In an exclusive interview with the Sri Lankan Guardian, Ms. Arundhati Roy shared her views on
“The situation sounds in
“Indian civil society is a vast and varied creature. Most people in India have absolutely no idea what happened in Sri Lanka, because the Indian media was careful not to report it,” she said when I asked about present gloomy interests of an Indian civil society towards situation in Sri Lanka.
Speaking about war in
“I am in no way pro LTTE nor have I ever been. I cannot admire those whose vision can only accommodate justice for their own and not for everybody,” she has pointed out on her view regarding the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
Even talking about the policy of the Government of Sri Lanka, Ms. Roy asserted, “I do believe that the LTTE and its fetish for violence was cultured in the crucible of monstrous, racist, and injustice acts that the Sri Lankan government and to a great extent Sinhalese society visited on the Tamil people for decades.”
Has the Rajapakse Government's openly nationalized almost fascist rhetoric? What has Arundhati Roy said? Read full text of the interview is below:
Q. So how do you summarize the present political developments in
A: The situation sounds absolutely grim. I have not visited the camps myself, but from the reports that are emerging it is obvious that there is an unconscionable humanitarian crisis unfolding which the world seems to be turning it's eyes away from. For hundreds of thousands of people to be herded into camps and held there by a government that is so blatantly gloating over its military victory over them is a terrifying situation. Mind-numbing. The use of the term 'concentration camp' does seem appropriate given the few testimonies that have made their way out of the steel wall of silence the government has erected around them. If these testimonies are untrue, and if the Government of Sri Lanka has nothing to hide it should allow the media free access to the camps so they can see what is going on.
Q. The Government of
A: Indian civil society is a vast and varied creature. Most people in
Q. It is claimed by some quarters that
A: That the Indian government armed and trained the LTTE is well known. But then it switched sides.
Q. The Prevention of Terrorism Act–or as you have called it, the ‘Production of Terrorism Act’–is still in force in Sri Lanka, whilst hundreds of youth, most of them ethnic Tamils are being arrested under the PTA and held prisons or in undisclosed clandestine camps. It seems Patriotism, National Security, Humanitarian Mission etc of the government are overshadowing the Law and Order in the country. It is easy for people to be branded as patriots or traitors by under these missions thus undermining the law and order needed at this difficult juncture. If this continued what will be the long term consequences for
A. That is exactly what anti-terror laws are meant for. They are never meant for real terrorists. They are meant to terrorize ordinary people, to criminalize democratic space.In
Q. Whenever you came out with your views on the ground realities, you came under severe criticism of the
A. That is a pretty standard, self-serving way that most right wing governments have of dealing with criticism. It’s the old Bush doctrine ‘If you are not with us you are with the terrorists.” I refuse to submit to it. I am in no way pro LTTE nor have I ever been. I cannot admire those whose vision can only accommodate justice for their own and not for everybody. However I do believe that the LTTE and its fetish for violence was cultured in the crucible of monstrous, racist, injustice that the Sri Lankan government and to a great extent Sinhala society visited on the Tamil people for decades. I also believe that the LTTE must take at least some responsibility for the cataclysm that has befallen the people it claimed it spoke for, and fought for. The tragedy of