A Tamil in UK who must remain Anonymous … responding to Tamil nationalist commemorations of the Tiger and Tamil dead and to a photograph by Robert Pinney [see below] depicting this event in mid-May 2013**
It really bothers me that the protest of ‘Tamils… gathered around photographs of those killed during the Sri Lankan civil war’ is being symbolized by people carrying the LTTE flag. Anyone who protests that massacres of Tamils in 2009 should by no means do so under the Tiger flag. In 2009, the Tigers forced innocent Tamil civilians to remain in the Vanni – under pain of death. When I was working in the Vanni, I began to truly sympathize with the Tamils who stayed behind in Sri Lanka. They lost EVERYTHING under the Tigers and the GOSL A shed with garlanded photographs of maaveerar, Batticaloa locality, c. 2004 Continue reading
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I: Letter from Eshantha Ariyadasa to Roberts, 21 May 2013
I am Eshantha Ariyadasa, presently a research higher degree student at Flinders University in South Australia. This is to inform you of a very tragic incident that happened to a Sri Lankan student Dhanushka Uswatte who is presently at the Flinders University reading for his honours degree.
According to Dhanushka, last Friday (10th May 2013), he was waiting for a bus at a bus stop with one of his Australian university friends. Suddenly an Australian (an Aboriginal) has appeared swearing at both of them, and has demanded that Dhanushka go back to his country. Dhanushka politely requested that he leave them alone, as they have done nothing wrong other than waiting to catch a bus. However unfortunately his request was ignored and Dhanushka was brutally attacked by this person. He suffered severe facial injury and had to undergo an immediate surgery at the Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide. According to Dhanushka, two plates have been used during his operation underneath his left eye and just above his mouth to fix the fracture caused by this attack. He says, part of his face’s left side is still numb as some nerves too have been damaged. This incident has been reported to the police as well as to the officials of the university. Continue reading
S. Sivathasan in the Sunday Leader,13 May 2013
When the Jaffna Development Council started functioning a Minister who made frequent official visits to Jaffna was Hon. Gamini Dissanayake. His known closeness to the President lent some significance to the discussions he had with Mr. Nadarajah the Chairman of the Council. A warm rapport developed between the two. To the Chairman it opened a two-way communication connecting the District with the Centre. The Minister perhaps was not unaware of the political fall-out for the government, if things turned out well.
Quite a few meetings with the Minister were held in Colombo. The Chairman, the Government Agent Dr. Nesiah and the writer participated in these meetings. What were emphasized from the Council’s side were substantially larger funding and more devolved powers to utilize the finances effectively. The proposition struck a sensitive chord with the Minister and he took the initiative in arranging for a meeting with President J.R. Jayawardene one evening at his residence. It was in the latter part of 1982. The five of us took part in the discussions for over an hour. Development priorities with central funding were outlined by us. The Jaffna Lagoon Scheme and bridging the Mahadeva Causeway were among them. There was responsive interaction. Continue reading
Padraig Colman from his web site = http://pcolman.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/the-cage-by-gordon-weiss/ …. with a shorter version now in The Sunday Island 13 may 2013
While I was reading the new publication from the International Diaspora Group on counting the dead in Sri Lanka,[i] I cast my mind back to what Gordon Weiss had to say on the subject in his book, The Cage.
Bad Writing: Jason Burke[ii], writing in the Literary Review, describes this book as a : “comprehensive, fair and well-written work”. I beg to differ about the well-written bit. It is a good read, but not a good write. As seems to be the custom with contemporary authors in any genre[iii], Weiss provides a lengthy list of acknowledgements to those without whom etc…. Weiss is readable enough but it is a pity that some of those who “helped” did not draw his attention to several examples of inelegant English or lack of clarity. Continue reading
Michael Roberts …. See http://www.scribd.com/doc/132499266/The-Numbers-Game-Politics-of-Retributive-Justice OR http://www.margasrilanka.org/ [right panel at top—then click]
Pic from Tamilnet, 1 May 2009 from Tamilnet, 5 May 2009, in Third NFZ in the extreme south of the final pocket of LTTEresistance
Presented here is an “Introduction” and pointer to a significant visual and textual study entitled “Numbers Game: The Politics of Retributive Justice,” which scrutinizes both the data and other studies of what happened during the last five months of Eelam War IV. This was the period when a large body of people, almost exclusively Tamil in lineage, was corralled into an increasingly shrinking area by virtue of a strategic/tactical decision by the LTTE leadership. The Tamil Tigers who were now facing imminent defeat, were hoping to use the human mass to engineer a humanitarian catastrophe, thus forcing the international community to act by halting the conflict. This comprehensive survey has been assembled by a collective, the “Independent Diaspora Analysis Group.” The key hand is a person who wishes to remain anonymous and can be called “Citizen Silva.” Born to Sinhalese parents, raised and educated in the West, he has spent the entirety of his life outside the island. This foreign setting has enabled him to build close personal links with the island’s other ethnic diaspora groups, thus shielding him from the communalistic shadows that overwhelm many of his compatriots back home. As the analysis of the satellite imagery reveals, his engineering background allows him to bring to the examination a range of technical skills not usually associated with the average empirical scientist. Continue reading
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Toby Harnden, in The Australian, 26 April 2013, courtesy of The Sunday Times
IT is nearly a quarter of a century since the Berlin Wall fell, bringing the Cold War to a close. The triumph of liberal democracy briefly seemed to herald “the end of history” before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, triggered what the Pentagon called the global war on terrorism and a clash between the West and militant Islam. Just over a decade later, this conflict is drawing to a close. Much of al-Qa’ida has been dismantled; US President Barack Obama has declared “the tide of war is receding” and it is time to conduct nation-building at home. America’s imperial ambitions are over, for the foreseeable future at least. The world is no longer uni-polar. Continue reading
The Bodu-Bala Sena (BBS) is a political movement crystallizing mainly around Sinhala-Buddhist advocates of strong anti-Islamism. The knee-jerk reaction of opportunist political observers is to regard this as an example of a majoritarian populace behaving brutally, after having `caused Sinhala-Tamil terror’ by allegedly provoking the Tamils with ‘Sinhala-only’ discrimination. The BBS has also provided fodder for anti-government critics as well as the usual `I told you so’ liberals who believe that mass movements can be corrected by a little bit of sermonizing by `good monks’ holding vigils around the Lipton circus. Continue reading
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Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph where the title is slightly different: http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/lone-wolf-assaults-from-boston-to-westmead-home-invasion-to-the-unabomber/
The recent bomb outrage in Boston has sent tidal ripples along the media networks around the world. It appears that the bombs were hidden in pressure cookers packed with nails/ball bearings and put in backpacks which were placed on the pavement among onlookers. “Similar easy-to-make roadside bombs are used in Iraq and Afghanistan” (Stewart 2013). But such bomb-making techniques are also clarified on internet sites. Among the first readings one headline in The Australian said: “Stamp of lone wolf more than al-Qa’ida” (Maley 2013). The contention here was that “in recent years, so-called “lone wolf” attackers — people who acquire radical ideology and weapons skills online — have become the greatest concern for counter-terrorism officials, who have virtually no way of detecting the activities of these people” (Stewart 2013).The absence of “chatter” on internet among jihadi circles after the event is one reason for this suspicion. suspected bomb pack Continue reading
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