Padraig Colman, courtesy of Transconflict, an online web journal
An End to Terror in Sri Lanka? Sri Lanka’s bitter and brutal thirty year conflict ended in May 2009. The government’s victory over the separatist LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) was decisive and the rebel leaders, including Vellupillai Prabhakaran, were killed or co-opted. There have been no terrorist incidents in Sri Lanka in the four years since the end of the war. The formerly war-torn Northern Province has been enjoying an economic growth rate of over 28%.
In spite of all this, the government has come under unrelenting criticism, mainly orchestrated by members of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora who supported the cause of a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka, Tamil Eelam. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, citizen journalism, fundamentalism, gordon weiss, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, propaganda, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, Tamil civilians, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, world events & processes
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
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
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
Filed under accountability, governance, historical interpretation, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, nationalism, news fabrication, patriotism, photography, politIcal discourse, population, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, violence of language, world events & processes, zealotry
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
Courtesy of COLOMBO TELEGRAPH — SEE http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/a-sri-lankan-buddhist-monk-speaks-out-let-sri-lanka-have-thousands-of-buddha-putras-like-him/ … and also absorb the blog comments it draws. NOTE: the sinhala is precise and lucid if high-flown. Indeed, it is a lesson in concise clarity. AND it is translated intoTamil and English as well. a MUST SEE and must listen –both media.
A Note from Dr WA Wijewardena: “It is indeed heartening to see an erudite Buddhist priest speaking out, guided by the teaching of the Master, when many have chosen to remain silent. Ven Dhammananda, Lecturer at the University of Kelaniya, speaks through his experience, but has not been angered or being revengeful despite the personal loss to him. Let Sri Lanka have thousands of Buddha Putras like him to guide this nation, which is now stranded and moving aimlessly, to its future glory!” says a former Deputy Governor – Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Dr. W.A. Wijewardena. Continue reading
Filed under communal relations, cultural transmission, ethnicity, life stories, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, unusual people, women in ethnic conflcits, world affairs
Ben Packham, in The Australian, 10 april 2013 with title “Asylum boat’s arrival on mainland may force border patrol rethink”
The boat carrying 66 Sri Lankans arrived in Geraldton harbour, 430km north of Perth, at 12.45pm local time yesterday en route to New Zealand. Picture: Graeme Gibbons Source: News Limited
BORDER protection authorities will review the adequacy of asylum boat patrols after a vessel carrying 66 Sri Lankans made it to the West Australian mainland undetected. Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said the boat, which arrived in Geraldton yesterday, is believed to have sailed direct from Sri Lanka. He said it appeared to have taken a much longer and more southerly route than most asylum-seeker vessels, keeping it at sea for 44 days.
“I’m concerned,” Mr Clare told ABC radio. “I’ve asked Customs and Border Protection to review the circumstances of this case and advise me whether there needs to be changes to the way in which we patrol the seas in the north-west.The point to stress is this is very unusual. We haven’t had a boat head for the mainland and make the mainland now in about five years. It’s a much shorter journey for people to travel to Cocos Island or to Christmas Island.” Continue reading
Kusal Perera, in The Hindu with different title: “Martyrdom does not help Sri Lanka’s Tamils”
I read with much sorrow that Vikram, 30, set himself on fire and died in a hospital. He was the second such victim of the new campaign in Tamil Nadu for Eelam. The first was Mani, 41, from Cuddalore who set himself ablaze on March 4. Mani and Vikram will be remembered only when the numbers have to be counted if there is another self-immolation. But wait, where do they want this Eelam established and for whom? The separate State cannot be for Tamil Nadu. It cannot be for anybody there, nor for those students who are fasting and agitating.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) raised a separatist demand for a “Dravida Nadu” many decades ago, but had to give up its call as, after the creation of linguistic States, there were no takers for Dravidian separatism. In 1963, the DMK officially dropped its demand. Murasoli Maran had said, “I am Tamil first, but I am also an Indian. Both can exist together, provided there is space for cultural nationalism.” A leading theoretician in the DMK, Era Sezhiyan, had said it was more practical to demand a higher degree of autonomy for Tamil Nadu, instead of a separate State. Continue reading
Filed under democratic measures, Indian Ocean politics, LTTE, politIcal discourse, population, power politics, power sharing, Rajapaksa regime, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, terrorism, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, world affairs
Samanthi Subramanium in New York Times …. http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/indias-rotten-diplomacy-in-sri-lanka-breeds-loathing/imes
As a rule, living in Sri Lanka means encountering some of the friendliest people on earth. But since the civil war ended in 2009, it must be said, there is a startlingly consistent loathing for India, and a doubled such loathing for Tamils from India. This manifests all in the abstract, for the most part, but it is there nonetheless. Among other reasons, the Sinhalese are angry with India for funding and training the Tamil Tigers in their infancy, helping them become the monsters they became, and it is difficult to argue this point. The Tamils are angry with India for not intervening more decisively in the waning weeks of the war, to help stop the civilian carnage that occurred – and it is difficult to argue this point also. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, disparagement, ethnicity, Indian Ocean politics, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, Rajiv Gandhi, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, terrorism, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes