The VK Krishna Menon Award 2012
Posted on August 25th, 2012

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

25 August 2012

Dr. Cyriac Maprayil

Director, VK Krishna Menon Institute

Boardman House, 64 Broadway, London E15 1NG, UK

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Dear Dr. Maprayil:

While I congratulate you and being envious for being the Director of this prestigious Institute which is dedicated to commemorate the life and times of a deeply patriotic statesman, perhaps the only other Indian politician I admire after Mahatma Gandhi, I was distressed to read the citation of the Tamil-Canadian rooky politician Rathika Sitsabaeisan who will be conferred with the Krishna Menon Award 2012. I will explain myself as to why I feel that way later, and place my reasons on record.

My admiration for IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Krishna Menon began when I was a youngster living in London in the late 1950s when I had the opportunity to shake his hand one autumnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Sunday afternoon at Hyde ParkƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s SpeakerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Corner. As my usual habit I used to go to the Ceylon StudentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Centre at Clarendon Place off Bayswater Road on a Sunday to have a Ceylon rice and curry lunch for 2 shillings and 6 pence and then proceed to Hyde ParkƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s SpeakerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Corner to listen to the free-for-all bantering between speakers, mainly on politics and some times on religions. My favourite was an older coloured man in black with a bowler hat and sometimes in white gloves who would insult the colonial British with no words barred in the presence of London Bobbies. I clapped in admiration for his courage and I learnt much from him.

It was on such a Sunday that Krishna Menon who was on a visit to London, perhaps on an official visit as IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Defence Minister had taken a walk to the SpeakerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Corner to take in the political barbs. And he was recognized by this coloured speaker standing on an improvised box-stage giving his anti-British spiel. Pointing to Krishna Menon among the people he said (I am paraphrasing), ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Do I recognize the great Krishna Menon, the Defence Minister of India, who once stood on this very box to hone his oratorical skills blasting the colonial British, and I was standing right where he is standing and listening to him in awe. Sir I am honoured to have you listening to me today!ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ Menon slowly eased away from the crowd and I followed him and shook his hand and had, may be a three minute chat, and I was over the moon. This is the man that Lord Listowell, the last British Secretary of State for India described as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Vitriolic, intolerant, impatient and exigent ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” yes, but generous, sensitive, considerate, a great teacher too and a great man.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ And this the reason why I felt that your Institute had insulted this great person by choosing the Tamil-Canadian MP for this yearƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”VK Krishna Menon Award’. Pity! I am disappointed.

I have no reason to challenge your Institute even if you all had selected Rathika Sitsabaiesan the Tamil-Canadian MP to be sent on that Mars Rover to click on that camera as a worthy recipient of an award from you all, but I do reject the notion of you insulting my political hero by awarding this Tamil the VK Krishna Menon Award 2012 for all the wrong reasons. The recipient of this award in the memory of Krishna Menon, the distinguished intellectual diplomat and Defence Minister of India who is a role model for emulation by the younger generations of Asians, in particular Indians should be judiciously selected. I was a member of that younger generation in 1957 when I wanted to shake his hand, my political hero.

The Hindustan Times of August 19, 2012 headlined ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” Canadian MP to be conferred with VK Krishna Menon Award 2012. The news item read ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-A leading Canada-based Tamil human rights activists was on Sunday named for the VK Krishna Menon InstituteƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Personality of the Year Award 2012. Rathika Sitsabaiesan, a Canadian MP, was chosen for the award in recognition of her contribution to the advancement of human rights and her uncompromising opposition to the persecution of minorities including fellow Tamils in Sri Lanka, director of the Institute Cyrian Maprayil said.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

Krishna Menon must be turning in his grave in disgust to know that you all have decided to hand over the VK Krishna Menon Award, to a woman who believes that the alleged persecution of the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka is wrong. And to right that wrong to support the Tamil Tigers from her community, the most ruthless terrorists in the world, who perfected the body-pack for suicide bombings and assassinated two heads of State, Rajiv Gandhi of India and President Premadasa of Sri Lanka, by killing, massacring and maiming thousands of innocent unarmed people from Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s majority Sinhalese community. And that is what bothers me and why I resent you conferring this award to her. Her sense of human rights is cock-eyed and skewed and that does not translate into ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-advancement of human rightsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ in any form.

This is the Tamil MP who displayed the Tamil Tiger terrorist flag prominently on her face book pages no sooner she was elected to represent the Scarborough-Rouge River riding in Ontario in the Canadian parliament. Krishna Menon must be squirming in his grave.

On 18 July 2011 I wrote her: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Dear Rathika, I am amazed, baffled and shaken that you have taken upon yourself to do your little Song and BharatanatyamƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Allarippu Dance with your conspicuously selective anguish about the war-violence in Sri Lanka during the last five months of the Tamil Tiger terrorist Eelam War not realizing that the bloody war had been going on for 30 long years, which saw over 100,000 people dead. The majority were my Sinhalese people shot, bombed, bayoneted and chopped by the Tamil Tigers.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ This Eelam War ended on 19 May 2009, with her Tamil Tigers being eliminated militarily. That is what bothers her.

Mr. Maprayil, my hero Krishna Menon must be squirming and turning in his grave for your faux pas that is embarrassing him.

You had said: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Rathika was born in Sri Lanka. At the age of five she migrated with her parents to Canada in the face of the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-most intense persecution of the Tamils by the fundamentalist Anti-Tamil zealots of the country backed and supported by the Sri Lankan government.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

NoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦NoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦.NoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦you got that one wrong. That is a plate of stale and rotting samosas that some Tamil dished out to you and you swallowed them smelly and all. Pity!

But here is the true story. By the time Radhika was brought over to Canada by her smart parents it was to extricate her from harms way, and it was not because there was ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-most intense persecution of the TamilsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦..backed and supported by the Sri Lankan GovernmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. It was because the Tamil kids were getting kidnaped by the Tamil Tigers on their way to school, at play or when dropping into a boutique to purchase something for their Mothers, to be trained as soldiers for their Baby Brigade to be sent to the front lines only to be mowed down by gunfire like a field full of bleeding poppies, and also train them as suicide bombers. Of the 388 suicide bombings by the Tamil Tiger terrorists half of them happened to be girls/young women. By the end of the war according to the UN there were over 5,300 Tamil child soldiers. Rathika would have been an excellent candidate for the Baby Brigade and as a brain-washed Tamil Tiger suicide bomber. That is why. LetƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s get that straight as I donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t buy your explanation, most Sri Lankans wouldnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t and nor would the moderate Tamils in Toronto. I am prepared to bet my last dollar on that.

If there was ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Intense persecution of the TamilsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ as you say were the reasons why Rathika was brought over to Canada at the age of five depriving her from playing hop-scotch under a mango tree in the tropical sun, then perhaps, you could explain to me, why at the time of the riots of July 1983, the two top law officers of the island, the Attorney-General (S. Pasupathi) and the Inspector General of Police (Rudra Rajasingham) were Tamils, and so was the Supreme Court Chief Justice (Justice S. Sharvananda), and three High Commissioners in the west including that of London were Tamils. This certainly does not jive with your ridiculous statement of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Intense persecution of the TamilsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. How ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-IntenseƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ was this so called ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-persecution of the TamilsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚?

It would be interesting for you to know that these supposed to be ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-intensely persecuted TamilsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ could buy and own a square inch of land in any nook and corner of Sri Lanka, but not the 75% majority Sinhalese. They have been deprived to buy and own a square inch of land in the Northern Peninsula where Tamils live according to the Thesavalamai Law. Ridiculous isnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t it? And you say that the Tamils were ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-intensely persecutedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. What appalling rubbish!

Knowing all this my hero Krishna Menon must be squirming and rolling in his grave being uncomfortable and upset with your strange choice for the award.

Mr. Maprayil, when the riots happened in July 1983, the predominantly Tamil Jaffna District had 555 Government Schools for a predominantly Tamil student population of 207,524, and the capital Colombo with a multi-ethnic population had only 251 such schools for a student population of 231, 690 students. Forty-one percent of these Jaffna District schools had government-approved science laboratories, compared to an island average of 19.6 percent of the schools.

Surely, with these statistics, it certainly doesnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t look like Rathika SitsabaiesanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Tamil people were hard done by. The Tamils certainly were the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”privileged minorityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ and the Sinhalese were the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”wronged majorityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. Perhaps, she could help you to explain to me, now that she will be conferred the VK Krishna Menon Award for 2012, of your fact ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Intense persecution of the TamilsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ had taken place by July 1983. And that her conscience is clean and lucid that she could walk up the stage to rightfully claim this honour of this prestigious award.

I am sure at the time of conferring the award, my hero V.K.Krishna Menon would turn in his grave with the pain of being embarrassed by the InstituteƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Award Committee.

I donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t expect you to rescind this award, but I would, at least like you to share this protest letter with the InstituteƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Governing Body, and that my letter of protest be filed for your records.

However, I want to make one request of you all. Please donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t embarrass my intellectually distinguished political scientist, V K Krishna Menon again. It harms and rubbishes the integrity of this prestigious award,

Very sincerely

Asoka Weerasinghe (Mr.)


3 Responses to “The VK Krishna Menon Award 2012”

  1. Naram Says:

    Excellentarticle – it is time to remind these privileged folks noew elevated to celebrity status feeding on NGO funds, regularly demonising the majority groups in Sri Lanka with diverse tactics to analyesse the inferior mind set of the natives, ended up in the lap of rich western economies.

    Another popular singer in the West who raises the LTTE flag whenever possible too apparently ended up in LOndon with Sri Lankan government help for her parents to escape after being identified as uppity Tamils.

    THe respected leader Krisha Menon did not seek a popular mandate from the residents of GOa when the India state annexed that state – a thorn in the flesh of India – ‘vestige of colonial times’. Actually this act wasnot followed up by China on HOng Kong or Macau. Yet the Vietnam wr in the sixties was justifies on the basis of Domino thory – nasty Socialists progressively destroying democratic countries.

  2. Vijendra Says:

    Well said Mr. Weerasinghe. I agree 100% with you. Shame on those who selected this idiotic woman who has no idea at all about SL, except the hatred for the GOSL for getting rid of the terrorism. Her ambition remains to be in power, by hook or by crook, just like Jayalalitha and some other politicians in Tamil Nadu, by creating and intensifying the hatred amongst the gullible Tamil diaspora living in Toronto. Tamils who have visited SL in the recent past have seen the development going on there and how well the Tamils enjoy the freedom from the terrorist Pirahbakaran. She still continues to live in her imaginary SL where active genocide is going on. Shame on the Governing body for disgracing this great man by selecting this pathetic and misguided individual.

  3. M.S.MUDALI Says:

    V.K.Krishna menon is defamed by this act. But Radhika never be a MP again!

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