World oblivious to Sri Lanka's genocide of Tamils, says music phenom M.I.A

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 January 2009, 04:06 GMT]
Maya Arulpragasam, better known by her stage name M.I.A, a British born Tamil and recent U.S. Grammy nominee, reveals that her music was shaped by her experience as a Tamil refugee from Sri Lanka, and accuses the International Community for standing idle as Colombo perpetrates acts of genocide against Tamils in Sri Lanka's NorthEast. In her interview to an Indian website, Maya adds: "[P]eople need to learn that you cannot wipe out a whole [Tamil] race."

Full text of the interview published in website follows:

Maya Arulpragasam
Maya Arulpragasam
DH: What does success mean to you and what was your journey to success?
M.I.A: "I severely question that, I am a civilian Tamil refugee and I am the only Tamil in the media in the west. People have done big things in India, but as a Tamil its very interesting being here right now. I don't know if success means what you do as a refugee, how you make things happen without falling or getting killed? Things are different for me now that I am nominated for a Grammy. It is interesting and quite scary that I am the only Tamil person in the media in the west. So right now I am severely questioning that."

DH: What do you consider your nationality to be?
M.I.A: "I am actually British but I of course come from Sri Lanka and I am Tamil. I put on the TV and see what's going on in Sri Lanka and how people are being mistreated and it makes me question my connection to Sri Lanka. My origin is from Sri Lanka so I am British Tamil."

DH: What is your vision for Sri Lanka.
M.I.A: "It's really simple, Tamil people have to have the right to live. They have been successful with genocide in that country and are not being condemned from doing it. In the future, people need to learn that you cannot wipe out a whole race."

DH: How does your music represent you?
M.I.A: "Well, it represents me because I think it was impossible to make stuff the way I did if I didn't have that life style, it represents me being a Sri Lankan refugee. The sound and imagery and the style comes from real life."

DH: What is the mission behind your music?
M.I.A: "The mission is I want to be the person who is basically reflecting art. I was a Sri Lankan refugee, and I don't want people to misinterpret my work .I want to represent a Tamil citizen, not Tamil politics but a Tamil civilian. The situation I was in can apply to anywhere in the world, whether it is a person from Sri Lanka or Myanmar. It's interesting because I have experienced being a refugee in this generation. When you watch movies like 'Bhaji On The Beach,' it shows the second generation Desi culture. In my case, I was a refugee in my generation so I can actually remember the experience."

DH: In recent times, your music has become more mainstream and popular amongst the public. Because of this, many artists such as Timbaland and even A.R. Rahman have collaborated with you to create music. So, of course considering the DesiHits! audience and seeing the massive success of 'Slumdog Millionaire,' I had to ask how your experience working with A.R. Rahman had been.
M.I.A: "He is a well-respected [artist]. When I was young as a kid, he was one of my idols. He is great and I enjoyed working with him. He takes music to a different place for me."

DH: It is quite evident that you send out strong messages to the world through your music, so what are the key messages that you would teach your child as you are an expecting mother?
M.I.A: "I would teach my child tons of things. I want my child to see the third world countries, and be humble about what he or she has, and have sound judgment."

DH: So do you want a boy or a girl?
M.I.A: "It doesn't matter to me. If it is a girl, she will be a tough girl, but I think I may have a boy, because I have a pointy stomach."


External Links:
TamilNation: Mathangi Maya Arulpragasam
DH: Exclusive Interview: M.I.A.


Latest 15 Reports
17.05.21 19:23   Photo
Ananthi blames war criminal Silva for blocking collective memorial at Mu'l'livaaykkaal
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
22.01.21 08:01   Photo
Gotabaya sets up deceptive COI citing ‘sovereignty’ and ‘non-aligned’ foreign policy
18.01.21 23:44   Photo
Tamil activists resisted three sources of outside influence while drafting demands to UNHRC
16.01.21 11:03  
Tamil national parties demand UN to inquire into crime of genocide and set up IIIM
09.01.21 09:37   Photo
Demolition of Tamil genocide monument, fourth emblematic trauma since 1974: Rev Fr Sakthivel
08.01.21 23:51   Photo
Colombo destroys Mu'l'livaaykkaal memorial monument at Jaffna University
07.01.21 11:22   Photo
With emphasis on genocide, Suresh calls for ICC-referral, IIIM and referendum
07.01.21 00:04   Photo
Boyle prefers IIIM demand over ICC-referral, says specific reference to genocide essential
Find this article at: