If you’re coming from someplace random, the TamilNet editor Sivaram Dharmeratnam (pen name Taraki) was found dead, shot in the head. It is obviously bullshit, but the fact that TamilNet is LTTE affiliated and Taraki was sympathetic has led to some debate. LTTE being the people who invented modern suicide bombing, Sri Lanka’s finest export. The comments on the original Taraki article are diverse and interesting. It also has a picture.
Taraki (Sivaram Dharmeratnam) has been getting a lot of flak as a terrorist (JHU) or corrupt journalist (here). The crazy monks might want to meditate for a minute and check their nuts, I got nothing on that. As for the people here calling him a shill and comparing him to Baghdad Bob, I say you’re knee-jerking off. I read some of his stuff in tamilnation.org archive and he’s crazy smart. Propaganda reads like a children’s story, but Taraki’s writing reads like a text-book. It’s dense, well-reasoned, and insightful. There are so many connections and links in there, I can only imagine the depth of the mind underneath. It’s a bloody waste.
Up to a point I treated Taraki as an example of free-speech, not a full person. Been looking through his stuff and I like it cause it’s 1) interesting 2) well supported 3) falsifiable. That’s a hash set of criteria, but it’ll sorta do. By falsifiable I mean that it can be disproven, like scientific conclusions. The arguments are structured such that they can be opposed logically. I don’t agree with a lot of stuff he says, and I can see where they could be picked apart. but the depth of his knowledge is incredible. I don’t think I could take him without like reading books and shit. Better kill him.
Here are few articles I read, broken down by that criteria of me respecting them:
“It is not my intention here to interrupt the unceasing labours of those who love to hate him. There is little I can add to the invectives that Sinhala nationalist politicians, academics, opinion makers and editorialists relentlessly heap on the LTTE leader. To them he is the main enemy. But little is understood of him. The Sinhala polity is always ready with neat but simplistic categories to condemn the man and explain him and his actions…
The problem is that whatever the basis for hatred one may harbour towards him (class, caste, his vernacular education etc.,) his enemies cannot afford not to understand the man. The Indian army and the Sri Lankan military have not been able to destroy him. Hence all who inveterately hate him have to live with the fact that Pirapaharan is fifty and may be around for quite some more time. Pretending otherwise and doing nothing but nursing the different reasons for abhorring him is pretty meaningless when you can’t get him.”
*2. Well Supported*
These are the some of the hyperlinks to further reading and original documents. I’m putting only 3 cause I’m sleepy but there’s a lot.
Taraki is saying that “At fifty, his biggest political achievement is the confluence of the Chelvanayagam and Navaratnam Schools of the Tamil movement.” He describes each movement, links to original texts and documents, and analyzes them. I could criticize link by link, or make a general argument that Praba has betrayed those schools, specifically the Chelvanayagam which says, “Our movement will be all non-violent.” What’s cool is that I’m getting the quote from Taraki’s article, which means that it is structurally open to logical criticism and refutation. The problem is that his stuff is so well researched that I’d need to think and read and so, again, might just opt to kill him.
“Batticaloa is my home. This is where I was born and grew up. This is the only place in this wide world where the evening air is sweetly suffused with memories of the girls whom I once loved and the bars where I made merry in my first heady forays into manhood. This has been my home despite years of a deadly internecine war between the LTTE and another Tamil militant organisation to which I belonged, despite years of threats posed by the (formerly) much-feared ‘Razeek Group’, despite the dire uncertainties of life in the east during Eelam War III. (I am a reluctant sojourner of Colombo)
Therefore I won’t let the ‘Karuna Affair’ dislodge me from the only place I wish to settle down at the end of my travels, I tell my friends. “The fox that lives in the Palmyra grove won’t be startled by the rustling of fronds,” says the Tamil adage.”
*2. Well Supported*
* In his first public letter announcing his decision to function independently in Batticaloa, Karuna told Pirapaharan, “you are like a god to me”
* his relationship with Pirapaharan was so special that he could not bear to face the man who had always held his eastern commander in high esteem, regardless of several damning reports on him by the LTTE’s audit and intelligence.
* On February 10, Karuna met me and three Batticaloa journalists who were known to him personally (including Nadesan who was murdered on May 31)
For one, all the support above can be checked and verified or debated. In general, Taraki says ” I argue here that Karuna’s rebellion was ad hoc from start to finish. There was no long-term plan behind it.” If I had documents or sources that could show a long-term plan, either independent or in concert with the Sri Lankan Army. He tells me what his argument is and I can take it head on. Again, this a real tangle. There has to be a simpler solution…
uh, sleepy. There are a lot more articles on the Tamil Nation site. They’re very good, but not exactly casual reading. Excellent for research cause they’re so dense. I skim to get the opinions, which often scare me. However, it is excellent, professional writing. If someone had the strength to take him with words Sri Lanka would be a better place.