The tale of poor Ben Arnoldy
Arnoldy is a staff writer at the Christian Science Monitor and not
someone getting something off his chess in the manner of someone writing
in opinion to the editor. Staff writers are in general required to have
or acquire more than a smattering of knowledge on the subjects they
touch on. It is in this sense that Arnoldy’s recent piece titled ‘Sri
Lanka floods provide chance for government, Tamil Tiger reconciliation’
raises questions regarding the magazine’s integrity, commitment to
upholding journalistic ethics and affirming the first part of that
well-known adage ‘facts are sacred, comment free’.
|Type : Weekly
Owner : Christian Science
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The title frames the ideological and political objective-vision of
the writer and of course the Christian Science Monitor. To me it is
nothing more than a bad case of horrendously naive people swallowing so
much propaganda that they cannot separate fact from fiction.
For a long time the term ‘Tamil Tiger’ did have some political
reference in the discourse of reconciliation, not because the LTTE
understood the term or desired resolution but that the outfit was a
political reality in terms of military presence and capacity. But this
man Arnoldy is writing in January 2011.
He is either been sleeping for two months or doesn’t have the basic
skill and training even to be a junior reporter or is deliberately
attempting to misinform and mislead the poor readers of the Christian
Ben needs to wake up. Not only is it ridiculous from the point of
view of any responsible government and a citizenry that wants peace to
accommodate a terrorist outfit (the world’s most ruthless, no less, Ben
might not know) but the comprehensive elimination of the LTTE by the end
of May 2009 makes any proposal that contains the term ‘LTTE’ (or Tamil
Tiger) patently nonsensical.
Pedestrians walk by the Christian Science Church in Boston.
Picture courtesy: Google
The article is full of bleeding-heart nonsense about the predicament
of Tamil civilians with hardly any appreciation of context and history.
Perhaps in the absence of any first hand knowledge, Ben has deferred to
the views of someone called Jennifer Hyndman of the Centre for Refugee
Studies, York University Canada.
She comes up with a howler: ‘I think the government has a chance to
impress the people affected by this disaster as well as much of the
world and prove it is not dispossessing its Tamil people’.
Dispossession of Tamils has for decades been the preserve of Tamil
Tigers and their apologists. They’ve fleeced innocent Tamils here in Sri
Lanka and those in other countries at gun point to tune of billions of
dollars which Ben and Jennifer ought to know went straight into the
LTTE’s war chest and purchased the bullets and bombs and other weapons
that were employed to perpetrate ethnic cleansing, horrendous crimes
against humanity and help perpetuate the misery of the people of Sri
Lanka, especially the Tamils. That dispossession stopped in May 2009
courtesy the Government of Sri Lanka.
People rescued from the clutches of a butcher do not immediately find
themselves in a place called Heaven on Earth.
Jennifer and Ben are probably not aware of the how much
ground-clearing needs to take place before anyone can think of normalcy,
in particular the painfully slow and high-risk business of clearing the
land of all types of explosives buried in the conflict areas by the LTTE.
Ben’s claims about the Government’s intentions remain exactly that.
I want to forgive these individuals for their ignorance. I wondered,
however, how on earth they ended up conflating ‘Tamil’ with ‘Tamil
Tiger’. Ben had answered the question unwittingly. He’s quoted someone
he obviously thinks has first-hand knowledge. Jehan Perera. ‘No wonder’!
I said to myself.
Jehan Perera spent many years seeking to legitimate the LTTE and
paint that butcher-organization as ‘sole representatives of the Tamil
people’. He and his ilk soft-pedalled LTTE atrocities and spared no
pains to give it parity of status vis-a-vis the Government of Sri Lanka.
He also earned a lot of bucks emanating from sources that have had a
long history of supporting the LTTE one way or another, let us not
It is funny when such an individual passes judgement on the
intentions and track-record of a Government which for all its faults has
cleared the ground for articulation of grievance, assessment of their
true dimensions and the resurrection of democratic structure for such
things to happen. Jehan is fixated on devolution because buttressing the
principle fiction-predicate of so-called Tamil grievances that of
traditional homeland, has always been his bread and butter.
He has not up to now considered the following facts: a) the homeland
claim is short on substantiation, b) the majority of Tamils live outside
the Northern and Eastern Provinces, making devolution-as-solution a
ridiculous proposition and c) the Provincial Council system (which Ben
refers to in passing) is a monumental failure and moreover does not
stand the test of scrutiny in terms of economic and developmentalist
Ben quotes Jennifer as saying that although post-tsunami
‘reconciliation’ between the Government and the LTTE failed, this is a
Both Ben and Jeniffer are clearly living in cloud cuckoo land and
their assertions make the Christian Science Monitor and the York
University respectively the laughing stock of anyone who has more than a
second graders knowledge of Sri Lanka. I don’t blame them. Their
careless conflations are derived from an uncritical acceptance of a
pernicious misleader. Jehan Perera.
They would do well to visit Sri Lanka and ask people some questions
from those who don’t belong to the handful of people who had succeeded
in covering their intellectual paucity and political malice with
academic garb and well-branded but self-created labels. Jehan Perera is
a joke, friends.
Quote him as authority and guess what happens? Well, you turn
yourself into a clown. I think both the Christian Science Monitor and
York University deserve better.