| by Rajasingham Jayadevan
( September 7, 2013, London, Sri Lanka Guardian)The issue of Tamil Diaspora ‘glorying’ the ‘murderous’ LTTE has come to the focus with the outspoken charge of the UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillai who is widely respected for her integrity and impartial concern for the public good. Such statement coming from a person of stature is welcome and must be taken as a helpful comment to correct the failures that is undermining the credibility of the whole Tamil Diaspora.
The very opportune statement of Navi Pillai did not lead to any debate in the Tamil Diaspora media so far, except for few comments of individuals reflected through e-network.
It is not my intension to dissect the charge of ‘murderous’ and ‘ruthless organisation’ against the LTTE, as these have been debated widely and published elsewhere. The simple un-mitigating charge of the UN High Commissioner against the Tamil Diaspora requires a genuine debate to deal with the circumstances attributing to the claim.
Those persons who were involved in the activities of the LTTE pre 1999 are still having controlling interests in the management of the organisations spearheading the international campaign work with the exception of few organisations that are progressively moving away from their control and influence, but are unable to publicly meet the challenges due to their inability to resist the resourceful and the venomous few who use their ability to discredit any move for change. They are the visionless messiahs conditioning the Tamil Diapora.
The main Tamil radio and TV media in the Diaspora are so constrained and are not engaging in any broader debates on serious issues, thus reflecting the majority views of the Tamil community. This leads to propagation of the agenda of the constrained minds that are being forcefully imposed on the whole Tamil Diaspora community. The news broadcasts are very selective and the political debates only involves the conditioned propagandists thus undermining the diverse and independent views on the issues. The self imposed prohibition practiced by the media demoralise the very democracy needed and such broadcasts are only for the few.
This fundamental circumstance have led to stereotyping the Tamil Diaspora as a glorifying group of a ‘ruthless organisation’. This is due to few controlling interests who have vast resources at their disposal. These few cannot think beyond the LTTE in view of their restricted circumstances. They were either dependent on the LTTE before its defeat and/or are unable to think beyond the arms struggle having sacrificed for the LTTE in some way.
One has to listen to the phoning discussions in the Tamil media to judge this claim. Those engage are handful of very same conditioned mindsets who will contribute all the time. The presenter will even recognise the voices and welcome them prejudging their names. Their public outbursts will reflect deep rooted hate for the Sri Lankan state and the frustration experienced with the defeat of the LTTE.
Whilst respecting the views expressed, the phoning programs confirms the fear and the constraints faced by the wider Tamils Diaspora to engage in and present their views. There is no space for them to fearlessly participate.
The very same influence of the diehards, who are the aggressive foot soldiers for the cause of the LTTE, do not fear to pull the Tiger flags in any major events or demonstrations. Anyone criticizing their actions will be branded traitors in the constrained media mechanisms. Their limitation is further attributed to their heavy dependence on the Tamil media that propagate conditioned news and views and their inability or reluctance to listen to news and views in English language. This is the very experience Sri Lanka is facing as well, where the English medium have very little influence on the Sinhala masses in the wider territory outside Colombo.
I had a unique experience of meeting three pro LTTE activists at a private gathering recently. My discussion with a UK based university lecturer about the fallacies of the Tamil campaign was listened to eagerly by them. One of them butted in when I was discussing about blatantly showing the LTTE flags in demonstrations by few hardcore elements. He asked me: ‘brother! how can you say it is not our national flag. Even a Canadian Court decision has acknowledged it as Tamil National flag’.
I said just by removing the guns from the LTTE’s tiger flag and with a vague and obscure Court decision somewhere in the world, it will not legitimise the Tiger flag as our national flag. I went on to state that the legitimacy of a national flag should go through certain processes like being accepted at a national convention that have the backing of the masses. I quoted that TULF’s rising sun flag had such legitimacy but since it is a party flag, it too is not a national flag. Further in my response, I said the LTTE flag is still proscribed under the British Terrorism Law and the lack of respect for the law of the land will not help the Tamils in the long run.
The response from the questioning chap was: ‘Are you a lawyer’. He then went on to say ‘I can now understand the seriousness of the issue’.
This very experience confirms the lack of public debate on very serious issues facing the Diaspora Tamils. I am also positive that these concerning issues are slowly and steadily weakening and changes are felt in organisations accused of LTTE fronts by the Sri Lankan government. Debates within the organisations to change course is a helpful process and hope liberal thinking will ultimately finds its roots.
The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is facing an uphill struggle for change whilst Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has established itself in a fair ground needing some more change to debate the serious failures for the whole Tamil Diaspora to be branded as a ‘glorifying’ people by Navin Pillai.
The man who is undermining the real character of the Tamil Diaspora is Perinpanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyavan. He is a surviving arm of the LTTE and extending his campaign very negatively. He is said to be having the controlling interest in the British Tamil Forum (BTF) which is a financially resourceful organisation of a clique. Due to safety considerations he does not stay in one place and said to be moving from one country to another.
Nediyavan was a LTTE cadre and moved to Europe before the end of the war and is engaged in activities that tarnish the Tamil Diapora on the whole. The YouTube (LTTE Nediyavan and Vinayagam fighting for woman) publicity annexed below of a recent degrading telephone conversation of Nediyavan in Tamil confirms his mental state of aggression and the use of utter foul language in Tamil.