Category Archives: martyrdom

Achtung! Whiffs of Tiger Militarism and Tamil Federalism in Recent Talk and Action

ONE: Camelia Nathaniel, in Daily News, 9 July 2020, which carries this title Resurrection of LTTE’s Agenda of Violence”

The LTTE network overseas has been planning a series of attacks in Sri Lanka since the war ended in May 2009. The latest attempt to disrupt peace and stability in Sri Lanka was on July 4, 2020. A former member of the Tamil Tigers Thangarajah Thevathashan was preparing to conduct a bombing to mark the Black Tigers Day. The foreign handlers knew Thangarajah Thevathashan by his LTTE name Gangai Athman alias Kavinjan. He was serving in the LTTE Intelligence wing, notorious for the assassinations of several leaders including the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, democratic measures, devolution, Eelam, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, language policies, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, nationalism, parliamentary elections, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, prabhakaran, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry

The Threads of Intolerance within Contemporary Liberal/Radical Fervour

A Letter on Justice and Open Debate …. Harpers’ Magazine, July 7, 2020 ……………..
……… The letter below  will be appearing in the Letters section of the magazine’s October issue. We welcome responses at letters@harpers.org

Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity. As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second. The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy. But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion—which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting. The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, democratic measures, discrimination, disparagement, education, ethnicity, European history, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, life stories, martyrdom, meditations, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, press freedom, racist thinking, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, taking the piss, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, world events & processes

Fresh Insights on the 4/21 Salafi Bombings in Sri Lanka

Samanth Subramanium, in New York Times, 2 July 2020, where the title reads “Two Wealthy Muslim Brothers became suicide Bombers, but Why?”

There’s a video of the exact moment Inshaf Ibrahim decided to abandon his life as a rich young man and turn into a mass murderer. In one sense, he had made up his mind weeks earlier, which was why he was loitering in the Cinnamon Grand hotel’s breakfast buffet on Easter Sunday last year in Colombo, strapped into a knapsack of explosives. Once he arrived, though, he appeared to dither. Later, investigators picked him out of CCTV footage, standing near a vacant table, wearing a baseball cap and a T-shirt, his back to the camera. In the footage, he moves like a perplexed penguin. Two steps forward, half a step back, a turn, another turn: a choreography of hesitation. Perhaps he is reconsidering? But no, the investigators concluded; he is waiting for more people to come in. Finally, a microsecond of stillness, arms heavy by his side; then his hands reach toward the front of his waist, and the film goes dark.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, arab regimes, atrocities, communal relations, conspiracies, cultural transmission, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, martyrdom, Middle Eastern Politics, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, religious nationalism, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, tourism, unusual people, violence of language, world events & processes, zealotry

The Web Site on “Sacrificial Devotion” …. Its Short Run

Recent Thuppahi entries have highlighted the Workshop on Sacrificial Devotion” held in Adelaide University in late 2005, one framed within the concept fashioned by Michael Roberts to study and comprehend suicidal commitments to political cause. Note the ITEM

Thilipan on Fast unto death in 1987

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, anton balasingham, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, ethnicity, fundamentalism, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, insurrections, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, propaganda, psychological urges, racist thinking, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes

Sacrificial Devotion in Comparative Perspective: A Workshop at Adelaide University in Late 2005

Daya ….. Rohan…. Shyam…. Riaz ….. what a South Asian spread! …………………. a dinkie-die curry’

I = Michael Roberts: An Explanatory Preamble Cast in May 2020

By 2004 I had retired from teaching in the Anthropology Department at Adelaide University and was proceeding with the pursuit of my research interests at my own pace within my limited resources. Sri Lanka and my connections therein was one such resource. When researching in Colombo in late November 2004 I flew to Jaffna on a wing and a prayer[1] with the intention of exploring the Tamil Tiger “cult of suicide.” Previous contacts with two Tamil Canadians and a visit to the University of Jaffna as soon as I landed assisted me no end: partly via the invaluable support provided by the Krishnaswamy family[2] and the readiness of their medical student son Chenthan to become my aide and guide during peregrinations within the Peninsula.[3]

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under atrocities, Australian culture, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, ethnicity, fundamentalism, heritage, Hinduism, historical interpretation, immolation, Indian religions, Indian traditions, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, LTTE, martyrdom, nationalism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, religious nationalism, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes

Karuna’s Defection: An Early Analysis in Speculative Mode

Gerald H. Peiris: being Chapter 6 in Peiris, Twilight of the Tigers

The contents of this chapter, except its ‘Introductory Notes’ and the ‘Postscript’, are based almost entirely on an article titled ‘An Assessment of the Current Crisis among the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’ written by me in March 2004 while the events that constituted the early stages of the revolt led by ‘Colonel Karuna’ against the Vanni-based Tiger leadership were unfolding in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka.  It was published by the Jane’s Information Group, UK. Written as it was in the context of acute paucity of documented information on the rapidly changing and bewilderingly complex scenario in the ‘north-east’ of Sri Lanka at that time, the article contained a fair amount of reasoned speculation. Here, in this chapter, I have retained the original article largely unchanged mainly for the reason that some of my speculations and predictions proved subsequently to be correct. The changes of the original article made in the formulation of this chapter have involved only some alterations of tense, and the addition of footnotes for clarification and substantiation, and a ‘postscript’, intended to update the impact of the events examined in the article from the viewpoint of the thematic concerns of this volume.

 LTTE commanders circa 2005(?)

 the talaivar Pirapāharan LTTEleader 

some Tigress fighters

Sea Tigresses –a formidable element in the LTTE armoury

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under atrocities, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, conspiracies, Eelam, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, insurrections, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, nationalism, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, Uncategorized, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes

Velupillai Pirapāharan’s Biography related by DBS Jeyaraj

DBS Jeyaraj, in Daily FT, 13 May 2020, where the title is “Tale of a Tiger: Facets of LTTE Chief Prabhakaran’s life” ++

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed 11 years ago in combat with the armed forces of Sri Lanka on 19 May 2009. The longest war in South Asia came to an end after the military debacle of the LTTE on the shores of Nandikadal Lagoon in the Mullaitivu District of northern Sri Lanka.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, chauvinism, communal relations, education, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, Hitler, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

Australian Nationalism and the Ideology of Sacrificial Devotion

Michael Roberts, being an abridged version of an old article presented in the Library of Social Science run by Richard Koenigsberg and others.

Addressing the practices of remembrance in Australia, Richard Koenigsberg has noted the irony that a battlefield defeat at Gallipoli in World War One, 1915, served a people as an emblem of nationhood: the “Australian nation, came into being on the foundations provided by the slaughter of its young men.”

There is more irony. The commemoration of Australian courage, sacrifice and manliness at Gallipoli (and subsequently on the Somme) was threaded by tropes of youthful innocence that drew on classical Hellenic motifs. While the monuments and epitaphs that were crafted in Australia to mark this event were manifestly Greek in form. The gendered masculine metaphor, in turn, was often embodied in the seminal image of a full-bodied blonde young man. “Archie Hamilton” in Peter Weir’s classic film Gallipoli was/is one such trope (and he died of course).

“Archie”

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, Australian culture, australian media, British colonialism, cultural transmission, education, ethnicity, European history, gender norms, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, martyrdom, mass conscription, military strategy, nationalism, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

Champion’s Photographic Lens on Sri Lanka’s Travails, 1988-2008

Saroj Pathirana, in bbc.com, where the title reads “History ‘repeats’ through lens” … an EVENT in July 2008 in London  = https://www.bbc.com/sinhala/highlights/story/2008/07/080716_champion_photos.shtml

While traveling around Sri Lanka for over 22 years I always expected someday the situation would change for the better”, says the veteran British photographer Stephen Champion. However, after nearly two decades since he first set his foot on the island the country is still battling, he says. “We are still looking at the very similar scenario. History seems to be repeating itself,” Mr. Champion told BBC Sandeshaya at the launch of his latest book on Sri Lanka.

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under accountability, Afghanistan, atrocities, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, devolution, discrimination, disparagement, ethnicity, historical interpretation, human rights, insurrections, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, nationalism, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes, zealotry

Virus Free? Playmates Horsing Around in Adelaide

FL …. 24 March

Hi Guys, This modelling by Unis Sydney shows why we need to exercise our social distancing now. This sort of modelling is a powerful tool in the fight against the virus and modelling becomes more powerful when supported by observation. Wuhan and China in general have provided that supporting observation.

And what does the orange fwit in America want to do....the exact bloody opposite.

If we’re to keep Saturday tennis, I’ll bring some hand sanitiser for use between sets.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-25/coronavirus-covid-19-modelling-stay-home-chart/12084144
Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, asylum-seekers, atrocities, Australian culture, coronavirus, cultural transmission, democratic measures, disaster relief team, education, landscape wondrous, life stories, martyrdom, medical marvels, performance, psychological urges, self-reflexivity, taking the piss, trauma, unusual people, wild life