Thursday, 11 February 2016
Home Tamil Affairs International Affairs Editorial Opinion Feature Culture & Community Interviews
Latest Entries:
'A Fairy Story For The Galle Literary Festival By Popular Demand'
Tamil Guardian 15 January 2012 Print ArticleE-mail ArticleFeedback On Article
   
Critically acclaimed Sri Lankan born novelist Roma Tearne has released a satirical short story ahead of the Galle Literary Festival, which she, along with Reporters Without Borders, Noam Chomsky and Arundhati Roy amongst others, called to boycott last year.

Extracts from her piece have been reproduced below.
“The festival was in full swing. All the great writers from around the world were present, topping up their tan by the pool. Sorry I mean all the great white writers. The UK-returned natives were keen to stay out of the sun. Listen, you must understand, on this island paradise, the darker you were the harder it was to find a spouse and the more likely you were to be killed. It’s true.”

“The Festival sponsors strutted about and got lots of exposure. The organisers played at blind-man’s bluff. And the tan-toppers drank a lot. I’m telling you, all was as it should be.”

 “One or two people were a bit worried about security.

            ‘Did you hear a Russian girl was raped?’

            ‘No, no,’ SS told them, waggling his head. ‘That didn’t really happen! It was a play put on for the purpose of the Festival. It wasn’t the real thing!’

            ‘What about that Red Cross guy who was killed?’

            ‘That was in the play, too. Remember your Hamlet? The play’s the thing and all that…’

            ‘Oh okay,’ said the foreigners and off they went for a swim thinking, gosh, these people are incredibly friendly. They just smile and smile…. wasn’t there something like that in Hamlet, too?”

SS smiled. He went on smiling for two full minutes. Until a woman approached him. She was a funny colour, neither dark nor white with very long hair and a nasty sort of confidence.

 ‘Have you heard of Angelina Petipa?’ the woman asked.

            ‘No,’ lied SS.

            ‘She lives in the UK. And she’s a painter as well.’

            ‘Never heard of her,’ SS said, coldly.

            ‘She’s a friend of mine,’ the woman told him, bold as brass.

Of course SS knew of her. He wasn’t dumb. Angelina Petipa was a mixed race, half Tamil, half Singhalese bitch who banged on about ridiculous subjects like Injustice and Truth, and The War. According to big-mouth Ms Petipa there had been a few civilians taken away in white vans at some point. Still were according to her. Well, what d’you expect after a war?

‘You should look her up,’ the brassy woman continued. ‘She’s just had an exhibition at the Serpentine. It’s about the situation here.’

Situation, thought SS nastily. There is no situation in paradise. His head was beginning to ache.

              ‘The exhibition was called Stop The Human Abuse in Paradise,’ the woman persisted. 

            ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about,’ SS muttered.
And off he went in search of Sue. 

            ‘These festivals always attract some undesirables,’ he said later that night.”
Read her full piece, entitled “Unimpressive. A Fairy Story For The Galle Literary Festival By Popular Demand.” on her blog here.

Last year, as part of a boycott campaign organised by Reporters Without Borders and backed by Arundhati Roy and Noam Chomsky amongst others, Tearne wrote,
“One of the objectives of the government of Sri Lanka is to staunch criticism in order to give an appearance of normality within the country. The Galle Literary Festival is a perfect opportunity for doing this. It has risen in prominence and become a safe option for writers from abroad who dream of wide tropical beaches against a palm-fringed backdrop of boutique hotels. But these scenes are located far from the terrible mess in the north and north-east of the island. Here, unseen by western eyes, are illiterate Tamil children still living in psychological and physical deprivation.”
Also see our earlier post: Self indulgent hypocrisy (12 Feb 2011)

 
Share on Facebook Print ArticlePrint Article E-mail ArticleE-mail Article Feedback On ArticleFeedback On Article
 
 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Tamil Affairs
Tamil Guardian 11 February 2016
‘President will never accept international judges’ claims Sri Lankan minister

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will never allow international judges to participate in an accountability mechanism, said a government minister at a press briefing on Tuesday. [more]

Tamil Guardian 11 February 2016
Sri Lanka to have formal discussions over purchase of Indian fighter jets – reports
The Sri Lankan government is set to have formal discussions with India over the purchase of India’s indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas fighter jets, reports India Today. [more]

Tamil Guardian 11 February 2016
‘Stance on China has completely changed’ says Sri Lanka amidst looming financial crisis
The Sri Lankan government declared that it has “completely changed” its stance towards China, as it looks for investment in economic projects on the south of the island. [more]

Tamil Guardian 11 February 2016
Sri Lanka calls on North Korea to ‘abide by international obligations’

The Sri Lankan government called on North Korea to “abide by its international obligations” following the launch of long range rocket into space last week. [more]

Tamil Guardian 11 February 2016
Fonseka appointment sends ‘worrying signals on accountability’ in Sri Lanka – HRW
The appointment of former army commander Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka as a member of parliament sends “worrying signals on accountability” from both the Sri Lankan president and prime minister, [more]

Tamil Guardian 10 February 2016
UN Rights Chief must insist fulfilment of UNHRC resolution in Sri Lanka says Monitoring Accountability Panel
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Accountability Panel, expressing concern at recent rejections by Sri Lanka’s president on the need for an international component to the accountability process, [more]

Tamil Guardian 10 February 2016
US pledges $31 million assistance in governance, reconciliation and economic reform
The US government will look to provide $31 million of assistance in strengthening governance, democratic reform, civil society and reconciliation efforts said the US Secretary of State John Kerry. [more]

Tamil Guardian 10 February 2016
Suspected war criminal Sarath Fonseka takes oath as MP

Former army commander Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka, who is suspected of being responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity, has been sworn in as an MP, after his appointment by the ruling coalition. [more]


Print Editions

 
 

Contact Tamil Guardian
www.tamilguardian.com