Category Archives: military strategy

Hatreds. Chasms. Bill Deutrom’s Insights on the Political Impasse in Sri Lanka

Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, 15 December 2018, where the title is different

    pro-UNP rally

Email Note from Bill Deutrom in Lanka to Michael Roberts, 8 Dec 2018

Thank you, Michael for your amazing collection of articles on the Eelam War and its aftermath as well as the present political impasse. Alas, they will not convince people who have already made up their mind based on emotion, ethnicity or with a hatred for Rajapaksa. Continue reading

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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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Lessons for Joe Root, Dauris and the British: Minefields, Terrorist Hits and the Miliband Intervention in 2009

Shamindra Ferdinando, Island, 27 November 2018:

Having visited one-time LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) dominated Periyamadu on Nov 19, morning, Englishman Olly Stone tweeted: “GREAT DAY UP IN NORTH SRI LANKA VISITING THE MINEFIELDS WITH MAG (Mine Advisory Group), AN AMAZING JOB THEY ARE DOING WITH THE LOCAL PEOPLE TO HELP MAKE THE PLACE SAFE AGAIN AND GROW THE COMMUNITY!”

Periyamadu, Nov 19, 2018: Some members of the England cricket team accompany Mine Advisory Group (MAG) personnel to an area cleared of explosive devices. From Left : Joe Root, Keaton Jennings, Jonny Bairstow, Olly Stone and British High Commissioner Dauris (partly covered) at the back (pic courtesy BHC, Colombo)

 

Twenty five-year-old Stone is a right-arm fast bowler and right-handed batsman of the visiting English team. Stone was one of the four members of the English team to experience the life in former battlefield east of the Kandy-Jaffna A9 road. Captain of the team Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Keaton Jennings, too, visited an area declared cleared of mines.

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Lessons from Lord Naseby and Sangakkara on the Tales of War highlighted by Ferdinando

Shamindra Ferdinando Island, 20 November 2018, commenting on the  BRISLA AWARDS

Lord Naseby (Michael Wolfgang Laurence Morris) on Oct 13, 2018, received the BRISLA (British Sri Lanka Association) award for being an Outstanding Friend to the British-Sri Lankan community from British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Ambassador to Maldives, James Dauris. Non-profit organization BRISLA recognizes achievements and contributions made in the spheres of Healthcare, Literary Arts, Performing Arts and Entrepreneurship.

The Grow Traffic Limited sponsored the award at the fourth edition of the BRISLA awards, at the Long Room, Lord’s Cricket Ground. The inaugural BRISLA awards ceremony was held on Nov 15, 2015 at Grange St Paul’s Hotel in London. Sri Lanka cricket great Kumar Sangakkara was also among those honoured at the inaugural event. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government was represented at the recently concluded event by Sugeeshwara Gunaratna, the Acting Sri Lankan High Commissioner in the UK.

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Gridlock and Hocus-Pocus in Sri Lanka underwritten by Prejudice, Exclusion plus False News

Michael Roberts

This is an expanded version of anarticle sent earlier toColombo Telegraph and this expanded version will be sent to the print media in Sri Lanka as well as Col/Tel. It is test case: are the political lines associated with the present crissi so sharp that Editors shut out perspectives that question their political leanings?

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Suri  Amarakeerthi  

It is the fashion for Editors of prestigious newspapers and for authors themselves to impress their credentials when presenting articles in newspapers. When Amarakeerthi Liyanage wrote a Letter to the Ambassador for China and presented this text in The Island, he was “Professor Amarakeerthi Liyanage.” When a friend recommended Suri Ratnapala’s readings of the present constitutional conundrums in Sri Lanka to me, he stressed that Suri was “a much-respected Professor of Law.”

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In Praise of Traitors: Intimacy, Betrayal, and the Sri Lankan Tamil Community

Sharika Thiranagama, Chapter in Suspicion, Intimacyy and The Ethics of State-building, ed. by S. Thirangama and Tobias Kelly, , University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.

 

ABSTRACT: In a 2006 Canadian Sri Lankan Tamil pamphlet called Thurohi (Traitor), the author tells his diasporic audience, “many of us fled and came to this country. Why? Our life’s duty is to survive. But what is our historical duty? To be traitors” (Jeeva 2006, 3; emphasis added).1 The war between the Sri Lankan state and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) drew in Sri Lanka’s three largest ethnic groups: The majority Sinhalese, the minority Sri Lankan Tamils, and Sri Lankan Muslims; the latter, while war-affected, were not active in the conflict. The primary battlefields and areas of LTTE control were northern and eastern Sri Lanka. In May 2009 the war came to a bloody close in a stand-off with the Sri Lankan Army and the death of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and most senior leadership. This end came long after the writing of this chapter and is not its subject……. Continue reading

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Sri Lanka’s Political Story from 1948-2018 in a Slash-and-Burn Nutshell

Qadri Ismail, in Groundviews, 3 November 2018, where the title is “WHAT, to the minority, is democracy?” ….with emphasis insertedby the Editor, Thuppahi

Maithripala Sirisena violates the constitution, stands to destroy democracy itself. Liberals, overwhelmingly Sinhalese, are aggrieved, appalled, aghast.

As a minority, I laugh. Not the happy laughter of someone enjoying a good joke. But the bitter, mirthless cackle of someone forced to read this script many times before – like every full moon, when the temple speakers blare its bana and you can’t blot out the noise with sleep because the liquor stores are closed.

All postcolonial Sri Lankan heads of government, all of them Sinhalese, have consistently violated the constitution and/or “threatened” democracy – usually by practicing it – and/or oppressed minorities. One could deem it a job requirement.

Just a few months after independence, Don Stephen Senanayake denaturalized, then disenfranchised ‘Indian’ Tamil citizens, already alienated from this country by their naming. Constitutional? Probably not. Democratic? Absolutely – passed by a majority of Parliament. Continue reading

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