This is the companion piece to my 'ethnic stroll by night' in the same Indian neighborhood.
In the daylight, you can see the influence of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the Sri Lankan separatist movement.
This organization is proscribed as a terrorist movement by the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and India, among others. Thousands of deaths have been attributed to it in terrorist attacks, suicide bombings and military operations.
Take a look, however, at how its flag flies in Paris.
Here is the leader of the Tamil Tigers, Velupillai Prabhakaran.
The fighting is far from Paris, and Bollywood rules!
Saris are cheap and plentiful as well.
Are you wondering where the food is? Don't worry -- it's everywhere.
On every scrap of wall, obituary notices are posted. I don't have the slightest idea whether these are people who have died in Paris or if it is information about people "back home."
India seems to be one of the only countries where the local products have not been crushed by the multinationals.
How about some turmeric vanishing cream to cover up those ugly blemishes with a nice yellow glow?
The streets can get quite crowded on a Saturday afternoon. Actually, just about any afternoon except Monday, when most of the shops are closed.
Junk Alert ! ! !
Are you ready to move into the neighborhood? Here are the prices for apartments.
I agree with spindrift about this. Of course, there is no excuse for terrorist attacks against innocent civilians, but the Sri Lankan government and paramilitary forces are inflicting far more terror than the Tigers ever have, not only against Tamils but also against Sinhalese who have spoken out against the government. I have met people (journalists and elected officials) who have nothing to do with terrorism, but who are living in terror. The situation in that beautiful island is sad indeed.
It is true there are photos where nobody "looks French", and I am not referring to race or ethnicity. Body language? The South Asian people in this enclave, perhaps because they were once a British colony and most have nothing to do with the history or culture of France, seem far more foreign somehow than the Maghrebi, Black African and Southeast Asian ("Indochinese") people one is used to seeing in popular neighbourhoods in Paris and the suburbs.
Of course the Chinese immigrants, unless they are Sino-Vietnamese or Sino-Cambodian, don't have any closer relation to Paris, but perhaps there have always been Chinese enclaves everywhere, not only because there are so many Chinese people - there are almost as many South Asians, after all - but also because overseas Chinese are such an important trading people? No real answers, just pondering this matter.
All the Tamil shops pay the Tamil Tigers a tax, that's for sure. Don't agree with genocide being wrought on the Tamils by the Sinhalese. Most Tamils were quite happy with the status quo until the Tigers came along and told them they needed independence. And they, the Tigers, needed the 'revolutionary' tax.
Meanwhile, there was a small riot in the neighborhood the day before yesterday. I suppose the fact that more than 300 participants were 'detained' will give you an idea of the size of the event. A few windows were broken, apparently. I didn't notice anything myself.
The whole Tamil area shut down today due to the possible final crushing of their side in the civil war.
There were a number of notices up, but they were only in Tamil, so I don't know what they said.
In the desperate final days, they had occupied Place de la République in Paris and been dislodged and then occupied a small square in my neighborhood. Unfortunately they never managed to really draw our attention to the situation. Do any of us have any idea of the issues behind all of this? I certainly do not.
I'm no expert on post colonial politics in Sri Lanka. What I do think is that it's a good thing the Tigers are gone. They didn't represent the Tamils in Sri Lanka, they took what they wanted by force (I think there's no doubt at all about the TT tactics as described in the second link, another place this is happening now is in Colombia where deluded lefists think the FARC are some kind of International Brigade fighting the fascists). Prabhakaran's gamble just didn't pay off. Check out the readers' comments at the bottom of the NYT article. I'm not saying the Sinhalese government are angels. But they seized the day, so to speak. Anybody who believes an army on the verge of routing it's enemy is going to stop operations because of civilians is phantasizing. It's payback time now. I wouldn't even want to know what's happening there now.
It's a REAL shame, because I didn't get to see it!
I'd be most interested in hearing your comments, Spindrift. Living through the troubles in Oaxaca in 2006 was a graphic education in the media getting things all wrong. Thus, in situations where there are rebels and an established government, it's imperative that facts and background be examined.
I was planning on adding several more photos on this subject, because earlier in the week I passed up this street on the bus, and it was all decked out in black flags commemorating the 10th anniversary of the massacre on 18 May 2019 -- even more than the red ones at the beginning of this thread. Alas, I made a special trip this afternoon and all of the flags were gone. There were just some posters left in shop windows.