America knows MIA as the rapper who dropped rhymes—and nearly a baby—at the Grammy Awards, but she’s a far more divisive figure in Sri Lanka, the New York Times reports. MIA's father is a leader in the Tamil Tigers and critics say the rapper, whose videos are loaded with Tamil imagery, is an apologist for the rebels.
Being a prominent Tamil in Western media provides a "great opportunity to sort of bring forward what’s going on in Sri Lanka,” MIA said last month while discussing the government's anti-rebel offensive. “There’s a genocide going on.” Sri Lankans from the country's majority Sinhalese community say she's lucky to get away with speaking in favor of a group branded as terrorists by the US government.
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