Category Archives: communal relations

The Voices of Tiger and Army Infantrymen: Sarah Kabir’s Journey towards Reconciliation

Sarah Chatta in Daily News, 9 October 2018, where the chosen title reads thus “Faces of the war” …Stories from both sides of the barbed wire tell of the pain of ordinary lives

German native Nicolas Lamade leaned over and expressed his amazement. The auditorium of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute was packed with a mixed audience: army generals, clergymen, politicians, activists, journalists, and lawyers. Lamade, Deputy Program Director of the German reconciliation project GIZ, first came to Sri Lanka in the early 2000s when he said no one dared to question official versions of wartime events in public, let alone speak out about misconceptions of those events. A decade later, he marvelled at how far Sri Lanka had come.

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The Lines of Fire within Mark Field’s Paternalist Message

Michael Roberts, courtesy of The Daily Mirror and Colombo Telegraph

Mark Field’s visit to Sri Lanka is very, very significant. His pronouncements are threaded by the paternalistic air of an Etonian schoolmaster pontificating to students. That should not be allowed to mask the Sword of Damocles that is above the Sri Lankan body via the UNHCR as the instrument of the Western international community.

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Identity. Belonging, Dignity. Lessons from Francis Fukuyama for Sri Lanka Today

Sanjana Hattotuwa, in The Island, 29 September 2018, where the title is Ïdentity and Belonging”

Sixteen years ago, I met a child soldier. He had a T-56 and was cocky. The A9 had opened up a few months ago, and taking it to Jaffna with a group of journalists, we encountered a checkpoint manned by the LTTE, past Omanthai. The children at the checkpoint, with guns strung around their torso loosely, were in the LTTE’s signature fatigue. Hostile and demanding, they curtly instructed our driver to provide the documentation to enter the area, which at the time the LTTE provided. One clambered into the driver’s seat as I sat in the passenger seat, knowing that if they wanted to be difficult, we would be stuck here for a while. I smiled. He didn’t. He looked around slowly, T-56 placed on the dashboard.

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Nationalist Studies and the Ceylon Studies Seminar at Peradeniya, 1968-1970s

Michael Roberts

The years 1966 to 1975 were heady days in Ceylon. Especially so for some of us in Peradeniya Univeristy where the CEYLON STUDIES SEMINAR was launched in November 1968 by a few members of the Arts Faculty assisted by the facilities provided by Professor Gananath Obeyesekera at the Sociology Department – located then on Lower Hantane Road away from the centre of teaching. Not least among these facilities was the service provided by the Sociology Department peon Sathiah[i] who cyclostyled the written seminar papers beforehand for circulation so that those who were keen could read any presentation beforehand if they so wished – a procedure that also maximized discussion time. This background service was seconded by the typing services of Mrs Hettiarachchi in the History Department and Mr Kumaraswamy in the Sociology Department.

A . Jeyaratnam Wilson  Gananath Obeyesekera

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Anagārika Dharmapāla: In Search of a Rounded Evaluation

Michael Roberts, courtesy of The Sunday Island 16 September 2018

Recently an anonymous hand writing as “A Dharmapala Devotee” presented a sarcastic opinion piece in the Island of the 5th September targeting myself, Gananath Obeyesekere and HL Seneviratne. My immediate response was short and rushed. This essay is a more considered set of comments.

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For Humanity: Sister Aroha, A Kiwi Mother Theresa with a Sri Lankan Twang

Woman leaves New Zealand to become a nun … Philomene Hogan aka Sister Aroha

A NOTE from Myrna Setunga of Battaramulla:Michael, I have been several times to this Home in Moratuwa as well as the Home for elders in Modara. ….. . I have been twice to the Home in Calcutta and the Home in Varanasi. These nuns are the best human beings I have met

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Pirapāharan’s Thamilīlam, 1990-2009: Aspirations and Achievements

Michael Roberts, courtesy of Daily Mirror, 6 September 2018. where the title reads The State of Tamil Eelam, 1990-2009″

This article is the second of those preparing the ground for a review of the new data on the last phase of Eelam War IV served up by access to the despatches of British Defence Attache Lt. Col. Gash (the first being my analysis of Pirapāharan’s strategy of assassinations). It concentrates on the character of the state of Thamilīlam­ throughout its period of existence, viz. from 1990-2009. It by-passes the pre-history when the Tamil New Tigers-become-LTTE was an incipient insurgent force competing with other Tamil militant organisations and with the GoSL and/or the IPKF for control of terrain.

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