| by Pearl Thevanayagam

(April 05, 2014, Bradford UK, Sri Lanka Guardian) I have booked my ticket to Sri Lanka after being in the UK for 13 years since I found out I am not on the wanted list. I have always known that I do not count and that I am a non-entity but I feel empathy for the Sri Lankan born Tamils who have been made personae-non-grata by the government.

External Affairs Minster has pulled another hat-trick and banned almost all Tamil diaspora entering the country since there is no way a Tamil would not have associated with the proscribed groups.

Then again I feel a bit miffed that Ketheeswaran from Erukkalampiddy who is minding his own business of running the off-licence in London is a wanted person whereas I who have been lambasting the government am free to travel to Sri Lanka. Gotabhaya must have been thinking that scribes are simply doing their job and any publicity is better than no publicity; ergo he supports me and who knows will welcome me with an embrace (grr, not a pleasant thought) as the wheels of the aircraft ground to a halt on the tarmac of BIA in my once blessed and now blighted land and I feel the warm air touch my face.

Where is the justice and where is the thrill? Am I not going to get my 15 minutes of fame as Andy Warhol predicted? I should have allied myself to some off-shoots of the LTTE and shouted slogans like down with Rajapaksa ; down with Sinhala hegemony in front of the UN compound in Geneva but I could not afford the time or money since I have to pay rent and bills and forfeit my salary by fighting for justice to Tamils.

UK is not Sri Lanka where neighbours would sympathise with you when you are down and out and see to it that you don’t go without food. My Enderamulla neighbours would gladly send round a plate of rice if they could not see smoke coming out of my chimney so to speak like Mrs Lankage. Only the other day when I called her on the telephone she said, “Pearl, oya mehe enda. Mama Somatunga’ge kambare oyata thennang. Eya bimme buthiya ganda puluvang”.

That Somatunga had been sleeping on the floor as revenge since he had a discreet relationship with a housemaid when he was in Saudi is not lost on me.

Dubious aka DBS website is now throwing some light on those proscribed groups and individuals. He would have got away with this fiction this time had he known anything about those who know Rev. Fr S.J.Emmanuel. He went to Italy in September 1965 along with three other priests and my father. While my father paid his own way for his studies in Fine Arts at Perugia University, Rev. Fr SJE and his colleagues were supported by Rt Rev Bishop Emilianuspillai, cousin of Fr Peterpillai who founded Aquinas College of Higher Education, and they were already in robes. To be wearing a robe one has to have undergone years of seminary education. Seminarians are allowed to attend universities.

I have known Fr Seemampillai as he was then known personally. He used to visit my father at our house and I have great respect for him. I still have a photo of him in robes when he left for Italy in September 1965 along with my father (rescued from the photo album in July 1983 debris and with which I arrived in London), the only layman in the group. I have also known him since his return and he was a pious and humble priest in the parish of St Mary’s Cathedral in Jaffna. He was the last priest who aspired to becoming a bishop. His service was to God and humanity and he was not at all a materialistic person.

As soon as I get someone to work my scanner I will post it on this website. These facts DBS would not know since his research is as dubious as his writings. Also his callous irreverence towards a clergyman in referring to him as simply Emmanuel shows where he comes from; the gutters.

Although my Colombo neighbours Somatunga and Mrs Lankage are illiterates, their children always worshipped them on their knees before leaving the house to go school or anywhere else. They are true Buddhists with that 2,500 year old culture. Thank the Lord and thanks to the sacrifice their parents made, they are now holding good positions as lawyer, air hostess and government civil servant. But then DBS would not know anything about religion or fear of God. His world is all about himself and how he can accumulate.

Leaving DBS and his rantings aside, following is the gazette notification proscribing Tamil organisations and individuals:

(The writer has been a journalist for 25 years and worked in national newspapers as sub-editor, news reporter and news editor. She was Colombo Correspondent for Times of India and has contributed to Wall Street Journal where she was on work experience from The Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley, California. Currently residing in UK she is also co-founder of EJN (Exiled Journalists Network) UK in 2005 the membership of which is 200 from 40 countries. She can be reached at pearltheva@hotmail.com)