Grandstanding par excellence!
Posted on October 23rd, 2009

Ranjit Rupesinghe Bisbane, Australia

My letter to Tony Jones, presenter of ABC’s Question & Answer(QANDA)programme

Attention: Mr Tony Jones

For the second week running on your program “Question & Answer” (QANDA) you have continued to utter vacuous platitudes on the Sri Lankan issue displaying what could only be described as sentimental tosh, instead of practising your craft in a professional manner which viewers expect from a veteran of the 4th estate.

Primarily, where is the balance you are expected to maintain as a moderator? You gave an apologist for the terrorist  LTTE  free rein to spit a plethora of lies and exaggerations including the laughable claim  that the Tamils were not originally from India – for God’s sake 60 million of them live in TAMIL Nadu in South India. I am not here to give you a lesson in history but get your facts right, and to do that you have to afford the  opportunity to the” other side” to put their views across. You failed miserably in this regard, instead you had people like John Elliot who wouldn’t know Sri Lanka from Sierra Leone commenting on the question raised by that enthusiastic follower of the eelam separatist diaspora. Needless to say, you do encounter an ignoramus or two on programs such as yours but I would respectfully advise the former president of the Carlton Football Club to stick to footy and not try to put his two cents worth on a subject he knows nothing about.      

Before you embark in  your blind pursuit of trying to besmirch the fair name of Sri Lanka and its people, why don’t you do at least a little research on this topic so that your audience as well as your viewers will get a balanced picture of the situation prevailing in my old country. For the second consecutive week,  QANDA broke its own “house rules” on the question of being discriminatory or defamatory. As a long time admirer of “Aunty” this is most disappointing and I a’m sure I speak on behalf of thousands of Sri Lankan Australians be they Sinhalese or Tamil, Burgher, Muslim or Malay which comprise that little country – a truly secular one, if you didn’t know that.

Where was your bleeding heart all this time when Sri Lanka was crying out for help to tackle the festering problem of terrorism for well nigh three decades? But now that the evil of LTTE savagery has been brought to an ignominious end through precision planning and brilliant military strategy, people of your ilk, instead of handing out kudos to the government of Sri Lanka for having rid the region, and indeed the world, of the most ruthless terrorist group, you are shooting the messenger.  The GOSL has accepted that the question of internally displaced people has to be solved sooner rather than later and this massive undertaking has been underway  since the elimination of the murderous LTTE terrorist gang. But this has to be done in a measured way not dictated to by arm chair critics thousands of miles away from their glistening television studios, who are unaware of problems on the ground such as security, de-mining etc.

The question of asylum seekers presently holding the attention of the public will unravel and questions will be asked as to who these people are, where they embarked, who gave them the money ($4.5 million) etc. It was mentioned on QANDA that they borrowed, sold property etc to raise the $15,000 each one had to pay but how did they go through such an exercise if there is such widespread persecution and intimidation,as alleged, prevailing in the country?

Despite the carping, you will do well to remember this – Sri Lanka, single handedly and  without western help and despite western skull duggery, fought the most brutal terrorist force the world has seen and consigned them to the dustbin of history. She is now in the re-building phase following 30 years of mayhem and havoc. Therefore, exercise some patience and charity, but most importantly be fair. Sri Lanka in time will blossom and realise her tremendous potential  and demonstrate to the world’s community that peace and harmony amongst all its peoples, will once again reign supreme in a land which will once again come to be known as the “Resplendent Isle”. Thank you.                  

Ranjit Rupesinghe
Bisbane, Australia  

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