Category Archives: mass conscription

The LLRC Sittings in Pictures

The recent presentation in Thuppahi of a specific proposal from the LLRC on national anthems as well as the issues raised by Thuppahi on the topic of DISAPPEARANCES prompt me to present a number of images from the sittings conducted by this peripatic body of personnel together with a brief officla report. the images have been helpfully provided by Kithsiri De Silva an old Aloysian class-mate who was an officer servicing the work of this august body.  I am also tacking on an official report on the LLRC plus one dissenting note about its lopsided composition from Harshadeva Amarathunga. Michael Roberts

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A Puzzle: When Weiss, Amnesty International and Aussie Greens LIE

Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, where the title is  “Moral Crusader Journeys into Duplicity”

Today’s world in the West is marked by currents of secular fundamentalism mounting campaigns against paedophiles, smoking, corruption and “crimes against humanity”.  The humanitarian campaign directed at war crimes has on occasions promoted a strange phenomenon: where people of ethical stance indulge in outright lies as well as the massaging of facts. When Amnesty International, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (Sydney) and such moral crusaders as Gordon Weiss descend to such duplicity, the world must surely take note.

MILNE on SL Christine Milne on Sri Lankawww.youtube.com = Pic 1

The Australian media-man Gordon Weiss is the epitome of a moral crusader. Of Polish Jewish ancestry, it is likely that his leanings are coloured by the horrors inflicted on the Jews in Europe during the first half of the 20th century. His presentation of self within his own web site, his intense demeanour when fronting the public on TV cameras or stage and his campaign against the government of Sri Lanka (GSL) stand as testimony to the stance “crusader for truth.” Continue reading

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A Pol Pot Hell-Hole: Thamilini’s Disenchantment with Prabhakaran and the Tigers in 2009

T. N. Gopalan, courtesy of newsminute … 17 March 2016, where the title is Woman LTTE leader’s memoir exposing their brutality has created a furor among Tamils” … with a few footnotes added by the Thuppahi editor nad highlights deployed to assist reading.

THAMILINI 22 “No question now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” Thamizhini, aka Sivakami Subramaniam,** in-charge of the political wing of the women’s section in the LTTE, might not have been familiar with the devastating close of the celebrated Animal Farm by George Orwell. But she perhaps felt as much when she learnt of the instructions to shoot at the legs of those innocent Tamils crossing over to government-controlled areas in the closing stages of the war in 2009. Continue reading

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The Dilemmas of Accountability in Eelam War IV when Exploring Reconciliation Today

Neville Ladduwahetty, courtesy of The Island, 8/9th March 2016, where the title is “Addressing Accountabilitywith the highlighting and illustrative images being my editorial impositions. Michael Roberts

The current debate in the country is whether there should or should not be any foreign “participation” in the accountability processes and if there is to be foreign “participation”, to what degree it should be. The uncertainty as to the final outcome of the debate has caused the Security Forces to be understandably apprehensive. However, what needs to be appreciated is that accountability is only one facet of the entire reconciliation process.

Issues such as the closure on missing persons, reparations, reconstruction and rehabilitation have a far greater impact on reconciliation than accountability. This is particularly so because the focus on accountability would primarily be on the period from January to May 2009, since the strategies adopted by the Security Forces in the conduct of the separatist Armed Conflict prior to this period were acknowledged by the US in a cable that stated: “The Government has gained considerable credit until this point for conducting a disciplined military campaign” (Cable to the US State Department by the US Embassy, WikiLeaks, 27 January, 2009).

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Encompassing Empowerment in Ritual, War and Assassination

Michael Roberts, courtesy of Berghahn Press and Social Analysis and Doug Farrer, the Editor of the Special Volume on “War Magic“, Social Analysis, 2014, vol 58/1…….. see http://berghahn.publisher.ingentaconnect.com/content/berghahn/socan/2014/00000058/00000001;jsessionid=brf7pbpqi52o9.Victoria….. Note that the article has a sub-title: Tantric Principles in Tamil Tiger Instrumentalities.

Abstract: This study highlights the Tantric threads within the transcendental religions of Asia that reveal the commanding role of encirclement as a mystical force. The cyanide capsule (kuppi) around the neck of every Tamil Tiger fighter was not only a tool of instrumental rational-ity as a binding force, but also a modality similar to a thāli (marriage bond necklace) and to participation in a velvi (religious animal sacrifice). It was thus embedded within Tamil cultural practice. Alongside the LTTE’s politics of homage to its māvīrar (dead heroes), the kuppi sits beside numerous incidents in LTTE acts of mobilization or military actions where key functionaries approached deities in thanks or in preparation for the kill. These practices highlight the inventive potential of liminal moments/spaces. We see this as modernized ‘war magic’—a hybrid re-enchantment energizing a specific religious worldview.

Keywords: cosmic encirclement, enchanted practices, liminality, LTTE, regeneration, sacrifice, suicide attacks, Tantrism

28c-vipoothi lad Figure 1 Young Tiger Fighter with Holy Ash on His Forehead Heads for the Battlefield in the Late 1980s —Photograph © Shyam Tekwani

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Farrer and Roberts discuss War Magic and the Sacrificial Devotion of Tamil Tigers

Q and A reprinted courtesy of Berghahn Press … at … http://ht.ly/VIYQMThis post is the transcript of an electronic interview between D. S. Farrer and Michael Roberts. Farrer is the special issue editor for Social Analysis Volume 58, Issue 1, and Roberts is the author of the article Encompassing Empowerment in Ritual, War, and Assassination: Tantric Principles in Tamil Tiger Instrumentalities” appearing in that issue. Below, Roberts answers a series of questions related to her article in Social Analysis.

This is the seventh in a series of interviews with contributors to this volume. Find the previous contributions on our blog. 

WAR MAGIC doug in fight Doug Farrer in action Continue reading

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The Realities of Eelam War IV

Michael Roberts, courtesy of the essay in Colombo Telegraph  entitled “Down–to-Earth: The Hard Truths of Eelam War IV, ” which , alas, does not contain the vital hyperlinks. Nor does it contain the illustrative maps and images that are a vital component of any survey … and which therefore adorn this article. A fuller pictorial history can be seen in Roberts, Tamil Person and State. Pictorial, Colombo, Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2014, ISBN 978-955-665-231-4     

AA=pulidevanJust 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). Frances H--plus HarrisonPic from www.tamilnet.com

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

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