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AHRC, your bile on the National Post
Open Letter to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) 998 Canton Road Kowloon Honkong, S.A.R

Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario . K1J 6G1 . Canada

October 8, 2008

Open Letter to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
998 Canton Road
Kowloon
Honkong, S.A.R

Dear Staff of AHRC:

Can the fool(s) among you who wrote that the Canadian “National Post is a ‘racist’ newspaper and thus, should be taken with a pinch of salt? Average Canadian knows this fact and thus, ethnic communities avoid any connection with them. They live in a world of ‘white supremacy’ attitude and deserve no attention”, please stand up and be identified as I want to crown you with the Human Rights Dunce Cap.

What you spewed was a crock of Arctic cod’s guano! I consider myself as an “average Canadian” with eight years of post-secondary education and having a knack of being able to be judge and jury on Sri Lanka’s separatist war. Being originally from Sri Lanka with a “brown” skin, I suppose I could be categorized as a “non-white ethnic”. And I read the National Post and The Ottawa Citizen daily, and sometimes the Ottawa Sun, and the Globe and Mail. I relish the National Post Editorial Board’s stance on Sri Lankan affairs, and take it with spoonfuls of Canadian Maple Syrup, rather than with a “pinch of salt” as you all have advocated. I resent you wanting to inject into this “Average Canadian’s” skull your pseudo-Human Rights spin of your mind-set on the National Post. I refuse to abdicate my rights to make my preferred choices, and AHRC should not be so damn patronizing.

I suppose Stewart Bell’s reports on the Tamil-Canadian Diaspora and their outrageous methodology to collect millions of dollars for the Tamil Tiger war chest, and the way that he sees the ruthless Tamil Tiger terrorists hemorrhaging Sri Lanka must be burning holes in your under-wear exposing the sudden erupting bum- rashes of anger. You all obviously cannot take it, can you now?

To quote what the Army Commander Lt.General Fonseka said, “I strongly believe that this country belongs to the Sinhalese, but there are minority communities and we treat them like our people”, is no crime. That is what the journalists do. They interview people and they quote them. So you wanting me to take what the National Post say “ with a pinch of salt”, undermines my intelligence.

But here is the rub, AHRC! After the riots in July 1983, the streets of Ottawa were awash with boisterous Tamil demonstrations, shouting slogans and throwing their arms left, right and center, which the Canadians looked with trepidation as they were not used to such raucous Jaffna-type demonstrations. And one demonstration in particular is so vivid in my mind. This was Third World Street Theatre minus the percussion beats of ‘Thunai-lakadi-thantha-lakadi’ of the Jaffna tom-toms, where on a flatbed truck was a chicken-wired prison cell with a Tamil inside in shackles guarded by four Sinhalese impersonators, wearing ketchup soaked T-shirts and machetes in their hands and signs and placards pasted all over displaying huge letters saying “Mother India Please Help Us”.

That is when I realized that these Tamils do have a place to run to - the arms of their Mother India. But we, Sinhalese, had difficulty to make a similar appeal during our demonstrations, to a “Mother..?.” whoever it would have been, to help us from the marauding Tamil Tigers who were creeping in the indigo-dark and massacring our innocent Sinhalese peasants sleeping in adobe huts who only wanted to wake up in the morning and walk to their fields with mammotees propped on their shoulders to till the soil to make a living, or get into their catamarans and sail the treacherous ocean to catch a fish or two for sustenance and sell the rest for a living. This is where Commander Lt.General Fonseka’s statement had validity, had relevancy, and had currency. This is why I wrote this poem seven years later –

Dungaalpitiya Fisherfolk
(19 September 1990)

Seeing the fisherfolk all Sinhalese
chopped to death by Northern separatists,
the seaspray heaved up to me
pungent with a taste of blood
like a blood coated night song
sung into the pale grey sobs of daylight.

Listening to the widowed
chest-thumping lamentations,
my anger becomes visceral
and is siphoned through the nostrils
like a puffing fire belching dragon.

Before I bury the assimilated,
puzzle of hearts and limbs,
and fingers and toes,
I want to make a fire wreath
with Phoenician songs
to resurrect their snuffed spirits
to be echoed across the jungles of Jaffna,
as I want to win this war one day
I want to win this war.

(from Tears For My Roots)

Was it an illusory “Mother India” that the Tamils were calling out for help? Of course not. Sure enough, the Mother India’s daughter Indira Gandhi came to help them, and took away hundreds of bare-footed Tamil guerillas who couldn’t even shoot a rifle straight missing their targets by inches, and trained them in terrorist warfare in several camps in Parangimali, Kanjipuram, Anna Nagar and in the foothills of the Himalayas. After their graduation as full blown terrorists they were sent back to Sri Lanka by Mother India in military fatigues and jackboots, cradling AK47s, G3s and rocket launchers, and garlands of live bullets around their necks to kill the innocent Sinhalese civilians for the want of a mono-ethnic, racist Tamil State, Eelam. And the Sinhalese had nowhere to run to and seek help, as the bosom of ‘Mother Lanka” was their only home and there was no where else away from its shores. That was indeed what Lt.General Fonseka was reflecting on. And I have no reason to quibble about it, nor had reason to admonish him. So stop spewing your bile on this amazing Sri Lankan hero who is guiding his armed forces to save the sovereign territory for those who wish to live there peacefully, and liberate the Tamil people under the fascist Prabhakaran’s clutches. So, AHRC, just cut out your sordid spin.

It was just yesterday (October 7) that the New Delhi government assured Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi that it was concerned at the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka (their people) and was doing all it could to resolve this issue. “If this atrocity against Lankan Tamils does not stop, we will have to find answers to the question”, Karunanidhi said. He couldn’t care two Madras masala vadeys about the atrocities against the innocent Sinhalese by their Tamil brethren. That is where Lt. Gen. Fonseka’s statement had relevancy and currency. AHRC, you may have not liked it, but then that is how the cookie crumbles!

On February 15, 2008, I wrote to your Chairperson, John Joseph Clancey and copied it to Basil Fernando for his attention on the subject - Sri Lanka and Human Rights violation - which you all were carping about. In it I said,

“Do you know what? If the premise of your Board of Directors is that “there is a fool born every minute of the day”, then count me out, as I won’t be dragged into your campaign which shows every conceivable bias in favour of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) aka “Tamil Tigers”. Your belligerent campaign against the Sri Lankan Government is almost making me suspicious that AHRC is a paid pseudo-humanitarian lobbyist pandering to the separatist Eelam cause. And the Tamil Tigers got billions of dollars to buy the support of the influential that matters and they have done it before. And I want you all to come clean and convince me that you all are not inflicted by ‘show me the money’ syndrome.” Well… what is it? Cough out the truth AHRC!

By the way, I have been told that both you honchos, John Joseph Clancey and Basil Fernando, are former Roman Catholic priests. Ah, Ha! No wonder. That says a lot to me.

And let me repeat, stop trying to be a bunch of ‘Dunce capped” Paragons of Virtue with your pseudo-Human Rights advocacy and keep out your bile spilling on Canada’s excellent national newspaper, the National Post. And for you information, this ‘non-white ethnic, average Canadian’ will continue reading the National Post.

Sincerely,

Asoka Weerasinghe
Ottawa, Canada


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