Gerald H. Peiris, being a reprint of Chapter Six in his Twilight of the Tigers, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2009, with Vijitha Yapa Publications in Colombo as local distributors, pp. 151-77 … a reprint inspired by the presentation of Jeremy Liyanage’s Q and A with Karuna in mid-2010.
The contents of this chapter, except its ‘Introductory Notes’ and the ‘Postscript’, are based almost entirely on an article titled “An Assessment of the Current Crisis among the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam” written by me in March 2004 while the events that constituted the early stages of the revolt led by ‘Colonel Karuna’ against the Vanni-based Tiger leadership were unfolding in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. It was published by the Jane’s Information Group, UK. Written as it was in the context of acute paucity of documented information on the rapidly changing and bewilderingly complex scenario in the ‘north-east’ of Sri Lanka at that time, the article contained a fair amount of reasoned speculation. Here, in this chapter, I have retained the original article largely unchanged mainly for the reason that some of my speculations and predictions proved subsequently to be correct. The changes of the original article made in the formulation of this chapter have involved only some alterations of tense, and the addition of foo-notes for clarification and substantiation, and a ‘postscript’, intended to update the impact of the events examined in the article from the viewpoint of the thematic concerns of this volume. Gerald Peiris
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Rajan Philips, courtesy of The Island, 1 October 2016, where the title is “With the West sneezing extremism, can Sri Lanka and others avoid catching cold?” .… Emphasis vvia highlighting is from The Editor,Thuppahi.
One would have thought that the old wisecrack needs to be reversed. The West may not be just sneezing, but has already got the cold, even worse, a bad fever of extremism. And that the worry would be if others can avoid the infection. Not so fast, says the wag, as there is quite a bit of Sri Lankan and South Asian sneezing and coughing going around, and we don’t need infection from the West to make matters worse. Jaffna’s Chief Protestor has signalled his periodical awakening from his chronic administrative sleep with the new “EzhugaThamizh” (linguists use ‘zh’ instead of ‘l’ for a unique Dravidian letter and sound) slogan. “Pongu” relates to the liquid state of matter, Ezhuga could be Freudian. Southern Chief Ministers are weighing in, or rising up, and the SLFP’s two-timing (between Mahinda and Maithri) Nimal Siripala seized on the sneeze from Jaffna to bark out a cough of his own on the inviolability of being unitary. Continue reading
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VK Shashikumar. This article was first published in Indian Defence Review with the title “Lessons from Sri Lanka’s War” . Read the original article at http://www.indiandefencereview.com/spotlights/lessons-from-the-war-in-sri-lanka/. I am indebted to Jitender Kalra of the Editorial board for permission granted by email on 29th September 2016. Highlighting emphases has been inserted by the Editor, Thuppahi and some spelling corrections also made.
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This month of September 2016 I stumbled across an essay from 2009 that I had not seen before. I was puzzled because it is a splendid summary of the political and military factors that enabled the Government of Sri Lanka to overwhelm the LTTE in the course of Eelam War IV (2006-09), a force considered invincible by so many – including the Norwegian diplomatic ‘whiz-kid’ Eric Solhiem who told President Mahinda Rajapaksa in late March 2006 that Pirapaharan was “a military genius” (my interview with Lalith Weeratunga,14 June 2016). The puzzle arose from the absence of authorship in the version I came across – seemingly a foreign Australian agency and author.
Since few foreign reports had revealed any discerning understandings of the war, I was stunned because this summary was as thorough a job as anyone could produce in a short essay. On reflection I decided that it must be Sergei de Silva Ranasinghe’s work because he had produced detailed accounts of the ongoing war while it was in progress (see incomplete list in separate Thuppahi item). He confirmed this by sending me the source, the Asia Pacific Defence Reporter issue dated September 2009 – a journal where he had also presented articles as the war unfolded. Continue reading
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