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On hunger strike in central London.

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Eddie Mair | 15:42 UK time, Thursday, 23 April 2009

Ray Furlong has been to see a man who's on hunger strike over the situation in Sri Lanka. You can hear his report on the programme tonight. Ray sends these photos...and underneath some of his observations.




"There are things I couldn't ask him about because there was limited time (he's very weak, and didn't raise his head from the pillow during the interview. I lay down on a mattress opposite him, leaning on one arm and holding the microphone with the other). So there are some unanswered questions - how did he get out of prison? How did he come to the UK? What is his relationship to the LTTE ? (he says none)."

Hear Ray's report in PM tonight.


  • 1. At 3:52pm on 23 Apr 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Poor, brave man.

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  • 2. At 3:56pm on 23 Apr 2009, Thunderbird wrote:

    One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter

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  • 3. At 3:57pm on 23 Apr 2009, Simon wrote:

    We can all guess what he'd LIKE to achieve.

    But what will his death REALLY achieve?


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  • 4. At 4:28pm on 23 Apr 2009, U13928940 wrote:

    I have to question whether what this man is doing could have any effect on the course of events in Sri Lanka. It is highly unlikely that it will make HMG demand a halt to the military offensive. Even if they did make such a demand, it's highly unlikely that the Sri Lankan government will take any notice anyway.

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  • 5. At 4:58pm on 23 Apr 2009, Charlie wrote:

    "Accept the world as you find it but don't leave it that way"

    I'm not sure what this fellow's death will achieve or even, what he thinks it will achieve.

    A waste of a life would, regrettably, be my thought...

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  • 6. At 5:01pm on 23 Apr 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    WR and Jim: No, his death probably won't push events forwarded, but (like other martyrs) it may prick a few consciences. It is impossible not to be moved by such dedication to a cause.

    The thing that has occurred to me since he began his protest is to feel humbled by the apparent trust that is being placed in the British sense of fair play. This man must be aware that the British Government cannot, of itself, halt the actions of the Sri Lankan government. I presume he is, therefore, anticipating that we will try to protect the interests of his fellow Tamils.

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  • 7. At 5:39pm on 23 Apr 2009, Charlie wrote:

    Interestingly (to me at any rate) it appears Mia Farrow is to commence (this coming Monday) a "21-day" hunger struck in support of the people of Darfur...

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  • 8. At 6:24pm on 23 Apr 2009, Simon wrote:

    I wonder if the quantity of comments on a thread is indicative of reader interest in the subject matter?

    If it is then this man might as well order a steak lunch with all the trimmings, because no-one much seems to care either about his campaign or the plight of his people.

    8 posts, including this one, from only 5 contributors.


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  • 9. At 9:40pm on 23 Apr 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    WR, there isn't really a lot to say, though, is there.

    Despair doesn't leave much room for comment.

    And neither he nor we can do anything about the cause of his despair.

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  • 10. At 10:09pm on 23 Apr 2009, ShanthyK wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 11. At 10:57pm on 23 Apr 2009, quiteAN wrote:

    Parameswaran is a saint for Tamil and his soul always live among Tamil for ever.
    BigSister - I understand HMG can't force SL government to stop the war but there are many things HMG can do to stop the war:
    1) Stop the IMF funding to SL, as SriLanka spends all money in killing innocent tamils.
    2) Stop the GSP (a preferential access for trade) on the basis SL government is breaching the human rights.
    3) Kick SL out of Commonwealth nations
    Why HMG and USA went to a war in Iraq and Afganistan? HMG could have closed eyes to Taliban rule in Afgan but they did not. Did HMG find chemical weapons in Iraq? Chemical weapons has been used by SriLanka to kill the tamils.

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  • 12. At 11:14pm on 23 Apr 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    quiteAN: I hope you will understand that I was not defending HMG. Anything that it can do to help solve the situation for the Tamils will have my full support.

    You are all in my thoughts.

    As to your comments about recent wars, I do not defend these actions either.

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  • 13. At 10:05am on 24 Apr 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    I thought it was illegal to hold protests in Parliament Square. Why aren't these people being treated like the G20 protesters?

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  • 14. At 10:31am on 24 Apr 2009, Sid wrote:

    I didn't know the G20 protesters were in Parliament square ...

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  • 15. At 10:33am on 24 Apr 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    Sid 14, They weren't, and their protest was legal. That didn't stop one person (not a protester) ending up dead and others with large bruises from being hit by batons.

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  • 16. At 10:36am on 24 Apr 2009, Sid wrote:

    And you want the same to happen to the Tamils?

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  • 17. At 10:38am on 24 Apr 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    I'm sure David doesn't want that to happen, Sid! But it's a good question - Perhaps Eddie has an answer?

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  • 18. At 10:39am on 24 Apr 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    Sid, 16, No, but I want all people treated equally. If the G20 protesters had tried to get to Parliament Square all heck would have broken loose.

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  • 19. At 11:08am on 24 Apr 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    I believe all heck did break out earlier this month when there was a full scale protest, David.

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  • 20. At 1:09pm on 24 Apr 2009, x_Janaka wrote:

    In BBC article He claims that his family was killed by security forces, but fail to give circumstances of their death. His father and family probably have died fighting for the LTTE terrorists. And Subramaniam could have been sent here by LTTE , two months back to do this hunger strike in London so that LTTE terrorist leaders could escape certain defeat. It is similar to an Al-Qaida member doing hunger strike in London against coalition forces killing his fellow terrorists.
    Further he said his family was killed by poison gas, chemical weapons. Thats new a new accusation. They started this campaign with accusing genocide since it didnt work now have added chemical weapons as well, what could be next; Nuclear missiles?

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  • 21. At 1:15pm on 24 Apr 2009, x_Janaka wrote:

    This is to moderator or to the webmaster. (Probably the wrong forum to comment but cant find any other means) Why don't you arrange the comments other way around? then all the new comments will appear on top. In the current arrangement every time one has to scroll down to bottom to see what's new

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  • 22. At 1:30pm on 24 Apr 2009, shanthy65 wrote:

    I was from his Home town, His father shot by the SL Navy is true and he was a normal civilian. I don't know what happened to his rest of the family as SLG didn't permit any reporters to the Vanni. but I heard from people whatever he is telling is true and He is not a LTTE member.
    If I don't have 2 daugters, I would do the same (hunger strike), to bring the sense to the international community, and to stop the Genoside in Sri lanka.

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  • 23. At 1:45pm on 24 Apr 2009, x_Janaka wrote:

    Dear shanthy65, of course dont join the hunger strike for the sake of your two daughters. If something happen to you their life will fall in to a misery as there will not be any one to provide for them. That is the example given by the LTTE leader Prabhakeren as well. Give all the luxuries to your own children but use others children to do your dirty work. Higher education and luxuries to Prabhakerens daughter and son but the gun and cyanide capsule for the other Tamil children, forcefully abducted from their schools (well that is a kind of Genocide isnt it? sending young to their death)

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  • 24. At 1:53pm on 24 Apr 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    x_Janaka @ 21, it is usual to read English prose from left to right, and from top to bottom of a page.

    The posts in this blog follow this pattern for reading English prose, which has obtained since well before the invention of printing.

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  • 25. At 2:06pm on 24 Apr 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    C_G 24, Didn't they used to be the other way round and they switched them?

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  • 26. At 2:30pm on 24 Apr 2009, quiteAN wrote:

    x_janaka - If SL goverment had treated Tamil and Sinhala there would not be a war in SL. Sinhalase get everything in silver plate from SL government. What do we get from SL? Take our friends and families lives.

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  • 27. At 2:34pm on 24 Apr 2009, Charlie wrote:

    D-M 18


    I do wish you'd rid your mind of thoughts of equality. Regrettably, such thoughts are no longer appropriate in this country.

    This is Britain. Where, seemingly, our Government's idea of equality is embodied in it's latest legislation in "favour" of the Ghurkas...

    R.I.P what was "Great Britain"

    P.S. When you say:

    "...No, but I want all people treated equally" I hope that doesn't equate to all of us being hit with a Batton when a Police Officer approaches us from behind...

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  • 28. At 2:43pm on 24 Apr 2009, shanthy65 wrote:

    x_Janaka, well .. well.. who told you that I am giving a luxuries life to my daughters, is this how you got the information about Mr Prabakaren; and I didn't ask Parameswaran to go on his Hunger strike. But, Whatever he does for his people is Great & he is a saint for Tamils, who are distroyed by the SLG Forces/ Thugs.
    Also, SLG is the one refusing the education for Tamils since the 'standardisation the university entrance' and refusing the proper school education for the children in the so-called concentrations(Torture) camps. SLG is the one who is responsible for more than 75000 Tamils’ murders. SLG is committing systematic genocide against Tamils since 1948, along with all the rapes, tortures, forceful abortions/sterilisations, aerials bombing including use of chemical weapons/cluster bombs etc.
    Please stop calling me ‘Dear’ and Don’t attack me personnaly. If you are a normal/sensible person just post a blog and go. I hope this isn't your full time job was given by SLG.

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  • 29. At 4:21pm on 24 Apr 2009, Adam_Brad wrote:

    X-Janaka :
    If Sri Lankan Government has nothing to hide – if there is no genocide /cluster bombs /chemical bombs then why are they not allowing the international monitors / journalist from international medias to visit the Tamil controlled areas independently.

    Moreover, when one warring side( Tamil rebels) has openly called for UN monitors why the so called democratically elected Sri Lankan government is denying access to international community??????

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  • 30. At 4:26pm on 24 Apr 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    DMcN @ 25, not since greek got started as a written language, I don't think.

    Oh, you mean the blog? I think that it was top-posted for a week or two at one point, but then they realised that reading upwards from the bottom is essentially backwards (unless possibly in hebrew? doesn't that start at the back of the book and work towards the front cover, as it were?) and put it back so that the end was at the end and the beginning at the beginning, instead of the end one post after the beginning and the beginning one post before the end.

    (Just think: with top-posting, if you landed in the middle of a TRW-length exposition, you would have no idea whether it was coming or going. Ah... So no change there then. Forget I mentioned it.)

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  • 31. At 4:30pm on 24 Apr 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    Charlie 27, OK, some people are more equal than others. Hit me with your rhythm stick, hit me, hit me...

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  • 32. At 4:31pm on 24 Apr 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    C_G 30, Shows how far back I go. And, I remembered it!

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  • 33. At 4:41pm on 24 Apr 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    BS 17, But perhaps Eddie isn't telling.

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  • 34. At 5:36pm on 24 Apr 2009, ShanthyK wrote:

    Evidence has already been provided that The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) are actually using chemical weapons and cluster bombs against the Tamil community. Moreover, the GOSL has met every criteria for committing genocide. All these days, the GOSL cateogorically stated that all the other countries should mind their own business. Now, they are begging for financial help uder the guise of helping the Tamil refugees - who they created. Well, I am a Tamil and I do not want the International Communities to give any aid. If the International Communities did so (and some have already pledged to do so), most of this aid will never reach the Tamils - the aid will turn into chemical weapons and bombs and only these will reach the Tamil community. The Tamil community is still waiting to see the aid from Tsunami. We only rebuilt our community following teh Tsunami by the diaspora sending the money directly to the affected areas. Please do not give aid and money to the GOSL for them to continue with their ethnic cleansing against the Tamil community.

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  • 35. At 6:29pm on 24 Apr 2009, SandPriya wrote:

    What is the next step: SL Govt nuked the Tamil civilians. I don't know what facny world you live in. Evidence provided by who? LTTE!
    Where were you when LTTE and other Tamil terrorists annihilated the Sinahalese from the North and the East? How many Sinhalese live in the North and the Est of Sri Lanka? How many Tamils live everywhere in Sri Lanka?
    As for this guy on a hunger strike:
    His asylum/refugee case is surely on right track now. He got off to a great start.
    This guy most probably have lived safely in Colombo or among the Sinhalese, he says tried to kill him every step of the way.
    Unfortunately Western nations buy these tall tales these economic refugees tell without even trying to find the truth about how things got to this point.
    These people are not protesting because as they say what happens to Tamils in Sri Lanka. They are more worried about their refugee visas. If peace returns they will be sent back to Sri Lanka by the immigration dept's all over the world. That is their main worry.

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  • 36. At 7:02pm on 24 Apr 2009, x_Janaka wrote:

    QuiteAN – 26
    Nobody gave me anything on silver plate. I worked for it. The unequal treatment is not the reason for this war. It is just a myth spread by some, for there own benefit. The reality is everybody have problems, in this case some have managed to convince Tamils that they are the only people with problems and they are having problems because they are Tamils. And the solution to problem is the Elam. And this had let to this war and the death of many Tamils. One example I can point out is proportion of Tamils in Universities. I went to a University in Colombo and one third of the students were Tamils. This is more than faire treatment because the Tamil percentage is about 12%. However please understand that I do not find fault with that many Tamils in the University as I believe it should go to most suitable regardless of race. I admit that Tamils in Sri Lanka is going under hardship because of the war, but things will return to normal after LTTE is destroyed. Prolonging the survival of LTTE will result in prolongation of civilian suffering.

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  • 37. At 7:16pm on 24 Apr 2009, LondonLadsDaddy wrote:

    IN Today Leaked UN report said there are over 20,000 Casualty since January.
    6500 deaths, and in the last few days everyday over 1500 casualty.

    srilankan governement Commiting genocide and fooling the world as a Hostage rescue mission.
    UN head Bank Moon is a worse leader. i do not know what this man doing ( i am really angry at this idiot B(L)anki MOON )
    there are two things world thinks India have joined the super Club and it may look after the problems in the region but india is incapable of anything. it is not a super power it is just a waste of time.
    the world should understand that first and take action to save tamils.
    sinhala governemnt killed over 300,000 tamils todate but they are fooling the world as only 70,000 deaths.
    srilankan governemnt using food and medicine as a wepons and its time UN should take action.
    Or let tamils to help our brothers and sisters and relative struck in vanni ,
    tamils living abroad had collected food and medicine to sent to the people but sinhala government refusing to give permision for the ship.
    this young man is trying save the lifes of people in vanni , and UN the world body is inactive ,
    two months ago a another tamil IT graduate set himself on fire in front of UN office to highlight the UN inaction after several protests.
    still no actions.
    there are 2000 tamils killed by srilankan government everyday and the world leaders dont want to know about it , this boy also die in few days , and the world leaders also have blood in their hands.

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  • 38. At 7:27pm on 24 Apr 2009, LondonLadsDaddy wrote:

    It can show how low the sinhalese can go a man on hunger strike for over 17 days and this man talks about he was on strike for assylum visa. this low these sinhalese are.
    then he say
    next thing srilanka to Nuke tamils , if they have the technology surely they would have used it,
    in my home town 25 years ago srilankan army arrested over 70 young men and locked them in a library and bombed them. this is how brutal these government.
    then he says who gave the evidence on Chemical wepons. all foreign media were baned from going to war zone by srilankan governemnt . all Non government was kicked out from War zone by srilankan government and any media person report the war are killed.
    government own defence ministry put a picture of BBC as LIES and BAREFACED BROADCASTING see it yourself
    sinhala Nazis are commiting all war crimes without withness no media no foreign NGO , srilankan government troops killing in thousands
    only one or two tamil media person take pictures of attrocities it is just a tip of the iceburg of what is happening,
    there is a genocide that going on.
    world must stop this genocide.

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  • 39. At 8:12pm on 24 Apr 2009, SandPriya wrote:

    You are either illiterate or ignorant. More likely both. I don't remember US or UK allowing media other than their own when they started Iraq war. Why do you think Sri Lankan govt should allow foreign media? All NGO's are LTTE terror supporters that is they were kicked out.
    Where do you get the evidence for chemical attacks? From Norway perhaps.

    Where excatly were you when LTTE burtchered innocent Sinhala children, women and men?

    Where were you when Kent & Dollar farm massacres happend?

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  • 40. At 8:47pm on 24 Apr 2009, youngnewmember wrote:

    quiteAN - 26:
    I'm a 100% Sri Lankan, but not a sinhalese.but i get everything i need in a silver plate as u mentioned in Sri Lanka.

    Honestly, there is no need for a war in Sri Lanka. Even the LTTE was not thinking about a war in 1970's. But, some third party groups wanted a war in Sri Lanka. If you search google, u can easily find who gave armed training to the LTTE.

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  • 41. At 8:52pm on 24 Apr 2009, youngnewmember wrote:

    And, if you try to have just equal rights, u will have them. but, if u are looking for superior rights where u r minority and there is a majority over 60% in the country, u will get nothing.

    My next question for those who talk about killings of innocent civilians:

    Were you guys sleeping when the LTTE blasted bombs all over Sri Lanka and killed thousands of innocent civilians?

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  • 42. At 9:10pm on 24 Apr 2009, ShanthyK wrote:

    Hello. We live in the 21st century. Despite the fact that the journalists, NGOs etc., are banned from the war zone, the Tamil journalists have been roughing it out in the war zone. The fact that chemical weapons are being used by the Sri Lankan (SL) govt was proved on the ground level in Sri Lanka and has also been signed off by practitioners in UK. So, please stop pretending to be asleep.

    The media were allowed into Iraq - wakey, wakey.

    Asylum claim, huh? Well, I am a British citizen and a well educated one for that - I work as a consultant. I am what you will classify as a second generation Tamil and I have children of my own as well. Believe it or not, I have done my own research. But then, I should - after all, it is my community (the Tamils) that are being subjected to the following - rape, torture, forceful abortions, forceful sterilisations, indiscriminate bombing including use of chemical weapons and cluster bombs, starvation, lack of medicines etc. Who are the aggressors - the Sri Lanka Sinhala state terrorists. Parameswaran does not have to starve himself to death to be acle to claim asylum - enroute, damaging his kidneys, heart etc! You see, it takes a real victim to understand the pain of other victims. Anyway, I am going to close off my discussion here as my community needs me to try and save them from complete destruction by the Sinhala Sri Lankan state terrorists.

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  • 43. At 9:32pm on 24 Apr 2009, SandPriya wrote:

    First all your writing skills suddenly improved. Hired a ghost writer?

    LTTE terror propanda people are not journalists.

    Only media allowed into Iraq were chosen by the respective Govt's of the coalition. No free media was allowed. Getting facts is not your strenghth. We know that. So you wakey, wakey.

    But then, I should - after all, it is my community (the Tamils) that are being subjected to the following - rape, torture, forceful abortions, forceful sterilisations, indiscriminate bombing including use of chemical weapons and cluster bombs, starvation, lack of medicines etc.-MY BEST GUESS IS IF THESE THINGS REALLY HAPPEND, THEY MUST HAVE CARRIED OUT BY THE LTTE. BECAUSE UP UNTIL A FEW WEEKS AGO THERE WERN'T ANY SRI LANKAN FORCES THERE.

    And now the self appointed saviours of Tamils are hiding behind old women, children and men. And killing them if they try to escape to safety.

    Go figure!

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  • 44. At 9:37pm on 24 Apr 2009, quiteAN wrote:

    Youngnewmember - you need to grow.
    The following riots had taken place in SL to kill Tamil and destroy their properties:
    Gal Oya (1956)
    1958 riots (1958)
    1977 riots (1977)
    Jaffna library (1981)
    Black July (1983)
    Welikada (1983)
    Kalutara (1997)
    Bindunuwewa (2000)

    Why Tamils in SL have to suffer?

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  • 45. At 10:33pm on 24 Apr 2009, SandPriya wrote:

    You need to be honest(know it is not your stength). Below is list of achivements by LTTE:

    Soldiers are killed in Jaffna-13 killed(cause of 1983 riots)

    Kent & Dollar Far massacre-62 killed

    Anuradhapura massacre-146 killed

    Digamphana massacre-92-103 killed

    Kebithigollewa massacre-66 killed

    Gonagalla massacre-54 killed

    Dehiwala train bombing-64 killed

    Central bank bombing-91 killed

    October 1995 eastern Sri Lanka massacre-120 killed

    Palliyagodella massacre-109 killed

    Kattankudi mosque massacre-147 killed

    Habarana bus massacre- 127 killed

    Indian prime ministered assasinated-1
    (along with him another +++)
    Sri Lankan presidents assasianated-1
    (along with him another +++)
    Attempted assasination of Sri Lankan presidents-1
    Bombing of Colombo WTC-+++ killed
    Colombo airport ++++killed

    List goes on and on and on and on.....

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  • 46. At 07:52am on 26 Apr 2009, shanthy65 wrote:

    Eddie Mair, why you haven't put anything about Sivatharson, who also started the hunger strike with Parameswaren. Sivatharson gave up the hunger strike because he needed to ready for his visists to UN, EU, Etc.

    Sivatharson is british, who came here long ago.

    SLG and Singaleese thugs are doing Genoside and these two young fellows trying to do some thing for the Tamils and tring hard to stop the Tamils long- sufferering since 1948.

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  • 47. At 10:12am on 26 Apr 2009, jothees08 wrote:

    Its very sad but it is not that easy to justify his cause either.

    I think you should have clearly questioned him what he really wants ? "release/protection of innocent people" or "safe guard LTTE" for which he might have struggled to answer or would have said "Tamils are LTTE and LTTE are Tamils" which is the answer of LTTE,and it would have given you a clear indication of a young man starting a hunger strike just within 2 months of his arrival.

    However, am being a tamil from sri lanka not going to deny the fact that "We have definetely suffered in the past in terms of having our rights equal to the majority sinhalese".

    Its also not deniable that the LTTE who ruined everything after 1987 where they started claiming to be the sole representatives of the tamil community killing almost all the educated leaders of the community,leaders of the other freedom fighters (who are now with Government just because of the LTTE is their enemy) and still continuing to kill fleeing civilians.

    In my opinion i have a clear message to Mr Parameswaran, " please think again " think what you are doing and why you are doing, if you still beleive saving LTTE on its last moment is the best thing to do then the tamil diaspora will only see you like the guy who killed himself in Geneva for the same useless influence.

    like you, he too just arrived back from SL two months prior to his death, like all other Black Tiger Units who place them self in targets.

    "you've grabbed the attention of the media" which is a success, please use it to voice for the truth.

    30 years and its enough, we should consider in democratic instead of worshipping the weapons.

    God bless you.

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  • 48. At 8:06pm on 03 May 2009, kalubaba wrote:

    Hunger striker Mr.Subramanyam called off his protest because of ill health, according to the Times of 01/05/09.The whole purpose of a hunger strike is to fast unto death. He told Ray Furlong in the interview
    he was not afraid to die. He is a phoney and Ray Furlong and Eddie Mair and BBC and British Liberal MPs, Milliband and all the rest have been duped and taken for a ride by the Tamil Tigers. Even Subramanyam said he is an LTTE supporter. Subramanyam who did not tell Ray Furlong how he arrived in this country will definitely ask for asylum. You can have the whole LTTE lot. Good riddance from Sri Lanka.

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