Category Archives: historical interpretation

Camera in the Sky: Sri Lanka from Above

Sri Lanka: The Island from Above  by Dominic Sansoni, Sebastian Posingis & Richard Simon …. Published by Barefoot Books

For years, Dominic Sansoni dreamed of photographing Sri Lanka from the air. Having extensively documented the island’s multicultural populace, its urban and rural beauties, its architecture, its culture and festivals and even its wars, he had come to be acknowledged as the most successful and artistically committed Sri Lankan photographer of his generation; yet he found himself still unable to attain the longed-for aerial perspective.

Dominic    Sebastien

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The Early Phase of Sinhala-Tamil Rivalry in Ceylon, 1931-70s

Michael Roberts[1]

The factors promoting political agitation among the Sri Lankan Tamils since the 1920s, particularly the developments after Sri Lanka secured independence in 1948, have inspired a large literature.[2] Three turning points in the temporal progression of this agitation have often been marked: one in 1956 when an electoral transformation helped enshrine Sinhala as the language of administration and placed the majority Sinhalese peoples in a dominant position in the political dispensation; secondly, in the early 1970s when militant Tamils placed secession at the forefront of their demands; and, thirdly, in July 1983 when an anti-Tamil pogrom in the Sinhalese-majority regions that involved state functionaries as well as people from many walks of life alienated the mass of Tamils and sparked an expansion in the militant separatist struggle.[3]

  Bandaranaiake in rhetorical mode

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Revelations in Britain: Lord Naseby undermines the received ‘Wisdom’ on Civilian Deaths

Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, 12 November 2017 ... where the title is different and where verbal disparagement of the author and lively comments are likely to eventuate

Michael the Lord Naseby has set a cat among the British and international pigeons by extricating the reports of Lt. Col. Anton Gash (Defence Attache at the UK High Commission in Colombo in 2009) and presenting a summary review to the House of Lords. By immediately deploying Mandy Clark to interview Lord Naseby, Padma Rao Sundarji, the Foreign Editor of India’s first global channel, WION, drew upon his views and findings for the benefit of the world. This is something of a media coup.

Padma Rao Sundarji

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Reviewing the Statistical Computations on Civilian Deaths in the Last Phase of Eelam War IV

Lt. Colonel (Retd) Athula Lankadeva, in Sunday Island, 12 November 2017, where the title is “A Critical Analysis of UN Panel of Expert Report which says SLAReviwe killed 40,000 Civilians During the Last Stage of War” … highlighted emphasis has been inserted by The Editor, Thuppahi

The Sunday Times of 29 Oct carried an article referring to Lord Naseby on demanding to remove the war crime tag from Sri Lanka. Lord Naseby researched classified documents to find that UN has fudged the casualty figure of 40000 civilians killed during the last phase of war in Sri Lanka whereas it was a guess by the UN Panel of Experts (POE) better known as Darusman Commission. According to the classified documents filed by then British Defence Attaché in Colombo Lt. Col Anton Gash, the civilian killed from Feb 1 – 26 April 2009 is 6432.  The figure could be higher with the civilian deaths occurred within next 3 weeks. However, the total civilian deaths included civilians killed due to collateral damage during combat operations by the Armed Forces against LTTE, civilians killed intentionally by the LTTE by design and deaths of LTTE combatants dressed in civilian clothes.

In this photograph released by the pro-LTTE website TamilNet.com on May 2 are what they say show some of the 64 people killed and 87 wounded by shelling at a makeshift field hospital in Mullivaikal…In this photograph released by the pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) website TamilNet.com, obtained by Mercy Mission, on May 2, are what they say show some of the 64 people killed and 87 wounded by shelling on May 2, 2009 at a makeshift field hospital in Mullivaikal, in the south of the last scrap of land held by the guerrillas. The military denied the report saying the LTTE may have set off explosions near the hospital. Sri Lanka has disregarded heavy Western pressure to call a truce to protect tens of thousands of civilians trapped by the LTTE in the war zone, a 5-square km (2-sq mile) strip of coast. It is difficult to get a clear picture from the war zone, which is generally off-limits to outsiders. REUTERS/www.Tamilnet.com/Handout

Island 29 April 2009

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Revisiting Critical Issues in Eelam War IV: Summarizing Citizen Silva’s The NUMBERS GAME

Michael Roberts: “Introducing ‘Numbers Game’ – A Detailed Study of the Last Stages of Eelam War IV,” …….. https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/introducing-numbers-game-a-detailed-study-of-the-last-stages-of-eelam-war-iv/…. on 1 May 2013 where 46 comments can be found …. while the version here has some highlighting that is not contained in the Col-Tel version

Citizen Silva’s THE NUMBERS GAME can be found at…. http://www.scribd.com/doc/132499266/The-Numbers-Game-Politics-of-Retributive-Justice  OR http://www.margasrilanka.org/ [right panel at top—then click]

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When Radio Ceylon swayed India

Anand Sethi,  whose original title is “The Dial of Serendipity,” ….

Anand Sethi takes a stroll down memory lane while tracking down the building which once housed Sri Lanka’s iconic Radio Ceylon

 Image courtesy: Anand Sethi

Bauddhaloka Mawatha is a wide, tree-lined avenue in Colombo in Sri Lanka. It runs from Galle Road in the west towards Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, the administrative capital of Sri Lanka, in the east. The avenue runs past a few university playgrounds and several colonial-era buildings, now occupied by embassies and ministries in a leafy part of Colombo 7, as the locals call it.

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Aussies celebrate a Victorious Cavalry Charge: The Light Horse at Beersheba in 1917

Peter Craven, in The Australian, 31 October 2017, where the title is “The Light Horse at Beersheba was poetry in motion”

The Light Horse and the Battle of Beersheba. It’s a strange story, though an old one, of how we turn the slaughter of war into the stuff of legend. But there’s a truth, as well as a myth, in the idea that this country came of age with Gallipoli; and that World War I’s official historian, CEW Bean, was on to something, not just propaganda and making the best of a bad lot, when he said the courage of the Anzacs was a defining moment.

George Lambert’s painting  The Charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba is an old-style celebration of an old-style battle, and looks to the memory of a chivalry that was being lost.
George Lambert’s painting The Charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba is an old-style celebration of an old-style battle, and looks to the memory of a chivalry that was being lost.

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