Begining on Tuesday night (but staggered depending upon where you live) on PBS, the series P.O.V. will be featuring a must-watch episode titled “No More Tears Sister: Anatomy of Hope and Betrayal.” This one’s a no brainer. You got to Tivo it at least.
If love is the first inspiration of a social revolutionary, as has sometimes been said, no one better exemplified that idea than Dr. Rajani Thiranagama. Love for her people and her newly independent nation, and empathy for the oppressed of Sri Lanka — including women and the poor — led her to risk her middle-class life to join the struggle for equality and justice for all. Love led her to marry across ethnic and class lines. In the face of a brutal government crackdown on her Tamil people, love led her to help the guerrilla Tamil Tigers, the only force seemingly able to defend the people. When she realized the Tigers were more a murderous gang than a revolutionary force, love led her to break with them, publicly and dangerously. Love then led her from a fulfilling professional life in exile back to her hometown of Jaffna and to civil war, during which her human rights advocacy made her a target for everyone with a gun. She was killed on September 21, 1989 at the age of 35. [Link]
p>You can view a trailer of the episode on the website. I recommend switching it to Quicktime mode as it seems to stream better.
p>There are a host of interviews on the site including one with the filmmaker, Helene Klodawsky:
I’m very interested in subjects that we don’t hear about often in the normal press. So I was very, very interested in ethnic nationalist war from the point of view of women. We’re always hearing about wars between different factions, different ethnic groups, but rarely do we hear about those wars from the point of view of women. And I was interested in Sri Lanka — it’s one of these wars that have gone on forever and nobody understands it. I knew that Sri Lanka was entering a peace process, so I was curious to see how women would be engaged in that peace process.
Once I started looking at the conflict, someone said, if you really want to understand Sri Lanka and ethnic war, you must look at the work of the University Teachers for Human Rights. [Link]
After you watch this episode come back and leave comments here. I think it could be an interesting discussion. Check your local listings here.
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