in Sri Lanka for 3 decades, then he had done immense damage to humanity and the peace loving innocent citizens of not only Sri Lanka, but the entire world, who we see everyday getting slaughtered by terrorists like the Tamil Tiger terrorists, who later donned sheep’s clothing to deceive gullible people like Trevor Grant.
    May he be forgiven for being misled by cunning terrorists and their friends and may he rest in peace.

    • 8
      7

      Gullible read this Sinhalese racist. This means prestigious papers like the Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald are gullible. Tamils were forced to resort to take up arms because of Sinhalese racist monkey like you.

      http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/trevor-grant-a-journalist-who-was-the-opposite-of-fake-20170216-guekp4.html

      • 1
        1

        Cool story bro :D

    • 4
      1

      Raja

      “then he had done immense damage to humanity and the peace loving innocent citizens of not only Sri Lanka,”

      Could you give us an estimate of how much damage he had done to humanity?

  • 7
    8

    Good Riddance Trevor Grant!!!!! If The Lunatic get money from GTF to write 2009 eliminating Ruthless Terrorists as an act of Genocide!!! This Evil man Trevor Grant should rot in hell !!?? How come this hypocrite Never​ wrote a single word about scores of Civilians getting killed and raped in African countries by military junta’s!!!! Because, those Victims never gave money to him!!???

    • 2
      2

      Jude

      “Good Riddance Trevor Grant!!!!! If The Lunatic get money from GTF to write 2009 eliminating Ruthless Terrorists as an act of Genocide!!! This Evil man Trevor Grant should rot in hell !!??”

      Did you get money from war criminals to post this typing?

      Trevor Grant should be moved out of hell when you get there. Otherwise it would be hell multiplied by 100 times for him.

  • 8
    6

    What did Trevor Grant do for his impoverished, brutalised, marginalised Australian aboriginals? Why didn’t he hightlight the plight of the Australian aboriginals as he did with Tamils who are much better off and on par with Sinhalese on all measurable indicators – income, life expectancy, …? Very little or nothing. Sadly, the Australian aboriginals do not have the money to employ lobbyists as do Tamil Terror agents. Another cricketing lobyyist who acted on behalf of the Tamil Terror agents, Peter Roebuck committed suicide when the police came to arrest the fellow for “grooming” young boys! Credible lobbyists? Zero credibility!

      • 3
        3

        Very little. Just tokenism. Took him until June 2015 to write a little about racism. Nothing about genocide of Australian aborigines. No drug peddlers, extortionists with money to highlight the plight of aborigines. Come to terms with the May 2009 humiliating defeat. Join the Victory Parade in Colombo, enjoy and live a long life.

  • 5
    7

    Did this fellow have the courage to write about the plight of Australian aborigines? I doubt it and had he done that Australian media would not have tolerated that. Paid lobyists are not the best reporters. Desperate attempts to white wah crimes of Tamil Terrorism paid no dividends.Certainly deserving an award for Fake News!

  • 6
    5

    Unfortunately, it appears Trevor Grant had the genes of an ex-convict.
    What could you expect to flow from his pen ??? Deceit

    • 4
      1

      thondamannay

      “What could you expect to flow from his pen ??? Deceit”

      Exactly that was what came out of MR’s willi, not just once but three times.

  • 10
    5

    Trevor is a humanist who was able to distinguish injustice. He saw what was wrong when 350,000 Tamils were herded into a sliver of land designated safe zone and bombed out. Australian Gordon Weiss saw the same in “The Cage”. Several Australian journalists have pointed out the injustice prevailing in Lanka.

    Australian journalists of the Mahindapala ilk are popular in Lanka but are unknowns in Australia.

    At the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held in Colombo, the reputation of Lanka on human rights record was at its lowest. Canada, Mauritius boycotted, Indian PM did not attend, David Cameron openly criticized the then GoSL led by MR. The then Australian PM Tony Abbott unashamedly supported MR saying “I am not here to lecture on aspects of human rights”. Tony Abbott is in the dust bin now. Among those who did not agree with Tony was a former Australian PM (the late) Malcolm Fraser. Remember what the MR regime did to Australian Senator Lee Rhiannon and NZ MP Jan Logie?

    Australia will face the consequences of the way refugees are being treated.

    The vituperrious comments on Trevor are most unbecoming.

    • 4
      5

      Mr. K Pillai
      YES Sir, thank you for educating ignorant people!
      Usha

    • 4
      6

      K.Pillai

      Australian journalists of the Mahindapala ilk are popular in Lanka but are unknowns in Australia.

      MahindaPala writes about Sri lankan Tamil – politics and Tribalism. there is no reason him to be popular among Aussies.

      On ther other hand, Trevor Grant was a sports writer. Why he was not popular in Sri lanka, when Cricket is popular in both countries. On the other hand, why Trevor Grants had to write politics of about of some unknown people and not about very popular sports ?

      • 3
        3

        Trevor Grant was most likely recruited by Tamil diaspora to write and denigrate Srl Lanka. He was a mediocre sports writer but chose to write on behalf of Tamil Terrorists, to justify their terrorism, murder, suicide squads, rape, thuggery, money laundering, drug smuggling. He lived in Australia where the aboriginal people are treated with contempt, with no proper housing, education, health care. But he ignored their plight. Just once he wrote something to highlight the plight of aborigines to make him seem concerned for them too. That was a three-card trick. There is no money to be made by focusing on aborigines. Diaspora supporters of Tamil Terrorism have money. Another cricket reporter, Peter Roebuck too wrote on behalf on Tamil Terrorists. He was to be charged with grooming and sexually molesting young boys. He committed suicide by jumping out of his hotel window as police came for him.

        • 2
          0

          lal says: “……………..Peter Roebuck too wrote on behalf on Tamil Terrorists.”

          Peter Roebuck was a cricketer – he captained Somerset. He famously fell out with Ian Botham.

          Peter took up cricket commentary and writing. He spent a good part of his life in South Africa and died in Cape Town in 2011.

          To the best of my knowledge Peter never wrote anything of behalf of Tamils. If at all he was probably under the impression that all Lankans were like Sangakkara in thoughts and deeds!

  • 4
    6

    Ha ha ha… hilarious! This cockroach also died daydreaming about all Tamil, racist fairyland called Tamil Elaam…

    Rot in Hell, poor cockroach! Your support to the Tamil Terrorism is well documented and we understand your pain.

    No aspiration, cause, issue can ever overtake those of Sri Lankans. Proud Sri Lankans’ answer to these lies is direct. We populate more areas from north and the east with Sri Lankans of all ethnic origin.

    We will destroy all attempts to divide us through these clever schemes by the Tamil Terrorist Diaspora.
    Dear Tamil Terrorist Diaspora… hurry up and take the path this cockroach took, preferably today… and let proud Sri Lankans go their own journey…

    There`s no way we can cure your thirst for all Tamil, racist Elaam… So we will defend ourselves. If you try any Tamil terrorism again… you’re TOAST!

    • 4
      3

      P. U. K Iya

      “This cockroach also died daydreaming about all Tamil, racist fairyland called Tamil Elaam… “

      What is the difference between the Sinhala/Buddhist Ghetto and Tamil, racist fairyland called Tamil Elaam…?

      Please let me know if you find any qualitative difference between the two?

      “There`s no way we can cure your thirst for all Tamil, racist Elaam…”

      Is there a way by which we can cure your Sinhala/Buddhist paranoia?

      • 2
        3

        I smell a rat.

        • 2
          1

          P. U. K Iya

          “I smell a rat.”

          Isn’t it called Sinhala/Buddhist paranoia?

  • 3
    6

    Actually no body stood with the innocent Tamils of the North.Rajapaksa butchered them in 2009.Pirbhakaran led thousands of them to Mulluvaikal and used them as human shields full well knowing that they would die.Trevor Grant published a book on the problem knowing that he would make millions of dollars by just selling his trash to the Tamils alone.UshaSriSkandaraja and many arm chair critics cried crocodile tears for the Tamils trapped in the conflict while leading a luxurious life abroad.She has and her likes are doing even worse by now hanging on to the fraudulent TGTE cause all in the hope of living off the suffering of of the Tamil people , without having it solved.Such people don’t won’t it solved because then they would be out of s lucrative “business’s”

    The Tamils living in Sri Lanka must solve it by themselves.These busy bodies living in Clover are cardboard supporters of the Tamil cause.In short they are all vultures living off the carcass of the so called cause.

    • 3
      4

      Navaratnaraja

      “These busy bodies living in Clover are cardboard supporters of the Tamil cause.”

      Could you explain what you consider as “Tamil cause”?

  • 3
    4

    The curse of the mythical We Thamizh Eezham claims yet another victim!

    Kadavule! :D

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