Adolf Hitler seemed an unlikely leader – fuelled by anger, incapable of forming normal human relationships and unwilling to debate political issues. Such was the depth of his hatred that he would become a war criminal arguably without precedent in history. Yet this strange character was once loved by millions. How was this possible, and what role did Hitler’s alleged ‘charisma’ play in his success? Continue reading
Category Archives: martyrdom
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
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
Cricket is many things. Above all, it is a great teacher. It replicates the experiences of life, with joy and suffering in good mix though not always in equal mix. In this teaching school the most profound experiences arise in moments of ignominious defeat. One such moment eventuated over three days at the famous MCG during the equally renowned Boxing Day Test Match when Australia rolled over the Sri Lankan XI by an innings and 201 runs. Mustering only 156 and 102 runs in each innings Sri Lanka was simply crushed.
The toll of injuries which reduced the Sri Lankan XI to eight batsmen in the second innings was only one factor in the eventual outcome. The process began when the leading batsmen batted in needless and careless fashion in the first innings after winning the toss. It was compounded by a series of missed catches – mostly difficult ones to be sure, but nevertheless adding up to sway the outcome decisively in Australia’s favour despite some sharp catches by Mahela and Rangana during the Aussie innings. Continue reading
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
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).
Tony Allen-Mills, courtesy of The Sunday Times and The Australian
HE thought he was going to play Samson, the biblical strongman who lost his locks to Delilah. Instead Tim Dax, an exotically tattooed actor struggling at the seamier margins of Hollywood, found himself carrying a spear on a low-budget film called Desert Warrior. The only desert in sight was painted on a warehouse wall in central Los Angeles. At the time neither the plot nor his character made much sense to Dax. Yet he posed where he was told for $US75 a day and assumed the film, like most of his other acting credits, would swiftly disappear on to remaindered video shelves. Continue reading
A recent story about Australian soldiers working behind Japanese lines carrying cyanide pills to evade leaking information if taken prisoner (see below) brings to mind the LTTE policy of commiting all fighter recruits to the promise that they would BITE the kuppi (cyanide pill) they carried around their necks if they were in imminent danger of being made captive.
Tiger fighters relax in camp, late 1980s –Pic by Shyam Tekwani (see below)
Grapevine rumour has it that, as the Soviet army closed in on Berlin, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his bunker by swallowing cyanide. Other hearsay tales indicate that Velupillai Pirapāharan, the talaivar (leader) of the LTTE, was inspired by this example and decided early in his career to adopt the precaution of carrying a pill around his neck in case he was captured; and that this course of action was de rigeur for trained LTTE fighters from an early date. Continue reading
Namini Wijedasa, on “The Sri Lankan Hero” … in a Sandesa to GOD
These are terrible times. They say someone at the Central Bank mucked up the economy. There is a balance of payments crisis. Investment hasn’t taken off. We are heavily indebted. If the rupee sinks any lower, God, we will have to ask the Chinese to do something about it. After all, the Chinese are pretty much the only ones doing anything about our problems. Continue reading