Category Archives: ethnicity

Sacrificial Devotion in Comparative Perspective: A Workshop at Adelaide University in Late 2005

Daya ….. Rohan…. Shyam…. Riaz ….. what a South Asian spread! …………………. a dinkie-die curry’

I = Michael Roberts: An Explanatory Preamble Cast in May 2020

By 2004 I had retired from teaching in the Anthropology Department at Adelaide University and was proceeding with the pursuit of my research interests at my own pace within my limited resources. Sri Lanka and my connections therein was one such resource. When researching in Colombo in late November 2004 I flew to Jaffna on a wing and a prayer[1] with the intention of exploring the Tamil Tiger “cult of suicide.” Previous contacts with two Tamil Canadians and a visit to the University of Jaffna as soon as I landed assisted me no end: partly via the invaluable support provided by the Krishnaswamy family[2] and the readiness of their medical student son Chenthan to become my aide and guide during peregrinations within the Peninsula.[3]

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Karuna’s Defection: An Early Analysis in Speculative Mode

Gerald H. Peiris: being Chapter 6 in Peiris, Twilight of the Tigers

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 footnotes 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.

 LTTE commanders circa 2005(?)

 the talaivar Pirapāharan LTTEleader 

some Tigress fighters

Sea Tigresses –a formidable element in the LTTE armoury

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A Century of Cricket in Galle

EM Karunaratne,** an article abridged from Sport Down South … and made available by Oliver Guruge, another Gallilean and a keen member of the ‘Richmond Collective’ of today

Facing the Fort circa 1880s or 1890s before the Esplanade emerged –– Pix courtesy of the Australian National Gallery

At the very outset, it must be mentioned that the Galle Municipal Council, almost from its very beginning, willingly and enthusiastically rendered every possible help and assistance to sport, not only in Galle. but throughout the Southern Province. The co-operation. ex-tended by the Council and its stalwarts, was magnificent. The Council maintained, from the very beginning, the beautiful Esplanade, at great expense, and always kept it in excellent condition. This playground is the centre of all the sports activities of the Southern Capital. Cricket, Soccer, Hockey, Rugger and Volleyball are played here. Last, but by no means least, all Athletic Meets of importance, including those open to the whole Province, are held on the famous Galle Esplanade. In Tennis too, the support of the Council was equally conspicuous. The Galle Gymkhana Club was permitted, on nominal terms, to construct a fine Tennis Pavilion on grounds belonging to the Municipality. An Island-wide open Tennis Tournament for which the best players from Colombo and elsewhere enter, is annually a regular feature of the Race and Sports program of the Galle Gymkhana Club., from about the year 1920.

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Justin Trudeau Rapped on Knuckles for Statement on Victims of Eelam War

When Justin Trudeau issued a brief statement on the 18th May 2020 expressing sympathy for all the victims of Eelam War IV in the course of his request for an accountability purpose, he was clever. There was no slant towards Tamil victims. But there was a reference to “the last phase of the war at Mullivaikal” …. and this, together with the focus on accountability, implied that he was supporting Sri Lankan Tamil and HR claims alleging mass killings.

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Velupillai Pirapāharan’s Biography related by DBS Jeyaraj

DBS Jeyaraj, in Daily FT, 13 May 2020, where the title is “Tale of a Tiger: Facets of LTTE Chief Prabhakaran’s life” ++

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed 11 years ago in combat with the armed forces of Sri Lanka on 19 May 2009. The longest war in South Asia came to an end after the military debacle of the LTTE on the shores of Nandikadal Lagoon in the Mullaitivu District of northern Sri Lanka.

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Sweeping the Accounting World: These Jaffna People

Author Jekhan Aruliah

I first heard of the BBK Partnership Sri Lanka in 2015. I first spoke with its co-founder Anandan Arnold in 2018, and finally met him in March 2020 at a hospital in Manipay Jaffna. He was dressed rather informally for a Partner of London’s BBK Partnership of Chartered Accountants. Anandan (pictured below on the right) greeted me wearing an aerodynamic lycra bicycling outfit, having put away his suit and tie for a couple of weeks. He was there with about 50 other cyclists including his brother Chris who had just finished their 435km four day Colombo-Jaffna bike ride. The trip was organized by Ride For Ceylon in aid of the Green Memorial Hospital in Manipay. Founded in 1848 by the American medical missionary Dr Samuel Fisk Green, the hospital was the first medical school in Ceylon. Now it is run as a charity, with patients paying what they can afford which is often nothing at all.

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Australian Nationalism and the Ideology of Sacrificial Devotion

Michael Roberts, being an abridged version of an old article presented in the Library of Social Science run by Richard Koenigsberg and others.

Addressing the practices of remembrance in Australia, Richard Koenigsberg has noted the irony that a battlefield defeat at Gallipoli in World War One, 1915, served a people as an emblem of nationhood: the “Australian nation, came into being on the foundations provided by the slaughter of its young men.”

There is more irony. The commemoration of Australian courage, sacrifice and manliness at Gallipoli (and subsequently on the Somme) was threaded by tropes of youthful innocence that drew on classical Hellenic motifs. While the monuments and epitaphs that were crafted in Australia to mark this event were manifestly Greek in form. The gendered masculine metaphor, in turn, was often embodied in the seminal image of a full-bodied blonde young man. “Archie Hamilton” in Peter Weir’s classic film Gallipoli was/is one such trope (and he died of course).

“Archie”

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