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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2395

Shattered dreams of Ms. Anita Pratap

By Leel Pathirana

"I still hope I will return some day to do a biography of Anita PratapAnita PratapPirabhakaran. That’s one of the few remaining unfulfilled dreams I have left in my life. I have no doubts that he is the most important guerilla leader of our times."

Says former Indian South Asia Bureau Chief of CNN Ms. Anita Pratap when she was interviewed by a pro-LTTE website 10 months back (July, 15th 2008). She asserted that LTTE is still strong despite the current retreat and LTTE is a resilient group. They are recouping, reorganizing, preparing for a comeback. She exaggerated then the attack on President Rajapakse’s convoy of aircraft as serious. It shows the LTTE’s lethal capability to come close to the heart of the government apparatus.

Whereas the fact remains not the convoy was attacked, one of the Helicopter after air ferried the President and the VIP’s on July 01st 2008 whilst flying over Kanchikudichchiaru jungle which en route after refueling from Uhana Air force base to Arumugam bay came under machine gun fire below from the Jungle.

However, her Judgment after 10 months became a fiasco. Now Ms.Anita Pratap must be really depressed over the death of her hero V. Pirabhakaran. After she met him in the Wanni jungle in 1985, later she spoke to the media and she told that "My first impression was that of utter disappointment. He looked stunningly ordinary, dressed in a light-blue shirt and gray trousers; he could have easily been mistaken for a petty Tamil businessman."Anita Pratab with LTTE Leader PrabhakaranAnita Pratab with LTTE Leader Prabhakaran

Anita Pratap is one of the leading personalities within the media in India who carried out the justification for the utopia Tamil Eelam and glorifying LTTE delivering speeches in alumni's, social gatherings, parties, and book launches etc., "I think Tamil Eelam does exist already. It exists in the hearts and minds of every single Tamil expatriate. It is a reality." said in Oslo, Norway on 14 September 2008 at the book launch "Tamils in Sri Lanka - A Comprehensive History" written by Murugar Gunasingham.

India and the United States foreign Policy come under heavy criticism by Ms. Pratap. She lashed out both Governments as lame duck governments that are integral to peace in Sri Lanka. While blaming the US “War on Terror” she says, one of the biggest distortions that have happened because of Bush’s general "war on terror" is that all groups, including national liberation groups, are classified now as terrorist. If we had this war on terror two decades ago, Nelson Mandela would still be in prison classified as the world’s most dangerous terrorist.

She describes that India was very concerned about the problem, but it does not expect direct involvement after the IPKF fiasco. The average Indians are currently obsessed about making money and Tamil Nadu is not as strong as it was in the 1980s. India and Tamil Nadu have moved on. She is reluctant to speak about the killing of Indian premier Rajive Gandhi, which she tries to keep away in her journalistic career.

The war on terror she characterizes most of the Liberations Groups has become listed as "Terrorists". However there are no “Freedom Fighters” in modern days. It was in the sixties and seventies. Those who resort violence in order to achieve their political agendas against the democratically elected government are called Terrorists. This conception has been adopted endorsed in modern days by many major Governments in the world.

In the seventies, Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge killed their own people, one third of the country’s population was killed in the name of Liberation, so called agrarian reform, the famous Year Zero. They starve to death in the name of socialism.

IRA was once engaged in Terrorist Activities, Maoist in Nepal once was engaged in Terrorist activities. Shining Path of Peru was engaged in Terrorist activities. Earlier Sri Lanka’s JVP too was also involved in Terrorist Activities. But after the 9/11 Terrorist Attack in the US, world concept changed and nor any government will encourage terrorism or will be supported. The SAARC nations recently signed for the protocol of elimination of the Terrorism in the South Asia, which today has become a reality.

However Ms. Pratap has forgotten what is happening in her backyard, The Mumbai terrorist attack and the India’s most pressing issue "The Kashmir" .Once the Kashmir guerillas stormed the Indian Parliament? Doesn’t this mean that lethal capability to come close to the heart of the Indian government? And on which perspective she sees the Kashmir issue? Still the war over Kashmir has become one of the most pressing issue and which will last for years and decades. Both India and Pakistan has failed to come up for a compromise since both countries independence.

One thing I agree with Ms. Pratap comments over Indian media. The certain major Indian news giants both printed and electronic are controlled by the corporate organizations. They only focus on Cricket, Films and celebrity lifestyle. There’s a massive gap in the coverage of genuine issues mainly the poverty, health and the education. According to her, as far as the media are concerned, they are addressing the consumers, not the citizens.

This is partly happening in Sri Lanka too, without addressing the major issues; certain TV Channels make "Super Stars" spending millions of rupees for nothing, brainwashing the new generation and avert their minds on the internal conflict while their brothers and sisters sacrificing their lives in the battlefront.

Ms. Anita Pratap currently, got married with the Norwegian Ambassador to India (from 1995 to 1999) Mr. Arne Walther (her second marriage) whom she encountered at a cocktail party.

Anita (nee Simon) was born in Kottayam, Kerala state in south India to Catholic parents. After she obtained her diploma from the University of Bangalore, she was given a job as a correspondent by Arun Shourie then the Editor of the Indian Express and also worked for India Today. After a short stint in Delhi she requested to be transferred to Bangalore where her parents were living at that time. There she met Pratap Chandradn a senior reporter and later married to him and they have one son. For whom she fiercely fought over the custody. Ultimately Anita won because Zubin meant more to her than any other person in the world. She worked eight years as a correspondent for Time Magazine before joining for CNN news channel.

- Asian Tribune -

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