Another idiot sent to speak to the BBC

I wrote about this before as well. Sri Lanka continues to send incompetent public speakers to address the international media.

The public face of Sri Lanka should not bring more resentment and shame to the people of our country. When you have 10 minutes on TV you don't try to make yourself look a complete moron, and in the process make Sri Lankans look more divided than ever before.

Douglas Wickramaratne has a point but he has ruined the image of all Sinhalese in making his point; on more than one occasion on British TV.

Someone tell the BBC that Tamils didn't go to war, the Tigers did.

Q: Who are the Tigers?
A: Prabhakaran.

Forced conscription and the fear of the LTTE built their fighting force and loyalty.

Exploitation of impoverished and uneducated women created their Black Tiger suicide bombers, and not discrimination.

The refugees who left Sri Lanka left due to war not discrimination.

When the BBC presenter George Alagiah - A Sri Lankan Tamil - asked Douglas Wickramaratne in simple terms what the government will be doing to eradicate any discrimination facing Tamils. A brief and simple way to put it to Mr. Alagiah is to ask Mr. Alagiah or the BBC to point to any law or policy drawn by the Sri Lankan government which discriminated against the Tamils in the last 30 years.

Sri Lankan Tamils have never been singled out and discriminated against by any government education policy or recruitment policy. No one, not even the BBC, will find any evidence to point at discrimination against Tamils today. Even the so called 'Sinhala only law' from the 1950's was actually termed the 'Swabash Act' and it was put in place to move away from English as a national language, and not to isolate Tamils.

Under British rule the people of Sri Lanka had to live with English as the national language when only 1% of the population spoke or read English. Two thirds of the island spoke Sinhalese.

Naturally the only response from anyone in answer to the alleged discrimination against the Tamils in Sri Lanka would be the special police clearance and the registrations required for Tamils. The registration of Tamil citizens around the country regardless of how fundamentally wrong it was, has proven results.

It effectively broke up the Tigers' sleeper cells all over the island and has resulted in little or no suicide bombs. Even the Tamils themselves would admit that the suicide bomb cannot differentiate between a Tamil or a Sinhalese. The safety and the best interest of every citizen, including the Tamil population, was considered before these registrations took place.

Douglas was more preoccupied trying to explain the atrocities of the LTTE (Tigers) and how many in the world are brainwashed by Tiger propaganda.

You can't expect those who have never lived in Sri Lanka -long enough- to know of government policies and legislatures, or to know that half of what they think they know of the island is cooked up by the Tigers themselves. But when you have 10 minutes to prove your point you need to find a better way to do it. It's a tough job which is why we need trained and educated people talking to the press.

There isn't a place in the world where people are more misunderstood, than Sri Lanka.

Watch the video below..I did..in utter disgust..

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11 comments:

ravana said...

Why are they sending this dude? Aiyo. Chee.

He even called the FBI the BIF. (20 secs in)

Narmadi said...

To be fair by him, I think the point he brought up about tens of thousands of Sinhalese also living outside of Sri Lanka was a good one.However he negated the effects of that by simply not answering the given question and totally denying that Tamils left for any other reason than economic ones.

He should have said yes there was a very definite problem for the Tamils to leave BUT it is certainly not what you believe it to be,it was largely due to fear of the LTTE itself, and then stated, as you said, to point out a single piece of legislature which perpetrates discrimination.

And the LTTE was quite aware that they left for the most part because of not wanting to get involved in the war that they were trying to flame up.That's why it was always contemptuous of the Tamil diaspora, until recently when the support of the diaspora became indispensable!

This is very well explained by DBS Jeyaraj, himself a Tamil, here :http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/461

realskullzero said...

I dont see any wrong in his response. Hes quite good putting his points out than the current UK High commissioner who was out of words when Channel-4 charged Sri Lankan forces of rape and torture...

He quite frankly takes an extream side to negate any exaggerated claims by the LTTE supporters.

I think he puts his point out directly and its not just tamils who are deprived of and has grievances, even other minorities and even the poor farmers in south have their grievances...any solution would have to address all this...

what hes doin is basically rejecting any claims of discrimination against tamils in Sri Lanka..

WilfredP said...

I don't think he was bad, but he should have also made the author's points. Author also need to write to the GoSL in addition to this post, but should be careful with the language (idiot). With that type of language we devide and fall.

The Benevolent Dictator said...

What a coincidence. I just commented on Ravana's blog on the same issue. The need to have eloquent and intelligent spokespersons who are savvy enough to anticipate questions and respond appropriately.

However, while what you say about laws not discriminating against Tamils is technically true, it is a different matter in practice. My command of Sinhalese is conversational so I find it difficult to get anything done at police stations and govt offices unless there is someone there who speaks English. If I didn't speak English it would be extremely difficult to get by. This is a fact. This is the sad outcome of the Sinhala Only Act (let's call a spade a spade). These are things that can be easily put right over time but for progress to take place, like for most things, we must first objectively identify our shortcomings and plan the way forward.

Bailaman said...

I agree with all of the above. But listen to Mark Regev being interrogated by Channel4. He is the Isreali spokesperson.We need young and educated people to be our public face.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3uYXWtd684

bailaman said...

@The Benevolent Dictator

If I couldn't speak English or the national language of a country that I reside in, I would be stranded anywhere.

For Example French is a national language of Canada. When you got to the French provinces of Quebec you need to know either French or English in order to converse.

If you are citizen of a country and can't speak the national language, you can't blame policy or law for that. Tamil is a national language of Sri Lanka but if you can't speak english or Sinhala, it's hard to go to a provinces where Sinhala is spoken and expect to be understood.

Every police station in Sri Lanka has at minimum one officer who knows English.

Muslims in Sri Lanka speak only Tamil how have they survived over the years? They adjusted and changed according to the times, they learnt Sinhalese and never deprived their kids from learning the language.

Narmadi said...

Benevolant Dictator, what I'm going to say, I hope you will read objectively and not interpret it in the ONE way that it's NOT meant- that I'm being a Sinhala supremacist.

Yes I agree that even though there is no technical discrimination now(since Tamil is also a national language) Tamils have to face practical difficulties. But this is not anyone's "fault"; it is a very natural outcome of there being very much less Tamils in Sri Lanka than Sinhala people. About 73.8% of the population in Sri Lanka is Sinhala so naturally not only employees of police stations and government offices, but also restaurants , hotels, and even beggars (!!) are mostly Sinhala.

As Bailaman points out about Muslims, the thing to do is adjust. Muslims haven't lost their "identity" simply because they adjusted. Instead they have thrived. On the contrary Tamils by being antagonistic all these years have simply suffered detriment upon detriment.

Anonymous said...

Muslims thrive?
Most of them are involved in drug dealing and underworld. That is why they thrive. Not to mention support from Arab countries.
The tamils were thriving. And the racist Buddhist monks decided to bring in 'Sinhala only' act.
When SWRD thought about bringing tamil also (SL was a English priority country before this nonsense), a monk shot him.
The extremist Sinhalese have been too occupied with demonising the tamil people (with lies they bring through their ideas of the Mahavamsa) and trying to oppress them to worry about Muslims.
The muslims will however be the next target.
Muslims you must also remember are such a small minority that the Sinhalese wanted to trim the Hindu community to that smaller size also.
The tamil Hindu population through Genocide has dropped 4% over the years.
Each successive government (given blessings by the racist monks) play their part in systematically wiping out the tamil identity in Sri Lanka.
The burning of the Jaffna library was one example where killing was not the idea but to destroy priceless literature which spoke of the true history of Sri Lankan tamils (not the fairy tales in the Mahavamsa, which were probably further misinterpreted when translated from Pali to Sinhalese during the British rule).

Anonymous said...

Fuck off ass hole! If you think all muslims are involved in underworld and drugs then All Tamils are terrorist and fake refugee seekers. Thats the fucking stupid equation you racist Tamil Tigers have. Tamil Tigers = Nazis..dont fucking spew ur crap here.

Tamils are still fucking thriving you terrorist. YOU FUCKERS STOLE TAMIL KIDS TO FIGHT WARS. TAMIL EXTREMIST DESTROYED TAMILS WORLDWIDE. HOW MANY TAMILS ARRESTED IN THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS?

THE BIGGEST THREAT TO MUSLIMS HAVE BEEN THE TAMIL EXTREMIST LIKE YOU!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bailaman - thank you thank you for your blog which I happened upon through looking for Sri Lankan food blogs! Thank god for this blog - you just represent many middle of the road people like me who remain silent for very selfish reasons.. Thank you and bless you. Am not very computer savvy but here you are congratulations and I am going to tell everyone i know on both sides to read you. Love to know who you are and probably do know you but never mind keep up the good work.

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