* That he campaigned for years to set up a literary prize, but once sponsorship was obtained, he was cut from the project because of a Westerners-only rule.The article (reproduced in full on Nury's blog, source not given) concludes:
* That the festival board, ostensibly non-profit, limits membership to directors and authors of Paddyfield.com and Chameleon Press, companies run by board member Peter Gordon.
* That prime slots in the festival programme were given to Chameleon Press novelists even if they paid for their own publication.
While Vittachi’s claims of racism may initially seem hard to swallow given that two of the men on the festival board have Asian partners, yet it is difficult to escape the conclusion that there has been, at the very least, racial insensitivity and a blur between business and festival matters. There is little doubt that Vittachi was one of the key progenitors of the Man Asia Literary Prize. To cut him out after he changed publishers was a move that had to raise eyebrows in the industry. As an extremely well-connected Asian author whose career is in the ascendancy, he would have been an ideal figurehead. In 2007 Vittachi is scheduled to be a featured author at festivals in Germany, Australia and the UK. Furthermore, with a chairman and judges from North America and Australia, the Asian literary prize now feels uncomfortably non-Asian. Without Vittachi, there is no involvement whatsoever from south Asia, the widely acknowledged home of Asian genius in English literature. ... Whatever happens, festival-watchers say the row is likely to force the board to institute the major reforms its outgoing founder recommended. It appears obvious that the group would benefit from having other Asian publishers and bookshops involved, and it will eventually have to open itself up to new members--and preferably Asian ones.Am extremely sad, for Nury, whom I met at the Ubud Readers' and Writers' Festival.
New Prize for Asian Writers! (18/11/06)
Man Asian Literary Prize (1/11/06)