[Marxism] Proud to support Tamil self-determination
stuartmunckton at gmail.com
Mon Mar 9 23:16:29 MDT 2009
Srii Lankan media:
Sri Lanka's genocidal war on Tamils<http://www.greenleft.org.au/2009/786/40464>
Proud to support Tamil self-determination
7 March 2009
*As an alternative newspaper, based in grassroots, progressive political
movements, Green Left Weekly aims to be a thorn in the side of the corporate
media here in Australia and globally.*
*GLW* is a paper that takes an uncompromising stand against war, racism,
exploitation and environmental destruction.
As such, we strongly oppose the brutal oppression of the Tamil minority in
Sri Lanka, including the current genocidal war being waged by the Sri Lankan
Army (see back cover article).
In response to our stand, the pro-government media in Sri Lanka has sought
to demonise *GLW*. We strongly reject slanderous articles that have recently
appeared in the Sri Lankan newspaper *The Daily Mirror* and the *Sinhalaya
News Agency* that imply *GLW* is a supporter of terrorism.
This method of seeking to intimidate and discredit critics is not new. It is
also used by supporters of states such as Israel against those who speak out
against its criminal treatment of Palestinians.
The libel is a consequence of our ongoing coverage of the brutality of the
Sri Lankan government’s war against the Tamil minority. *GLW* has been
targeted due to our support of the Tamil people’s right to national
Since the beginning of 2009 alone, the Sri Lankan government and its armed
forces have killed more than 2000 Tamil civilians — a death toll greater
than what Israel inflicted on the population of Gaza in January.
The Sri Lankan government’s cruel violence has been aided by diplomatic,
economic and military support from most Western governments, including the
US and Australia.
This support is facilitated by the corporate media who largely base what
little coverage they give to the conflict on propaganda from the Sri Lankan
government and military.
Typically, the crimes of the Sri Lankan state are minimised, if reported at
all, while Tamil resistance is labelled as terrorist.
We will continue to denounce Sri Lankan army atrocities such as the bombing
of hospitals and the targeting of civilians in what the government has
itself declared to be “safe zones”.
We will continue to report the air strikes and artillery attacks on Tamil
areas — including the use of cluster bombs and white phosphorus.
We utterly reject the accusations made by the *Sinhalaya* *News Agency* and
the *Daily Mirror* that opposing these crimes makes *GLW* a mouthpiece of
the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who have waged a decades-long
armed struggle for independence.
*GLW* does not preach armed struggle in Sri Lanka. However, we do seek to
explain the causes of the conflict.
In Sri Lanka, the majority of Tamils favoured non-violent methods of
political struggle to resolve their grievances until 1983, when
government-sponsored anti-Tamil pogroms took more than 3000 lives.
We argue that the path the peace is justice, and this requires ending the
oppression of Tamils and the violent repression that accompanies it.
While *GLW *is attacked with words, those sections of the Sri Lankan press
that defy the Sri Lankan government do so at the risk of their lives.
Media outlets critical of government policies have been bombed. Dissenting
journalists have been assassinated, abducted and tortured.
Freeourpress.org records 23 murders of journalists by the Sri Lankan
military and government-linked paramilitary groups in the past five years.
These attacks on Sri Lankan journalists have been condemned by the
International Federation of Journalists and Human Rights Watch.
*GLW* also disputes the legitimacy of Australia’s “anti-terror” laws that
are currently being used to intimidate Tamil activists here. The same laws
also criminalise activists from other countries supporting independence
The LTTE is not a proscribed organisation in Australia. However, Australian
Tamils are being prosecuted for allegedly supporting the LTTE.
We support the calls from human rights organisations from around the world
for the Sri Lankan government to sign a ceasefire with the LTTE. This should
be followed by negotiations to allow the people of Tamil Eelam a free and
democratic decision on whether or not to choose independence.
From: Comment & Analysis, Green Left Weekly issue
#786<http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2009/786>11 March 2009.
"The free market is perfectly natural... do you think I am some kind of
dummy?" — Jarvis Cocker
"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" — Oscar Wilde
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