Journalists must NOT use “Maveer”, or “Mahaviru” and other glorifying names for suicide terrorists who are “Maha-viyaru” individuals.
Posted on November 26th, 2020

Chandre Dharmawardana, Canada

Many English newspapers, and even some Sinhalese language newspapers have carried news items with headlines like Mullaitivu and Jaffna courts prohibit Mahaviru commemorations”,  Court orders to prohibit Mahaveer Commemorations”. To  unthinkingly  take over the narrative and vocabulary of the pro-Tiger activists and use them in news items and headlines is a corruption of the language.

If journalists need an alternative word, then can refer to these suicide terrorists as Mahaviyaru” in Sinhala, and  Maaveriyan”  மாவெறியன்  in Tamil. This  alludes to the fact that these suicidees were not acting rationally, and had  become viyaru”, i.e., mentally deranged.

The claim made by pro-LTTE writers that they wish to commemorate those who have fallen and sacrificed their lives in their struggle for Tamil rights and aspirations is nonsensical.

If so, why are they not commemorating Mr. Amirthalingam and other leaders of the TULF who were assassinated?

What about the leaders of TELO, EROS, and EPRLF who also rose to liberate” the Tamils, only to be massacred by the LTTE? If there is genuine commemoration, why are they not included. What about people like Mr. Neelan Thiruchlevan?

It seems that these planned commemorations of the Maaveriyan, i.e., the  Maaveriyar Naal” exclude those individuals that the LTTE labeled as traitors”, or Thurogi” purely because they followed other, more peaceful approaches to achieving Tamil aspirations. It is clearly evident that the so-called Maaveer” who are commemorated are  restricted to those individuals who were mentally so deranged as to blow themselves up to cause maximum violence to civilians.

LTTE attack on a funeral party in
Akressa, Sri Lanka.

A pro-LTTE writer’s view,  published in the Colombo Telegraph (26-11-20) says that The terrorism label given to the LTTE group of Tamil freedom fighters who fought for the peace and freedom of all Tamils in Sri Lanka, is a clear depiction of the Sri Lankan government’s effort to diminish the Tamil struggle and deny the rights of the Tamil population, forcing them to the status of a permanent minority in their own land”.

These pro-LTTE spokesmen forget that the LTTE has been identified as a ruthless terrorist group by most countries of the world, and not just by the Sri Lankan government.  These individuals forget that their own social analysts and political activists like Mr. Chandrahasan, son of S. J. V. Chelvanayagam, journalists like D. B. S. Jeyraj, or  Sebastian Rasalingam have pointed out that the Tigers have killed more Tamils than all the state terror of the Government of Sri Lanka.

Mr. V. Anandasangaree, General Secretary of the Tamil United Liberation Front stated at the 2008 December General Meeting of the party that the LTTE eliminated its own injured cadre and injured civilians as they were considered a liability in their retreat to Nandikadol. Are those individuals being commemorated as well? They are the disappeared and the forgotten buried in the horrors of the LTTE.    

In Germany, at the end of the war against  Hitler, a strong de-Nazification program was undertaken, and there are no commemorations of Nazi warriors” or Nazi Maaveer” allowed, for good reasons. Let us hope that the court rulings against commemorations of Mahaviyaru” individuals auger a new era where the horror of violence against innocent civilians becomes a part of Sri Lanka’s public opinion, irrespective of ethnicity. Violence against civilians cannot be sugarcoated with claims of liberation struggles”.

Chandre Dharmawardana, Canada

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