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Sri Lanka, spin and shouting out loud

December 9, 2011

Being Tamil is sometimes like living in a bell jar. Everyone can see you, and can see you shouting, but can’t hear what you are trying to say.

The Sri Lankan government has spent millions trying to persuade the world that every Tamil in a jar is shouting out in anger, not desperation. It hired Bell Pottinger _ a public relations company that promises to manage the reputation of those who need their reputations managing _ to convince the world it was serious about human rights and post war reconciliation. Even Bell Pottinger, which can manage to put a positive spin on most things, felt the Sri Lankan government was unwilling to deal with the country’s history. The Independent newspaper reports that Bell Pottinger chairman David Wilson felt the government Commission on the war had a  “fundamental flaw in its remit in investigating what has gone on in the past, to try to bury the past”.

I don’t want to forget Sri Lanka. I’ve travelled everywhere and not found anywhere that is quite as beautiful.  I think I may be willing to relinquish being Tamil, being anything, if I could just live there, fall into its red earth, swim in its seas and drink in its fruits. But because I am Tamil, a Jaffna Tamil at that, I can’t. I will forever be at worst an enemy, at best a victim. And everyone will see that I’m shouting and think they know what I am trying to say.





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