As indicated in a previous note within this domain, I keep finding new empirical data on the last phase of Eelam War IV even though I have addressed the topic for over five years. The series of items from SinhaRaja Tammita-Delgoda included in THUPPAHI this week, as well as the biographical note that supplements the evidence of the essays by detailing his experiential background and training, are part of a process designed to provide readers with critical new material — one launched in July 2014 with an article by Daya Gamage and the first round of distilled copies of despatches from the US Embassy released to the world by Wikileaks.
Any comprehension of the intricacies of Eelam War IV is not feasible without careful attention to cartographical imagery of the evolving battle theatre and pictorial evidence. That is why I have devoted considerable space to pictorial data in Tamil Person and State: Pictorial (2014). Photographs are, to be sure, fragmentary pieces of data. They can be tweaked and manipulated by Photo-shop and other modern devices. They can also be deployed selectively as I have demonstrated in addressing instances of misuse by Rosie DiManno and Gordon Weiss in my essay “Visual Imagery within Political Struggles and Manoeuvres” in the book referred to above (2014: 1-44). Continue reading
Filed under historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people
Laksiri Jayasuriya’s sons have created a website where his writings on various themes have been usefully collated and placed within the public realm in one domain. Here are the titles of contributions in this particular sphere……….. SEE http://laksirijayasuriya.com/immigration-multiculturalism-and-racism-papers/
* The Australian-Asian Connection: From Alfred Deakin to John Howard * ( an abbreviated version of this has been published in Australian Quarterly.
* Psychology of prejudice Continue reading
Filed under australian media, cultural transmission, unusual people, life stories, world events & processes, politIcal discourse, immigration, tolerance, Australian culture, economic processes, education policy, zealotry
In the years 2001-01 or so when I was developing the manuscript which eventually became Sinhala Consciousness in the Kandyan Period, 1590s-1815 (Yapa Publications, Colombo, 2004, ISBN 955-8095-53-2) I posed an issue within my own mind: in what ways did the intellectual currents and specifically the understandings of statehood and/or nationhood among the colonial powers impinge upon and influence the thinking of the Sinhalese peoples? This meant that I had to get to grips with European history and the growth of nationalist concepts therein. Lacking competence in Portuguese and Dutch I had necessarily to concentrate on the intellectual strands in Britain and England, a topic I already had some familiarity with because of my teaching work at Peradeniya University in the 1970s.
Filed under cultural transmission, historical interpretation, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, photography, politIcal discourse, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, tamil refugees, teaching profession, unusual people, world affairs
Michael Roberts, presenting an item drafted on 22 September and circulated to Australian news agencies without receiving any takers; but drawing a pertinent response from an Aussie cricket buff with political interests — one which indicated that my NOTE was shallow and inadequate because it did not recognise the degree of hostility to the secular state and its institutions that resided within the thinking of the Islamic jihadist extremists, something that was not integral to either Serbian, Croatian, Sinhalese or Tamil extremists who got at each other’s throats. This note is presented below under the pseudonym Ibn Wirriq.
When some Australian Islamic extremists developed intentions of beheading a random Australian victim in the heart of an Australian city, they were not only affirming their faith in a symbol of militant Islam on the march, viz., the scimitar, but also pursuing a blitzkrieg upon the ‘Western mind’. The thought of beheading by sword arouses primeval fears in the West. Most people residing in the West today have moved beyond the era not so long ago in the 19th century-and-before when the guillotine, beheading by axe and hanging were standard forms of state punishment in their own heartlands. Today, moral revulsion is expressed at such a form of execution. Continue reading
Filed under Al Qaeda, cultural transmission, democratic measures, immigration, Islamic fundamentalism, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, tolerance, vengeance, violence of language, world events & processes, zealotry
Jaffna Railway Station 2009
Railway building in the British colonial period was one of imperial Britain’s great achievements 9not entirely altruistic of course). From the time it was inaugurated on 1st August 1905 the railway from Jaffna to Colombo brought Jaffna Tamils to the epicentre of commercial, educational activity and penned doors to individual and familial advancement. As Wikipedia notes, the single track single line between Kankesanthurai and Vavuniya had 16 stations and 12 sub-stations .
Oral story-telling in Tamil circles among older generations must surely highlight the importance of the railway. For Sinhalese and Burghers and others of course the tales will be more wistful ones retailing their occasional sojourns among Tamil friends in the distant terrain of the Jaffna Peninsula. For the railwaymen, of course, whether Burgher, Eurasian, Tamil or Sinhala, the memories were deeper” etched into their being in the The Rhythm of the Wheels as Victor Melder called his cyclostyled magazine from the depths of Melbourne during the 1970s. Continue reading
Filed under British colonialism, economic processes, Eelam, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, LTTE, military strategy, modernity & modernization, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes