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Thanks for the attempted censorship Sam Varghese – but the “Rise and Fall of the Tamil Tigers” stands.

July 10, 2019

Thanks for the rant Sam Varghese and the attempted censorship.

Few people like getting a bad review , my self included. However, I am a big boy, and having faced the fire and brimstone of professional life I have come to realise that you just can’t please everybody.

If someone dislikes what I have written it is their prerogative. If someone dislike me for what I have written, I could not care less. I am used to critics in that too. Often they come to blast my opinion, then linger to criticise how it is written (as if they some kind of self appointed school teacher). After failing to destroy me, or my message, they go off to some authority figure to have me censored or banned. It doesn’t matter who they go to, they just don’t want anyone reading what I wrote. This is what emotional children do. They go tell the teacher, the blog owner, the publisher, a policeman or ever their mum to do something about this nasty person who does not agree with them.

This is where the honourable Mr Sam Varghese drops in to tell everyone that he is in fact the true guru of Sri Lankan history and English grammar. Thanks Sam, but do you really think that telling lies about a book will make it disappear? What made Sam think that his desperate attempt to censor my book would ever work?

On June 30th Sam expressed his displeasure on his private blog site called “IRREGULAR EXPRESSION“. His opinion piece was called : “The Rise and Fall of the Tamil Tigers is a third-rate book. Don’t waste your money buying it” (Ouch!)

Lets get down to Sam’s factual errors first before dealing with his questionable reasoning.

Factual error 1: “The book is published by the author himself, an Australian named Damian Tangram, who appears to have no connection to Sri Lanka apart from the fact that he is married to a Sri Lankan woman.”

Correction: This is a deliberate misrepresentation. I do state many of trips, connections and long term stays in Sri Lanka. Many are listed in the footnotes and text.

Factual Error 2: “Capital letters are spewed all over the pages and even an eighth-grade student would not write rubbish of this kind.”

Correction: No they are not. Sam just made this up in a sloppy attempt at personal abuse. Unprofessional, to say the least. The only places where capital letter are used is for proper nouns, initials such as JVP or LTTE, and where I am directly quoting from a text.

Factual Error 3: “In many parts of the book, government propaganda is republished verbatim and it all looks like a cheap attempt to make some money by taking up a subject that would be of interest, and then producing a low-grade tome.

Correction: Untrue – Both government and LTTE sources are directly quoted in this book. “…and it all looks like a cheap attempt to …blah blah blah…” You get the picture. Sam attributes sinister motive to why the book was written. It is all about those great piles of author money arriving at my doorstep. This just another attempt at personal abuse.

Factual Error 4: “Some of the sources it quotes are highly dubious,”

Correction: The sources are referenced. That is what the footnotes are for. A proper academic and even a half competent journalist would be able to check these references and point out the ones that are false. It is very telling that he did not do this.

Error 5: “…one of them being a Singapore-based so-called terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratne who has been unmasked as a fraud on many occasions.

Correction: Here Sam links to a hatchet job in the The Age newspaper written by Gary Hughes, who has no known expertise on Sri Lanka, Terrorism or even Prof. Rohan Gunaratne. The hatchet job on Rohan appears to be the only time that Gary has written anything on terrorism (Classy).

Rohan is referenced only once in my book, because he wrote a book called “Inside al-Qaeda: Global Network of Terror” before the attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11. Calling the Professor of Security Studies at the Nantang Technological University of Singapore a fraud by low rent critics goes with the turf.

Sam’s attempt at Censorship: “When the abysmal quality of the book was brought to their notice, both thought I wanted my money back. I wanted them to remove it from sale so that nobody else would get cheated the way I was.”

My response: Censorship Sam? How dare a book be published without his approval?

If you want to be a fan boy for a dubious character like Gordon Weiss, then good for you.

The book “The Rise and Fall of the Tamil Tigers” does take issue with many of Gordon’s errors, exaggerations and unethical tactics that he and his publisher used to promote his book called “The Cage”. I also exposed many of the blunders that destroyed his reputation with the UN Office in Sri Lanka. I am happy to criticise Gordon but at no stage have I ever asked for his views to be censored.

Censorship Failure: “After some back and forth, and both companies refusing to understand that the book is a fraud, I gave up”

My Response: I cannot help but laugh at this. What did Sam expect? It is a book, not Facebook, you clown. My publisher understands this better than you do. You called it a fraud and they did not agree. You did not like the message so you wanted to censor the book. This is tin foil hat levels of craziness that you delivered to their doorstep and they politely told you take a hike.

Editorial Comment:

Quote of the Day: “After some back and forth, and both companies refusing to understand that the book is a fraud, I gave up”

My response: Hahahaha! No one likes a quitter. Tomorrow is a new day and there are many more books out there that Sam Varghese can try to censor. After all, nothing beats a good book burning.

Obviously Sam Varghese has an agenda. Maybe he should stick to writing about sport. History, Sri Lanka, Terrorism and even English grammar are not his forte.

Update: 13 July 2019:

This kind of sad. The only reason that I wrote about Sam Varghese is because he claims to be a journalist and he tried to have my book censored.

It seems that poor old Sam Varghese is having a hard time adjusting to his failed attempt at having “The Rise and Fall of the Tamil Tigers” censored. As a result, he has exploded in rage all over his blog site with another rant about why my book should be pulled from publication.

His post, which filled with rage and banal points, not to forget personal attacks, is almost incomprehensible. He wanders all over the place without any clear point or idea of what he is angry about.

It is a rare treat to have someone threaten to go through every page and line of what I have writen and dispute each point but not unheard of. However, when disputing a referenced text it might be worth while providing references as evidence. Nar, Sam doesn’t need to do that because being pompous and self important is enough. Evidence is not required when you are sports journalist. All this from a man who claims to be some guru of grammar and English.

I do feel sorry for Sam. Rather than write his own book on Sri Lanka he wants to stop others from writing on the subject. Why?

Suck it up Sam, you tried to censor a book and failed. Everything else is just hot air.

Or as my father used to say: “No one is forcing you to read it.”

Update 29 August 2019

Sam Varghese strikes again.

This time he uploaded his original deleted comments back on my publishers website on 11 August 2019 (cheeky little blighter).

As a result I contacted Lulu and within 2 hours the comment was deleted again.

Here is what Lulu had to say:

“Dear Damian,

Thank you for reporting this review to Lulu. We have determined that the review in question is in violation of our review posting guidelines, and it has been removed. You can click here to view the guidelines.

In other words Sam, you are embarrassing yourself.

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