Category Archives: martyrdom

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.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, doctoring evidence, economic processes, Fascism, gordon weiss, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, politIcal discourse, propaganda, Rajapaksa regime, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, trauma, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry

Daya’s Study of Suicide Bombers of Sri Lanka

http://repo.jfn.ac.lk/med/bitstream/701/1011/1/Somasundaram-Suicide%20bombers%20of%20Sri%20Lanka.pdf

Daya Somasundaram … http://repo.jfn.ac.lk/med/bitstream/701/1011/1/Somasundaram-Suicide%20bombers%20of%20Sri%20Lanka.pdf

 image of Asian Journal of Social Sciencedaya-11

ABSTRACT  The phenomena of suicide bombers in Sri Lanka share some similarities with but also have some marked differences with what is seen in other parts of world today. Increasing discrimination, state humiliation and violence against the minority Tamils brought out a militancy and the phenomena of suicide bombers. The underlying socio-political and economical factors in the North and East of Sri Lanka that caused the militancy at the onset are examined. Some of these factors that were the cause of or consequent to the conflict include: extrajudicial killing of one or both parents or relations by the state; separations, destruction of home and belongings during the war; displacement; lack of adequate or nutritious food; ill health; economic difficulties; lack of access to education; not seeing any avenues for future employment and advancement; social and political oppression; and facing harassment, detention and death. At the same time, the Tamil militants have used various psychological methods to entice youth, children and women to join and become suicide bombers. Public displays of war paraphernalia, posters of fallen heroes, speeches and video, particularly in schools and community gatherings, heroic songs and stories, public funeral rites and annual remembrance ceremonies draw out feelings of patriotism and create a martyr cult. The religio-cultural context of the Tamils has provided meaning and symbols for the creation and maintenance of this cult, while the LTTE has provided the organisational capacity to train and indoctrinate a special elite as suicide bombers. Whether the crushing of the LTTE militarily by the state brings to an end the phenomena of suicide bombers or whether it will re-emerge in other forms if underlying grievances are not resolved remains to be seen.

KEY WORDS: Altruistic suicide; Ethnic conflict; Insurgency; Sacrifice; Sri Lanka; Suicide bombers Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under cultural transmission, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, meditations, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, world events & processes, zealotry

Thomas Meaney, A Review Article, courtesy of the Author and the London Review of Books,… with emphasis by highlights added by The Editor, Thuppahi … SEE www.lrb.co.uk

prabha-with-pistol-2   prabha-tiger

Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World by Steven Kemper, Chicago, 480 pp, £31.50, January 2015, ISBN 978 0 226 19907

Tamil: A Biography by David Shulman, Harvard, 416 pp, £25.00, September 2016, ISBN 978 0 674 05992 4

The Seasons of Trouble: Life amid the Ruins of Sri Lanka’s Civil War by Rohini Mohan, Verso, 368 pp, £16.99, October 2015, ISBN 978 1 78168 883 0

Independence was handed to Ceylon’s elite on a platter. ‘Think of Ceylon as a little bit of England,’ Oliver Ernest Goonetilleke, the first native governor-general, said. This was a point of pride. Don Stephen Senanayake, the country’s first prime minister, remarked: ‘There has been no rebellion in Ceylon, no non-cooperation movement and no fifth column. We were among the peoples who gave full collaboration while Britain was hard-pressed.’ After independence in 1948, Ceylon alone among the former colonies not only retained but promoted the monarchy: the Union Jack flew alongside the Ceylon flag; a new constitution was drafted by a former LSE professor, Ivor Jennings; Colombo debutantes were presented at Buckingham Palace; and, thanks to some genealogical ingenuity, George VI was recognised as the latest monarch in the ancient line of Kandyan kings. While the rest of the empire in Asia smouldered – in India there was Partition, in Malaya the Emergency, in Burma the civil war – Ceylon became Whitehall’s model for the transfer of colonial power. ‘There was no fight for that freedom which involved a fight for principles, policies and programmes,’ Solomon Ridgeway Bandaranaike, the anti-colonial head of state who took power in 1956, said when he reviewed the transition a decade later. ‘It just came overnight. We just woke up one day and were told: “You are a dominion now.”[1] Continue reading

1 Comment

February 10, 2017 · 1:03 pm

Talaivar Pirapāharan embodied in Notebooks: One Mark of the LTTE’s Remarkable Propaganda Machinery

Michael Roberts

prabha-22 prabha-33 prabha-11

These three images adorn the cover of little notebooks, each 4 inches in height and 2.7 inches breadth, in my possession. They were purchased by me at Kilinochchi on 27th November 2004 when I visited the administrative capital of the state of Thamilīlam[1] during the ceasefire. The tale is recounted below as entry-point to a portrait of the LTTE’s remarkable innovations.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under art & allure bewitching, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, governance, heritage, Hinduism, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, religiosity, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

Ignorant Oversimplifications in the Theresa May-Obama Characterization of ISIS

Damian Whitworth, in The Times and The Australian, 17 January 2017, with the title in the latter being “The Man who knows Islamic State’s Mindset” … with highlighing being additions by the Editor, Thuppahi

British Prime Minister Theresa May once exposed what she believed to be the basic flaws at the murderous heart of Islamic State. “I will tell you the truth,” she told the Conservative Party conference in 2014, the year that the militant group gained worldwide notoriety. “They are not Islamic and they are not a state.”

aaisia-11-times Pic from Times

Her words echoed sentiments expressed by US President Barack Obama. Today, with Islamic State under pressure from Western-backed forces in Mosul, the debate about whether it has actually succeeded in establishing a caliphate continues. However, on the question of Islamic State’s ­Islamic credentials, May is plain wrong. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under american imperialism, cultural transmission, historical interpretation, jihad, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, martyrdom, Middle Eastern Politics, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes, zealotry

Cockroaches: A Universal Pejorative in the Particular Armoury of a Sunni Extremist in Melbourne

A Melbourne teenager [name withheld] from a middle-class background had “expressed violent loathing of non-believers and likened Shia Muslims to cockroaches” in his Facebook and Surespot rantings. He had gone further and gathered the material for a pressure cooker bomb –activities which have seen him tried and sentenced to a seven-year jail term (see The Australian, 8 Dec 2016)

cockraocahes-22

There is dark paradox here:  a highly particular ideologue has deployed a universal pejorative. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under cultural transmission, heritage, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, legal issues, martyrdom, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, racist thinking, religiosity, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry

Reforming Islamic Doctrines: Radical Action Needed

Ibn Wirriq

Until most Western leaders and all Islamic leaders realize that the short term solutions against radical Islam to destroy ISIL, are just that. they will not be pursuing any real long term permanent solutions. Thus the lethal violence will continue from Islamic radicals and their tacit supporters in so many nations. Is this aspect of lethal violence just part of Islam’s general drive to subjugate the whole World to Islamic domination, in association with the imposition of sharia law and halal certification of everything that is eaten? These answers must be well considered and resolved.

AA--TAJ=foundtheworld.com the classic beauty of the Tajmahal [pic by foundtheworld.combeside the murderous inspirations driving the jihadistsZEALOTRY ISIS advance - lake house Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Al Qaeda, cultural transmission, education, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, martyrdom, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, terrorism, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes, zealotry