‘Vanni, northern Sri Lanka, where the war has never ended’, By Melani Manel Perera-
Posted on June 6th, 2010

A Response by Harin Chandradeva

http://transcurrents.com/tc/2010/06/vanni_northern_sri_lanka_where.html

Having googled Melani’s name, I came across some other articles authored by her. Nearly all of these are similar in context to the above article- that is, they all denigrate the Sri Lankan Security Forces, insinuates the commission of war crimes by the Security Forces, and attempts to portray divisions within Sri Lankan society mainly along ethnic and religious lines.

 The rather deceptively titled “ƒ”¹…”Asia News’ media organisation (http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&geo=44&size=A) for which Melani is a reporter, is in fact a media organisation which seeks to promote Christian missionary activities in Asia. This is probably why this article (and others written by Melani) quotes, and relies on “ƒ”¹…”facts’ presented by (unidentified) Christian priests and nuns to highlight the supposed persecution and oppression of Tamils (and Christians) by the Sinhala (Buddhist) majority. Readers should not be surprised by the contents of the above article, for it fits in nicely with Melani’s other publications, portraying a narrative of extremist Buddhists persecuting minorities (read Christians and Tamils) in Sri Lanka.

 It never ceases to amaze me that people of Melanie’s ilk have nothing good to say about the Security Forces for bringing peace and relief to the Sri Lankan nation. Conversely, they don’t mention in any detail the crimes committed by the LTTE (and its repeated rejection of peace overtures), which necessitated the fight to the death leading to its decimation. The Security Forces’ offensive in Nandikadal did not take place in a vacuum; rather it was the culmination of a 30 year war against an insatiable terrorist group which brought upon the Tamil community, more misery than their supposed enemy, the Sinhalese. To leave the LTTE in tact would have been to curse another generation of Sri Lankans to a life of misery, poverty and fear. I am yet to hear Melanie and others like her praise the Security Forces for relieving the constant fear Sri Lankans of all ethnic and religious persuasions had to go through everyday, not knowing when or where the next bomb was going to go off. Instead she writes biased articles on Sri Lanka such as “ƒ”¹…”Catholic church attacked, suspicions fall on Buddhist extremists’, “ƒ”¹…”Anti-conversion bill: minorities fear restrictions on religious freedoms’, Sri Lanka: loss of religious freedom feared’, and “ƒ”¹…”War heroes week divides Sri Lanka’ to promote a not-so-hidden agenda.

 Tamils who have been to the North and East subsequent to the war have published numerous articles (with several appearing on Tamilweek) on the improving conditions in those areas. Tamil religious leaders from the North (Mannar Bishop among others) have likewise praised the resettlement process. Despite this however, Sinhalese who work for Christian organisations seem to stumble across discrimination and persecution at every corner. No doubt, a lot more needs to be done (the return of, or compensation for, private property within High Security Zones, restoration of educational facilities and job creation being priorities), however, lets keep it in perspective; Sri Lanka is a third world country, which came out of a 30 year war, where people live in poverty not just in the North, but also in the South. Those in the diaspora should keep in mind that even during the time when the LTTE were controlling the Northeast (and despite their acts of terror), the Sri Lankan Governments (read the Sri Lankan taxpayer) were funding the schools, hospitals, post offices, universities and other civic institutions and paid the salaries of all public servants. The money sent by segments of the diaspora was used by the Tigers to fund their “ƒ”¹…”political wing’, their intelligence wing, which intimidated not just Sri Lankan Tamis, but those in the diaspora as well, and the war machine.

 Melani and the interviewee Rukshan seem to think that security checks are exclusive to Sri Lanka. Try telling US troops in Afghanistan that you are “ƒ”¹…”visiting friends’ when trying to enter Kandahar and see if they let you enter without further questioning. After fighting and winning a costly war and seeing their comrades die in front of them, all for a salary which can barely support a family, do Melani and Rukshan expect to be treated like royals by the soldiers when they turn up at a check point? Don’t they know that LTTE war materiel is being discovered to this day, buried underground? Just as they are (rightly) saddened by the tears in the eyes of the Tamils they met, Rukshan and co should be saddened by the tears in the eyes of the mothers who lost their children to LTTE bombs in the South. Inaccurate articles such as the one above, written by journalists working for organisations with ulterior motives (to promote missionary activity and denigrate Buddhism) do not do any justice for the North-eastern Tamils who are trying to recover from 30 years of war and are yearning for a better life just like every other Sri Lankan. If you want to see what’s actually going on in the Northeast and the rest of Sri Lanka, go there yourself and see with your own eyes- you might be surprised by what you see.

2 Responses to “‘Vanni, northern Sri Lanka, where the war has never ended’, By Melani Manel Perera-”

  1. PRIYAN WIJEYERATNE Says:

    She sounds like a spoilt rich fat kid ‘crying out loud’ for more ice cream while having a Popsicle!!!

  2. M.S.MUdali Says:

    Christian/Catholic intervention is crucial in the war ended last year. Most of the NGOs are Christian/Catholic Church backed and they supported LTTE. Catholic Church openly partnered with LTTE. LTTE already destroyed all the leaders among Hindus. Their next target is Sinhala Buddhist leaders.

    DBS Jeyaraj is a journalist who work for the Church and paid by Church.

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