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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 727

Sri Lankan Rappers in Public Feud Over LTTE

New York, 27 August, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lankan rapper Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam (who goes by the stage name MIA) and Sri Lankan hip-hop artist DeLon are trading charges against each other in a rousing battle on the internet.Sri Lankan rapper Mathangi "Maya" ArulpragasamSri Lankan rapper Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam

DeLon has accused MIA of implicitly supporting the LTTE cause, primarily through her lyrics and video images. But she has vehemently denied the charges.

Her father, Arular Arulpragasam, a founder member of the Tamil militant group EROS, and who is currently based in London, told Asiantribune, the charges are erroneous and outdated.

"She is not alone in this. She has an army of people behind her and she will deal with this matter in a manner she deems fit. This issue has been taken up and dealt with two years ago and the matter referred to are outdated," he added in an email message to Asiantribune.

In a letter to her father, MIA says "its good to have the facts on file". She says she told the media she isn't interested in starting a dialogue with DeLon, who she says, "wants to promote himself and sell t-shirts on the back of my song."

MIA, who currently lives in New York, also says that in America her song is number 2 and 3 in the singles chart. "And I'm selling 100,000 copies of my song a week. So, there will be jealousy, but they can only attack me with my own song, which at the end of the day proves that its about talent."

"My time will come to clear this up, properly and this guy doesn't have to be anywhere near me when that time comes. I'll do it when its right for me, not him. Also, I'd rather win this with talent and the right to be recognized.'

She continues: "It just so happens I'm a Tamil, and I won't forget my history or my personal experience. But Tamils have to be smarter to get their stories heard, without getting milled, banned and buried. I just don't know what that is yet. But politics might not be the solution."

A web story last week said that in a YouTube video posted in late July, which remixes MIA's latest number "Paper Planes," DeLon claims that the Sri Lankan rapper used LTTE imagery in her song.

DeLon's version re-cuts the MIA version with Tamil Tiger bombings and child soldiers, and openly questions whether M.I.A. supports terrorists. DeLon says MIA consistently uses tigers in imagery -- on clothes, in videos -- and that MIA has called her father a "freedom fighter."

According to BBC, 'Paper Planes', has reached number 16 in the singles chart after being included in the trailer for the comedy film "Pineapple Express".

Marshall Shen, head of DeLon's record label, Ceylon, told E! "In the video, we didn't really accuse her of being a Tamil Tiger," But we're asking, why she is putting these images out there if she doesn't support them?"

- Asian Tribune -

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