Thursday, April 27, 2006

N Ram pays back for the Lanka Ratna

For those few who are unaware of this N Ram the editor of The Hindu was awarded Sri Lanka Ratna, the highest civilian award that can be conferred on a foreigner in Srilanka in Nov 2005. This was for "exceptionally outstanding and most distinguished service to Sri Lanka in particular and\or humanity in general".

N Ram has been a consistent supporter of the Srilankan government in its war against Tamil Tigers. This is unlike most of Tamilnadu which harbours a supportive attitude towards the Tamil Eelam struggle. Nothing wrong with that, each one is entitled to his view.

But what distinguishes N Ram is his use of editorial space to blatantly twist facts in favor of the Srilankan Government. Sample his editorial today

and behind its(LTTE) attempt to foment anti-Tamil ethnic violence in Trincomalee earlier this month

The fact is Tamils were killed in various attacks in Trincomalee. But N Ram feels that Tigers orchestrated the attack on their own men so that there will be violence.

President Mahinda Rajapakse cannot be blamed if his patience is now wearing a little thin. Following the latest provocation, he ordered air and naval strikes in North-East Sri Lanka. President Rajapakse evidently wanted to send a message that he will not remain a silent onlooker as a terrorist group tries to take out the country's army chief. Still, restraint is the Government's best weapon against the LTTE

Reading this you can imagine President Mahinda Rajapakse as a benevolent man, trying hard not to fight, but being forced by the LTTE to fight. But the fact is he was elected on the basis of his hardline stance against LTTE

In a war that has been going on for 30 years both sides would have committed serious mistakes. That is what is war is about, you go to fight against something which you perceive is wrong and end up doing the samething. But according to Mr. Ram there is only one side that is responsible for the mess. And that is LTTE.

Disclaimer: I don't support LTTE or anyother organisation. I am aware of the situation in Srilanka only from newsreports. Even this second hand information clearly shows that Mr. Ram is completely biased towards the Srilankan Government.


Anonymous said...

A post on Dayanidhi Maran followed by N.Ram. Superb timing. And I was about to point out that the Tata-Maran issue never made the headlines of The Hindu.

Anonymous said...

It is true, as to how the mass media have tried to twist the tales. The only paper i really trust is the Indian Express. Hindu, being pro BJP comes up with a lotta unwanted stuff steered towards their propaganda.


The Talkative Man said...

There's a lot more to it.

In 1983 after Black July happened leading to the death of about 3000 tamils with 125000 other tamils rendered homeless, Indian govt sent the diplomat G.Parthasarathy(possibly a relation of Ram - they both played for TN in Ranji and were close since childhood) to Sri Lanka. Ram had a pretty big role to play in this as he was close to RAW and some Indian intelligence. Interestingly Parthasarathy who was Indira's Man Friday, took with him snaps of the genocide that Telegraph's Anita Pratap smuggled from Sri Lanka. GP and Ram had a big role to play in the July 1987 accord.

Now take a look at what Hindu's S.Parthasarathy wrote in 1983:
Link a realistic depiction

But it was 1987 which rapidly altered the scenario when IPKF clashed with the LTTE.

I remember going to school as an 8th std kid the day Hindu put a report said Prabhakaran was dead - was talking about it with my Sri Lankan friends who'd migrated.
After several years, I found the scanned pic of that article!!
I will spare myself here and let you go thru the page.

Yup, there's definitely more to it than meets the eye!

NR has dramatically changed his stance after the 87-89 conflict.

Some of the reasons could be valid too - 38 militant groups were there there in late 70s. They united as 5 in early 80s and came to India for training. When they went back to Jaffna, in a bloodbath in May 1986, the LTTE finished off TELO and PLOTE, who were the blue-eyed boys of RAW who trained them in India! RAW always felt that Prabha's men were the most intransigent of the lot, especially after a shooting with PLOTE Uma Maheswaran at Pondy Bazaar 1982 and other incidents.

Chenthil, I've read atleast 3000 pgs on this issue spanning about a dozen authors, talked to Sri Lankan expats, NGO workers, in touch with Sinhalese and Tamils from Colombo. The more I read, the more depressing it gets. There are 100s of tragic tragic tales..gotta take things as they come and not look for right or wrong. Some things in life will never have answers.

The Talkative Man said...

All said and done, the suicide attack on Sarath Fonseka was a blatant violation of the Feb 22 Geneva Talks and the Ceasefire Agreement. Rajapakshe is a hardliner allright but what happened last week was a provocation and had to be responded. It was an effective strategy too as Canada banned the tigers last week and therefore chances of a Tiger reprisal was bleak. The bombing has now got the Tigers exploring the option for talks.

Chenthil said...

TTM, thanks for the links. I didn't know about the links between GP and Ram, but all other info is widely known.

I have serious reservations about LTTE myself (not that it matters anyway), but this sort of blatant obfuscation is hard to digest.

Agreed that the attack on Sarath Fonseka was in violation of the truce agreement. What about the murders in Trincomalee (I always thought of it as Tirikonamalai, but the English spelling is strange)? Ram is hoisting it on the Tigers, that they killed the Tamils to foment violence. As an impartial observer, do you feel that this is the truth?

ttm said...

Jaffna is Yarlppaanam, Batticaloa is Mattakizhappu...

One of the ancient tactics has been to provoke the enemy into attacking the civilians - Black July happened a day after 13 soldiers were killed, IPKF wiped out 70 people in Jaffna Hospital after firing came from within it. But even then one cant exonerate Hindu since they have been very quiet over the killings of Tamil journalists in 2005 by Karuna's group armed by GoSL. Not merely journalists but the tamil politicians have been selectively liquidated. Till the air attacks, every attack on Tiger territory had unmistakeable proof of karuna's group.

When Ram goes into his fixed mindset, he's hard to dislodge. In mid 2003(I'm not able to get the link), his personal friendship with Subramaniam Swamy allowed the latter to attack the Aryan-invasion theory in Frontline. When Ram feels like, he might allow a view opposite to his to get published.

Check out Sachi Kantha's writings. Although a diehard, he writes in an enjoyable style and has a fine eye for detail, minus the spin-doctoring.

Anonymous said...

I agree with with N.Ram and Malini Parthasarathy are partisan.Pro Sri lankan ,Pro communist see there coverage in Nadhigram