Category Archives: law of armed conflict

IPKF and Sri Lankan Military at Ease, 1987-90

Retd Brig. Sri Mudannayake … responding to the Items describing the Assault on Rajiv Gandhi by a SLN rating after the signing of the Indo-Lanka Pact

You might want to add that, once the IPKF arrived, Sri Lanka Army and the Indian Army troops acted in perfect harmony upholding best of military traditions. There were misunderstandings at times at mess, but they were addressed and resolved amicably.

One notable incident happened in Trincomalee at a check point where our Army and Indian troops briefly exchanged fire. No one was killed.  The SLA’s ‘ hot headed’ Brigadier in charge of the area was transferred out by Gen Ranatunga. The Indian Army Chief Gen Krishnaswamy Sunderji came to Sri Lanka and addressed SLA officers at Army Hq Colombo after the incident. Gen Ranatunga in his book referred to him as ” An Officer & Gentleman.”

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Clobbering Rajiv Gandhi as Chastisement in 1987: A Guti Dheema

Michael Roberts

When Vijithamuni Rohana de Silva upended military discipline and attempted to clobber the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on the head as the latter was inspecting a guard of honour on 30th July 1987, he was indulging in an act of chastisement – a guti dheema in Sinhala parlance. As such, in my tendentious elaboration, Rohana de Silva was administering a medicinal pill in the vocabulary of archaic Sinhala – a vocabulary that has resonances within the term beheth guliya. [1]

The emphasis on guti dheema was a conjecture I presented way back in 2002.[2] In my reading now, one that Retd Commodore Somasiri Devendra does not share, the intricate details provided recently by Retd Lt KH Perera confirm this set of musings.

 Indo-Lanka Accord about to be signed on 29th July 1987

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Terrorism in Modern Times: Twelve Insights

 Brian Victoria

Michael, ……  In addressing your previous requests for my insights,[1] [let me present] twelve hypotheses relating to terrorism.[2] I call them “hypotheses” because they are insights garnered from only a handful of Zen-related terrorist incidents in 1930s Japan, and I therefore wished to be careful about drawing overly broad conclusions.

Parents and their children sit on steps near Manchester Arena following an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert. (Supplied: Goodman/LNP/Rex/Shutterstock/australscope)

nine+ 11 oneCarnage after 9/11 -New York

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Studies of the LTTE Defeat and the Significance of the Rajapaksa Regime’s Measures

Daniel Alphonsus** ….. A review of Peter Stafford Roberts’ “The Sri Lankan Insurgency: Rebalancing the Orthodox Position” and Stephen Battle’s “Lessons In Legitimacy: The LTTE End-Game Of 2007–2009… with highlights being the impositions of The Editor, Thuppahi

It is a truth universally acknowledged that in May 2009 the Government of Sri Lanka won the war. This extraordinary turn of events, we are told, resulted from the political carte blanche granted to the Gotabaya, Fonseka and Karanagoda troika. License from on high, the story goes, unshackled their hitherto caged military nous and single-minded, perhaps even bloody-minded, focus on military victory.

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Dynamite! 9/11 as Dynamite. Friends at War

Michael Roberts

When Islamic zealots within Sri Lanka reaped havoc on people going about their normal practices on Easter Sunday this year 2019 via coordinated suicide attacks that generated carnage and death, I sent A NOTE (see below) around as part of a wider corpus of material on the event.  To my amazement, three friends from disparate backgrounds, French, Canadian and Sri Lankan Australian respectively, expressed strong dissent about the Islamic hand behind the 9//11 carnage in USA — firmly asserting that it was an US government plot.

All four Pics from https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/9-11-iconic-images-idUSRTS20CLO

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Gota’s Role in Eelam War Victory: Peiris challenges Roberts

Gerald Peiris in Kandy to Michael Roberts in Adelaide, 20/21 May 2019

Here are my observations on two of your comments (reproduced below in brown) on Long’s article**

  1. So, Gotabaya was not the single decisive hand in shaping the outcome of Eelam War IV. But in support of some lines in the Stephen Long essay, I shall dwell on several of his special contributions within a separate essay. Moreover, the recent Easter Sunday attacks and subsequent tensions in Sri Lanka encourage me to endorse Stephen Long’s caustic account of the glaring shortcomings in the intelligence operations of the Yahapaalana government. That, ofcourse, is a conclusion that is widely shared.
  2. However, the Sri Lanka Army began to transform its infantry divisions from around 2001 with the development of the SIOT concept which encouraged operational planning from the frontline-upwards and sharpened soldier skills.[2] General Sarath Fonseka is one to whom this course of development can be attributed, but I speculate that there were others involved.

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Uncle Sam! Sri Lanka’s Sovereignty impaired by SOFA deal with USA

Lasanda Kurukulasuriya, in Island, 27 May 2019, where the title reads”

While the contents of the proposed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the governments of Sri Lanka and the US still remain hidden from the public eye, parliament was told last week that the government had not entered into such an agreement – yet.  The negotiations however are going on, and Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana has reportedly indicated to the US that some of its provisions could not be implemented. One was the provision seeking exemption for visiting US personnel from criminal jurisdiction under Sri Lankan law, while in Sri Lanka. Another was a clause that would give effect to the agreement through an ‘exchange of notes.’

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