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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2398

Bruce Fein – The Great White Hope

By Stephen Long of Los Angeles

I just saw the Bruce Fein interview on Canadian ITV Live that has been posted on YouTube. This is a must-see for all who are interested in the Tamils for Justice push to grab international media attention for their primary cause: a separate Tamil country in Sri Lanka. First of all, I think the interviewer did an excellent job; he was unemotional, centered, well-informed, and poised.

I find it very interesting that the overseas Tamil community has chosen Bruce Fein, Esq. to represent them. Why has the Tamil Diaspora picked him to be their hero, and why are they expected to rally around him as their Great White Hope? Why also are they expected to provide him with the huge amount of funds he is seeking to “unify” the Tamils and get them their independent state? And lastly, why did they choose Bruce Fein over the countless numbers of qualified Tamil attorneys around the world who could have been selected?

This point alone is somewhat of a disgrace. Being a student of the history and inspirational spiritual literature of the Tamil culture, I find it hard to believe that a brilliant Tamil legal champion doesn’t exist somewhere in the world who could unify the Tamil people, if such a unity was even justified.

To me, this demonstrates two things.

First of all, hiring Bruce Fein, a Beltway legal and public relations mercenary, was a shrewd decision, motivated no doubt by Mr. Fein’s background, government connections, and media savvy. Choosing Bruce Fein, a very expensive hired gun, tells the world that Tamils for Justice is serious, and that it knows this is the last chance it will get to carve out a slice of Sri Lanka.

Secondly, it shows that the Tamils abroad, many of whom have become millionaires in their new countries, are still operating with vestiges of a “plantation mentality,” a neo-colonial reliance on the white man to fight its hard battles. Bruce Fein compares the treatment of Tamils by the Sinhalese as that of a “vassal to a lord,” he even goes so far as to call it “slavery.” So now the Tamils have gone and hired an American white man attorney to get their justice (or revenge – I’m not sure which it is right now). Hello! Who’s the vassal, and who’s the lord, now?

I understand that from Bruce Fein’s point of view, being the spokesman for Tamils for Justice makes good business sense. He will get rich off this lucrative account, which has questionable ties to the LTTE, and he will gain an enhanced international reputation, albeit a dubious one, as the lawyer who allegedly represented the original suicide bombers.

Mr. Fein seems to have taken on the mantel of Mr. Anton Balasingham who passed away in England about one year ago. Mr. Balasingham was the LTTE political theorist and great friend of Prabhakaran. When he died a void was created, and Mr. Bruce Fein seems to be the one who was selected to fill it. In this respect Prabhakaran appears to have abdicated his leadership in favor of Bruce Fein, and this may just backfire on both of them, given the nature of the beast. Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bruce Fein makes it very clear that under his leadership the unified Tamil Diaspora has three goals: To create an independent Tamil state in Sri Lanka via a popular referendum; To get the LTTE de-proscribed from the US State Department’s terrorist list; and, To take Messrs. Gotabaya and Basil Rajapaksa and Gen. Fonseca to court in Washington D.C. for alleged terrorist activities and human rights abuses.

In regards to the referendum issue, Mr. Fein says that Tamils worldwide should get to vote to determine the outcome. This is the same thing as saying that because my family ancestry is English and German that I should get to vote in those two countries’ contemporary elections. Maybe it matters that my forbears came to America 250 years ago and I, therefore, shouldn’t be allowed to vote; but the Tamils abroad are only first or second generation Canadian, American, Australian, or British, and they, therefore, should be allowed to vote. It doesn’t make sense.

If a Tamil immigrant takes the citizenship oath and holds American, Canadian, Australian, or British passports, then they’re no longer Indian or Sri Lankan citizens, and they have given up their right to vote back home or elsewhere. Being a member of the same race hardly qualifies members of the Tamil Diaspora to cast ballots in a Sri Lankan referendum, were such an un-needed election to take place. Maybe I’ll start a campaign to get my voting rights back in the UK. I’m sure that will generate lots of attention. Maybe I’ll hire Bruce Fein to help me, and he can travel around the world panhandling for my cause. Yeah, right…

Weren’t the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon perpetrated by suicide bombers in airplanes? Weren’t suicide bombers the invention of the LTTE? Does Mr. Fein think that the State Department somehow misses this unbelievably obvious connection? Doesn’t he think that terrorism against innocent people in one locale might qualify that same organization as a terrorist outfit in another? Doesn’t he know that when they became unhappy with him the LTTE murdered Rajiv Ghandi, the Prime Minister of India? (Take note of this one, Bruce).

Mr. Fein says that under the Terrorist Act an American has to be killed and/or the US has to be threatened before a group gets named on its infamous list. Doesn’t he see that the US State Department is simply taking precautions, and trying to protect innocent lives in all countries by keeping the LTTE listed? Besides, if they can kill the Indian Prime Minister, what might the LTTE do to American leaders if it’s rubbed the wrong way?

In regards to prosecuting the Rajapaksa brothers and General Fonseca, Bruce Fein says he is trying to drum up support for triggering US jurisdiction. Why? These three individuals are being paid by their home country to help protect it from terrorists and return it to law, order, and normalcy under one rightful, sovereign, elected government. Doesn’t the US hire Blackwater security commandos to help protect its interests in Iraq? Why don’t we take Blackwater and its owners to court and convict them for human rights violations? The three individuals in question have been hired to do a job, and they’re doing it well. Their motivation just doesn’t match Bruce Fein’s money-driven cause, so all of a sudden they’re war criminals, or so he would like the world to believe.

A question keeps arising in my mind that has never been answered. Why do the Tamil people overseas want a separate state in Sri Lanka when Tamil Nadu in southern India is really their homeland? There are sixty million Tamils in Tamil Nadu, and it’s ten times bigger than Sri Lanka, which has a 6% Tamil population. Why don’t they organize a referendum in India to carve out a sovereign nation in that country?

The best understanding I can come up with is that India simply won’t have it. It’s rich, strong, and is too important an ally to the rest of the world. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, doesn’t have the muscle or the international clout, which makes it a much easier target. If you want to go and support a separate nation in Tamil Nadu, then I’ll give you my 100% support, Mr. Fein.

Please take note, Government of Sri Lanka. During his interview Bruce Fein announced that he is taking his Tamils for Justice road-show to London, Geneva, Australia, and other countries to panhandle more money to finance his three goals. He has a quasi-deadline of September when he has to turn the tables in his favor. This is when the US State Department must review its listing of the LTTE for another five years. You can expect him to stir up a lot of dust as he passes the hat amongst the good Tamil people of the world who left their native homes in search of a better life elsewhere – and found it. I sincerely hope they keep their wallets in their pockets and concentrate on their good lives abroad, and not interfere in what they or their relatives left behind.

By the way, rent the movie. The Great White Hope says it all.

- Asian Tribune -

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