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Monday, January 12, 2009

> Ramasamy slams Indian PM over Sri Lankan War

A Malaysian Tamil politician came down heavily on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for not condemning the killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka in the ongoing ethnic war and, instead, referring to Gaza and sympathising with Palestinians.

Penang Deputy Chief Minister P. Ramasamy, who was the guest of honour at the session on media and entertainment at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here, said: “Hundreds of Tamils are being killed in Sri Lanka. Yet, the Prime Minister did not make a single statement about it. We Tamils in Malaysia are concerned about our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka.”

He pointed out that Singh talked about the Gaza killings.

On the situation in Malaysia, he said Tamils there would want “India to take a look at the situation.”

The session turned out to be one where speakers from the Indian diaspora aired views ranging from criticising their governments to inviting investments to their cities.

Loganathan Naidoo, Deputy Mayor of eThekwini (Durban), said his city was inviting Indian producers to film their movies there.

A public-private partnership studio was being set up in Durban along the coast. Naidoo said his city wanted a sister city partnership with Chennai so that both could “help build bridges across the Indian Ocean.” He was awaiting a response from Chennai.

N. Ravi, editor of The Hindu, chaired the session. Responding to a question on how India should be projected abroad, Ravi said it should be open and transparent.

“We should be vigorous in our debates. Let the outside world see us as we are. We have nothing to hide in a democracy.”

He disagreed with the view that good news alone should be projected abroad.

Shan Chandrasekar, chief executive officer, Asian Television Network International, Canada, detailed his network’s presence and how they operated in a niche market.

He was “emotionally touched” with the observations of the Malaysian deputy chief minister, and said if a migrant population did not absorb the local culture, it ran the risk of ending up at the receiving end as in Fiji or Uganda - The Hindu.