Category Archives: law of armed conflict

Murali Reddy’s Frontline Access to the War Zone in May 2009

Shenali D Waduge, reproducing here an old article in Lankaweb from 22 December 2013 which I had not seen even though I had interacted closely with Murali  in Colombo in May-June 2009 (as well as subsequently) and been commissioned to write pieces for Frontline; while also been privileged to chat with Kanchan Prasad in mid-2010 after Murali introduced me to her, after which I gained access to her invaluable snaps of the Nandikadal war zone. These I placed in a special site, viz.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/thuppahi/sets/72157626797805167/ et seq.

Waduge’s article is entitled “Sri Lanka’s War had Witnesses : Indian Journalist B. Murali Reddy”. In the reproduction below, the highlighting in red [as distinct from black] is my imposition as Editor, Thuppahi. Also see my SPECIAL NOTE at the end

 Murali at entrance to LTTE bunker hospital at Last Redoubt –Pic by Kanchan Prasad

Firstly Sri Lanka’s war did have witnesses. The witnesses were however NOT – Gordon Weiss, Francis Harrison, Channel 4, the Darusman Panel, Charles Petrie and a whole list of others who have promoted themselves as witnesses when they are not because they were never inside the war zone. They were only passing between themselves a version they have contrived that fits well within a different agenda that has nothing to do with what they claim it is. Questioning their credibility further is their sources – who happen to all be pro-LTTE. However, there was a witness throughout. He was foreign and his name is B. Muralidhar Reddy, an Indian journalist working for The Hindu/Frontline and his account “Final HoursAn eyewitness account of the last 70 hours of Eelam War IV’ gives a real eyewitness account of what he himself saw. http://www.frontline.in/static/html/fl2612/stories/20090619261200900.htm Continue reading

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China and Sri Lanka> Ilangamuwa and Pilger

ONE. Nilantha Ilangamuwa:Sri Lanka: Chinaphobia — Solution or Delusion!” … Sri Lanka Guardian, 14 March 2017

Many analysts and other concerned parties in diplomacy and international relations have started vowel war against the Chinese influence in the island nation Sri Lanka in recent past. One of many laughable factors of this highly motivated drama is those who clapped and appreciated China during the previous government, led by the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who went home two years prior to the completion of his term due to attachment to power, turned into harsh critiques of Chinese diplomacy with the current government.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/g2412/a-global-roundup-of-aircraft-carriers/ 

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Hillary Quite Contrary: American Zealotry

About Hillary Clinton in public on the world stage on Sri Lanka on 22 April 2009

“One glaring instance of this blinding zealotry in the wielding of power was when Clinton directed a tongue-lashing at the government of Sri Lanka on the 22nd April 2009 for engendering “a terrible humanitarian tragedy.”[1] about 36 hours after all the Western ambassadors had been shown real time aerial footage[2] of some 100-110,000 civilians streaming across the shallow parts of Nandikadal Lagoon to safety in the wake of a remarkable SL Army military operation launched on the night of the 19th April.” …Michael Roberts = https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/the-death-toll-in-2009-deceit-and-myopia-international-and-lankan/#more-25087

             The Exodus 21-24 April 2009    Smoke from air strike in Syria – 1413219939287_wps_33_Smoke_from_an_airstrike_b-300×199.jpg Continue reading

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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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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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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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Remembering Ravi Jayewardene as Man and Founder of the STF

Item in Sunday Observer, 9 April 2017

Today, Sri Lanka  pays her solemn condolences to the late Ravi Jayewardene. He was a pilot, and later went on to make significant contributions in the corporate sector. Perhaps, the greatest legacy he leaves behind is the Special Task Force of the Sri Lanka Police. He was the daring visionary who used his prudent mind to foresee the need for a specialized unit within the Police Department at that time, in order to engage in counter terrorism operations and mitigate threats to national security.

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