Feature Article

Swiss German media twists heart of the matter

[TamilNet, Sunday, 22 August 2010, 22:31 GMT]
While younger generation of diaspora Tamils respond to the times and express themselves through democratic protests such as the British youth Sivanthan’s war crimes awareness walk to Geneva, the Swiss German media NZZ portrays the long-standing national cause of Eezham Tamils as an LTTE idea. Parameswaran won his case against British media. But there is an orchestrated effort in the Western media from Canada to Geneva to blunt the liberation question in the name of 'terrorism'. Bulk of this media shamefully abetted genocide in the island. Are they now against terrorism or against liberation of a people and whether independent democratic transformation of liberation polity is sabotaged to bail out Rajapaksa and the genocidal state, ask Tamil diaspora circles.

Diaspora circles watching ground indications feel that the very forces that first abetted the war and then speak about war crimes investigations are in fact keen in ultimately bailing out Rajapaksa regime and the genocidal state.

If genocide can help ‘development conquest’ why shouldn’t try it is the ‘guiding philosophy’ that works against the liberation question. The media is geared to engineer the diaspora to promote collaborators, to drown the diaspora Tamils into defeatism and to vilify independent voices and youth awakening, diaspora circles said.

For Matthias Daum, writing in the Swiss German media NZZ Saturday, The heirs of the Tiger, dreaming of their own state, quarrel with their future.

Like all counterinsurgency writings the picture painted is that Tamil Eelam is an LTTE agenda, it crushed along with the LTTE and whoever now talks about it is a surviving ‘terrorist’. The crucial point that the Eezham Tamil national question is predated to the LTTE and it transcends the LTTE in the hearts of the people by the sheer necessity of an unresolved conflict are always ignored by these writers.

According to Matthias Daum, KP, ‘the official successor of Pirapaharan’ wants to fight with peaceful means, but he being now used in bridging the diaspora with Colombo makes him a traitor to the 'group of Nediyavan', living in Norway.

Political observers see a clear and pre-meditated ‘counterinsurgency’ operation in the captivity of KP and in highlighting Nediyavan even after silencing him.

Confusion and dissension in the diaspora are essential to churn out ‘us and them’ for promotions and vilifications, and to nullify any righteous voices.

One by one, the actors of the 'counterinsurgency drama' come out openly, diaspora watchers said.

Discouraging the democratisation of the liberation struggle, Matthias Daum cites ‘neutral Sri Lankan experts' saying, “votes and elections in the world Tamil community are counter-productive to conflict resolution”.

Even a democratic struggle is not the way, but accepting exhaustion of the struggle is the way, Matthias Daum implies by quoting International Crisis Group (ICG). The ICG has said that Tamils exhausted of independent struggle are now more interested in reconstruction of life.

Matthias also cited the ICG saying that unless the diaspora doesn’t overcome ‘LTTE ideology’ it cannot play a useful role in peace [In the vocabulary of 'counterinsurgency' documents LTTE ideology means Tamil independence].

The journalist finds support in Anton Ponraja, director of Centre for Just Peace and Democracy (CJPD), founded in 2004 to formalise pre-existing networks of activists and academics in the Tamil Diaspora. The CJPD network was given an institutional form and a hub in Switzerland in 2007 with the support of Berghof Foundation and the Norwegian Government. Mr. Ponrajah also took part in the LTTE delegations.

According to Matthias, Ponraja thinks separate state is Utopia and diaspora youth activism is 'childish', existing only in the Internet. Yet, he advices and supports them to prevent them from becoming more radical.

For the NZZ writer, the diaspora youth move for democratic struggle is ‘one party regime’ and the youth associated with democratically elected organisations like the SCET are associated with ‘the violent wing’ and they maintain regular contacts with international Tiger cadres.

Vilification is more important than truth. An example brought out by the NZZ writer of unlikely people being in direct line of contact betrayed his poor knowledge of what he was writing, Swiss Tamil circles said.

The LTTE have blood on their hands, even of Tamils, says Matthias to Tamils who have denounced the LTTE, but have some appreciation. Does he mean the blood in the hands of the Sri Lankan State for more than half a century should be acceptable for ‘reconciliation’, ask Tamil circles.

When Swiss Tamils organized democratic elections for the Swiss Council of Eezham Tamils (SCET), a group named 'Sri Lankan Diaspora' in Switzerland said that the Zurich City Councillor, Mr. Urs Egger, who was supervising the elections was duped by the organisers of the elections to preside over it. The Sri Lankan Diaspora group claimed that it had interviewed Mr. Egger and the news appeared in the Defence website of Colombo on 27 April, giving courtesy to Policy Research and Information Unit of the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka.

But, Mr. Egger categorically denied Tamils duping him and demanded the websites to immediately remove the false propaganda.

“I have supported the democratic process,” Mr. Urs Egger said, adding that the exercise of politically organising themselves to their interest is legitimate. It is positive for the younger people of Tamil origin who see their future in Switzerland to actively get involved in political life, Mr. Egger said in a statement dated 03 May, 2010.

External Links:
Priu.gov.lk: Zurich City Councillor shocked at being duped by pro-LTTE group
NZZ Online: Die Erben der Tiger


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