Friday, November 28, 2008

Mourning the victims of terror in Bombay ...

"Our second responsibility is obviously to root out terrorism ..." - Gordon Brown.

All-party support for terror in London.

Despite Thursday being a working day, the 25,000 seat ExCel centre in Southeast London remained packed to capacity from mid-day to early evening, with thousands of people paying their respects and leaving after some time so as to make way for those crowding outside, venue officials said.

Remembrance Day in UK
Vaiko addressing the gathering
Remebrance Day in UK
Toby Boutle, Conservative candidate for Ilford South
Remebrance Day in UK
Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat MP for Kingston
Remembrance Day in UK
Siobhan McDonagh MP
Remembrance Day in UK
Joan Ryan MP

The day began with a silent tribute to the Tamils who had died in their people’s liberation struggle. Thereafter, the flame of altruism lit by Mrs Yoharani Manohararasa, mother of late LTTE Lt Col Vaikunthan.

Then the lights dimmed for lighting of lamps by the attending people whilst the ‘Great Heroes' Resting Home’ song played in the background.

Throughout the day families waited patiently in line with groups of teenagers and retirees to place flower petals before portraits of Tamils killed in the liberation struggle against Sinhala domination.

It took an hour for those joining the queues to reach the petals, people said. Families of the fallen brought portraits of their loved ones to place on the dais, they added. As in recent years, large quantities of the Tamil national flower, the karthigaipoo (gloriosa lily) were among the petals piled up for attendees to pick and place, they said.

Private bus companies plied from many of London’s boroughs (districts) to the cavernous venue in the glass fronted Docklands area. Thousands of people also travelled to London from locations across the British isles, from as far away as Edinburgh in Scotland and Cardiff in Wales to participate in the event.

Whilst people waited to pay their respects of took their seats afterwards, dozens of Tamil expatriate arts groups staged dramas, traditional dance (bharathanatyam) and other cultural performances which were interspaced with speeches on the Tamils’ oppression in Sri Lanka and their struggle for freedom.

Among those who addressed the event were British parliamentarians Edward Davey (LibDem, Kingston and Surbiton), Robert Evans (Labour, MEP) Siobhain McDonagh (Labour, Mitcham and Mordern), John McDonald (Labour, Hayes and Harlington), Andrew Pelling (Independent, Croydon Central), Joan Ryan (Labour, Enfield North) and Vireindra Sharma (Labour, Ealing and Southall). The Conservative candidate for Ilford South, Toby Boutle, also spoke.
To be fair, you'd certainly have attracted the Galloways, Livingstones, Corbyns to an IRA front gathering, opened by the mother of a late PIRA brigadier, twenty years back- but Lib Dims and Tories ?

What I can't work out from the reports is whether the usual highlight of Heroes Day - the broadcast speech by the Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, was actually heard at the ExCel or not. According to the Indie (which says this year's main speaker is an LTTE supporter) :

The Independent understands that the traditional events celebrating Prabhakaran and suicide martyrs will be toned down or held in secret.

Nirmala Rajasingham, the founder of the Sri Lanka Democracy Forum and a staunch critic of the Tigers who she accuses of murdering her sister, said the British Government should do more to stop fundraising in Britain. "I am opposed to the Heroes' Day celebrations because it is a morbid celebration of the suicide cult and it is a fundraising event for the Tigers," she said. "The Tamil Tigers may have been banned but they continue to operate freely in Britain."

Some estimates suggest as much as 40 per cent of the Tamil Tigers' funding comes from Britain's 150,000 Tamils, although many are bitterly opposed to the terror group.

Mrs Rajasingham said it was important to recognise that not all those attending today's celebration would be Tamil Tiger supporters. "A lot of those attending will actually be against the LTTE but they will go anyway because they have had relatives and loved ones killed by the Sri Lankan government and want to remember them."

Dominic Whiteman at the Centre for Social Cohesion blog is not a happy bunny :

When we as a society are seeking to uphold bans against Islamist groups who threaten us, it seems incorrect and immoral of us to be allowing the public gathering of a terrorist group and its cheerleaders right under our noses in London so they can celebrate their fallen comrades and, worse still, raise funds for their cause, which results in thousands of deaths in Sri Lanka.

Dominic Whiteman, depending on which source you believe, is either a doughty latter-day Bulldog Drummond with a keyboard, or an infidel stirring up attacks on elderly Muslim shoppers.

9 comments:

Ross said...

The Tamil Tigers aren't the only South Asian terrorist group indulged by Britain's political elite. Sikh terrorists are also quite popular.

saba7saba7 said...

Spot on Laban and Ross. Plus let's not forget the Hindu fascists directly responsible for the ongoing genocide of Christians mainly in Orissa.

Bajrang Dal and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, whose ultimate founders are affiliated with the VHP are ultra-nationalist groups responsible for the ongoing murder, rape and pillage of Christian minorities in India, most acutely in the state of Orissa.

Should UK citizens who believe in the doctrine of Bharatiyata or Indian-ness be allowed to invite and sponsor individuals and groups directly or indirectly responsible for anti-Christian activities in India?

Can one support the concept of Hindu purity/Hindutva and not be labelled with the ‘racist’ tag?

150,000 Tamils in the UK? Why?

dearieme said...

If we are really serious about terror, shouldn't we send out hit squads to deal with the likes of Senator Edward Kennedy? And, for all I know, a fair chunk of the Fianna Fail party in the Irish Republic. Plus half the government of Northern Ireland.

Anonymous said...

It is very sad that some people don't understand what it means by freedom fight. Those who tinge LTTE as terrorists has not even

spent a day empty stomached. They have not spent their life subordinate to others. Think of a moment when your mother hates

you, but your brother.

Every nation has different class of people and society. They have structured their constitution in such a way to promise a pleasant

life to its citizens. But Sri Lanka tries to subjugate Tamils. Every nation drafts certain laws to help the minorities, but the Sri Lanka

drafts laws to help the majorities.

No one should ever forget the fact that both TAMIL and SINHALA kingdoms co-existed in Sri Lanka for long long period. The British

colonial rule
consolidated both the territories into a unitary Ceylon. But after gaining independence, the Sinhala majority government dominated

Tamils in all aspects. They are not nomads. They are the citizens of a great ancient civilization.

The Tamil people are suffering as like what the Red Indians were made to in America.

The world by showing enthusiasm in categorizing LTTE as a terrorist outfit, has forgotten to think about the Tamil cause. Be clear

that, finishing off the LTTE will not put an end to the conflict. The struggle will continue in several forms.

The Sri Lankan government is not trying to rectify its mistakes. It's willing to continue it.

The struggles were started because of the Sri Lankan government, but it now has perverted the reason on LTTE.

No one should forget that apart from LTTE, there were numerous struggles against the government oppression. There were

enormous non-violent struggles. But still now the Sri Lankan government has not made anything to answer these struggles.

We talk about racism in all parts of the world. We even base the USA presidential election analysis on race. But we are not ready

to think for a moment why these foolish tamils are laying their own lives for a feeble cause? Did anyone spent time to know the

history of Sri Lanka and about the Tamil civilization there?

Those who talk about terrorism in the glass houses eating burgers when people in other parts of the world die of hunger are the

TRUE TERRORISTS. Military cannot bring victory. It can bring only land. We are humans rather than animals. Only a peaceful

negotiation can bring harmony.

The Sri Lankan government should never wait for the LTTE. It should take the chance by itself and announce measures for Tamils,

which it is neglecting. It should abrogate anti-Tamil laws as the Tamils are also citizens of the united Sri Lanka.

If the world community believes only in military victory, then the world has to suffer more from terrorism (in the point of haves and luxurians).

Call me Infidel said...

Hope the Tories and limp Dems didn't make any credit cards purchases.

Thud said...

There are no excuses..one murdering bastard is pretty much like another.

Laban said...

I understand what anonymous is getting at. I'm sure the fault isn't all on one side. But blowing up innocent civilians is simply not on.

anders said...

LTTE is not freedom fighters. If they where such they would not have deliberately targeted innocent civilians, buddhist monks and other Tamils groups who where also opposing the Government of Sri Lanka. Can you call LTTE anything else than terrorists when they have systematicly killed opponents both in and outside Sri Lanka? When they have attacked civilian busses filled with women and children with claymore mines and afterwords shot at the survivors when they tried to flee from the remains of the bus, with automatic weapons? That is fascist ethnic racism, only because the victims where Singhalese.

Do not talk about any suppression of the tamils on ethnic grounds when tamil fascists are trying to picture Singhalese in general as inhuman.
Why can´t Tamils live side by side with other ethnic groups in Sri Lanka now, when they have been able to do so for thousands of years before?

And talking about suppression; why did the LTTE force Muslims in
the northeast areas to move away, if not because the fascist LTTE did not want to live together with anybody else but Tamils, considering all other people inferior to them.

What happened thousands of years ago when Tamils had a kingdom in the north (Indian invaders) is history. Look at the situation today and work for a unified Sri Lanka. Or choose conflict and look further back in history before both Singalese, Tamils or Muslims came to Sri Lanka, and hand over the whole country to the Veddhas, the original people of Sri Lanka, still surviving in small numbers.

Create your Tamil Homeland in Tamil Nadu in southern India. There is already 60 millions of them there, so another 2 millions should not make any difference.

Better than creating a Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, letting 2 million Tamils having (as claimed) 40% of the total land area, while the rest of the population (18 millions) should have to settle for the rest 60%. Does it sound fair?

If it would come true, within another 100 years, Tamil community would demand a Tamil homeland in Britain also, a piece of land which is only accessible to Tamils, because it seems that tamils can't leave together with other communities on equal terms. They seem to think they are superior to others. They keep talking on the Tamils killed in the conflict with the GOSL, but never mention with a word thousands of civilians belonging to other communities that have died at the hands of LTTE cadres.

Anonymous said...

The right , the left, terrorist, the state - all don t have the same meaning in Sri Lanka. Well meaning writers from the UK ( without the historical understanding) fall into the prey of canvessers.
Nirmala Rajasingham is no exception. Despite some excellent work, she carefully selects her case studies to suite her partisan views of democracy.
In june this year she invited the Jamaat -e-Islami - a fundamentalist Islamic party operating out of Pakistan with branches in Sri Lanka to co address the ethnic minority issue in Sri Lanka.
After the 2004 elctions of the east of Sri Lanka( which was widely accepted by international and local organisations) since the vote didnt go her way,her organisation (SLDF) called into question the validity of the elections and launcched a campaign. In the 2007 Eastern elction when the people she silently support won( election which was widely critcised for it irregularities, the presence of armed government backed paramilitary etc and the boycott of the main opposition party) her organisation didnt launch a similar campaign. such is the duplicity of all players in Sri Lanka.!!!!
SLDF( her organisation) despite cosy talk is as partisan as most people in Sri Lanka.