Mathangi Arulpragasam is a refugee policy since ten years. He was born in London, but after six months his parents, Ceylonese, led to Maithri Palas, from which he fled with his mother and brother by the outbreak of the civil war.
His father, Arul Pragasam, also known as ‘Arular’ remained. It was one of the top three leaders of the Tamil guerrillas, called Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ( LTTE ).
Today, this 31-year-old woman is a singer and artist. MIA as he calls himself and is the acronym for ‘Missing In Action,’ that is, missing in action, has gone from being known almost exclusively in the circuits of experimental music have a sensitive subject receiving an Oscar. And above all, it has become a symbol of denunciation of “genocide” of the Tamil population.
MIA and Politics
“I must be honest; I can not ignore certain things. I have a political past. I am alone in the UK, learning the language and building a life in this society for political reasons. Why would I deny it ?” He said in 2008 the British magazine ‘FACTmagazine.’
On Maithri Palas, he claimed that the people of his village had been killed. “And I am here as a pop star; I think it’s imperative for me to have music to explain this matter .”
While in recent months have intensified the fighting in Sri Lanka, throwing away the peace process opened in 2002, the role of MIA has been increasing. In an article published by The New York Times’ with the title ‘The dissonant bass MIA’, presents some of the voices that accuse it of doing advocacy of terrorism.
“I am not a terrorist,” is denfendía in an interview in the ‘Music webzine Pitchfork an online publication based in Chicago and specializing in indie music, in asserting that all the controversy surrounding his posture makes you think a lot about the lack of freedom of expression of artists.
The truth is that in interviews stand as the voice of the Tamil minority. In one of his music videos, ‘Bird Flu’ appear some kids dancing in front of something very similar to the logo of the guerrillas, a tiger roars. “Most of us remains high. It does not limit us. So I go to my air, making bombs drafts,” says his letter
Another rapper and producer of Sri Lanka but nationalized American, Dilan Jayasingha, known as Delon, is one of the most criticism. In July 2008 he covered one of their songs and released a video in which directly accused of supporting terrorism.
In another interview, this time with African – American writer and journalist Tavis Smileypara PBS, have recognized the “great opportunity” to denounce that it is carrying out genocide. He considered “ironic” the only Tamil in the Western media. “I have become the voice of the Tamil people, a minority that accounts for 20% of the population of my country.”
He claimed that civilians of their ethnicity “have the right to speak or live, have no freedom.”
More than 30 Years of War
- The LTTE fighting for more than three decades against the government in demand for an independent state in the north and east, where ethnic Tamils, Hindu religion predominates, against the Sinhalese, who profess Buddhism and the majority in the rest of the country.
- It is listed as a terrorist group by many countries and by the European Union since 2006.
- 2008 has been a bloody year. The Sri Lankan army managed to take the eastern side of the island, formerly under guerrilla control, relegating it to a jungle region in the north.
- However, the LTTE and he managed to recover in the past areas that the Army had conquered. This year began the “final battle” against the rebels.
- The Government estimates that there are 120,000 civilians trapped in the LTTE – controlled territory in the midst of the fighting.
- According to several aid organizations, that figure is actually about 250,000 people.
The situation for the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is critical. “Lack of access to the area for independent observers, social workers, and journalists only makes more worrying in this situation may be worse than we think,” according to the agency Efe collected.
MIA performed last Feb. 8 at the 51st edition of the Grammys despite her advanced pregnancy. He is married to Benjamin Brewer, son of Edgar Bronfman, CEO of Warner Music Group. His single ‘Paper Planes’ received a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year.