Thursday, May 25, 2006

JVP Terrorists

Here's a story...

On the 24th of May, two Tamil youth and one Muslim youth who were filming a protest organised by the JVP youth group Inter-University Students Federation (IUSF), were apprehended by the protesters, manhandled and handed over to the Fort Police Station. These students were carrying national identification and student identification cards, but the IUSF mob had already decided that these students were LTTE members.

The Fort Police soon informed IUSF convenor Duminda Nagamuwa that they had no case against the trainee journalists as the Fort Railway station area was a public space and the demonstration was for the public and anyone had the right to film it. Nagamuwa's requests to erase the tapes were denied.

Nagamuwa then called JVP Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa who in turn called the Senior Superintendent of Police. Weerawansa ordered the arrest of the three students. The OIC of the Fort Police was humbled by Weerawansa's call and despite his previous acceptance of the fact that there was no case against the students, he offered them an ultimatum: Hand over the tapes or get arrested.

lankatruth reports this story differerently. Tells us a lot about how operates. The only truth for the them is that anyone Tamil is a terrorist.

What does this mean?

The JVP, IUSF, JHU or any one of the right wing Sinhala extremist groups can haul off anyone they like to the police station, and the police will then arrest that person.

If they don't like a journalist, they can haul him off to the police and ask for his tapes to be erased, or his film to be exposed or his notebook to be destroyed.

The law of the land is Wimal Weerawansa and the JVP and their goons. Not the police or the courts. The police and the courts do what Wimal and the boys want.

I suppose one of these days Wimal will get some thugs to haul Mahida off to a well and hang a boulder round his neck and hey presto, the ltte will be banned from ... hmmm... let's see what's left ... hambantota?

Morq - you can blame Wimal whywasheeverborn as much as you like ... I think the real goons are those that have kept the JVP close to their hearts for decades. The real goons are those who go around saying things like ... "the JVP have changed" - CRAP...

There's more to come no doubt much, much, more.
What can I say? Stupidity seems to be the order of the day in Sri Lanka.

Those trainee journalists ought to have been exercising more caution; its all well and good to have journalist identification and cameras to shoot away to glory, but its another thing to be totally clueless to the realities of the tension in Sri Lanka (particularly Colombo since its the most multi-ethnic city).

On the other hand, that group of protestors had no business doing what they did. Once identification was shown, grumble, swear at them even, but man-handling them is crossing the line.

In short: I wish the bigwigs of the LTTE, JVP, (insert extremist asshole here) were lined up and shot. This country will have made the first infant step towards sanity then.
I'm a student at SLCJ and I think,

(a) If the students are aspiring journalists, they need common sense and an understanding of the different segments (which I don't approve of but tolerate) of our society.

(b) People like you should have warned them and adviced them before you sent them out.

(c) However, the arrest was uncalled for and I shudder to think what would have happened, had the ID's not being issued.

(d) Lankatruth is bull
Too bad you can't do anything about it Morquendi. You'll just have to continue sucking dick and bawling your eyes out.
Morq, I see your point and I'm inclined to agree with you on most counts. Democracy has a peculiar meaning in Sri Lanka and it seems we're reminded of this over and over again.

As for the trainees, it would have been a good idea for them to carry at the least a letter stating who they are (meaning what they're doing filming there)... lofty ideals are all well and good but as one of the 'anon's' here has pointed, out, the situation in the country is tense and filming anywhere and everywhere is not always acceptable, at least, calls for the excersing of some caution to say the least. That's the realpolitik of it I'm afraid.

As for labelling the JVP terrorists merely cause they man-handled the student-journos, well I'm afraid that's not terrorism. Terrorism actually requires a lot more than that and has an academic definition. Ok, even in academic circles, there is still no precise/agreed upon definition. But try the UN Ad-Hoc Committee on Terrorism and their definitions for the internationally accepted one.
Further to my previous comment....

As for the JVP... need I really comment? I'm often kept wondering if they're Marxist or Fascist after-all. Hmmmmmmmmm - makes things a lot more interesting. Marxist economics and Singhalese supremacist social thinking... so where does that leave us???? Hmmmmm.........
I'm having dinner tommorrow. The main course will include Wimal Weerawansa (that's not his real name, he actually changed it to have a Sinhala-Buddhist feeling)and dessert will include the likes of Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Vijitha Herath or even Somawansa himself...but the dude is so old and his balls are infested and green...ugggh...but I'll probably enjoy it.
Morquendi how does it feel to have absolutely no influence at all? It must burn you inside to know that the JVP has so many followers while all you have is your tiny little prick to keep you company.
This is not the first time this sort of incident happens in Colombo. Under current conditions I think Tamil journalist students should just stay away from this sort of events as it's just not safe.

I don't read lankatruth or Asian Tribune etc as they largely carry manufactured stories to please JVP/JHU segment of readers.
Dear anon above,
You probably have the best of intentions but just because the likes of the JVP wish to create a fear-psychosis, it would be folly for students of journalism to succumb purely because they're Tamil. The objective should be to be aware of the realpolitik in the country and to work around it - such as carry proper identification or be accompanied by someone more experienced in the field. Merely succumbing to such intimidation tactics and 'staying away' would be very defeatist. If such an approach is adopted, the standard of journalism in Sri Lanka will plummet further. The idea of schools like this are to improve the standards. Thus the mentality should be progressive, not reactionary and submissive.
I'm a student at SLCJ and the last anon said "Under current conditions I think Tamil journalist students should just stay away from this sort of events as it's just not safe."

Some of these students have come to Colombo from Jaffna. If they wanted to be "safe" as you say, they could have simply stayed there. And remember that nobody's safe anymore, whether you are Tamil or Sinhala or anything else.

We have a joke among ourselves to say we have a death wish when someone asks us why we wanted to become journalists. But jokes apart, the point of students being sent out on assignments is to prepare them for whatever obstacles they may face as professionals.

My point is, as aspiring journalists, these students should have had the presence of mind to know where they can go and cannot go. In an ideal world, one would be able to go anywhere they want but let's be realistic. AND Morq and the rest should also be responsible upto a point because students should be treated as students and the lecturers should have asked them where they were planning to go.
To the students of the SLCJ, Anons and everyone else.

Morquendi, or Nittewa have nothing to do with what I, Sanjaya Senanayake do in my 'real life'.

This blog is not news. Morquendi is not a journalist, or a lecturer.

Please get that straight. Thank you :)
Well, Sanjay Senanayake, sorry to say this but your personal life HAS got tangled up in this post. So maybe you should save your sarcasm for some other time.
The JVP is despicable but whts more sickening is keeping them inside and pretending that they're not in the govt. fold yet
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