I did a show on higher education on leftist community radio (3CR) for like five years and the dude Aran who had the timeslot directly after me was just a real sweetheart who helped me solve technical programs and lent me blank cds and gave money to our donation drives and generally made me freak out a lot less
he did one of the tamil shows, Tamil Manifest (there’s a couple — there’s a big Tamil community in melbourne)
in the course of interacting with him for a couple of minutes a month or fortnight over a number of years I put together some basic facts about his life and it was horrifying, he’d been through some unimaginably brutal things, I don’t wanna repeat them here because that’s his story, but it was so so awful and I found it hard to reconcile that with the mild-mannered, helpful dude I saw in front of me
which was stupid, what I was expecting a trauma survivor to look and act like? was I expecting him not to be a cool guy and a good organiser and a good radio presenter? to be a foaming mess? why?
but seriously, the Tamil community in sri lanka has been through messed up, awful, very bad things, and you don’t hear that much about it in Australia, and it’s hard to get refugee status because Australia’s got trade links with Sri Lanka and is reluctant to publicly acknowledge that the government is perpetuating such brutal atrocities, like
Aran gets death threats all the time for doing his show, the station has even come under a lot of pressure from the sri lankan government to stop running it
you can listen to his show (Tamil Manifest) via audio on demand, it goes for half an hour, it’s well worth it
and it’s also worth donating some money to the station so that it keeps running and so Aran can meet his fundraising target for the year — just put a note on your donation saying it’s for Tamil Manifest.
there are a lot a lot a lot of great programs on 3cr but today, in the context of the 56 mostly Tamil asylum seekers in indefinite detention with no charge, I wanna give a shout out to Tamil Manifest