Daily Archives: 20 May 2009

Shankar Vedantam named Nieman fellow


Shankar Vedantam, a national science reporter at The Washington Post, has been named among 24 American and international journalists to join the 72nd class of Nieman fellows at Harvard.

Bangalore-born Shankar will “study solutions to collective action problems and explore how online social networks might solve public policy challenges. He also will study how perceptions of intraracial differences influence education, politics and the criminal justice system.”

Photograph: courtesy American Psychological Assocation


When an Indian journo shouted at Prabhakaran

Dozens of journalists have written on the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Velupillai Prabhakaran, whose death was announced to the world by Sri Lanka on Tuesday, May 18.

On rediff.com, Athimuthu Ganesh Nadar writes of his encounter with Prabhakaran seven years ago when he was among 350 international journalists who attended a press conference in Killinochi.

“I and several others had their hands raised for the entire hour. Nothing happened! Only the BBC, CNN, and The New York Times took turns asking questions.

“”I lost my head, I jumped up and screamed in Tamil, “Ungalukku vellaikaran rombu pedichirndal engalaya yen kuptinga, nangallum kadalay thandi, naady thandi vandu erukkirom. (You like only white people, why did you invite us? We too have crossed the ocean, crossed borders to meet you).”

“Luckily I screamed in Tamil. I believe that is the only reason the LTTE did not shoot me.

“Prabhakaran did not react. [LTTE ideologue] Anton Balasingham came to his feet, “Sorry, sorry please don’t be upset, please ask your question.”

“I forgot to introduce myself, I forgot to tell them my organisation’s name. I managed to ask in a faltering voice, “There are 240 countries in the world, why Norway?””

Read the full article: The day I met Prabhakaran