Category Archives: military strategy

Dr Narendran Rajasingham: A Tamil Sri Lankan Indomitable and Sincere

 Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, 13  September 2019, where it has a different title

This NOTE is a felicitation of Dr Rajasingham Narendran – a presentation that is long overdue. Narendran was a graduate from Peradeniya University’s Agriculture Faculty, a food scientist with international expertise who was also a fearless advocate for the Sri Lankan Tamil peoples circumscribed within a firm Sri Lankan perspective. He stood for truth in reportage and brought a clinical mind to the appraisal of horrendous circumstances – among them the decomposition of dead bodies in war-torn locales. Continue reading

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Shavendra Silva Appointment in USA’s Gunsights

Rajeewa Jayaweera, in Island, 23 August 2019, with this title “Howls against Gen. Silva’s appointment”

The appointment of Lieutenant-General Shavendra Silva as the 23rd Commander of the Sri Lankan Army by President Sirisena has resulted in howls of protests from leading members of the so-called international community including the UNHRC Chief. In the home front, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has condemned war time Divisional Commander Gen. Silva’s appointment. Nevertheless, they wholeheartedly supported wartime army commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka’s bid for the Presidency in 2010. TNA spokesperson MA Sumanthiran MP tweeted, the appointment “was a serious affront to the Tamil people.” Sumanthiran forgets the election of his leader who recognized LTTE Supremo Prabhakaran as the sole representative of Tamil people, as Leader of Opposition in the Parliament. It was an equally serious affront to the Sinhalese people. People refrain from giving voice to their feelings on the subject due to the charade called reconciliation.

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A Populist Strongman in the Wings in Sri Lanka

M. R. Bhadrakumar in Indian Punchline, 12 August 2019, where the title runs “The return of the strongman in Sri Lanka”The announcement in Colombo on Sunday by former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa that his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be his party SLPP’s presidential candidate in the election due to be held before December 8 electrifies the politics in the island country. The announcement was expected, but there was an element of uncertainty lingering insofar as the incumbent president Maithripala Sirisena also harboured ambitions to seek a second term and Gotabaya himself was awaiting the approval of the US administration on his renunciation of American citizenship, which would qualify him to be a candidate under Sri Lanka’s electoral laws.
Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa (L) and SLPP Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa (R) wave at supporters during the party’s National Convention, Colombo, Aug 11, 2019

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American SOFA Proposals generates Sharp Debate

Marwaan Macan-Markar, Asia regional correspondent, Daily FT, 14 August 2019, with this title “US-Sri Lanka military negotiations hit a roadblock”

A Sri Lankan marine stands guard in front of Japanese helicopter carrier Kaga docked at Colombo port. Japan, along with India and China, have many ships going into the port – Reuters
The US government’s new military blueprint in the Indian Ocean is facing headwinds in Sri Lanka, a strategically located South Asian island also being courted by India, China and Japan in a scramble for geopolitical influence.  In the crosshairs is a Status of Forces Agreement initially signed by the countries in 1995, paving the way for the US military to access Sri Lanka for logistics.. But Washington’s push to negotiate a new military cooperation deal under the SOFA, which lays out a raft of protections and privileges for visiting US troops, has come under intense scrutiny.

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Clobbering Rajiv Gandhi as Chastisement in 1987: A Guti Dheema

Michael Roberts

When Vijithamuni Rohana de Silva upended military discipline and attempted to clobber the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on the head as the latter was inspecting a guard of honour on 30th July 1987, he was indulging in an act of chastisement – a guti dheema in Sinhala parlance. As such, in my tendentious elaboration, Rohana de Silva was administering a medicinal pill in the vocabulary of archaic Sinhala – a vocabulary that has resonances within the term beheth guliya. [1]

The emphasis on guti dheema was a conjecture I presented way back in 2002.[2] In my reading now, one that Retd Commodore Somasiri Devendra does not share, the intricate details provided recently by Retd Lt KH Perera confirm this set of musings.

 Indo-Lanka Accord about to be signed on 29th July 1987

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Ludicrous Science. Huge Error Margins in Death Toll Figures

Chandre Dharmagunawrdena, in Island, 26 July 2019, where the title isGenocide Claims, Number Games and their margins of error”

June 23, 1983  known as “Black July” was a day of shame for Sri Lanka where a government calling itself a “Dharmista Rajya” (a Righteous Regime)  permitted, aided and abetted armed mobs to attack a section of its defenseless citizens — civilian Tamils.  The fact that there were looters, or the possibility that other forces  fished in  troubled waters (http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=74181),  or that most DIG’s of the time were Tamils (http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=74047), etc.,  are irrelevant to the very clear-cut  main issue. That state-aided  terror  happened in the CAPITAL itself  is a FACT and not some allegation based on a numbers game of guessing how  many Tamils  lived in the Metropolis before and after the event.

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The De Lanerolles and Sri Lanka

Item in Sunday Times, 7 July 2019, with this title

“Tale of a French ambassador in the time of the Kandyan Kingdom

Author Yasmin Rajapakse

The story of the ambassador from the French imperial court who became a naturalized subject in Kandy, producing progeny who were to make their mark on the island’s history, is an adventure told against the backdrop of an Indian Ocean made dark and stormy with colonial battles and a mountain kingdom at its edge. “The Odyssey and Living Legacy of Monsieur de La Nérolle, The French Lieutenant of the Expedition Escadre de Perse to Ceylon in 1672” by Yasmin Rajapakse was launched last month in the presence of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Eric Levertu, Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka.

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