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
Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, ethnicity, historical interpretation, law of armed conflict, LTTE, martyrdom, mass conscription, nationalism, photography, power politics, prabhakaran, propaganda, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, world affairs
Michael Roberts, … a reprint of an article in Social Analysis, Volume 50, Issue 1, Spring 2006, 73–102. **
The de facto LTTE state in Sri Lanka has established a number of calendrical rituals to honour and remember its fallen heroes and heroines, the māvīrar. These are the personnel who have died in battle or fallen as part of the LTTE goal of political independence, namely, Thamilīlam or Eelam as the latter is more widely labelled. The most significant of these moments is Heroes Day on 27 November when their talaivar, or “Leader,” Velupillai Prabhākaran (more properly Pirapakaran) also delivers a peroration for 25 minutes immediately prior to the lighting of the flame of sacrifice at 6.06 p.m. at the designated tuyilam illam (resting places) for the māvīrar. As Chritiana Natali discovered (2005) the Tamil people do not see these sites as “cemeteries.” Rather they are “portrayed as temples.” Binded, like the people she talked to, a demi-official LTTE site described the locations as “holy places.” Continue reading
Filed under historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, life stories, LTTE, nationalism, performance, politIcal discourse, power sharing, prabhakaran, religious nationalism, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, unusual people, world affairs
Step-By-Step Studio Images Mystery Painting Studios, like the Step-by-Step Studio in Colombo, are not primarily about “doing” something. They are about “being” something: being peace, being hope, being adaptable and dependable in situations that change rapidly and are far from reliable. The Monkey’s Tale Centre for Contemplative Art in Batticaloa was the first Mystery Painting studio. It was born out of the generosity of friends in Canada, America and Great Britain responding to the tsunami, which first swept ashore in Sri Lanka at Marathamunai a town some forty kilometers from Batticaloa, the day after Christmas 2004.
Just as with the response of the international community, people in Batticaloa reached into their hearts and helped out however they could. They weathered the crisis and, in doing so, learned a valuable lesson. Wherever there is turbulence there is transition, and transition – to be productive of the most positive results – must be anchored in an open and yielding heart. Continue reading
Michael Roberts, reprinting an article published in 2003 in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Summer 2003, 9: 75-102.**
ABSTRACT: The collective identity of Sinhala-speakers over four centuries dating from the 1590s is analyzed with due attention to the structural form of (a) the Kingdom of Kandy and (b) the British colonial regime that took control of the whole island by 1815/18. The analysis dwells on the modes of oral, visual-iconic and written forms of cultural transmission that pre-dated print technology, while drawing attention to the relative uniformity of the Sinhala language in both geographical and temporal scale. A semantic pattern of political alliances based on the opposition of inside to outside which works contextually like a nestling Chinese-box is one dimension of this linguistic order. This supported the tendency of Sinhalese representations to adopt an associational logic which merged past enemies (the wicked Tamils) with contemporary enemies (the Portuguese, the English) during the liberation struggles of the Kandyan state and its militia in the pre-1818 period. Such tendencies and the continuation of disparaging epithets coined during the period of Portuguese imperial intrusion into the vocabulary of the twentieth century must inform any theoretical efforts to distinguish the collective consciousness of the Sinhalese after the substantial transformations initiated under the British from that which is expressed so powerfully in the war poems of the pre-British period. Continue reading
Filed under British colonialism, communal relations, disparagement, economic processes, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, language policies, Left politics, life stories, literary achievements, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, politIcal discourse, population, power sharing, religious nationalism, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, world affairs
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
Courtesy of the Daily News & bunkersportsnews… ALSO SEE http://www.slpa.lk/port_hambantota.asp?chk=4
Sri Lanka can be coverted into a regional maritime hub as an alternative to Singapore, said Rob Grool, President, Fleet Seaspan Ship Management Ltd, Canada, which owns over 60 large container ships. In an exclusive interview with Daily News Business at the Seaspan Ship Management (Vancouver) Offers Forum concluded in Colombo last Saturday held in collaboration with their manning agents in Sri Lanka, Ceyline Shipping Ltd, Grool said that Colombo, Hambantota and Galle could play a major role towards achieving this target.
“Both these harbours lie on a global maritime route and should be promoted towards reaching this target,” he added. He said that bunkering, crew exchange, supplying of commodities, repairs and spares are the key areas that these three harbours should pay attention to,” he said. Continue reading
Aatish Taseer, courtesy of SUNDAY, where the title is “a People without a Story”
celebrations in the south–May 2009
FOUR years ago this week, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam announced that their struggle for an independent homeland in northern Sri Lanka had “reached its bitter end.” The group had been fighting on behalf of the Tamil people for more than a quarter-century, and its defeat was absolute. Today, great sections of Tamil country are still a scene of devastation. The houses are either destroyed or brand-new; the land is uncultivated and overgrown; there are forests of decapitated Palmyra palms, damaged by heavy shelling. And then there are the relics of war — graveyards of L.T.T.E. vehicles rotting in the open air; the remains of a ship, its superstructure blown to pieces and in whose rusting starboard a gaping hole gives on to blue sea. Continue reading
Filed under LTTE, politIcal discourse, population, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, rehabilitation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, trauma, truth as casualty of war, women in ethnic conflcits, world affairs
Darshanie Ratnawalli courtesy of the Nation and the Colombo Telegraph, with the latter drawing a volatile discussion which readers may wish to view … SEE note below pertinent to that discussion
I am the legitimate issue of a woman who unabashedly claims to admire the Bodu Bala Sena. This affords me a critical perspective into the issue, without which everyone is floundering like headless chickens. There may be other people, whose mothers etc. harbor soft spots for the BBS. But because they are not me, they would either try to keep these mothers in the closet or, in contradistinction, empathize with these soft spots; whereas I…Well you shall see.
My mother represents the Sri Lankan equivalent of Middle America and, as such, the demographic bloc that makes or breaks any movement dependent on mass support for its success. In Middle America (SL), one becomes a Buddhist by being a stakeholder of the Buddha Sāsana (deliberately called henceforth, the Buddhist Church of Lanka) and by emotionally aligning oneself with the age-old mission of fostering this Sāsana on this soil for the allocated five thousand years. Once one has fulfilled this basic requirement adherence to Buddhism proper becomes peripheral and is largely left to personal discretion. Continue reading
Filed under citizen journalism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, discrimination, disparagement, historical interpretation, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, racist thinking, Rajapaksa regime, sri lankan society, truth as casualty of war, world affairs
Fr Perniola captured by Johnny in 2013
I: A Note by Carl Fernando: The Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka commenced their Annual Sessions on 28th March 2013. The prestigious Sir S. C. Obeysekere Medal for 2013 was awarded to Fr. Perniola. This medal is awarded periodically to members of the Society, of which Fr. Perniola is a Life Member, for outstanding achievements. His Pali Grammar which was published by the Pali Text Society of London and the History of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka, running into 19 Volumes, are some of his great works. An erudite Linguist, Scholar and Historian, Fr. Perniola served at St.Aloysius’ College, Galle for a period of about 15 years and was Rector from 1949 to 1952. He celebrates his 100th birthday on the 10th of April 2013. A thanksgiving mass will be held on that day at St. Mary’s Church, Bambalapitiya, at 4.30 pm. Continue reading
Johnny de Silva
Johnny and Haris in recent times
It was the early 1950s and I was thrust into the portals of a College in Galle for my education. For a student who was attending a Colombo College at the time this was quit a revelation. I was a ‘hosteller’ and was one of the few hostellers in my class. I was pretty short and was sat next to a diminutive student who later showed us what a colossus he was in the study of Engineering. Also in my class was this slightly built student who for some reason decided that he would ‘keep me company’ and so it came to pass that I was surrounded by some of the ‘stars’ of SAC. The slightly built student was none other than Dr Harischandra whom we affectionately called DVJ. Continue reading