Category Archives: tamil refugees

Jehan Perera on the Requisites for Political Reconciliation

Jehan Perera, in The Island, 3 August 2021, with this title “Restoring reconciliation process cannot be piecemeal”

 

The government is making a resolute effort to turn Sri Lanka around and put it in the direction of rapid economic development. The systematic manner in which it has been conducting the Covid vaccinations has earned recognition by WHO as well as the international community. The value of the military in getting things done on a large scale with minimum of delay has been manifested in the partnership that they have struck with the health authorities. The memory is fading of how some of the government leaders dabbled in alchemy and the spirit world to find an antidote to the COVID virus, despite being vested with the responsibility to strengthen the health of the country’s people. There is also increased space being given to civil society to engage in protests, such as the protracted teachers’ strike and the agitation against the expanding mandate of the Kotelawala Defence University.

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Dissecting Robert Kaplan’s Jaundiced Reportage: “Orientalism” Savaging Lanka

Michael Roberts 

Robert Kaplan is a well-connected Jewish American author and journalist. As one he travels widely and chose to visit Sri Lanka as a newshound in mid-2009 just after the Sri Lankan government forces had vanquished the Tamil Tiger forces and rescued about 280-290,000 Tamil ‘civilians’[1] who had been deployed as a defensive barrier and bargaining chip for about 15-17 months by the LTTE as they, the Tigers, were forced into a west-to-east retreat in the northern Vanni.

Situation Map on 23rd December 2008 & then on  8th March 2009 

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The Sri Lankan Tamil Hands within USA’s Programme for Sri Lanka

Daya Gamage

 US Official Robert Blake with Reps of Tamil Diaspora

EMAIL NOTE from Gamage, 1 July 2021:  Cooperation between some U.S. State Department officials and members of the Tamil Diaspora has been truly extraordinary. The U.S. Embassy in Colombo was very open in its reporting to Washington that the Tamil Diaspora in the U.S. had long “been a source of funding and hard-line support for the LTTE.”[1] At the same time, two months before the defeat of the LTTE, U.S. Ambassador to Colombo Robert Blake was recommending that the USG strengthen its official dialogue with several U.S.-based Diaspora organizations with which the embassy had established a rapport through “almost daily” email communications. In a cable on March 19, 2009, the embassy argued that:

“Recognizing the difficulty of engagement, Post recommends a redoubled effort to reach out to Tamil groups in the U.S. A number of organizations, including Tamils for Justice, Tamils for Obama, and PEARL, remain active politically, and opportunities to interact with them should be sought. . .” Ambassador would welcome opportunities, either in combination with senior State Department officials or just with Colombo diplomatic Mission staff, to meet and converse with the U.S.-based Diaspora through DVD.  Such meetings would allow U.S. Embassy to brief the groups on USG efforts to alleviate the humanitarian suffering of the civilian population in the safe zone and U.S. actions urging the government to offer credible political proposals for lasting peace.

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The Wikipedia Tale of the Murugappans of Biloela … Today, Mid-2021

Murugappan family asylum claims  .https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murugappan_family_asylum_claims

Kokilapathmapriya Nadesalingam (Priya) and Nadesalingam Murugappan (Nades)[1] are two Sri Lankan Tamils seeking asylum in Australia. The couple married in Australia and have two Australian-born children. Until their detention by Australian Border Force in March 2018, the family was resident in the central Queensland town of Biloela, and consequently referred to as the Biloela family by some media.[2][3] The cause of the couple and their children has been supported by some residents of Biloela as well as asylum-seeker advocates.[4]

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High Noon in Mid-Air, August 2019: For the Murugappans of Biloela

ABC Account on 30 August 2019, with this title “Who are the Tamil family from Biloela and why are they being deported?” ……  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-30/who-are-tamil-family-from-biloela-why-are-they-being-deported/11463276

Last-minute injunctions have stalled the deportation of a Tamil family who have spent years fighting to stay in Australia. The plane carrying the Sri Lankan couple and their Australian-born daughters had already left the tarmac at Melbourne Airport when a judge granted a reprieve over the phone. Here’s what we know about the family’s case:

Dozens of people rushed to Melbourne Airport in a bid to stop the family being deported on Thursday night..   … Supplied: @HometoBilo)

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The Power of Poetry: Learning from Ashley Halpé

Aparna Halpé, in The Island, 23 May 2021, where the title reads  “Learning from My Father, Five Years After his Passing”

I was mingling with the audience at a poetry reading in Toronto, where I had been reading some of my new poems, when I was approached by an audience member. He asked me a question that I’ve encountered before in some form or another throughout my entire artistic and professional career… “Excuse me, are you by any chance related to Professor Ashley Halpé?” When I answered that I was his youngest daughter, the gentleman proceeded to tell me this story.

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Sri Lankan Tamil Rally in London: Protest in Commemoration

Tamil Guardian News Item, 18 May 2021

British Tamils rallied in London today to commemorate the tens of thousands of lives lost in Mullivaikkal in 2009. Protesters demonstrated at Parliament Square, demanding justice for the atrocities perpetrated by the Sri Lankan state in Mullivaikkal 12 years ago.

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Whitewashing LTTE Genocide and Horrendous Partisanship in Canadian Protest Marches in May

Sudharshan Seneviratne, in Sunday Observer, 16 May 2021, where the title reads “Whitewashing LTTE genocide”

A recent announcement featuring the news, Tamil Genocide Education Week by Scarborough MPP Vijay Thanigasalam’s Bill 104, received third reading at Queen’s Park on May 6th. Let us look at the “messenger” first and his credibility and secondly, the nature of the Canadian State i.e. hidden political agenda Canada has for the dependent Diaspora as a cat’s paw. The man himself has a dubious history and was a one-time LTTE sympathiser even after the Elaam war ended in 2009.

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Diluted Sinhalaness in the Crucible of Violence

Anoma Pieris** with an introductory note in response to my invitation that is pertinent & runs thus Hello Uncle Michael, Nice to hear from you. Afraid you reach me at a time when I am overwhelmed with work, in fact that has been the case throughout the pandemic. I dont know if I have the mental space to address your text but offer instead reflection on my understanding of the theme. Best, Anoma.”

 

My childhood sensibilities of being Sinhala were formed in two ways which were moral and monstrous: (1) First by being educated in a language stream with specific texts like the Guttila Kavya, Saddharma Ratnavaliya, Ummaga Jatakaya, which being religious texts, educated even a nominally Christian child in a missionary college into Sinhala Buddhist forms of cultural patrimony and morality. But because it was a Christian school the lines between Sinhala and Tamil classes were lightly drawn and we came together for sports activities, and after 1983 for many more subjects, partly due to the depletion of numbers but also a deliberate strategy initiated by our principal Sirancee Gunawardana, who was committed to empathetic coexistence. (2) The second way in which being Sinhala was made evident to me was through the 1983 pogrom when for a short time I volunteered in the camp set up in our school, seeing people like myself from my social background who had been displaced, dispossessed and fearful and witnessing and being made aware of Sinhala identification as behind monstrous acts. It also made me aware that I was part of a Christian minority and that a division was being drawn within the Sinhala community because of our greater empathy for Tamil friends.

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Kunanayakam’s Incisive Review of the West’s Machinations at Geneva and Lanka’s Failures

Gus Mathews

This is a very incisive interview with Tamara Kunanayakam, a former ambassador to the UNHRC in Geneva. In a no-nonsense manner she unravels why the pursuit of Sri Lanka by the Western nations is taking place.

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