LTTE activists exploit First Amendment rights of U.S. Constitution to promote terrorism
"My daughter the terrorist," a movie on LTTE suicide bombers to be featured in Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Durham, North Carolina, on April 4, 2008
By a Special Correspondent
Friday, April 4, 2008
When one pauses to consider, it is incredible how wily terrorists are able to exploit the freedoms granted by democracies, to citizens of the land. Take, for instance, the current situation in the U.S., where the LTTE, described by the FBI as being "among the most dangerous and deadly extremists in the world," is seeking refuge in the "freedom of expression" granted by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, to promote terrorism in the U.S.

A documentary film on LTTE suicide bombers titled "My daughter the terrorist," produced by Norwegian film maker, Beate Arnestad, is to be featured in the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival to be held in Durham, North Carolina, on April 4, 2008. The movie records the lives and faiths of two female Black Tigers, brainwashed and trained as suicide bombers, glorifying suicide bombing.

The LTTE mouthpiece, the 'Tamil Net', has brazenly admitted that one female suicide bomber featured in the documentary, was a child kidnapped by the LTTE at the age of 12, to be trained a child soldier first, and subsequently, as a suicide bomber. That being the case, do the organizers of the Full Frame Film Festival condone and encourage forcible recruitment of child solders, a practice abhorred by the civilized world?

Furthermore, the Black Tigers are acknowledged as one of the most lethal and ruthless suicide terrorist groups in the world, who have inspired suicide bombers elsewhere in the world, and their victims include former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa. How is it possible to allow such murderous acts to be glorified and promoted through a prestigious film festival in the U.S.?

This leads one to question the extent to which "freedom of expression" can be stretched? Is promoting the killing and maiming of unarmed, innocent civilians, acceptable in the context of "freedom of expression," when the main actress of the movie is a suicide bomber? Can any cause or ideology, however worthy, be justified by resorting to terrorism? What is the purpose of promoting, in a film festival, LTTE propaganda that only glorifies terrorism and murder, especially suicide bombing? It seems ironical that in a society, which abhors terrorism and violence like the U.S., and where suicide bombing is a sensitive issue, considering the number of U.S. soldiers being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan through suicide bombing, a movie like "My daughter the terrorist," is considered acceptable for screening, especially in a prestigious film festival.

The Sri Lanka Embassy has made these pertinent points in letters sent to the Duke University in Durham, North Carolina and to the New York Times, the two main sponsors of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. (Click on link to see letters) Annex 1& Annex 2

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan expatriates from all over the U.S. have risen in indignation and fury at the gross insensitivity of the organizers of the film festival. The organizers have been reportedly plagued by hundreds of e-mails and faxes from the public, pouring in from many States of the U.S., expressing outrage and trying to appeal to the better judgment of the organizers, who should have anyway known better than to schedule a movie promoting terrorism. (Click on link for letter) Annex 3

It may be due to the unanticipated fire and fury of the U.S. public, and the unwelcome focus on the LTTE in the U.S. by authorities, that the LTTE mouthpiece, the TamilNet, which was the first to triumphantly announce the screening of "My daughter the terrorist," in the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, furtively withdrew the news item from the web site on April 2. Could it be that the TamilNet was compelled to back off due to the heat of the public outcry, or could it be that the pressure from U.S. authorities was beginning to hurt?