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The Tamil Literary Gathering

Ilakkiya Chanthippu Stuttgart, Germany

Ilakkiya Chanthippu (The Tamil Literary Gathering) was founded in 1988 by writers, editorial groups and others with more general literary interests among the exiles who left the shores of Sri Lanka in the wake of the disturbed situation that has prevailed since 1983. Among them, they have continued to produce several Tamil journals widely circulated in the exile community, dealing in a range of subjects from poetry and creative writing to political commentary and other issues of current interest. The 31st gathering met in Stuttgart, Germany on 6th and 7th November 2004. The delegates numbering about a hundred came from several cities of Germany and a number of countries, including, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands. Mr. V. Anandasangari, Leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front, graced the Gathering as its Special Guest, and elucidated the current political situation in Sri Lanka in his address.

Press Release

Press Release from Illakkiya chanthippu (The Tamil Literary Gathering) issued by the participants of the 31st Literary Gathering in the City of Stuttgart: 6th to 7th November 2004

At this critical moment when there is a real opportunity to obtain and consolidate the political, social, economic and democratic rights of the Tamil speaking people of Sri Lanka, it falls to the media to take an objective and critical approach in reporting and analysing the ongoing peace talks. To be truthful and independent is the rationale for media freedom.

Taking cognisance of this fundamental duty and freedom, the media must function with social responsibility and fairness. While upholding the freedom and democratic function of journalism, we express deep regret that the privileges and freedom of the media are being covertly abused to promote falsehood and violence, and further, as a vehicle for personal vendetta.

At present the media are not just trivialising the systematic and planned slaughter of those who hold dissenting opinions, but are moreover legitimising the forces behind these violations. More regrettably the media have been indulging in character assassination against the very victims of violence through unsubstantiated allegations intended to justify the crime. This raises grave questions about the integrity of the media.

The Tamil Literary Gathering vehemently condemns all violations against journalists and particular organs of the media, and we take particular exception to the calculated violence instigated by the media, which is inimical to peace and the freedom of individuals.

Such anti-social practices by the media will do irreparable harm to the democratic and social development of the Tamil speaking people.

Thank you

Ilakkiya Chanthippu Stuttgart, Germany

07.11.2004

Email: Chanthippu@yahoo.de



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