எனது வரலாற்றைத் தலைகீழாக மாற்றியமைக்க யாருக்கும் உரிமையில்லை…! @pearl_action @PEARL_Action #Tamil #Eelam #Tamildiaspora

Pearl அமைப்பின் நிம்மி கௌரிநாதன் உலகெங்கும் திரிந்து பெண்ணியத்தை ஆராய்வதைப் பற்றி நாம் விமர்சிக்கவில்லை.
தமிழீழப் பெண்ணியத்தை அவர் ஆராயத்தொடங்கிய 2009 இற்குப் பின்பான காலத்தில், தமிழீழத்தில் போய் நின்றுகொண்டு, போராடப் போனதற்கான காரணத்தை முன்னாள் பெண்போராளிகளிடம் வினவினால் இப்போது அங்கிருக்கும் சூழ்நிலையில் அவர்கள் துணிந்துபேச வாய்ப்பிருக்கிறதா…?

“எங்களுக்கு வேறு வழியிருக்கவில்லை” என்பதுதான் பதிலாக இருக்கும். இதையே லெப்.மாலதியின் காலத்திலிருந்து ஆராய்ந்திருந்தால் தெளிவான பதில் கிடைத்திருக்கும். ஒன்று அவர் ஆய்வுகளின் போது போராட்டகால ஆரம்பத்தையும் ஆராய்ந்திருக்கவேண்டும். அல்லது; தற்போதைய சூழலின் பேச்சுச் சுதந்திரம் குறித்து ஆராய்ந்திருக்கவேண்டும். அதைவிட்டுவிட்டு; குறிக்கோளேதுமற்ற ISIS இயக்கத்தையும், விடுதளையை குறிக்கோளாகக் கொண்டு போராடிய விடுதலைப்புலிகளையும் ஒப்பிடுதல் எங்ஙனம் தகும்…? ஒப்பிடுதலுக்குக் கூட வேறு போராட்ட இயக்கங்கள் கிடைக்கவில்லையா..?

எனது தந்தையை இன்னொருவரோடு ஒப்பிடுவதாக இருந்தால், எனது தந்தைக்குரிய தகுதிகளைக் கொண்ட ஒருவரோடு தான் ஒப்பிடவேண்டுமே தவிர, பாகிஸ்தானிலிருந்து போதைப்பொருள் கடத்துபவரோடு ஒப்பிடுவதைப் பார்த்துக்கொண்டு நான் அமைதியாக இருக்கவேண்டுமா..?

intelectual , Academic english , Phd போன்ற சாமானெல்லாத்தையும் வச்சுக்கொண்டு, என்னுடைய பாரம்பரியத்தை, எனது வரலாற்றைத் தலைகீழாக மாற்றியமைக்க யாருக்கும் உரிமையில்லை…




People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) has been receiving massive backlash from the Tamil diaspora community around the globe. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Yesterday they published this video of their advisory member Nimmi Gowrinathan’s presentation, titled “Gender and Militancy”, under their “Tamil Struggle #101 ” online session. Many viewers felt that Nimmi had made comments degrading the movement, and accusing the Tamil Tigers of being an oppressive organization towards women. These baseless allegations have created an outrage amongst the youngsters, and they started to flood the comment section asking for an apology from those responsible.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ But after hundreds of comments, PEARL has decided to censor the voices of youngsters, portraying them as “Abusive comments” ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ We have these screen recordings, proving that there were no abusive comments towards Nimmi or PEARL.

The youngsters spoke out and asked for justice, but at the end PEARL shut them down, while their associates are calling these youngsters names.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ As a media source representing Eelam Tamils across the globe, we stand in solidarity with the Tamil youth and we demand an official apology from PEARL and Nimmi.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Please share this widely and tag pearl_action in the comments.⁣⁣⁣

Due to an increase in abusive and misogynist comments targeted at Dr. Gowrinathan, comments have been closed in light of our safer space policy (DM for link). . EDIT: This clip is being misinterpreted. In her talk, Dr. Nimmi Gowrinathan stresses the importance of understanding female fighters both on the outside and inside. Western feminists often reduce female fighters to being ‘manipulated’ or ‘brainwashed’ into joining a movement. Dr. Gowrinathan argues that this view fails to consider female fighters’ political desires or imagination. She states this view is in fact anti-feminist and ignores the state violence that inspires the female fighters’ participation in resistance movements.⁣

⁣ Here is the full passage: “First, strategically we must understand the view of the female fighter (and for me that is predominantly women in the Tigers though I have worked with other fighters) from the outside. I’ve heard female combattants described as ‘monsters’, ‘anti-social’, ‘deviants’ or ‘simply criminals’. Their motivations are reduced to who they bump into or what brightly colored visuals they find online. Second, particularly in this space, we must understand her positioning inside—inside community, inside family, inside culture—in order to reimagine a more dynamic resistance that challenges both of these. So first from the outside, what I most often hear is that she has been ‘manipulated’ or ‘brainwashed’ into joining a movement.

We exist in a feminist world where they’re constantly concerned with the question of erasure and the invisibility of women. But for me, the inability to see women’s politics is not only dangerous, it is anti-feminist. Most often what we see with this woman, is that we read the politics through the men around her. She joined because of a boyfriend, a husband, a cousin, or she was forced to. Rather than anti-social elements, which is what we often see the female fighter as described, I argue that the fighter mimics the violence of the state and other forces. She is actually a product of the society that puts her in this position.” ⁣- You can watch the full session on our YouTube page via the link in our bio.⁣

Gender + Militancy – PEARL speaks with Dr Nimmi Gowrinathan

Speaking with People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL), Dr Nimmi Gowrinathan, Founder and Director of the Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative and Visiting Research Professor at the City College New York, gave an enlightening discussion on gender and militancy,  in which she critiqued attempts to depoliticise and categorise the female fighter.

Constructing the female fighter

Whilst recognising that Tamil women have played important roles, both non-violent and armed, Gowrinathan notes that it is traditional models of the female combatant which are presented as deviant or simply criminals. Their motivations are reduced to who they bump into or the men around them. They are constructed passively as opposed to active agents. As apolitical blank slates, “untethered from reality and can be pulled by anything” in contrast to being viewed as students of injustice.

Whilst the female combatant is presented as being brainwashed or coerced, far less attention is given to the structures of violence that shape her lived experience. Gowrinathan notes:

“I understand it as the violence that led her to the battlefield is the normalised violence of the everyday. The rape that pushes her away from society, the marriage that traps her within it, the military occupation that intrudes on her every movement, and the ‘peaceful saviour’ that seeks to extract her voice from the body it inhabits”.

However, Gowrinathan maintains that it is not simply trauma that leads women to take political action. Instead, “for the female fighter mobilising centres on political oppression, not on trauma”.

Emissaries of Empowerment

Gowrinathan reminds us that this desire to present women as victims may be traced back to the colonial period, “when white women were called to intervene to save in the uncivilised nations”. Brown women, she notes, were “cast as special and deserving objects of feminist concern”.

These women of the Global South are presented as “sexualised, brutalised and powerless”, to the outside world she is defined by her trauma. Her victimhood robs her of the ability to be a political actor. Subsequently, interventions into her life are viewed as a moral obligation.

This poses significant issues as those intervening on a moral basis are depoliticised and the conversation is subsequently shutdown. This Gowrinathan states contrasts with the original meaning of “empowerment”.

The term “empowerment” started in the 1970s from a group of feminists from the Global South. For these women, their conversations centred on the political forces that led to this oppression. It was an explicitly political call which was intended to incite mobilisation.

“50 years later. Now we have empowerment projects ranging from indigenous women in Bolivia crocheting string bikinis to allow white women to shop with a purpose to ex-combatants in Sri Lanka being offered training in icing cakes and hairstyling and sewing classes”, Gowrinathan states.

We must ask ourselves how did this happen?

“What initiated in the Global South as a political project has now become a lynchpin of anti-politics”, Gowrinathan remarks.

She recounts how she had worked as aid an aid worker and was tasked with handing out chickens and cows for rape victims.

Gowrinathan critiques this model adopted by aid organisations as she maintains that it denies women their “distinctive politics and their desire for political power”. She further states “aid is not just neo-colonial there is a white feminism that keeps this in place”.

Read more from Deviarchy: Emissaries of Empowerment 

Depoliticising combatants

This depoliticising of female fighters is done deliberately as they are perceived as a threat.

Recounting her discussions with a former Tiger commander, she notes that she had told her ‘sewing is of no use to me but only when I finish the course will they say that I am deradicalized’.

She further states:

“Female fighters see the goal of these programmes very clearly, to push them away from political life into gender-appropriate roles”.

The issue, she highlights is that the female combatant is not a “one-dimensional depiction of a superhero, a Malala or wonder woman”. Gowrinathan maintains that it is this fact that she does not fall easily into a single category, that she is denied political space.

“She is neither, for feminists, a victim to be saved nor is she a political agent to be supported”, Gowrinathan remarks.

The myth of Stockholm syndrome  

A frequent criticism that Gowrinathan comes across is the idea of Stockholm syndrome, which maintains that these women had no choice their captivity and therefore they have no power.

Gowrinathan challenges this narrative by asking us to examine political power within captivity. She remarks that this fallacy implies that because women are coerced there is no point in talking to them about their politics. However, she reminds us that this too is a form of depoliticising her just because of this one moment. An attempt to categories her and place within smaller and smaller boxes of belonging. This denies them their political complexity as well as their own agency.

Erasure of identity

Gowrinathan also spoke on the attempt by the state and those with the power to impose identities as an attempt to categorise and control. Placing this in a global framework, she states:

“In Sri Lanka you have Tamil women, wiping off the potu on their forehead before they enter a military checkpoint, hoping to be disassociated from themselves. In Harlem, my students remove headscarves as they descend into the subway. My son’s public school has banned hoodies.

Whether it’s the hijab, or a hoodie or a potu, the state is asking our communities to sacrifice identity for security”.

This issue of security and identity played an acute role in the political formation of Tamil women as political combatants. Gowrinathan remarks speaking to a political fighter who said that “She was vulnerable to rape because she was a woman, but she was targeted because she was Tamil”.

The focus on culture

Another point of critique for Gowrinathan is the UN’s insistence on “changing the culture”.

Gowrinathan states that:

“Culture is a very useful perpetrator as it leaves nobody accountable. Not the state, nor the NGOs”.

For these NGOs, culture is presented as stagnant and as a constant barrier for progress.

“When I was working in Afghanistan there was this idea that girls were not going to school because their father would not let them. No, they were not going to school because there was a US military check point on their way to school. […] So, their fathers did not want them to be harassed at these checkpoints”.

Here we can see a clear deflection from the tangible political and structural issues women face using “culture”. Culture, Gowrinathan reminds us, is not constant but instead, it is “wrapped around a context” which we inhabit.

“The rise of alcoholism in the northeast right now that is not culture. That did not exist before the end of the war”.

These problems cannot be understood outside of the context of the post-war settlement; the threat to the economic livelihood of those in the North and East; as well as the military presence which bears down on Tamils in the North and East.

The role of the ‘outside actor is not to change the culture’, Gowrinathan states, but rather to change the context. Those inside the movement have an obligation to challenge the culture.

Commenting on the failures of international bodies and organisations she states;

“The process of pushing back against rigid institutions is futile as they cannot accept change. I see my work is to expand the political imagination of the resistance”.

The Forever Victims Tamil Women in Post-War Sri Lanka,


ஜூன் 25, 2020 - Posted by | இனப் படுகொலை, ஈழமறவர், ஈழம், தமிழர், eelamview, freedom struggle, genocide srilanka, tamil eelam | , , , , , , ,

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