Wednesday, April 8, 2009 6:24pm by  
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M.I.A. versus the Sri Lankan Navy

M.I.A. has had the dubious honour of appearing on the website of the Sri Lanka Army after controversially backing a campaign to send aid into citizens trapped in the Wanni warzone.

The campaign, launched in Britain last week, aims to send a boat loaded with food and medical supplies on a 'Mercy Mission' to those innocently caught up in fighting between the Sri Lanka Government and militant group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

However, the Sri Lanka Navy says it has been alerted by authorities of a boat due to sail from Britain under the guise of civilian aid – whose cargo of over 2000 metric tonnes of food is actually destined for the LTTE.

The Navy say they will open fire on any unauthorised vessel to enter Sri Lankan waters.

M.I.A., real name Mathangi Arulpragasam, has urged the government to let the ship through.

The Mercy Mission will carry dry food and medicines for Tamil civilians in the Wanni within the Sri Lankan Government's safe zone; said Arulpragasam, who is of Tamil-lineage and whose father is a revolutionary opposed to the Sri Lanka Government.

"Many have already perished from starvation and preventable disease. We cannot ignore these genocidal conditions,” she continued, “and if the aim of the SL Government is to protect the lives of the civilians, then this ship will reach its destination and lives will be saved."

Watch an interview with M.I.A. and Travis Smiley on PBS, where she addresses her view on the state of Sri Lanka below: