What is needed to be an ‘Activist’?’
Posted on September 29th, 2009

S. Akurugoda

Both printed and electronic media are full of news items carrying the activities, statements and articles of so-called ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”activistsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, especially those who pretend to be the guardian of human rights, free media rights and peace. Apart from the lucrative jobs, these millionaire ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”activistsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ are receiving free attractive titles, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ wide publicity, and free foreign trips and so forth, perhaps, not second to any other job in existence.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ To be an ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”activistƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ today, knowledge in English is essential, because the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”activistƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ needs to communicate with the west, their employer, effectively. Knowledge on any other European language such as German, French etc may be useful since some of the funding agencies are from those countries. Paper qualifications too are useful to some extent. An ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”activistƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ with a degree in low irrespective of his/her speciality (not necessarily a practicing lawyer), will get the automatic label ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”human rights lawyerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. Post graduate degree such as doctorate, from any field, from a western country is an added qualification since such a title will facilitate the use of another label ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”expertƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The worldwide LTTE propaganda machinery and free media counterparts are there to promote the theories and practices of the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”expertsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Besides the above requirements, possible link with the National Christian Council and its various organisations operating in and outside the country is a priority. Since the activists are only concerned about the wellbeing of the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Tamil militantsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, to be successful in his/her livelihood, one has to be a born abhorrence of Sinhala Buddhist.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Despite the fact that the role is not a recognized profession, shamelessness is essential, perhaps, similar to the worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s oldest profession!ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Let us go through some of the statements of the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”activistsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ appeared in media prior to the military defeat of LTTE to see what is really needed to know to be an ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”activistƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ About Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s security forces;

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ “Violent actions are committed by the Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s military. The government and allied forces are responsible for abductions, assassinations and disappearances, rapes, threats to media freedom, human rights violations, genocide of the Tamil people etc.”

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ About the so-called ethnic conflict;

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ “The conflict must be viewed as a struggle between two nations since Tamils are a distinct community. Tamils have the right to demand a separate State until their aspirations are met- that is to give LTTE control over the North-East region.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ About the military strength and vision of LTTE;

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The LTTE is invincible and have demonstrated its capacity with its attack on military bases and destroyed millions of dollars worth of economic assets. LTTE is committed to the nation-building and state-building and its vision of a solution is displaying a commendable degree of political maturity”.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ About Sinhala-Buddhist;

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ “Actions are needed to counter politics of militant Sinhalese nationalism, since it is the Sinhala -Buddhist extremist groups who cause trouble and generate violence”.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ About suicide bombing;

“Regardless of who is responsible, the suicide bombing indicates the growing absence of confidence in the integrity of the government institutions”.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The list will go on, but the above is sufficient, for the time being, to understand the nature of the role that has to be played by an ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”activistƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. In brief, what is important to know is how to interpret any event as a gross violation of human rights or suppression of free media by the government of Sri Lanka. Ability to manipulate the situation to tarnish the image of the country and its people to impress the rest of the world that Sri Lanka is an ethnic majoritarian and communal and a full-blown terror state while the LTTE as a harmless liberation movement, is essential.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Although the kind of activities carried outƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  by the above ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”activistsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ is impossible in US, UK and allied countries (so-called free world), probably, due to tough anti-terrorist legislations, above ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”activistsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ in Sri Lanka are free to do any thing at their will in support of terrorism and against their own country. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Sri Lanka, after making a record by defeating the most ruthless terrorist group in the world while feeding and providing all their necessities, is yet to make another record by allowing the most malice propaganda machineries to operate within its own territory under the pretext of peace, free media and human rights.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ S. Akurugoda

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