Category Archives: governance

The Death Toll in 2009: Deceit and Myopia, International and Lankan

 Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph which  accepted the idea in principle several days ago, but requested a division of the essay into six parts.

Discussion of the death toll during Eelam War IV and the related topic of “The Disappeared” has been marked by collective myopia. Most discussions have dwelt in cloud cuckoo-land. This criticism can be levelled at the witch-hunters in the Western international order (whether UN and Western officials, media personnel or Tamil migrants) as well as the liberal humanists within the Sri Lankan middle class supporting a range of allegations. However, it also applies to analysts and reporters in defense of the realm such as Rohan Gunaratna,[1] Shamindra Ferdinando,[2] the editors of Sri Lanka’s print and internet media and many defenders of the Sri Lankan dispensation in its moment of crisis.

 1=Tiger dead assembled by SL Army (MoD Pic)    2 = A body in the Last Redoubt, presumably Tiger (MoDefence Pic)

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Arjuna in Battle and under Duress 1999

Andrew Fidel Fernando, courtesy of The Cricket Monthly, at ESPNcricinfo …..where the title is “Arjuna Versus”

 This is an unique image… and if I am not mistaken the bloke on the left side of the taxi is Lionel, an avid supporter in Sri Lanka and everywhere those days. The day on which this photo was taken is a puzzle because it is daytime and could not conceivably have occurred on the day of the match because it was, I think, a day-night game.

VISIT CRICKETIQUE for full article at https://cricketique.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/arjuna-the-indomitable-challenging-aussie-skulduggery-in-1995-98-and-more/#more-9225

 An unprecedented finger-wagging confrontation between Umpire Emerson and Captain Arjuna Ranatunga at Adelaide Oval during the ODI match vs England on 23 January 1999 — the incident which led to disciplinary charges against Arjuna Ranatunga

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The SL Army Medical Corps and Its Services at the Battlefront

Maj Gen Sanjeewa Munasinghe, RWP RSP USP … being a Presentation at the Defence Seminar entitled Defeating Terrorism,” held at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo  between 31st May 2011 to 2nd June 2011 …. with a NOTE by Michael Roberts clarifying the context at the end of the Speech

A medical Division in taking care of the injured and meeting their medical needs, boosts the morale and confidence of the troops. The Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps is a relatively small Division and by 2006 there were only 118 officers and 3200 men of which only a small proportion could be employed in the field. In order to address this problem, a group of infantrymen from each regiment were trained as nursing assistants in the combat life support training course. This extended to all special force personnel, commandos and young medical officers. In addition, all medical officers, nurses and paramedics of the corps were given ample training in handling and managing victims of chemical exposure. At the start of the operation, all male nurses, nursing assistants and medical officers in static Military Hospitals were mobilised to operational and non-operational areas in the field. The Ministry of Health provided civil medical officers, nurses and additional surgical teams to assist in the operation and strengthen army base hospitals.

 Treating civilian casualties –– http://www.defence.lk/picturegallery/picc.asp?tfile=20090121&cat=DUTY

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Amnesty International Agitation: Bowling Googlies for the LTTE?

Shamindra  Ferdinando, in The Island, 19 April 2017, where the title reads “AI’s longstanding ‘alliance’ with the LTTE”

Publicly declining to testify before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) that has been tasked by the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa to inquire into war crimes allegations, London headquartered Amnesty International (AI) joined the International Crisis Group (ICG) and the Human Rights Watch (HRW) to flay Sri Lanka. The LLRC commenced sittings in Aug 2010.  In a joint statement issued on Oct 14, 2010, the three organizations called for a genuine, credible effort to pursue political reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka. Declaring that the LLRC had failed to meet what they called minimum international standards for commissions of inquiry, they said: “There is little to be gained by appearing before such a fundamentally flawed commission.”  “Accountability for war crimes in Sri Lanka demands an independent international investigation.”

 Francis Boyle Yolande Foster & ??

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A Down-to-Earth Review of E-War IV and Its Literature

Michael Roberts, courtesy of an original article in 29 October 2015 in Sinhalanet with the title “Down-to-Earth: The Hard Truths of Eelam War IV” … a work that I could not have written in 2009 because I had to transcend  my office-room background and it has taken time todevelop a sharper understanding of the situation. That said, I am still limtied by my ilack of battle theatre experience.

“Just as in Kosovo if enough civilians died in Sri Lanka the world would be forced to step in” – Pulidevan of LTTE to a pal in Europe (quoted in Harrison 2012: 63).

Guided by a series of studies that I have indulged in over the years 2010-15, let me summarize my findings in point form. The focus is on the period 2008-to-May 2009.  However, four facets of the broad historical context must be stressed initially: (I) Prabhākaran had one goal only: Eelam and a separate state; (II) the LTTE used two ceasefire periods in 1995 and 2001-06 as recuperating periods for renewal of their war effort; (III) as Ben Bavinck and the UTHR reports have insisted, Thamilīlam under Prabhākaran was a fascist state; and (IV) the Rajapaksa government which struggled for survival against the LTTE proved the validity of the Marxist dictum that there is an unity in any contradiction: it  became distinctly authoritarian itself, albeit still populist in its self-convictions.

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The Games that the Almighty Play: Syria Now, Sri Lanka Then

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka, from The Island, 10 April 2017, where the title is “Watching Syria, seeing Sri Lanka” … highlighting in this presentation being my workas Editor …. and with further Commentary and Bibliographic References at the end

It was not easy to watch the proceedings on Friday April 7 that the UN Security Council’s emergency ‘open session’ on Syria without thinking of Sri Lanka, although the actual circumstances of the UN’s engagement with the two countries are very different. Only one thing seemed alarmingly similar. It seemed like a set up. US Ambassador Nikki Haley’s dramatic gesture of holding up photographs of chemical-gassed children only served to bring to mind the now famous theatrical display of a vial of anthrax by US Secretary of State Colin Powell at the same venue to warn the Council of the imminent danger that lay before the world from WMDs in Iraq.

Image #: 24024242 Pigeons lie on the ground after dying from what activists say is the use of chemical weapons by forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad in the Damascus suburbs of Arbeen August 24, 2013. Picture taken August 24, 2013. REUTERS/Ammar Dar (SYRIA – Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT ANIMALS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) REUTERS /STRINGER /LANDOV

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A Moderate Tamil Voice of Reason in London 2013 — Pertinent Today

Rob Pinney from London, United Kingdom. May 18th, 2013…. http://tropicaltopix.tumblr.com/post/50977301878/read-the-entire-post-here-robpinney-london … With sections and highlighting inserted by Editor, Thuppahi

It really bothers me that the protest of ‘Tamils… gathered around photographs of those killed during the Sri Lankan civil war’ is being symbolized by people carrying the LTTE flag. Anyone who protests that massacres of Tamils in 2009 should by no means do so under the Tiger flag. In 2009, the Tigers forced innocent Tamil civilians to remain in the Vanni – under pain of death. When I was working in the Vanni, I began to truly sympathize with the Tamils who stayed behind in Sri Lanka. They lost EVERYTHING under the Tigers and the GoSL.Tamil protesters gather around photographs of those killed during the Sri Lankan civil war.

 Thousands of Tamils march through central London to commemorate those killed during the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war and to call on Prime Minister David Cameron to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, to be held on Colombo in November 2013…..(© Rob Pinney / www.robpinney.com) Continue reading

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