Michael Roberts ….. This article appeared first in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 2007, vol. 30: 857-88.with the title “Suicide Missions as Witnessing: Expansions, Contrasts” and is reproduced here with its original American English spelling. The re-working of this article was seen to by Ms Nadeeka Paththuwaarachchi of Battaramulla. The pictorial images are embellishments that were not part of the original essay. I have also added highlighting emphasis in orange as well as a few hyperlinks to other standard sources of information. The bibliographical references are within the End Notes as in the original format.
ABSTRACT: Studies of suicide missions usually focus solely on attacks. They also have highlighted the performative character of suicide missions as acts of witness. By extending surveys to suicidal acts that embrace no-escape attacks, theatrical assassination, defensive suicide, and suicidal protest, one gains further insight into the motivations of individuals and organizations. Illustrative studies, notably the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and Sadat as well as Tamil Tiger operations, generate a typology that underlines the benefits of such extensions. The Japanese and Tamil contexts reveal the profound differences in readings of sacrificial acts of atonement or punishment by local constituencies. Norman Morrison in Washington in 1965 and Jan Palach in Prague in 1969 did not have such beneficial settings and the immediate ramifications of their protest action were limited. Morrison’s story highlights the significance of a societal context of individuated rationalism as opposed, say, to the “pyramidical corporatism” encouraging martyrdom operations in the Islamic world.
Jan Palach…19 Jan. 1969 Nathuram Godse vs Mahatma Gandhi .. 30 Jan 1948
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Kumaravadivel Guruparan in Scroll, 5 November 2011, where the title is “Sri Lanka’s political crisis explained, and what it means for the island nation’s Tamil community”
In November 2014, Maithripala Sirisena, who was then a cabinet minister and member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, broke ranks with his leader, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and agreed to be the common presidential candidate of the Opposition, led by the United National Party. Sirisena won the election in what was then hailed as a “democratic revolution”.
He undid that “revolution” on October 26 this year when he sacked Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and appointed Rajapaksa in his place. He did so ignoring the constitutional amendment he had helped pass after coming to power in 2015, which had done away with the president’s power to remove the prime minister. He thus triggered what is being called Sri Lanka’s first unconstitutional transfer of power – a coup.
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Michael Roberts, Courtesy of Colombo Telegraph , October 2018
This is a provocative piece on the last stages of Eelam War IV in 2008/09 and on its aftermath of Reports and You Tube cut-and-thrust. It makes specific claims in assertive style. These assertions are founded on lengthier articles with their supporting evidence. So, it is by assertion that I proceed. Continue reading
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