The Whole World is Watching
The Iranian Uprisings and the Challenge of the New Media
2009-06-20 | By HENRY A. GIROUX
As the uprisings in Iran illustrate, the new electronic technologies and social networks they have produced have transformed both the landscape of media production and reception, and the ability of state power to define the borders and boundaries of what constitutes the very nature of political engagement. Indeed, politics itself has been increasingly redefined by a screen culture and newly emergent public spaces of education and resistance embraced by students and other young people.1 For example, nearly 75 percent of Iranians now own cell phones and are quite savvy in utilizing them.2 Screen culture and its attendant electronic technologies have created a return to a politics in which many young people in Iran are not only forcefully asserting the power to act and express their criticisms and support of Mir Hussein Moussavi but also willing to risk their lives in the face of attacks by thugs and state sponsored vigilante groups. Texts and images calling for “Death to the dictator” circulate in a wild zone of representation on the Internet, YouTube, and among Facebook and Twitter users, giving rise to a chorus of dissent and collective resistance that places many young people in danger and at the forefront of a massive political uprising. Increasingly reports are emerging in the press and other media outlets of a number of protesters being attacked or killed by government forces.
I write this with a lot of sadness, relief and hope, form what has happened
in the past few months. As a Tamil, (and proud to be one) I deeply feel that
together, we can build the burnt bridges and pave a path to peace,
happiness, equality and prosperity for us and for the future generations to
I used to call Balasingham Nadesan, the late political commissar of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Mahendran mama. He was a soft spoken and a very gentle man. Mahendran mama used to come to our flat on Park Road often to talk politics with my father over a couple of drinks. I and my brother used to sit on his lap and listen to politics. Balasingham Nadesan was then a constable of the Sri Lanka Police and a member of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party. He was married to a Sinhalese woman from down south. That was the extent of Balasingham Nadesan’s integration with the Sri Lankan state and society. The violence and the humiliation he experienced in the 1983 anti-Tamil riots drove him north to join the burgeoning Tamil militancy and he eventually became a Tiger.
A war crime? The death of Charles Anthony,
Prabhakaran's son, raises questions
Too many loose ends in Lankan army's version of Prabhakaran's death
By Anita Pratap
Precisely because he is many things to many people, LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran’s death has been greeted with joy by the Sinhalese, grief by his Tamil supporters, and relief by many who hope his death will bring peace to beleaguered Sri Lanka.
Mao said that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. In the raging battles in Mullaitivu, the Sri Lankan security forces are liquidating the fighting formations of the Liberation Tigers and hence, the Tamil nation’s bargaining power with the Colombo government is being dissolved in the process. In these circumstances, some fear that the Tamils will have to be content with whatever is given from Colombo. In an interview with the Daily Mirror, October 16, 2008, the Sinhala supremacist Jathika Hela Urumaya ideologue and the Minister of Environment, Champika Ranawaka, says “...once the LTTE is destroyed no solution can be forced upon us by anyone.” The leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and their uncritical backers are as responsible as Sinhala dominated governments for the present predicament of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka.
Environment and NaturalMinister Patali Champika RanawakaMinister Patali Champika Ranawaka Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka told the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation's Sinhala Service this week that the politicians and NGO ‘peaceniks’ who deliberately prolonged Sri Lanka’s armed conflict for 30 years under the pretext of searching for ‘peace’ and ‘negotiated settlements’ with the LTTE should be put on trial at the Galle Face Green, Colombo. The parents and families of thousands of security forces members and police personnel - who perished in vain as a result - should determine the punishment to be given to the guilty.