Tamil Person and State: Pictorial … Images Listed

Michael Roberts


Acknowledgements v

Preface vii

List of Pictorial Items xvii

Abbreviations xxxiii

Prologue xxxv

Visual Imagery within Political Struggles and Manoeuvres …. pp. 1-44

Photographs …. pp. 45-208

Postface: BBC Blind …. pp. 209-29

Bibliography …. pp. 230-51

List of Appendices … pp. 252-92

Appendix I: Media Personnel transported to battlefront by Min-of Defence … pp. 252-63

Appendix II: Estimates of the Death Toll among the Fighting Forces of the LTTE and Government of Sri Lanka …. pp. 264-66

Appendix III: NGOs providing Relief at the Mānik Farm Detention Centres …. pp. 267-70

Appendix IV: US Ambassador Robert Blake’s Secret Despatch, 19 March 2009…. pp. 271-72

Appendices V: Inaugural Meeting of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi, Colombo, 18 December 1949 … with Presidential Address by SJV Chelvanayagam …. pp. 273

List of Pictorial Items

Illustrations for introductory chapter

A. Ecstasy and a karate kick before the kill, 24/25 July 1983

B.A killing victim at Varanāsi, 23 December 1992

C. A Muslim shot by police during Seelampur riots, Delhi, 1992

D. Hindu mob assembled at night during Bhagalpur pogrom, 28 October 1990

E. Massive crowd of White Americans assembles to watch the lynching of a Black American, Henry Smith, at Paris, Texas, 1 February 1896

F. A case of torturing: two interpretations

F1: The image and its tale in The Cage

F2. The unmodified image discovered by GSL sources … with tell-tale slippers suggestive of Tiger troops

G. DiManno’s slanted pictorial pick: a weak attempt to fool the public about the scenario of the Last Redoubt

H1, 2. LTTE video of auxiliary mobilisation for belligerent activity

I. David Cameron’s visit to Jaffna draws world attention to the anguish of kin seeking the “missing”

J. Tamils greet Cameron with demonstration depicting photographs of missing kin

K. Tamil women seeking their kin in public expressions of grief and anger

L. Tamils abandon Thamilīlam and walk through jungle at night to safety of Army terrain, February 2009

M1, 2. Mobilisation in search of the “disappeared” kin, 2012 and 2013

2b-Chelva hustings  Chelvanayakam campaigning 13c--Prabha with pistol-2 the talaivar Pirapaharan with revolver Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, asylum-seekers, atrocities, caste issues, citizen journalism, disaster relief team, discrimination, economic processes, Eelam, gordon weiss, governance, historical interpretation, IDP camps, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, NGOs, patriotism, photography, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, population, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, Rajiv Gandhi, rehabilitation, security, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war crimes, welfare & philanthophy

Tamil Person and State: Essays

Michael  Roberts

L 135a --Medivac child at Pulmoddai

50-LTTE senior commanders -tamilnet

Essay – Cover 



CHAPTER 1.….Inspirations and Caste Threads in the Early LTTE … 1-43

CHAPTER 2…..Hitler, Nationalism, Sacrifice: Koenigsberg and Beyond … 44-68

CHAPTER 3…..Hero Figures and Hitler in Young Pirapāharan’s Thinking … 69-89

CHAPTER 4…..Tamil Tigers: Sacrificial Symbolism and‘Dead Body Politics’ … 90-100

CHAPTER 5……Killing Rajiv Gandhi: Dhanu’s SacrificIal Metamorphosis in Death? 101-31 Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under authoritarian regimes, cultural transmission, Eelam, female empowerment, gordon weiss, governance, historical interpretation, Hitler, Indian Ocean politics, life stories, LTTE, nationalism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, propaganda, Rajapaksa regime, Rajiv Gandhi, riots and pogroms, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, TNA, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, vengeance, world affairs

Jaffna. Exorcising the past and holding the vision

Neville Jayaweera’s autobiographical reflection on the ethnic conflict … is already raising a storm in Sri Lanka. Here is the PREFACE by Susil Sirivardena

jayaweeraThis book is a testament to a lifetime of action and reflection by Neville Jayaweera, a Sri Lankan Civil Servant, endowed with a rare vision of what it means to be civilized. Its distinctive feature is its granite-like commitment to ethics and values, supported by an intrepid intellectuality. While remaining rooted in his native soil he also comes across as drawing strength from a reality beyond the mundane and while he seems a person of the Enlightenment and of modernity, he also seems undergirded by an unflinching commitment to his conscience. Summing up the impossible contradiction of his role as the Government Agent of Jaffna in the mid-sixties, Jayaweera says that it was like keeping his nose to the grindstone while at the same time keeping his eyes focused on the stars! Whilst remaining firmly anchored both to heaven and to earth Jayaweera’s career seems an attempt to fill the space in between, both as Yogi and as Commissar, as he describes it, borrowing the title of a famous essay written by Arthur Koestler. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, economic processes, governance, historical interpretation, language policies, life stories, nationalism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, religiosity, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, unusual people, violence of language

A Bloomberg Boost for Sri Lanka

Influential global media house to add Sri Lanka to its international release of Economic  Forecasts

Sri Lanka’s profile for business and investment will get a big boost shortly when the world famous and influential premier source for business and financial market news, Bloomberg includes the country into its global service providing economic forecast.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under economic processes, governance, growth pole, island economy, performance, population, sri lankan society

Fabulous Lanka: a Drone works for the Sri Lankan Tourist Board

Here’s fabulous drone footage of Sri Lanka:
Here’s the DJI-Phantom Quadcopter:
courtesy of Viran Corea

Leave a comment

Filed under landscape wondrous, the imaginary and the real, tourism

WikiLeaks reveals that US embassy in Sri Lanka was ill-informed

Philip Fernando **

The WikiLeaks that Dr. Michael Roberts crisply detailed in his Blog confirms that the US embassy in Colombo looked woefully uninformed during the last phase of Eelam War IV. The US ambassadors and their cohorts knew only an inkling of what they constantly thought they were on top of. Countering Sri Lanka’s drift towards an Asia-based (China in particular) alignment – away from US radar, the Colombo embassy changed gears from good intelligence gathering to a more subjective probing — and seems to have been sucked into a quicker ‘regime-change mode’.  WikiLeaks indicates that the Rajapaksa administration—indeed the Sri Lankan polity- -and the US embassy were on two parallel lines that never met. Here are a few instances where the US embassy failed to grasp or interpret data …. With the WikiLeaks quotations being in italics and numbered 1 to 6 – and my comments following). Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, democratic measures, discrimination, governance, historical interpretation, LTTE, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

Advertising TAMIL PERSON AND STATE by Michael Roberts

59- VP signs peace accord 2002-BBC  53- Pongu Thamil Geneva 2003



This set of books is the latest anthology from Michael Roberts that caters to the reading public in Lanka and elsewhere by collecting his essaying interventions in the public realm, usually on web, within one cover. These articles were written between 2009 and 2012. Two long articles, however, are new products drafted in 2012. One explores the significance of a Karaiyar caste coterie within the LTTE, while clarifying the ideological currents that inspired their opposition to the Sinhala-dominated state. The other clarifies the circumstances of the Tamil peoples within the de facto to state of Thamilīlam from 2002 onwards and especially within the crucible of war in “the Vanni Pocket” in 2009 and thence to the detention centres at Mänik Farm. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, caste issues, constitutional amendments, cultural transmission, disaster relief team, disparagement, Fascism, historical interpretation, Hitler, IDP camps, island economy, life stories, LTTE, NGOs, photography, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, TNA, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, war crimes, world events & processes, zealotry