Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Tamil Sri Lanka: a report from the field

The recent offensive by the Sri Lankan army against the rebel Tamil Tigers group prompted massive protests by Tamil communities around the world, and allegations that the Sri Lankans were attacking civilian refugees as well as rebel fighters. In recent weeks Western aid agencies and journalists have confirmed that large numbers of civilians died at the hands of the Sri Lankan army. Although the fighting is over in Sri Lanka, hundreds of thousands of Tamils are being herded at gunpoint into poorly-equipped internment camps, where the Sri Lankan government wants to keep them for at least a year. The Red Cross and other aid agencies have been refused access to the camps.

Recent events in Sri Lanka are just the latest chapter in a long and tragic story. In a talk at the University of Auckland next Thursday, anthropologist Margaret Trawick will discuss the history of oppression that Sri Lanka's Tamil minority has suffered, and explain why she believes that this oppression amounts to a 'slow genocide'. Trawick has worked as an anthropologist amongst Sri Lanka's Tamils, and has witnessed firsthand the efforts of the Sri Lankan government to destroy their culture, language, and physical heritage.

Trawick's lecture, which will be followed by question and answer and discussion sessions, is the first in a series of events being organised by the Justice for Tamils Student Association to raise Kiwi awareness of the ongoing tragedy in Sri Lanka.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The case of the missing tribute

You didn't like my feminist tribute to kind Keri Hulme? You've taken it down....

I can always put it back so we can laugh at pretentious poets who slag off others but cannot 'bare' to have the same done to them.

Be a man Scott, if you are one, and put it back. Show us you can take it as well as give it.

11:28 am  
Blogger maps said...

You're welcome to post verse satires that target me, Mr Evans, but it's a bit rough to say nasty things about a person who doesn't even write for this blog, and isn't here to defend herself, especially when your insults come garnished with sexism.

Here's an idea: why don't you write a guest post for this blog explaining why my poetry is pretentious? I promise to publish it in full. I may even agree with some of what you write!

11:33 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Anonymous your "tribute" was ambiguous to say the least. What is your point? Of course Keri Hulme is a great (very talented and significant) writer - but what is your point? That we all agree with each other? We don't. If Maps is pretentious tell him why. Can Art be pretentious? What does that mean to "be pretentious"? Isn't all Art artifice to some degree? Explain yourself young person!

But not in silly doggerel.

11:27 pm  
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