Category Archives: law of armed conflict

Holy War Unmasked

 Brian Victoria …… Send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. John Donne

Introduction: Is religion a force for peace or war? Or to borrow a phrase from the title of Christopher Hitchen’s book, God Is Not Great, does religion really poison everything, including the possibility of living in a peaceful world?

The answer is much like posing the question of whether the glass is half full or half empty. That is to say, for every example cited to prove that religion has supported warfare and violence, other examples can be presented to show ways in which religion has contributed to peace and the avoidance of war, reconciliation between bitter enemies and the general betterment of humanity and the world. When the question is posed in this way, the debate is as endless as it is futile unless the “winner” is the side that amasses the greatest number of examples.

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, meditations, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, self-reflexivity, suicide bombing, Taliban, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, war reportage, world events & processes, World War II, World War One, zealotry, Zen at war

German POWs in Britain: 1945 Onwards

Watch and ponder – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFehPgwCo3I

(2/5) Timewatch the Germans we Kept World War II

With the wars end many prisoners were soon on their way back home but a program of re-education was devised to supposedly prepare the prisoners for a new life in a different Germany. The full horrors of the Holocaust were put on show and one prisoner who was at the time a hard-line Nazi remembers that many of his comrades did not believe that the Holocaust had taken place thinking it was British propaganda designed to shame the German people even more….

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, governance, historical interpretation, Hitler, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, military strategy, politIcal discourse, rehabilitation, religiosity, security, trauma, unusual people, world events & processes

Australian Nationalism and the Ideology of Sacrificial Devotion

Michael Roberts, being an abridged version of an old article presented in the Library of Social Science run by Richard Koenigsberg and others.

Addressing the practices of remembrance in Australia, Richard Koenigsberg has noted the irony that a battlefield defeat at Gallipoli in World War One, 1915, served a people as an emblem of nationhood: the “Australian nation, came into being on the foundations provided by the slaughter of its young men.”

There is more irony. The commemoration of Australian courage, sacrifice and manliness at Gallipoli (and subsequently on the Somme) was threaded by tropes of youthful innocence that drew on classical Hellenic motifs. While the monuments and epitaphs that were crafted in Australia to mark this event were manifestly Greek in form. The gendered masculine metaphor, in turn, was often embodied in the seminal image of a full-bodied blonde young man. “Archie Hamilton” in Peter Weir’s classic film Gallipoli was/is one such trope (and he died of course).

“Archie”

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, Australian culture, australian media, British colonialism, cultural transmission, education, ethnicity, European history, gender norms, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, martyrdom, mass conscription, military strategy, nationalism, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

Michael’s Testimony for VE Day in Britain, 8th May 1945

Michael Roberts

Tears rolled down my eyes in profound sorrow and joy as the news media on TV and computer-script dwelt on the VE commemorations in Britain — Yesterday and Today 8th and 9th May 2020. Perhaps that may surprise some readers. So …… let me clarify.

Yes, I was only seven years old or thereabouts then in 1945. Yes, I was resident in the Fort area within the town of Galle in the island of Ceylon …. not in Britain or Europe. So, how is that event so meaningful …. and so profound in my thinking-mould. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes, World War II

John Richardson’s Case Study of Protracted Conflict in 2005

David Sallach, reviewing John Richardson: Paradise Poisoned: Learning about Conflict, Terrorism and Development from Sri Lanka’s Civil Wars. Kandy: International Center for Ethnic Studies, 2005. xvi + 764 pp. $25.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-955-580-094-5…. way back in 2007 …. https://networks.h-net.org/node/3180/reviews/6309/sallach-richardson-paradise-poisoned-learning-about-conflict-terrorism

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, devolution, economic processes, education policy, Eelam, electoral structures, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, insurrections, island economy, land policies, law of armed conflict, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, modernity & modernization, nationalism, parliamentary elections, politIcal discourse, power politics, Presidential elections, propaganda, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, world events & processes

Pirapāharan the Megalomaniac: Stephen Champion’s Reading from 2007

A Composite Collection

Michael Roberts: An Introductory Note, 30 April 2020

In early April this year 2020 I came across new data – or rather, information which had bypassed me earlier – garnered by DBS Jeyaraj via his exchanges with KP Pathmanāthan[1] in KP’s capacity as the head of the international arm of the LTTE from 31 December 2008.[2] This data confirmed and elaborated on the processes of Western imperialistic intervention in Sri Lanka in 2009 as the LTTE slid to defeat.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, anton balasingham, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, conspiracies, disparagement, Eelam, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, photography, politIcal discourse, power sharing, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, trauma, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes

FOR Sri Lanka: Engaging Lord Naseby and His Journeys in Sri Lanka

Michael Roberts

Since I had been introduced to the British peer Lord Michael Naseby in the surrounds of the House of Lords in March 2018,[1] I assumed that he had been born into the aristocratic upper layer of British society. Wrong. It required his book Sri Lanka for me to learn that he was from the upper middle class and had contested parliamentary seats from the late-960s on behalf of the Conservative Party in what were Labour strongholds – with his peerage being of 1990s vintage. As vitally, his early career as a marketing executive had seen him working in Pakistan and Bengal in the early 1960s before he was stationed in Sri Lanka as a marketing manager for Reckitt and Colman in the period 1963-64.

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under accountability, atrocities, communal relations, cricket for amity, economic processes, Eelam, energy resources, ethnicity, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, IDP camps, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, law of armed conflict, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, mass conscription, nationalism, photography, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power sharing, prabhakaran, Rajiv Gandhi, refugees, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Sri Lankan cricket, suicide bombing, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, transport and communications, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war crimes, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes