The Ode and The Last Post: Remembering the Anzacs

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.”


Corporal Matthew Creek of the Royal Military College Band plays The Last Post at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. The Last Post is one of a number of bugle calls in military tradition that mark the phases of the day. In military tradition, the Last Post is the bugle call that signifies the end of the day’s activities. It is also sounded at military funerals to indicate that the soldier has gone to his final rest and at commemorative services such as ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day….. Published on Apr 9, 2012

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Australian culture, australian media, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, nationalism, patriotism, politIcal discourse, war reportage, world affairs

Combat Trauma and Shell Shock in the Sri Lanka Army: “Palali” as Its Metaphor

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge, courtesy of Lankaweb 15 April 2015, where the title is  Shell Shock To Palali Syndrome,”

In war, there are no unwounded soldiers” – Jose Narosky

Palali is a well-known area in the Jaffna Peninsula in the Northern Sri Lanka. Palali has an important airport that serves as the main lifeline in the North. A large number of soldiers travel to the Northern Peninsula through the Palali Airbase. During the Eelam War, Palali Air Base played a key role (like the Tan Son Nhut Air Base during the Vietnam conflict) providing essential food items, medicines and ammunition to the troops. Throughout the Eelam War, many battle casualties were transported to Colombo via Palali.

PALALI 22Therefore, Palali is a part of the combatants who fought in the Eelam War for nearly three decades. Palali is in their memories, sometimes in their intrusions. Palali has become a symbol and metaphor that recounts combat trauma in Sri Lanka.  Palali represents the symptom complex of battle stresses that has been experienced by the new generation of combatants. It has developed in to a syndrome.  Palali syndrome describes various clinical and psychosocial ailments experienced by the Sri Lankan combatants and in the final score how it affects the society at large. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under historical interpretation, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, patriotism, politIcal discourse, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, trauma, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Eelam War IV and Issue of Collateral Damage & Civilian Deaths in International Law: Laduwahetty summarizes Desmond De Silva’s ‘Treatise’

Neville Laduwahetty, in The Island, 19 April 2015, where the title is War crimes: A comment on what experts say” … with illustrations and emphases in the text added by Thuppahi

The comments presented below are in response to an edited and abbreviated version of a legal opinion by Sir Desmond de Silva on “Permissible parameters of collateral damage” carried by The Island of April 10, 2015. The article states: “Currently whether or not an attack that results in civilian deaths is legal under international humanitarian law depends on whether the attack meets the requirements of three principles: (1) Distinction; (2) Military Necessity and (3) Proportionality. A violation of international humanitarian law only occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians, or if an attack is launched on a military objective with knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage”.

WAR  ZONE- late April ICGThe War Theatre in mid-late April 2009 and Illustration of the Penultimate SLA Operation in Late april 2008 —Map courtesy of International Crisis Group

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, doctoring evidence, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, mass conscription, military strategy, news fabrication, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, reconciliation, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes

Jayampathy’s Q and A on Supreme Court Decision on 19A

Exclusive interview with Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, President’s Counsel and member of the Government’s constitution drafting team … courtesy of The Island, 16 April 2015


In your view, what are the main points of interest in the Supreme Court’s decision on the 19th Amendment Bill? For some time, various views have been expressed regarding the extent to which the executive power of the President can be restricted without having a referendum. Article 3 of the Constitution states that ‘sovereignty is in the people and is inalienable. Sovereignty includes the powers of government, fundamental rights and the franchise.’ Art. 4 (b), which is the provision relevant to us, says that ‘the executive power of the People including the defence of Sri Lanka, shall be exercised by the President of the Republic elected by the People.’ Art. 3 is in the list of provisions that require referendum but not Art. 4. In the Thirteenth Amendment case, a decision of a Full Bench, CJ Sharavananda stated for the majority that Article 3 would be violated only if there is a ‘prejudicial impact’ on the sovereignty of the People. But in 2002, in the earlier 19th Amendment case, the Court presided over by CJ Sarath Silva held that Article 4 must be read with Article 3 and this was interpreted by many to mean that every violation of Article 4 would require a referendum. In the present case, the Court used the phrase, ‘prejudicial impact’ and made it clear that ‘not all violations of Article 4 will necessarily result in a violation of Article 3.’ Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under constitutional amendments, democratic measures, governance, historical interpretation, politIcal discourse, power politics, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society

Where Liberal Fundamentalism opens the Door for Extremism in the Heart of Western Society

jennifer-orielJennifer Oriel, courtesy of  The Australian, 14 April 2015, where title is “Political Correctness shackles the War on Terror”and where reader comments will be found

Guilty on all charges. When the Boston bombing trial jury handed down their verdict against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev last week, the courtroom was silent. The most important legacy of the trial was not the verdict, but the sombre realisation that the West must jettison political correctness to win the war against terror.

Boston_marathon_bombing_22The Boston bombings constituted a horrific slaughter of innocents and a radical failure of the state to fulfil its primary duty of care to citizens. Counter-terrorism should have stopped the Tsarnaev family at the border, rejecting their plea for political asylum on the advice of Russian authorities. Counter-radicalisation should have stopped the brothers at their mosque, part of a government-funded outreach program. Intelligence agencies should have caught the thugs online after they posted viciously anti-Western tracts. Continue reading


Filed under accountability, Islamic fundamentalism, legal issues, life stories, martyrdom, politIcal discourse, power politics, press freedom & censorship, security, self-reflexivity, terrorism, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, violence of language, world events & processes, zealotry

The Present Contretemps around Cecil Rhodes. The Warden of Rhodes House expands Our Horizons

A Letter from  Charles Conn to Rhodes Scholars, 7 April 2015

With the debate at University of Cape Town around the statue of Cecil Rhodes still very active, and spilling over to other sites in South Africa, I wanted to send you a short note.  There is a diversity of legitimate opinions around this issue, and we do not propose an official Rhodes Trust position.  We expect that Rhodes Scholars around the world will want to find their own way of thinking about and addressing these questions and there is an active debate on the Rhodes Scholar Network. For those not aware of the debate, a piece from The Guardian provides a quick overview. We believe that it is important to bear in mind that the historical legacy of apartheid has left a complicated set of efforts to address its pervasive injustices, and this must take place in South Africa, by South Africans. AA--writ large

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under British imperialism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes

Epicentres Adventurous Step: Mapping Sri Lankan Migrants with Their Aid … so step up

Mapping the Relationship between Sri Lankan and Tamil Diasporas with Communities in Sri Lanka

Many Sri Lankans and Tamils living outside Sri Lanka share deep relationships with communities in Sri Lanka. While complex, these relationships are grounded in a profound commitment to the communities they call their own; a commitment expressed by the various ways that the Diaspora assist communities in Sri Lanka in overcoming difficult challenges. In the past few months, members of the Sri Lankan and Tamil communities living outside Sri Lanka have begun exploring the possibility of working across cultural, ethnic and geographic boundaries to develop initiatives that benefit all communities in Sri Lanka, using this genuine commitment to communities in Sri Lanka as a foundation for these conversations. Migratory-Birds

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, asylum-seekers, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes