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Progressive: Comparing Tamils With Te Whiti Is Not Credible

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Jim Anderton
Jim Anderton

4 June 2009 - Maori Party leader, Tariana Turia's claim that Tamil Tiger leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, the inventor of the suicide belt has left the same legacy and made the same historical contribution as Parihaka's non-violent prophet Te Whiti o Rongomai and his fellow prophet, Tohu Kkahi, is just not credible from a Maori leader, Jim Anderton said today.

"When I heard Ms Turia on Waatea Radio comparing the two leaders - one from Sri Lanka fighting for a separate Tamil homeland - and the other well-known and revered New Zealander, Te Whiti - and the lesser known Tohu Kakahi, I did a double-take," Jim Anderton said.

"Ms Turia said that Prabhakaran's 33-year war for a separate Tamil homeland in Northern Sri Lanka had its roots in British colonial policies which disenfranchised the Tamil mana whenua from their land and when non-violent protest didn't work, the Tigers turned to military action.

Prabhakaran, their leader, was a proponent of violence from the outset and remained so the whole of his political life. The 'military action' that Ms Turia talks about included pioneering the suicide belt as an instrument of assassination and terrorism, and as result of which many innocent civilians and bystanders suffered horrible deaths.

"Te Whiti and Tohu Kakahi's greatness comes from their embrace of passive resistance, which preceded Mohandas Ghandi, and it is the kind of role model which Ms Turia and the Maori Party should be promoting particularly for young Maori, rather than the record and actions of perpetrators of mindless violence which always leads to more violence, not less," Jim Anderton said today.

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