Category Archives: disparagement

The LLRC Sittings in Pictures

The recent presentation in Thuppahi of a specific proposal from the LLRC on national anthems as well as the issues raised by Thuppahi on the topic of DISAPPEARANCES prompt me to present a number of images from the sittings conducted by this peripatic body of personnel together with a brief officla report. the images have been helpfully provided by Kithsiri De Silva an old Aloysian class-mate who was an officer servicing the work of this august body.  I am also tacking on an official report on the LLRC plus one dissenting note about its lopsided composition from Harshadeva Amarathunga. Michael Roberts

llrc-1

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American Killing and Assassination Power

US intelligence and special forces … remain potent weapons that Trump intends to use to the maximum.One senior American officer said he had told the Trump team: “All we need is the presidential authority and the GPS co- ordinates and we can kill anyone in the world within 72 hours.”  = A striking facet within this article in The Times & The Australian … http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/new-sheriff-trump-plans-to-flatten-isis-and-flatter-putin-qf9fxjm90…. and thus a pointer towards the double standards pursued by the so-called “international community” Editor, Thuppahi

‘New sheriff’ Trump plans to flatten Isis and flatter Putin

Donald Trump is to reverse American policy towards Russia and in the Middle East by publicly embracing Vladimir Putin as a trusted ally and repairing US ties with autocratic Sunni Arab regimes alarmed by Barack Obama’s accommodation with Shi’ite Iran. Details of the incoming president’s controversial plans have been revealed to The Sunday Times by senior members of his foreign policy team, who promised a “night and day” difference with the policies of the outgoing administration. Trump would usher in a “new era of American leadership” and launch a series of “high-profile military actions” against Isis to telegraph to Islamic radicals that there was a “new sheriff in town” after what he described as eight years of weakness, vacillation and mixed signals, one adviser said.

Trump with key policy aide Michael FlynnGeorge Frey/Getty

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Disappearances and Torture in Lanka, 2009-16: A Bibliography

Michael Roberts

 a-z-torture  t-for-temperature

In reviewing the blog comments on my short memo on “Sinhala Mind-Set” during the years 2009-15,  I was induced to place a claim by one “Flloyd” before about eighty of friends and others in my email address list in order to evaluate his assertion in April 2013 that “the Tamils continue to be tortured, raped, and killed by the state.” Though reading this particular charge as far too sweeping, I set out to test my reading. In my thinking this claim gained weight from the fact that the rest of Flloyd’s commentary suggested that he was not an extremist.

Some 23 individuals – including 5 Tamils, 1 Irishman,1 Colombo Chetty and 2 Indians — have responded, albeit briefly in several instances (with a few endorsing  my suggestion that it is a sweeping exaggeration).. This item is now on web. One of those who commented, the Telugu Indian journalist Muralidhar Reddy has been kind enough to send me a private note from his location (now in India) that runs thus: “This turned out to be a very good exercise. Productive, useful and frankness from the heart of real people who were or are still on the ground.”

In pursuit of further value, I now present a BIBLIOGRAPHY on the topic of disappearances that amplifies previous efforts – one that has been assisted by the recent exercise. Note that I have not embraced items that focus specifically on rape in this exercise. Ii is a standard practice in agit-prop action from anti-state activists[1] as well as foreign reporters on brief excursions to the island to bracket “disappearances, torture and rape” together. Such an ‘alliance’ brings feminists on board and illuminates the halo around any writer’s head. Continue reading

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Disappearances and Torture in Sri Lanka, 2011-13 … or Thereabouts: Soundings and Question-Marks

Michael Roberts

In studying the blog-comments on “Sinhala Mind-Set” and presenting the lot for public scrutiny a specific claim by a person identifying himself as “Flloyd” caught my attention. Whether Flloyd is a Tamil is of lesser moment than his allegation. It is the sort of claim that is widely peddled by reporters and VIPs who drop in and fly out after short stays and have the clout to reach a worldwide audience – for instance Roger Draper in the National Geographic and Greg Bearup in The Weekend Australian recently.   Thus prodded,  I took the initiative to test the degree of validity that we could attach to this type of assertion by approaching a selected body of personnel (mostly Sri Lankan) via a one-on-one letter presenting the QUESTION repeated here [in blue].

“I came across a blog comment from one “Flloyd” in April 2013 which adopted a reasonably moderate stance on the ethnic situation in the country but which also presented this assertion: “The presence of an organized rebel group is no more, but the Tamils continue to be tortured, raped, and killed by the state. Many still mention the brutality of the rebels, but in no way can that justify the current situation, as the rebel activity is gone.”

05-april-2009-exodus 09-yatawara-2figure-10a-tamil-people-at-the-last-redoubt-after-the-final-battles-2009 Continue reading

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Sins And Kills: The Rajapaksa Clan And Their Messy Cupboard

Greg Bearup in The Weekend Australian, 26/27 November 2016, where the title is “Phantoms of Sri Lanka’s Reign of Terror”

Mahinda Rajapaksa sits at a desk in his party office beneath a photo of himself. He’s not especially tall but solid in the chest and arms; like an old rugby prop, his head seems to rest on his shoulders without much need for a neck. He’s never seen in public without his brown scarf, supposedly signifying the sweaty rags of Sri Lanka’s hard-toiling farmers. On his fingers this man of the people wears three chunky gold rings and on his wrist a bracelet of jade balls. Everyone here still calls him Mr President.

aa-thzaju-protest Public Protest on bhalf of Thajudeen 

mahinda-r-lefterispitarakis Photo by Jefteris Pitakaris

The photo hanging over him was shot a few years ago, back when he was Mr President, and back when things were very different for the Rajapaksa clan. His rule was absolute. The Rajapaksas controlled the treasury and Sri Lanka became one of the most expensive places on the planet to “build” a road. He and his family ran the country as if they owned it. They acted with impunity. His sons, ordinary footballers by all accounts, were selected to play rugby for Sri Lanka. Foreign coaches who dropped them were deported. They were lucky; others who displeased the clan disappeared. Continue reading

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The Full Monty: Commentary and Debate around Thuppahi’s Sinhala Mind-Set

I reproduce here the series of sporadic comments on my opening ‘signature’ entitled SINHALA MIND-SET. These occurred for the most part between 2010 and 2013 and I have taken the liberty of highlighting segments of the commentary as guidance and as a stirring of the brew. I invite readers to use these thoughts as an inspiration to serious reflection on the situation in Sri Lanka today in its recent ‘evolution’ after the end of Eelam War IV. I will be presenting an article with my own thoughts so you will have scope for two bites at this mango. This second post will include a bibliography, but an even more extensive bibliography on “Disappearances” is in the planning stage.

 aa-jane-r Jane Russel aa-xcharlieCharles Ponnadurai aka Sarvan michael-2015Roberts

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A ‘Parachute History’ of the Sri Lankan War and the Island’s Circumstances Today

Robert Draper, courtesy of the National Geographic, November Issue, where the title runs thus: “Can Sri Lanka Hold On to Its Fragile Peace?” …with photographs by Ami Vitale … …. …. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/11/sri-lanka-tamil-peace-civil-war/… with the title here being the Editor’s imposition – see Note below.

The photograph the young woman holds is barely the size of a postage stamp. But it is the only one of her husband she could find here in her parents’ house. They had not approved of her marriage, given that he was just a fisherman from the coastal town of Mannar, while her family has lived in Jaffna, the capital of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, for generations. But as the photo attests, her husband, a Tamil like herself—is broad-faced and confident. Staring at the tiny image of the man who went missing a decade ago, her mahogany eyes brighten as she loses herself in memories.

draper-11 A military color guard lowers the national flag on Galle Face Green, a popular park in Colombo. The country’s largest city shows few signs of the strife that divided the Sinhalese and Tamils for 26 years.

They’d fallen in love at a refugee camp in southern India in 1999, when she was 17. Both had escaped Sri Lanka’s wantonly vicious civil war, pitting the army, controlled by the majority Sinhalese, against Tamil rebels. She had fled Jaffna with her family, leaping over the corpses of neighbors as the military’s bombs plummeted from the sky. He had escaped Mannar after he saw an army officer shoot his youngest sister to death in their home. They had married under the withering glare of her mother. Continue reading

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