All the stars that didn’t come, at House Of Fashions
A bunch of Tamil Nadu film associations are calling for a boycott of the IIFA awards in SL. I called this Suresh chap at their Chamber and he said they will not cooperate with anyone that participates, in light of the humanitarian situation. To which I’m like, huh? My issue with this type of opposition is that there’s no particular room for reality. It’s just spite. I really don’t think these guys will be happy with anything less than the imprisonment of the Rajapaksa government and carving out a separate state. And to that end they’ll spite a nikang party in the city. Which Tamil and Sinhala and Burgher and Bora and Muslim people here are visibly enjoying. At some point they just need to realize that Sri Lanka is a separate country, that Sinhala culture has a major place here and that there are incremental, positive things a neighbor can do.
Eelam Is Out
There will be no Eelam carved out of Sri Lanka. It’s inherently racist and weird. I agree with a lot of Tamil grievances but even I have zero sympathy for a separate state, neither under the LTTE, nor under nobody, as the current make-up would be. For many in Tamil Nadu this seems to be an idle ‘Free Tibet’ kinda thing. For most, it’s of zero interest at all. The demands of this vocal minority, however, are basically turning peoples lives into a distant sports much. They’re not going to do anything but they get nationalist backs up anyways. It’s a lose lose.
Rajapaksas Are In
Tamil Nadu politicos nor international NGOs nor even the UN has any place threatening or trying to convict the Rajapaksa government. It’s simply damned meddling they wouldn’t dare on a Dick Cheney or a Putin or even an obvious trouble like Kim Il Jong. Simply for reasons of international stability, and the knowledge that meddling often messes things up worse than they are. The thing is, on an international scale, Mahinda is actually running a stable, legitimate government.
He has done wrong things which I think should be admitted in the interest of truth, but it’s really in nobody’s political interest right now. Certainly not an geo-political interest. Sri Lanka can be unstable and messed up and I don’t think the Tamil Nadu Eelamists would care. But it’s not a game and people live here. They have to be at some point trusted to administer and elect their own, flawed government. It’s not a game.
America has a dominant Anglo-Saxon Christian culture. Christmas and stuff is a big part of its identity. India is huge, but there is a Hindi/Hindu thread to it. Tamil Nadu, as a huge largely autonomous state, is very Tamil, not leaving much space for Kannada or Telegu or other residents, at least in terms of culture. Sri Lanka is a largely Sinhala country and that culture has a disproportionate role in the culture of the island as a whole. I’m Sinhala, but speak English and am weird, though that’s still a bias. With that, I still think think Sri Lankan identity needs some content and that a lot of that content can and should be Sinhala.
A big part of that identity is also Tamil and Muslim and Burgher for me, but I get that the nation has a dominant ID. As long as there’s space for me and my friends to be different and ourselves I’m OK with that, and there is. I do think that the North and East should be more autonomous and Tamil basically is the dominant culture there (in the North at least). I think they can be part of a national leaning Sinhala culture and retain and contribute their own.
I think some activists in Tamil Nadu want nothing to do with the Sinhalese at all, just separation and fuck off. That’s not correct. Sinhala culture and identity has a place in this country and it should be respected.
And that’s about all. I like Tamil Nadu, I even like Chennai and most Tamil people I’ve met there are understanding, suitably disinterested and generally cool. There is a vocal minority, however, which should basically stop picking on us and chill out.