Author Topic: hostile to MIA - මියාට එෙරහිව අදහස් දැක්වීමට රජයට අවස්ථ&  (Read 3596 times)

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Tavis: So we'll deal with the obvious first -- somebody's having a baby.

It's M.I.A. and the baby here. (Laughter.)

Tavis: Somebody's having a -- the baby ain't M.I.A., I can see that.

M.I.A.: I know, it's very there.

Yeah, there he is. The funny thing -- maybe funny's the wrong word; I
found it interesting -- so you're nominated for a Grammy and I'm told the baby
is due on Grammy night?

Mm-hmm. So if I turn up --

Tavis: How'd you work that out?

-- I have to turn up in my hospital gown on a stretcher, (laughter) and
they already have, like, a helicopter organized for my fast exit plan.

So did you plan it this way, to have the baby on the Grammy day?

No, not at all. I didn't even know I was going to get nominated, and
then they nominated me for a Brit as well, in England, and it was just like
everything happened in the same week. But yeah, it's just -- it's insane.

I asked M.I.A. when she walked out, we were just talking off camera, and
I said, "So where's home for you these days? Where do you live?" She says, "I
live in New York." So I was asking her when she was headed back to New York. She
said, "Oh, no, I can't fly now, I'm stuck in L.A." So we know where the baby's
going to be born, because you're not getting on a plane to go back to New York
for a few days.

M.I.A.: No, and the Grammys are here anyway, so it just worked out. Like, as
soon as I came they were, like, "You can't fly," and then I found out that I was
nominated. And that's kind of why they invited me to go on the show to do the
Grammys and perform there. They say anything could trigger off labor, so.

Not now -- not for the next nine minutes, please.

M.I.A.: I know, I know. But I think, like, singing with Jay-Z and Lil Wayne and
Kanye and --

Yeah, that could make anything happen.

M.I.A.: -- T.I. could, yeah.

Yeah, that could make -- with them Negros, anything could happen.

Exactly. (Laughter.)

Tavis: So just not for the next nine minutes. What do you make of all of this?
This is, like, rare.

This is a good luck baby for me, and all the events, the way it's been
happening, the way I've been sort of seeing it, is that being the only Tamil in
the Western media, I have a really great opportunity to sort of bring forward
what's going on in Sri Lanka. Like my success, it just seems to parallel the
situation in Sri Lanka -- the more successful I'm getting, the dire the
situation in Sri Lanka's getting.

And there's a genocide going on, and it's kind of -- it's ironic that I am the
only Tamil, and I've turned into the only voice for the Tamil people, the 20
percent minority in my country. And yeah, it's weird that I'm being given the

This platform.

Yeah, a platform.

Since you've been given the platform, take it for just a second. For
those who may not be familiar with Sri Lanka and the Tamil people, tell me the
top line of who the Tamil people are, what's happening in Sri Lanka, now that
you have this platform to talk about it.

Well, Sri Lanka is an island off the coast of India. There's two
ethnicities there; one the Sinhalese, which is the majority and the government,
and the minority, who are the Tamils. That's where I'm from. And my lifetime
sort of began there, I spent 10 years, and I was there during when the war
started and fled as a refugee to England.

And basically since I fled till now, it's -- there's been a systematic genocide
which has quiet thing because no one knows where Sri Lanka is. And now it's just
escalated to the point there's 350,000 people who are stuck in a battle zone and
can't get out, and aid's banned and humanitarian organizations are banned,
journalists are banned from telling the story.

It's just, like, one-sided, 100 percent, and I think it's just escalated because
Obama was coming into power, because only under sort of Bush's presidency that
you could get away with doing as much as that.

Tavis: When you say there's genocide happening there, what's your sense for why
a story of genocide isn't being covered more in the media? Why don't we know
more about this?

You don't know more about it because due to the propaganda -- when you
think Tamil, you automatically thing tiger, and that is completely
disproportionate. So human beings around the world have to be taught to go Tamil
equals Tamil civilians first, and the Tamil Tiger is a separate thing. And both
of those groups are different. It's like a square and a circle.

And the thing is there's only 4,000 Tamil Tiger soldiers in Sri Lanka, and if
you want, you could just sneeze and wipe them out in a day. They're not that
sophisticated with their weaponry and stuff like that -- the Sri Lankan
government, which is a million soldiers big, can handle that.

But using those people, we're managing to wipe out the whole Tamil population,
the civilians, and that is why you don't hear about it, because the propaganda
in the media, because if you're a terrorist organization, you don't have the
right to speak, that is passed on to the Tamil civilians. The Tamil civilians
don't have the right to speak or right to live, they don't have any liberties.

So that's been the key thing, that when you think al Qaeda, you're not thinking
Afghanistan. That if you want to go and fight and kill al Qaeda, then you can,
but you can't wipe out Afghanistan. And that's what's happening in Sri Lanka,
and I think it's really important for America to understand that, because they
set the precedent on how you fight terrorism around the world.

And it's really important that just that sort of throwaway comment, "Oh, Tamil,
she must be a Tamil Tiger," actually, the repercussions of that is killing
people back home.

Tavis: And offensive, I would assume.

M.I.A.: Yeah, definitely.

I'm glad we had a chance to talk about that. I learn something on this
show every day, so I thank you for indulging my questions about that. You
mentioned -- we were talking about your country you mentioned that you sort of
grew up there and you were there for at least 10 years. There were some other
years when you weren't there, and I was reading about your background -- you've
lived, like, a lot of places. How has that impacted your music, your sound, your
style, the fact that you --

M.I.A.: Well, I've lived in India, too, and --

Tavis: Right. And London, and --

M.I.A.: Yeah. I've just always traveled because that's what you do when you're a
refugee, and I think it's just impacted me because I'm not judgmental, and I
like to hear things from the horse's mouth and I use my own brain to make
judgments about what the truth is and what isn't, and I know it from my own
experiences what that is.

And I think it's always been that's the thing about my music. Like, I wanted to
become a musician and help, like, some sort of change, or stand up for what I
believe in, or use music for what it's supposed to be for. And so it wasn't
really about getting fame and success and becoming a celebrity and selling
records, it was more about bringing together an opinion or a point of view of
the other that doesn't usually get heard in the mainstream.

Tavis: You know there are a lot of artists who shy away from that; they don't
want to bring their truth, whatever that is, into their music. They just want to
entertain people.

M.I.A.: I know, but music was also used for social change. It's not a bad word.
And I think we just kind of shy away from it because the pressure of being
successful and the pressure of being sexy and standing up for nothing is just so
big, you know what I mean? (Laughter.)

Yeah, I like that.

M.I.A.: Yeah, so I think that is -- you have to be pretty tough to, like, fight
that, and the fact that I kind of had the experiences that I had made me so
tough and thick-skinned that it didn't matter what anyone put onto me, but it
was more about the people that I was representing.

Tavis: Tell me about the song for which you were nominated for this Academy

It's kind of stirred up some emotions. I feel like people either love me
or hate me, which is good, because that was the point of what I do. The point of
M.I.A. is to be -- it's either to be loved or hated. At least you evoke that
much of a strong opinion about music.

And "Paper Planes" I think is one of those songs that did that, and people
couldn't work it out, and I think it was subversive for some people and it was
too obvious for other people. Everyone constantly asks me what it's about, and
like, "Are you a terrorist?" And it's like, "No," that has nothing to do with

And it could be about gun corporations selling guns and making billions of
dollars, or it could be about immigrants coming over and being the scary other
that's going to take everyone's jobs. And I kind of want to leave it ambiguous
for my fans.

Tavis: Well, you picked the right soundtrack to be on.

M.I.A.: Yes.

Tavis: This movie is huge -- 10 nominations.

M.I.A.: Yeah, Danny emailed me. I was in -- I hadn't -- I wasn't really aware of
it, but he went to India and then after he filmed the film he emailed me and
asked if I wanted to be a part of it. And I love Danny Boyle. "Trainspotting" is
one of my films that I would take to my grave.

And yeah, he basically gave me the opportunity to work on it, and the way I saw
it when he showed me "Paper Planes" in the movie, it just looked like the most
expensive, well-directed video I could have had for my song. (Laughter.)

So I was, like, "Yeah, great," and it made me cry, actually, when I saw it,
because it was just really true and amazing.

Tavis: My time with you is up. Will you indulge me just one time? I want to hear
you say your full name. Just say it for me one time, your full name.

M.I.A.: It's Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam.

I just wanted to hear that. That's all. (Laughter.) I knew I never could.
I'll just call her M.I.A.

M.I.A.: It's a Tamil thing.

Tavis: Yeah, it's a Tamil thing. I'll just call her M.I.A. She's nominated for
Grammys, Academy Award, baby due on Grammy night -- what a year it is turning
out to be for M.I.A. Congratulations on this and all of this, and I'm glad to
have you on.

M.I.A.: Thanks.

Tavis: It's my pleasure.

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