(Sunday Island: April 27, 2014)
By Radhika Phillips
As a Sri Lankan from the Tamil community I am perplexed by the last minute cancellation of the visit to Sri Lanka by the British Parliamentarians.
I am from the very community that all sorts of groups try to represent, speak on behalf of, terrorise other communities, try to rescue and appeal to be rescued.
I say: Not in My Name!
We do not need to be patronised. We have lived and progressed as Sri Lankans. I do not want to see the gullible in my community being used by the overseas groups to stage protests and force their children to wail for the camera’s in an attempts to secure “support”. Support for whom I ask? Support based on deception is not the heritage of my people.
As a Sri Lankan of Tamil heritage, I am offended that you have misused the hospitality extended by Murali and his charity – the Foundation of Goodness, a charity that works in all parts of Sri Lanka. A charity that has benefactors and youth that volunteer from all parts of the world and particularly young expatriates of all ethnic and religious groups. A charity that works without boundaries.
I am perplexed that a segment of my community living overseas, has for 30years attempted to damage relationships between Tamils – Sinhalese and between Tamils – Muslims, has once again succeeded in using British media and Parliamentarians to “maintain” a rift. These groups lead a life of luxury and push my people here to violence. Worse still, promoting violence as a way of life – after the people here have just come out of 30 years of violence and terrorising communities. The biggest damage being to our own community – and if like Murali we do not speak out – we care complicit in endorsing the deception of those groups overseas.
I am shocked that the British Parliamentarians allowed themselves to be influenced by the Notorious Channel 4 (that has zero credibility in Sri Lanka after all their antics) and the separatist segments that fuel further dissention in Sri Lanka; disappointed that you opted to be influenced by media that pay lip-service to the groups allowed yourselves to be influenced sufficiently to cancel the invitation by Murali to visit our country.
You missed an opportunity to contribute to the Foundation of Goodness’ reconciliation efforts that touch the lives of the thousands and thousands of our citizens irrespective or ethnicity, gender, religion, caste and class: Transforming the giver and the receiver.
You got sucked into the Notorious Channel 4 media stunt funded by those that have made terrorising a way of life, both in their host country and in my country. It is nothing but a source of income (hence the human smuggling and taxing of the Tamil community overseas) for them. If they truly cared they would stop pushing our community towards fraud, deception and violence, using the lower caste Tamils over and over again in acts of violence and to pay homage to war lords equated to the person of Jesus.
* There was a time when they said they were Not Allowed to visit this country.
* The hue and cry subsided when the public realised it was a gimmick and could visit.
* When people started to visit they desperately re-strategised to stop the visits
* Then they were told Don’t visit because you will get abducted
* That did not last long as people continued to visit and did not get abducted – what a disappointed as some came “hoping they will get abducted and have a few minutes as a celebrity” – shamefully their well-crafted stories broke out in the press overseas while they were jollying in Sri Lanka
* Then when people visited and returned to say it was all a lot of drama and hype they were strategizing again
* So now they say human rights issues – but still they visit – go back to say otherwise
* Finally the lame excuse “don’t go because you will be convinced otherwise”
* Yes for those groups in Europe and North America, that live off taxing the Tamils, shifting vote blocks, funding campaigns are tenacious as it pays their wages.
One wonders when the spin will stop:
* The spin will stop when the recipients start being less gullible and can see for themselves and think for themselves instead of functioning like a herd.
* The spin will stop when those parliamentarians being lobbied stop to think whether they will go after campaign funds and vote blocks or stand up for what is right.
Who should actually visit?
* Those that have the courage and open mindedness to see and think independently and believe. Not those that have a campaign manager stage a few minutes of smiles with X, a few tough boy words Y and a few sympathetic words with Z – just to go back to constituents and say – I did it!
Who should not visit?
* Those that want to create disharmony
* Those that are too afraid of the “media” slander I pray will overcome their insecurities and visit at some point to educate themselves
Maybe it is time to “reflect” on what you did to a charitable organization and to the hard earned personal funds of a cricket legend – Muttiah Muralitharan.
I hope you do know that the TNA (synonymous with divisiveness and racism) MP Sritharan passed a FATWA on Murali to say he is not allowed to play cricket in their constituency because he exercised his right to “free speech” and told the British PM that he is misled and misinformed about Sri Lanka. Misled by whom? Well one wonders if it is the same people that misled the Parliamentarians.
I hope the British Parliamentarians will have more courtesy than their Prime Minister when he visited Sri Lanka – and apologise and restore the cost from their campaign funds – as Murali bore the cost of the business class air tickets and the hotel bookings for the Parliamentarians and their Spouses!
What will be shameful is if the Parliamentarians try to save face by justifying their last minute cancellation by scapegoating our Nation!