Category Archives: martyrdom

Suicide Missions as Witnessing: From Self-Immolation to Assassination and Mass Strike

Michael Roberts ….. This article appeared first in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 2007, vol. 30:  857-88.with the titleSuicide Missions as Witnessing: Expansions, Contrasts” and is reproduced here with its original American English spelling. The re-working of this article was seen to by Ms Nadeeka Paththuwaarachchi of Battaramulla. The pictorial images are embellishments that were not part of the original essay. I have also added highlighting emphasis in orange as well as a few hyperlinks to other standard sources of information. The bibliographical references are within the End Notes as in the original format.

ABSTRACT: Studies of suicide missions usually focus solely on attacks. They also have highlighted the performative character of suicide missions as acts of witness. By extending surveys to suicidal acts that embrace no-escape attacks, theatrical assassination, defensive suicide, and suicidal protest, one gains further insight into the motivations of individuals and organizations. Illustrative studies, notably the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and Sadat as well as Tamil Tiger operations, generate a typology that underlines the benefits of such extensions. The Japanese and Tamil contexts reveal the profound differences in readings of sacrificial acts of atonement or punishment by local constituencies. Norman Morrison in Washington in 1965 and Jan Palach in Prague in 1969 did not have such beneficial settings and the immediate ramifications of their protest action were limited. Morrison’s story highlights the significance of a societal context of individuated rationalism as opposed, say, to the “pyramidical corporatism” encouraging martyrdom operations in the Islamic world.

Jan Palach…19 Jan. 1969 Nathuram Godse vs Mahatma Gandhi .. 30 Jan 1948

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Tamils pay Homage to Dead Tigers on 27th November: Channel 4 You Tube on Deep Scars of the Wars

Jonathan Miller of Channel 4 reporting from Sri Lanka, 27 November 20 — with title  Tamils hold provocative remembrance services for fallen Tiger fighters”

https://www.channel4.com/news/tamils-hold-provocative-remembrance-services-for-fallen-tiger-fighters

Amid continuing political turmoil in Sri Lanka, the Tamils in the north of the country have tonight held ceremonies commemorating fallen fighters of the Tamil Tiger insurgent army which was summarily defeated nine years ago. The remembrance events are highly controversial, particularly among ethnic Sinhalese nationalists.

Despite international outrage over alleged atrocities committed by Sri Lankan armed forces, there has been little progress towards accountability. We report from the former Tamil Tiger capital, Killinochi. A warning: the report contains images that some viewers might find distressing.

 This snap is from 27 November 2015

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The Role of Religion in Tamil Militancy in Sri Lanka

Iselin Frydenlund, …..  which reached me via the University of Adelaide circuit and where the title is Tamil Militancy in Sri Lanka and the Role of Religion”. It is presented here against the wishes of the author, with a change of title, modifications in the hyphenation style, the addition of illustrative photographs from my own stock and the use of coloured  highlighting to mark significant passages….. The Editor, Thuppahi

From the late 1970s to its defeat by the Government of Sri Lanka in 2009, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fought for Tamil independence in Sri Lanka. The ultimate aim of what was often considered to be one of the world‘s most disciplined and efficient insurgency groups was to create an independent Tamil homeland (which they called Tamil Eelam) in the northern and eastern parts of the island. The LTTE based itself on a unique mix of Tamil nationalist, socialist, and feminist visions of a new future for the marginalized Tamil communities of Sri Lanka.

Tiger fighters

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Remembering 9/11: Two Australian Tales in 2017

ONE = Mary Lloyd: “The Australian artist who captured the horror of 9/11 on film,” 11 September 2017

Chris Hopewell heard the sound of the first plane collide with the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, but it was his cats running in circles that tipped him off that something disastrous had happened. After the Australian artist opened his curtains and went onto the balcony of his Williamsburg apartment, he saw the damage that had been done to the tower, but had no idea what had caused it.

Pic by Reuters- Sara K Schwittek

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Al -Jazeera’s Summary History of the LTTE, April 2009

Borrowed from http://www.aljazeera.com/focus/2008/11/2008112019115851343.html =/where the title reads The history of the Tamil Tigers” .… emphasis has been added by The Editor, Thuppahi

Formed in 1975, the group has vowed to carve out a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka.:The conflict between Sri Lanka’s government forces and armed Tamil rebels has raged for nearly 60 years. Thousands have died and many more have been made h omeless by the fighting. Here we answer questions about the Tamil rebels, their composition and their stated goals. Continue reading

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Young Pirapāharan’s Inspirations and Ideology: Ragavan’s Incisive Memorial in May 2009

Ragavan, being a reprint from The Sunday Leader, 24 May 2009, where the title runs Memories of a much-mythologised rebel leader by a former LTTE fighter ” …. with the highlighting being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

  The body identified as that of the Tamil rebels’
leader, Velupilai Pirapaharan, was carried Tuesday
through Sri Lankan troops — 
Courtesy Reuters

“Those who bear arms acquire and wield an extreme measure of power. We believe that if this power is abused, it will inevitably lead to dictatorship.” – Pirapaharan, from an interview with N. Ram, 1986

The LTTE’s supreme leader and commander, Velupillai Pirapaharan, along with his wife, children and the entire leadership of the LTTE, have been completely wiped out by the Sri Lankan military. The LTTE began as a guerrilla unit during the 1970’s, at its peak, it controlled vast territory and built up a conventional force consisting of an army, navy and air force. The group won many battles against the Sri Lankan Army, crushed all Tamil opposition groups functioning in Sri Lanka, and was seen as a deadly, brutal and disciplined organisation.

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Does Terrorism Work? The Palestinian Story, 1939-47

Bruce Hoffman

ABSTRACT: Does terrorism work? Its targets and victims steadfastly maintain that it does not; its practitioners and apologists that it does. Scholars and analysts are divided. But, if terrorism is as ineffective as many claim, why has it persisted for at least the past two millennia and indeed become an increasingly popular means of violent political expression in the twenty-first century? Using the Jewish terrorist campaign against the British in Palestine during the 1940s, this article attempts to shed light on this question.

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