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
Filed under arab regimes, atrocities, Buddhism, cultural transmission, fundamentalism, heritage, historical interpretation, immolation, Indian traditions, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, meditations, military strategy, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, religiosity, religious nationalism, Saivism, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, war crimes, world events & processes
Shamara Wettimuny, a reprint of an article in the LSE International History Blog, in May 2018, where the title is Regulating Religious Rites: Did British Regulation of “Noise Worship” Trigger the 1915 Riots in Ceylon?’
Violence targeting the Muslim community has recently increased in Sri Lanka. Yet the scale of the violence is relatively small compared to events that took place a hundred years ago. In 1915, a dispute over a Buddhist procession near a mosque led to island-wide communal riots in Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka). This article revisits this historical event. It explores how the rise of ethno-religious nationalist ideologies in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries converged with British regulation of ‘noise worship’ to trigger the most destructive episode of violence between Sinhala-Buddhists and Muslims to date.
Kandy in early 20th century
Filed under accountability, British imperialism, communal relations, conspiracies, cultural transmission, discrimination, economic processes, education, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, riots and pogroms, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes
ONE = Mary Lloyd: “The Australian artist who captured the horror of 9/11 on film,” 11 September 2017
Chris Hopewell heard the sound of the first plane collide with the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, but it was his cats running in circles that tipped him off that something disastrous had happened. After the Australian artist opened his curtains and went onto the balcony of his Williamsburg apartment, he saw the damage that had been done to the tower, but had no idea what had caused it.
Pic by Reuters- Sara K Schwittek
Filed under accountability, Al Qaeda, atrocities, Australian culture, australian media, citizen journalism, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, martyrdom, photography, politIcal discourse, security, self-reflexivity, suicide bombing, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, trauma, unusual people, war crimes, world events & processes, zealotry
THE SPECTATOR, Editorial, 18 August 2018, with title “Terrorism isn’t ‘losing’. It has already lost”
By now, the routine is familiar: a lone wolf strikes, roads are sealed off, buildings locked down and a biographical picture begins to emerge. Often, the perpetrator turns out to be born and bred in Britain. His astonished friends and neighbours say they saw no signs that he had succumbed to fanaticism. It later emerges that radicalisation happened incredibly quickly — perhaps inspired by online videos — and the terror plan was so low-tech that interception would have been impossible. How, it might be asked, can any country protect itself against such threats?
Pic from Getty
Filed under atrocities, democratic measures, ethnicity, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, legal issues, life stories, meditations, performance, press freedom & censorship, rehabilitation, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, security, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes