Nimal Sanderatne, courtesy of Groundviews … http://groundviews.org/2013/04/17/review-of-fire-and-storm-by-michael-roberts/
When Michael Roberts left Peradeniya in the late seventies, he was part of an exodus of intellectuals from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, arguably one of the best universities at that time. The exodus of academics at that time was compelled by the economic difficulties faced by university dons. It was the second wave of such emigration that diminished the intellectual life of the university and country. The Arts Faculty of the University of Peradeniya never regained its prestigious academic status after that. Today the University of Peradeniya cannot take pride in intellectuals of the eminence of E.F.C. Ludowyck, E.R Sarachchandra, H.A.de S. Gunasekera, Fr. Ignatius Pinto, Ian Van den Driesen and many others. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, Eelam, Fascism, female empowerment, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, mass conscription, military strategy, nationalism, patriotism, politIcal discourse, population, power politics, power sharing, prabhakaran, propaganda, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, unusual people, violence of language
Dinoo Kelleghan in The Weekend-Australian, 13 April 2013 where the title is Tamils flee for cash, not from harm … Dinoo Kelleghan is a former foreign editor of The Australian and was a member of the Refugee Review Tribunal from 1997-2004.
IN contrast to the weary boatloads of Sri Lankans making the dangerous asylum-shopping trip to Australia, millions of different shoppers are out in force here as the island prepares for Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations this weekend. This year, economists noted a change in the spending patterns – lower-income people are spending more freely than the better-paid shoppers in the capital, Colombo. The reason? The gushing torrents of remittances home from Sri Lankans who have gone abroad for employment, often making empty claims of persecution to leapfrog others who stand patiently in long queues outside Western embassies in Colombo to get a work visa. Continue reading
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Elmo Jayawardane, reviewing Dayan Jayatilleka: Long War, Cold Peace
Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka has not stopped at merely hitting the nail on the head; he’s gone a lot deeper! The man has taken a Black and Decker and drilled the skull of the reader and carefully pushed in 498 pages of faction and action (shameful and laudable) that relate to our “Long War” of almost three decades.
It is a timely publication too. The International Tambourine Men gathered in Geneva flaunting their lily white innocence in attempts to barbecue us. At least, we the ordinary habitants of this land should know how the cookie crumbled while we suffered the consequences of divisibility for thirty grisly years. Of course the ‘mea culpa’ rests with none other than the leadership. They festered the wound of ethnic divide and titillated political maggots that nearly annihilated us as a nation. We need to know some truths that have been gagged and swept under the carpets by both sides, ably assisted by the good Samaritans who sat on the third seat preaching negotiated peace. ‘Long War, Cold Peace’ is the answer. Dr. Dayan is punching hard, in a ring where he knows the rules, and he is not holding anything back. There is a good possibility that the book may take him to the mouth of a long menacing serpent in the political game of ‘Snakes and Ladders.” But then, with his historically valuable contribution in ‘Long war, Cold peace’, he will walk tall among people who really matter. Continue reading
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Kalana Senaratne in The Island, 27 March 2013 where the title is “Geneva and Bodu Bala Sena: Two Dimensions of a Crisis“
There are tensions and schisms erupting, there is a crisis in the making. One dimension of this crisis is the unfolding diplomatic debacle: the Geneva-crisis. The group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) represents, and gives expression to, another dimension. The emergence of both was to be expected; both, however, were avoidable.
Geneva-crisis: After Sri Lanka’s sui generis performance in 2009, the Geneva-story has been a depressing one to a lot of people. Sri Lanka’s support-base has dwindled drastically. India which, in 2009, opposed a Western-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka stood up to remind the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillai, where to get off. Today, India is endorsing Western or US-sponsored resolutions, and acknowledging in the process reports produced by Ms. Pillai. The contrast couldn’t have been more damaging than this. Continue reading
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A. Subburaj of TNN in Times of India, 28 November 2012, where the title reads ” For Puliyoor Resdents, LTTE is Living Presence“
COIMBATORE: On Tuesday late evening, over 400 people including 100 women and children, gathered at Puliyoor, a nondescript village in Salem district, and lit candles to remember the fallen heroes of a war fought across the seas. The LTTE has been wiped out from Sri Lanka, but the Tigers are a living presence for the villagers here. At Ponnammaan Memorial Bus Shelter at Puliyoor Pirivu here, men, women and children from Puliyoor, Mettur Dam, Kolathur and surrounding villages stood in a line, with candles in hand, as they have been doing for the past 21 years, to remember Tamils who died fighting Sri Lankan army during the three decades of ethnic strife. They sang songs in praise of the heroes and for the Eelam. Continue reading
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That the LTTE talaivar, Velupillai Pirapāharan, died a heroic death as a vīra maranam on the 18th or 19th May 2009 is now certain.Though Tamil sources claim that he shot himself with his pistol when he and his troops were trapped in the mangrove swamps on the eastern shoreline of Nandhikadal lagoon, the weight of evidence suggests that he was hit by a bullet “traveling diagonally across VP’s skull, probably from left forehead to right rear of skull –[a bullet that was part of] either a rifle round, or a rifle-calibre round”(David Blacker, email to Roberts, 14 February 2012).
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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
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Dayapala Thiranagama, in The Island, 21 September 2012
Starting a family in Jaffna with Rajani, in the midst of the Tamil community was a life enriching experience. Having two young daughters added happiness and an extra stability for us. However, the apparent tranquillity in Jaffna could not be taken for granted. The subsequent years the situation began to change from bad to worse. We never expected that the life was going to be smooth but we never envisaged what was to follow. The war and its horrors that tore apart so many family lives made a lasting impact on the whole community. Returning to Jaffna again to painfully revisit the past was a difficult experience.
This summer, after 23 years, I drove to Jaffna from Galle with my eldest daughter. We travelled through the heart of Sri Lanka on the A9 road, passing Kandy, Matale, Dambulla and Kekirawa. We drove past areas where I had worked in 1986 as a member of the Vikalpa Kandayama (Alternative Group), laying down an underground political structure. At the time, I had left my academic job in the university to do fulltime political work and was confronted by two great dangers: increasing political repression from the UNP government on the one hand and the JVP’s second insurrection on the other. In my journey from the place of my birth, Galle, to Jaffna in the north, I retraced my own political journey in Sri Lanka to its conclusion, the grave of my wife Rajani. Continue reading
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