Category Archives: law of armed conflict

Lord Naseby Word-for-Word on The Farcical UN Reports on Eelam War IV

WION London, United Kingdom Nov 14, 2017, 12.21 PM (IST) Padma Rao Sundarji … AT http://www.wionews.com/world/un-fudged-sri-lanka-war-casualty-figures-uk-parliamentarian-says-citing-classified-files-24164

For eight years now, western nations and the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva have slammed the Sri Lankan Armed Forces (SLAF) and the former Sri Lankan government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa for brutal human rights violations during Sri Lanka’s three-decade long civil war against the separatist terror group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Of special focus for the West has been the last phase of the war that took place around the Nanthikadal lagoon in North Eastern Sri Lanka.

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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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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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The LTTE Debacle at Aanandapuram, April 2009

Michael Roberts

 When I interviewed General Shavendra Silva on 19th August 2017,[1] he identified three temporal turning points during the last year of the war (mid-2008 to May 2009). These were

  1. The SL Army’s capture of Pooneryn on 15th November 2008 which finalized the control of the western coastline (Hull 2015)
  2. The SLA’s capture of Paranthan on 31st December 2008.
  3. The SLA’s encirclement and decimation of a body of elite LTTE forces at Aanandapuram in the period 31st March- to 5th April 2009 as the Tigers were assembling for counter-attack.
  4.  Some footsoldiers at the heart of the battle and General Silva Continue reading

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When Terrorism assailed Cricket at Lahore, 3 March 2009: A Cumulus Cloud of Questions

Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, where the title is different

A distant image of some assailants  

99793-H-Sun cover large

  a dead body is removed subsequently –Pic from AFP

A few years back I studied the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team when they were on their way to the Gaddafi Stadium at Lahore during the course of their Test Match vs Pakistan in 2009. This analysis is available as “Cricket under Siege:  The Lahore Attack, 3 March 2009,” in my book Incursions & Excursions in and around Sri Lanka Cricket (Colombo, Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2011).. I did not interview Brendon Kuruppu, the SL Team Manager, till after that work was presented. Since he presented a lucid account of his experiences, that essay lacks some of his insights. Continue reading

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Reporting War. Outrageous Obfuscations during the Last Phase of Eelam War IV

Michael Roberts

The demand for news and the monies generated in mass media mean that journalists attempt to cover modern wars at close quarters. Access to war fronts is dictated by many factors, including location and access as well as the nature of the war terrain. Access to locations where the battle-lines are fluid and changing may be easier than those with definitive war-fronts, though such conditions can turn out to be more fatal – as Western reporters in Libya and Marie Colvin discovered in Syria in 2011/12.

Adie  Colvin Nesmann Birtley

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Reporters struggling with Eelam War IV: Some Recollections and Reports

 Michael Roberts

In addressing the serious issues raised by some of the Western media reportage of the events unfolding during the last phase of Eelam War IV and several seemingly deliberate obfuscations, I recently sent a short set of questions to some Indian journalists who were in Sri Lanka then and also to a few Sri Lankan reporters/cameramen who had been taken to the war front – guided here by an official list available. I have only received responses from a few, but it is enough to set the reflections rolling.

  Journalists in plane en route to war front, circa 27 January —Pic by Kanchan Prasad

These responses throw light on the difficulties faced by journalists in reporting the war and I see them as important appendages to an analytical review that I have already penned in draft form (in progress). Those studying Eelam War IV should pay heed to these recollections, while also visiting the Al Jazeera You-Tube presentations provided by Tony Birtley & David Chater and marveling at the capacities revealed by Sergei de Silva Ranasinghe in deciphering the ups-and-downs of the SL Army progress from distant shores far better than Birtley or those in Colombo who visited the front on conducted tours on some occasions. Continue reading

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