Category Archives: legal issues

The Gash Files II: LTTE’s Strategic Design

Michael Roberts

In Despatch COL/2/08 of12 March 2009 Lt. Col Anton Gash has this summary appraisal for his superiors: The LTTE has been forcing the civilian population to move in accordance with their tactical requirements. The NFZ is rigorously policed and patrolled by LTTE cadres, who control access to food and medical facilities, ensuring that their own needs are met before any capacity is allowed for civilians.”

This is a critical observation pointing in the right direction. Nevertheless, it falls short of the mark. The mass of Tamil civilians was not merely a tactical element. They were a central pillar in the LTTE’s grand strategy. For one, they constituted a defensive formation: just so many sandbags restraining the full deployment of the government forces’ military weaponry. While the standard description of the civilians as “hostages” in HR and Western circles does point in this direction, the terminology is “weak” and does not fully capture the overarching strategic purpose of the corralled civilian mass. In addition to serving as a restrictive ‘bund’, the civilian mass provided an active incentive for Western intervention in favour of a ceasefire and some sort of “political solution.

 a tent citty in the Tigers’ last redoubt –-Pic from UNPoE circa February 2009

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Looking Down a Ship’s Cannon: Vice Admiral Travis Sinniah in Q and A

Manjula Fernando, in Sunday Observer, 27 August 2017, where the title is “”I was always the target of the LTTE” …. Note: the highlighting is my imposition and see additional references at the end — Editor, Thuppahi

Speaking about his ascension to become the topmost Naval officer in the country, the son of a Tamil Naval doctor who developed a love for the service as a little boy, he says, “I was destined to be a front line executive officer to go out to sea, and carry out certain missions which would have changed the tide of the war with the LTTE.”

 

MANJULA FERNANDO’s QUESTIONS

Q: There is a popular perception that war heroes are born in a particular genre of schools. Are you the first Trinitian to be appointed to this prestigious post?

As the Navy Commander yes, I am the first. But, it doesn’t mean Trinitians haven’t gone to war. Trititians have fought in World War 1 as well as WW 11. Many Trinitians have served in the security forces but unfortunately, none have lived long enough to rise to the top. There were Trinitians, like Commander Shanti Bahar, Gen. Densil Kobbekaduwa and Lieutenant General Parami Kulatunga who made the ultimate sacrifice for the people of this country. I represent all of them. Continue reading

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Introducing Prophetic Indictments by Mervyn De Silva

Noel Ranjith

Regular readers of “The Island” newspaper over the twenty year period from the 1980’s will remember the almost weekly columns written by Dr. Mervyn D. De Silva, who was in those years a Deputy Director of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, followed by being appointed as the Director of the Ministry of Plan Implementation, and later becoming a Member of Parliament through the National List. His most profuse and provocative period was during the tenures of four Presidents from Mr. J. R. Jayawardene to Mrs. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. His writings covered a wide range of public and national concerns and took their cue from what the controversial American journalist I.F. Stone believed was the purpose of good journalism  –to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”.

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Sinhala-Muslim Violence in Lanka: An Appeal and Allegations from a Muslim Professional

M. M. Zuhair, in the Island, 13 March 2018, where the title is Who is trying to destroy our unity and why?”

The mob violence that erupted at Ampara town on Monday February 26, a day after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the stop-gap Minister of Law and Order and followed by violence in Digana, Teldeniya and several other parts of Kandy, independently of the Ampara events, will soon be forgotten, notwithstanding evidence that the extremist attacks in both places appear to be well organised following prior concert.

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The Molotov Cocktail generating Communal Violence in Sri Lanka and India: A Select Bibliography

Michael Roberts

One image of the sene outside the hospital where Indira Gandhi lay dying in 1984 after she was assassinated by some of her Sikh bodyruards as retribution for the Indian governments’s raid ona Sikh temple in the Ounjab

PRIMARY ESSAYS

Michael Roberts: Anguish as Empowerment … and A Path to Retribution,” 22 March 2017, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/?p=24595&preview=true

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SL Government caves in to British Bullying: Brigadier Priyanka OUT… LTTE Flags Fly High

Rajeewa Jayaweera, in Sunday Island, 4 March 2019   ….  with highlighting emphasis inserted by The Editor, Thuppahi

A relatively minor episode which took place outside the High Commission of Sri Lanka in London on February 04, blown out of proportion, has ended in the unconditional surrender by GoSL to Britain’s diktat.

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The Yahapalanaya Government in Strife: Philips, Hattotuwa and Chandraprema Analyse the Situation

I. Rajan Philips: “The government’s consummate crisis in the face of Mahinda’s unconsummatable win,” Sunday Island, 18 February 2018,

There is no pussyfooting around the political shellacking at last week’s polls, that the President’s and the Prime Minister’s teams got at the hands of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s budding party of old bloomers. Not surprisingly, the shellacking has precipitated a consummate crisis in the so called national-unity government. While the results of the local government elections have created the current crisis in the national government, the same results cannot provide any mechanism or mandate for resolving that crisis. Nor can the impressively lopsided success at the local elections directly enable Mahinda Rajapaksa to replace the government at the national level. Put another way, SLPP cannot nationally consummate its aggregate win at the local elections. It can, however, create havoc for the unity government and it is doing so in spades. The government leaders, on the other hand, are scrambling with no one showing any capacity to take control of the situation and restore even a semblance of order. Continue reading

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