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
PART ONE: A gnawing fear resides today in my guts. I fear that one or more of the Sri Lanka cricketers at the IPL matches in India will end up maimed or dead. This is an imminent and distinct possibility – a slim one I admit, but not wholly fanciful. I earnestly wish I am wrong; but I think that either a lone ranger or a clique of Tamil zealots is quite capable of carrying out such an attack in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi or Calcutta. Security precautions can go only so far. Individual cricketers are highly vulnerable. Continue reading
Filed under atrocities, ethnicity, Indian Ocean politics, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, nationalism, patriotism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, truth as casualty of war, violence of language, zealotry
Compiled by Michael Roberts to assist present-day debates on Sinhala -Muslim tensions …with RED identifying contemporary material
Abdul Rahiman, W. M. 1915 Letter from WM Abdul Rahiman to Sir Robert Chalmers [Governor], 1 July 1915, in Colonial Office 54/782.
Ameer Ali, A. C. L. 1981 “The 1915 racial riots in Ceylon (Sri Lanka): a reappraisaof its causes,” South Asia 4: 1-20.
Amunugama, Sarath 1978 “John de Silva and the Sinhala nationalist theatre,” Ceylon Historical Journal 25: 285-304. Continue reading
Filed under atrocities, British colonialism, British imperialism, communal relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, historical interpretation, life stories, politIcal discourse, riots and pogroms, sri lankan society, tolerance, violence of language
KM de Silva’s Sri Lanka and the Defeat of the LTTE (Penguin books, 2012 ISBN 9780143416524) looks at the rise and fall of LTTE in the context of South Asia and the India-Sri Lanka relationship, says R Hariharan. The story of Velupillai Prabhakaran’s rise from the backwoods of Jaffna to build the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), one of the most dreaded terrorist organisations, and his fall in the battlefield can be told in many ways. Sri Lanka historian KM de Silva in his latest book looks at the rise and fall of the LTTE in the larger context of South Asia and the India-Sri Lanka relationship. Continue reading
Filed under Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Left politics, suicide bombing, military strategy, Rajapaksa regime, life stories, LTTE, terrorism, Indian Ocean politics, world events & processes, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, power politics, indian armed forces, prabhakaran, truth as casualty of war, language policies, sri lankan society, politIcal discourse, atrocities, law of armed conflict, military expenditure
Rapti Siriwardane-de Zoysa, in Email Memo to Michael Roberts, 13 December 2012 **
Yesterday an ex-fisher/diver from Mullaitivu shared a curious tale of a recent act of ‘vengeance’ in a small kovil [at XYZ]…. 12 family members from the same area (XYZ district) had purchased a multi-day boat, pooled money from others who expressed interest in going [so that] there were about 55 altogether. The engine had broken down midway (some 13 days after they set sail). The 12 family members were supposed to have locked themselves up in the cabin in order to ration the food supplies. The rest had been locked out. Rice gruel had been passed through the cabin once a day through a window, while the other passengers who were locked out felt that the 12 members were keeping themselves fed to their heart’s content. Among the 12 was a close family friend (the relative of the informant I was speaking with) who was among the ‘chosen. He had come out for a cigarette. Out of anger, the rest, who were vegetating outside, had lynched him; and then thrown him overboard. They had been like this for about a month. Continue reading
Noel Nadesan, in the Daily News, 17 & 18 October 2012**
After my recent visit to Mullativu I came away with the distinct feeling that the Tamil leadership is playing the same old game of the three proverbial monkeys: see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. As usual they are playing the same old game of pointing the finger at the others with the sole objective of trying to pass the buck to others. The latest victim in the blame game is Erik Solheim. No other figure in the international community went out of their way to defend the Tamils better than Solheim. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, atrocities, Eelam, life stories, LTTE, mass conscription, politIcal discourse, population, power politics, prabhakaran, propaganda, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, truth as casualty of war, war crimes, world events & processes
Jane Russell, 13 September 2012
This lengthy comment was inserted by Jane Russell in response to Nalliah Thayabharan’s lengthy diatribe against the oppressions of the caste system in the Jaffna Peninsula in the mid-20th century. I believe Russell’s little essay deserves greater prominence and used my prerogative to present it as an article in its own right in thuppahi. Clarification of the background is provided at the end of this post. Web Editor.
There are elements of fascism in every society — the class system in the UK, although ameliorated by a welfare state, still bears a strong resemblance to the brutal Victorian class structure which condemned millions to poverty, misery and death 150 years ago: the underclass in the USA today live in conditions akin to outcastes in Asian societies: in Africa, south and central America, China and Russia, there are millions of victims of proto-fascist social structures –everywhere human beings are divided, either by class or race or religion, and this enables one powerful group to abuse less powerful groups and to justify this abuse on the grounds that members of other groups are less human and deserving. If you want to find an example of modern social fascism, look no further than the gun lobby in the US… but there are so many examples..…..the treatment of homosexuals in certain African states, the mistreatment of Shia by Sunnis in Bahrain, the systematic murder of tribal peoples in central America……… the list is endless and endlessly enduring. Continue reading
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Monkey Read, Momkey DO.
….. and who is it that said that “there is no progress in Sri Lanka” …. !!!!
Filed under accountability, atrocities, australian media, cultural transmission, life stories, news fabrication, politIcal discourse, propaganda, pulling the leg, sri lankan society, unusual people, wikileaks
I: Open Letter to Canberra Times, 22 July 2012
I have known the HE from the days he was a cadet in the Navy . I am aware he took pride in educating his children in Tamil culture. His daughters are accomplished Baratha Natyaam dancers. I think his son learnt Tamil. He himself has been very sympathetic to the Tamils. In fact I believe when he was the Navy Commander his Personal Assistant was a Tamil Commodore. Just because he was in the Navy at that particular time it does not make him culpable. For example not all of the German Service Officers in WW2 were Nazi perpetrators.
The HE by the nature of his office is open to criticism – both fair and unfair. That does not give us licence to abuse the freedom of expression. The HE has contacted me several times expressing his desire for the reconciliation of the different communities and I know he is a tireless worker in that area. I feel the treatment the HE is being given is quite unfair and uncalled for.
In any case it is far better to seek reconciliation than harp on revenge and recrimination. If we are responsible adults we will seek a better future for the generations to follow rather than subject them to continuous tension. This Email is the least I can do for the officer and gentleman the HE is.
Regards, Marty Somasundaram Continue reading
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Sean Parnell, in The Australian, 31 July 2012, where the title is “AFP rejected refugee offer to name names”
AN accused backer of Tamil terrorists held in custody in Melbourne for the past four years tried to strike a deal with US and Australian authorities in a desperate bid to avoid being returned to Sri Lanka.The former head of the Melbourne International College, Thulasitharan Santhirarajah, was arrested in 2008 after a series of raids by the AFP, acting on behalf of the FBI.
The Australian yesterday revealed Attorney-General Nicola Roxon in February signed off on the extradition of Santhirarajah, who is accused of providing support to the now-vanquished Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. At the time of his arrest, Mr Santhirarajah, now 38, was living in Melbourne with his wife — an ethnic Tamil previously granted refugee status — and their son. He had moved to Australia on a business visa and was granted a bridging visa while he sought permanent residency. Continue reading
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