Category Archives: martyrdom

Eelam War IV Images: Kanchan Prasad, A Times Stringer and Makkaal Padai

In my Flickr Web sites … Michael Roberts

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Filed under accountability, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, mass conscription, military strategy, modernity & modernization, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes, zealotry

Revisiting Jaffna and the LTTE in mid-1999 guided by Mark Corcoran and the ABC

Michael Roberts

 

In mid-year 1999 during the ongoing Eelam War III, Mark Corcoran of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) visited Sri Lanka and composed three film documentaries of fascinating breadth. They were

Sri Lanka. A Close Encounter with Arthur C. Clarke …. 6 June 1999
Sri Lanka Tigers at the Gate …… 29 June 1999

Sri Lanka. Extreme Surfing ……… 13 July 1999

I have yet to see the first and third of these film documentaries, but find the topics chosen very much in my line of interest. It so happened that I watched TIGERS AT THE GATE in Adelaide then.[1]  I then had the temerity to send a Letter to the ABC and Corcoran with some criticisms of the coveragedeploying an University of Adelaide letterhead so as to secure attention. This exercise had completely slipped my mind till I came across my typescript and Mark Corcoran’s reply (dated 5th July) among my manuscripts when indulging in some archival sorting. In reproducing my Memo and placing this exchange within the inter-net ‘bar,’ I stress that my memories of the documentary NOW are zilch and that i have not been able to study it again. However, I suspect that it would be very useful for analysts to revisit this documentary. Continue reading

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Dangerous Signs and Disturbing Precedents

Island Editorial,where the title is “Nightmares and flashbacks

What is unfolding on the political front reminds us of the J. R. Jayewardene era when trade union struggles, including the 1980 general strike, were brutally crushed and the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord and draconian laws foisted on the public while national assets were sold for a song. However, the present-day rulers have gone a step further; they have surpassed JRJ who could only toy with the idea of rolling back the electoral map. He held a referendum in lieu of a general election in 1982 however rigged it may have been. But, today, elections have been put off indefinitely on some flimsy pretext in blatant violation of people’s franchise. The Old Fox promised us a righteous society, of all things, and his followers in the present dispensation have pledged to usher in good governance (yahapalanaya).

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Filed under accountability, historical interpretation, life stories, martyrdom, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, terrorism, world events & processes

Fire-Storm Images, IV: Tamil Commitment to Their Cause

A road junction memorial for Annai Poopathi in Batticaloa District, Annai Poopathi, a mother of ten  children and aged 55, fasted unto death in protest against the IPKF presence in Sri Lanka, breathing her last on 19th April 1988.  –thereby backing Thileepan’s fast-unto-death earlier in Jaffna in 1987. A permanent memorial in her homage was also constructed at Kiran … but the tsunami  destroyed it. Her memory is evoked to this day.  Her sacrifice is remembered and hallowed today among Tamils in many lands –Germany, Netherlands, UK et  cetera –see http://www.tamilguardian.com/content/annai-poopathy-remembered?articleid=4700.

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“Sacrificial Devotion” — How I Entered This Terrain

Michael Roberts

With the benefit of a Teen Murti Fellowship I was collecting data on communal violence in India in 1995 when my readings of news archives indicated that the death of Mrs Indira Gandhi by assassination in Delhi induced a handful of individuals in southern India to commit sympathetic suicide. Since news reports did not indicate similar reactions in other parts of India, I began to reflect on the cultural foundations that promoted such expressions – acting, of course, in contexts that also could provide political and economic inspirations. This eventually led to my first essay on this topic:  “Filial Devotion and the Tiger Cult of Suicide,” Contributions to Indian Sociology, 1996, 30: 245-72.

Dhanu waits to kill Rajiv Gandhi in suicide attack

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Hanging on to THAT which one values

Elderly woman on a cruise…………….. Amazing how your values change as you age

! I LOVE THIS WOMAN

An elderly lady was standing at the railing of the cruise ship
holding her hat tight so that it would not blow away in the wind.

A gentleman approached her and said, “Pardon me, madam..

I do not intend to be forward but did you know that your dress
is blowing up in this high wind?”

“Yes, I know,” said the lady.

“I need both my hands to hold onto this hat.”

“But madam, you must know that you are not wearing any panties and your privates are exposed!” said the gentleman in earnest.

The woman looked down, then back up at the man and replied, “Sir, anything you see down there is 75 years old.  

I bought this hat yesterday!”

 

 

 

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Stunning One-Day Chase gives Sri Lanka Victory: A Minority outpaces A Majority

Sri Lanka upset the odds to defeat India in one of the finest one-day chases The Oval has seen”

To give you an idea of the magnitude of Sri Lanka’s achievement here, at the halfway stage, you could have got longer odds on them winning than on Jeremy Corbyn becoming the next prime minister. Yet on an overcast election day in south London, it was Sri Lanka who carved out the narrowest of majorities, even if in a packed crowd of over 22,000, their fans were very much the minority.It was one of the finest one-day chases The Oval has seen, and given this ground’s rich history of limited-overs batsmanship, that is not a statement you make lightly. Against one of the shrewdest attacks in the world game, Sri Lanka hunted down India’s total of 321 with guts and precision. Afterwards captain Angelo Mathews, who helmed the chase with a fine 52 not out, dedicated the win to a country ravaged by floods that have killed more than 200 people and left more than 600,000 homeless.

In less pressing matters, a damp fuse of a tournament has quite startlingly caught light. And after Pakistan’s surprise win against Sri Lanka on Wednesday, here was another reminder that at the game’s sharp end, the margins are deceptively narrow.

 

Sri Lanka fans
Sri Lanka fans celebrate their team’s victory Credit: AFP

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