Category Archives: insurrections

De facto sovereignty and public authority in ‘Tigerland’: governance practices and symbolism

Niels Terpstra & Georg Frerks, in Modern Asian Studies, Vol 52, No 3, Special Issue, May 2018, pp 1001-42 … Article entitled   “Governance practices and symbolism: ‘de facto’ sovereignty and public authority in ‘Tigerland’.”…. SEE https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/modern-asian-studies/article/governance-practices-and-symbolism-de-facto-sovereignty-and-public-authority-in-tigerland/C8984207208087BF88EB93882D480FE3

Abstract: This article focuses on how the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) insurgency performed de facto sovereignty and public authority in Northeastern Sri Lanka. It is situated within the wider academic debate on governance by state and non-state actors. We venture to unravel the complex linkages between the LTTE’s governance practices and legitimation strategies by looking at narratives, performances, and inscriptions. While monopolizing the justice and policing sectors, in other sectors the LTTE operated pragmatically in conjunction with the state. The organization tried to generate and sustain public authority and legitimacy through a variety of violent and non-violent practices and symbols. It ‘mimicked’ statehood by deploying, among others, policing, uniforms, ceremonies, nationalist songs, commemorations of combatants, and the media. This not only consolidated its grip on the Northeast, but also engineered a level of support and compliance. We conclude that the LTTE’s governance included practices that were created and carried out independently from the Sri Lankan state, while others took shape within a pre-existing political order and service provision by the state. The article elucidates the LTTE’s mimicry of the state, as well as the operation of parallel structures and hybrid forms of state-LTTE collaboration. This facilitates a nuanced understanding of rebel governance beyond a simple state versus non-state binary. Continue reading

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Donald Trump receives Award from the American Indian Nations

 

Donald Trump was invited to address a major gathering of the American Indian Nation two weeks ago in upstate New York.  He spoke for almost an hour about his plans for increasing every Native American’s present standard of living. He referred to how he had supported every Native American issue that came to the news media.  Although Mr Trump was vague about the details of his plans, he seemed most enthusiastic and spoke ‘eloquently’ about his ideas for helping his “red sisters and brothers.”  At the conclusion of his speech, the Tribes presented him with a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name, “Walking Eagle.”  The proud Mr Trump accepted the plaque and then departed in his motorcade to a fundraiser, waving to the crowds. 

A news reporter later asked the group of chiefs how they came to select the new name they had given to the Presidential Candidate. 

They explained that “Walking Eagle” is the name given to a bird so full of shit it can no longer fly.

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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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Tiger Insurgents caught in the Oddusuddan Locality in June 2018

D.B.S. Jeyaraj in Daily Mirror, 30 June 2018, where the title reads “Seizure of Tiger arsenal in North renews fears of an LTTE revival attempt”

The 21km-long Puthukkudiyiruppu-Oddusuddan road progressing through the hinterland of North-Eastern Mullaitivu District, links Puthukkudiyiruppu on the A-35 Paranthan-Mullaitivu highway and Oddusuddan on the A-34 Mankulam-Mullaitivu highway. It was along this road that a trusted deputy of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed by the deep penetration squad of the Sri Lankan armed forces on September  26, 2001. Vaithilingam Sornalingam alias “Col” Shankar, the founder-chief of the tiger air wing was killed by a claymore mine hung on a tree as he was driving his two-seater four-wheeler pick-up vehicle alone. The killing transmitted shockwaves amongst LTTE circles as it demonstrated the fact that the armed forces were capable of infiltrating the heartland of tiger-controlled territory and inflicting lethal damage.

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Politics without Principle in Sri Lanka, 1948-1992

John Richardson. reproducing a chapter in Arun Gandhi, Ed., W orld Without Violence (1993) which is entitled “The Seventh Blunder: Politics without Principle. Lessons from Sri Lanka” ++

 FR Jayasuriya fasting unto death in support of SINHALA ONLY … 24 May 1956

The world began to experience a wave of political change in 1989.  Entrenched authoritarian regimes in many nations have crumbled in the face of popular dissatisfaction with repressive policies that failed to deliver on promises of economic opportunity.  Many nations are now experimenting with the forms of democracy: popular elections to choose leaders, accountability of leaders to elected parliaments, freedom of expression and freedom to compete for power within organized political parties.[i]

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Jayasekera’s Study of British Colonialism in Ceylon reviewed

Chandra R De Silva, in Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences 41(1) 2018, pp 65-68, with highlighting emphasis being the Work of The Editor, Thuppahi

reviewing Confrontations with Colonialism: Resistance, Revivalism and Reform under British Rule in Sri Lanka 1796- 1920, Vol. I, by P. V. J. Jayasekera (Colombo: Vijitha Yapa, 2017), Rs. 1500.

In one of the most challenging and thought-provoking history books published in Sri Lanka in the last decade, P. V. J. Jayasekera has used a wide variety of sources to challenge a number of existing interpretations relating to Sri Lanka under British colonial rule in the nineteenth century. While the book is based partly on his own doctoral dissertation completed in 1970, in Jayasekera’s own words “The scope and the foci of the original study have been substantially changed (p. ix)” in view of new theoretical approaches in the study of colonial history and the debates on history arising out of the recent ethnic conflict. Jayasekera has also carefully taken into account historical research on Sri Lanka published in the long period since he completed his dissertation. Readers should note that despite the title, Jayasekera has consciously avoided any attempt “to cover the confrontations of the Sri Lankan Tamil society with colonialism (p. xxvii)” and that, with the exception of brief references in the concluding section, information on Muslim-Buddhist relations will come to us only in the forthcoming second volume.

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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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