Category Archives: Eelam

Tamil Tigers: Dead Body Politics and Sacrificial Devotion

Michael Roberts, reproducing here an article  entitled “Tamil Tigers:  Sacrificial symbolism and ‘dead body politics’,” that was first presented in  Anthropology Today, June 2008,  vol.  24/3: 22-23. The re-working of this article was seen to by Ms Nadeeka Paththuwaarachchi of Battaramulla.

Scholars and journalists often mistakenly treat the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, or Tamil Tigers) as a ‘secular organization’ at a time when stereotypes of the Islamic ‘terrorist’ or ‘Hindu fundamentalist’ dominate popular thinking about political extremism. Political scientists devote space to the Tamil Tigers in their global surveys of what they term ‘suicide terrorism’.[1] Recently, Roland Buerk of the BBC presented a similar view: ‘They are not religious and believe that there is nothing after death. Their fanaticism is born of indoctrination from childhood.[2]

Tiger fighters relax in camp but retain their kuppi with cyanide in chainsaround neck-Pic by Shyam Tekwani c.1989 whne embedded among the LTTE

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An Ode in the Face of The Terrorist Liberation-Fighter

  Jane Russell

“[This poem was presented] a small pamphlet called “Ganga” published in Colombo in 1978: it was aimed at the boasting men of violence everywhere – the Warriors of Terror whom in the guise of Freedom Fighters were inflicting further violence on already violated communities:

To Aloysius-Ludovico (The Terrorist)

I am tired of hearing you sing
the anthems of Freedom and War…
How joyously you crack the whip
and bellow out the tune above the drums!
But the faces of my friends haunt me
in the mornings when I see Death’s Armada
With its pirate’s flag of torture trailing….
what does it matter, your Freedom?
They are dying, my friends and their children…

Nalliah Thayabharan, thank you for reminding me of this poem written in despair in Colombo 30+ years ago. A whole generation has grown up since then but the same (better) poem is probably being written today in Syria by some unknown idealist…..as the song goes “When will we ever learn?”

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Sivatheeban charged as an LTTE Killer in Germany

ONE: News Item in Derana, 4 August 2o18, taken from Associated Press. …. entitled ”

German authorities have arrested a Sri Lankan man suspected of involvement in killing captured government soldiers as a member of the Tamil Tigers rebel group a decade ago. Federal prosecutors said a judge ordered Thursday the 36-year-old, identified only as Sivatheeban B. because of German privacy rules, detained pending a potential indictment.

ri Lankan-born German man Yogendran G. (C), seen on January 18, 2016 in Hamburg, raised more than 81,000 euros ($88,000) for combat and terrorist activities ©Christian Charisius (Pool/AFP/File) 

Pic in Derana

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Taraki’s Strategic Assessments, 2004-05: Some Selections

ONE: “LTTE develops asymmetric deterrence to stall foreign intervention,” 22 May 2004, in http://tamilnation.co/forum/sivaram/040522.htm ….AND Daily Mirror, 22 May 2004

The LTTE’s scenario planning for negotiating the Internal Self Governing Authority (ISGA) with the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) would necessarily include, among other things, some clearly thought out exit strategies if talks were to drag on aimlessly beyond ‘a reasonable period of time’. This is only natural because President Kumaratunga’s chief coalition partner, the JVP, went on record this week that it does not agree with the basis on which she has agreed to restart and take forward the talks with the LTTE. (Wimal Weerawansa’s interview with The Island on Monday and Somawansa’s meeting with the Prime Minister on Thursday). Continue reading

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Fervent Faces as Signs of Extremism and Deceit? From Lakemba to Lanka

Michael Roberts

The video report on Lakemba in Sydney by Emma Reynolds is causing a minor stir. My reproduction of the web report in Thuppahi and its circulation drew comments from one George Rupesinghe who challenged her sweeping presentation of “Muslim monoculturalism” and the alleged no-go sites in Lakemba.

Says Rupesinghe: “This Canadian woman came to Oz merely to draw attention to herself. She set out to be deliberately provocative and the police officer very rightly warned her against using her “free speech” rights to incite unrest. Besides the mosque there is a Christian (Uniting) Church on the main street. Another Christian Church just off the main street along the Lakemba Street and a Catholic Church also on Lakemba Street.” Continue reading

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Young Pirapāharan’s Inspirations and Ideology: Ragavan’s Incisive Memorial in May 2009

Ragavan, being a reprint from The Sunday Leader, 24 May 2009, where the title runs Memories of a much-mythologised rebel leader by a former LTTE fighter ” …. with the highlighting being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

  The body identified as that of the Tamil rebels’
leader, Velupilai Pirapaharan, was carried Tuesday
through Sri Lankan troops — 
Courtesy Reuters

“Those who bear arms acquire and wield an extreme measure of power. We believe that if this power is abused, it will inevitably lead to dictatorship.” – Pirapaharan, from an interview with N. Ram, 1986

The LTTE’s supreme leader and commander, Velupillai Pirapaharan, along with his wife, children and the entire leadership of the LTTE, have been completely wiped out by the Sri Lankan military. The LTTE began as a guerrilla unit during the 1970’s, at its peak, it controlled vast territory and built up a conventional force consisting of an army, navy and air force. The group won many battles against the Sri Lankan Army, crushed all Tamil opposition groups functioning in Sri Lanka, and was seen as a deadly, brutal and disciplined organisation.

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Infantry Warfare and the Final Phase of Eelam War IV: Where Laymen Blunder into Infantile Assessments

Michael Roberts

 In his typically feisty style Mark Salter has taken issue with the characterization of a statement in his To End a Civil War as “infantile”  (within an article based on the Lt Col Gash files[1]). [This protest is now reproduced at the end of this essay as well]. Salter’s assertion is from an UTHR report which in turn is based on appraisals provided by Tamil civilians who survived the last stages of the war. Here I address both Salter and Rajan Hoole, a friend of mine and the central figure behind the exhaustive 2009 UTHR reports.

Sri Lankan Tamil civilians arrive to a government-controlled area after fleeing territory controlled by the LTTE separatist rebels in Puthukkudiyirippu…Sri Lankan Tamil civilians arrive to a government-controlled area after fleeing territory controlled by the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) separatist rebels in Puthukkudiyirippu, northeast Sri Lanka, March 26, 2009. Pictures taken March 26, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer (SRI LANKA POLITICS CONFLICT IMAGE OF THE DAY TOP PICTURE)

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