Category Archives: nationalism

Naren Rajasingham’s Reading of Pirapāharan’s Thamilīlam in 2004/05

Michael Roberts

In working up perceptive readings of the Sri Lankan scenarios presented by the Tamil activist Narendran Rajasingham in Colombo Telegraph and other outlets I will proceed chronologically. This collection includes (B) his engagements with the Tamil peoples who survived the last stages of the war and ended up as internal refugees in IDP camps or elsewhere in 2009/10; (C) his discerning evaluations of the Tamil death toll; and (D) his forthright and critical reading of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Victory Day Speech of 13th May 2013 in no less an outlet than Colombo Telegraph; and (E) some biting exchanges within Colombo Telegraph when he countered Tamil protagonists via ethnographic data and incisive contentions in clarification of the war and its aftermath.

One finding is a Word File which he sent me on 23 August 2010 with assessments of the political scenario within the state of Thamilīlam in late 2004/05 – an assessment gathered in the course of his short sojourn there with his brother Jayadevan Rajasingham.[1]

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Narendran’s Evaluation of Pirapāharan and the LTTE on the Cusp of Their Demise in February 2009

Dr. Rajasingham Narendran, in Sri Lanka Guardian, 7 February 2009, where the title is “Rise and Fall of the LTTE – An Overview” …. with highlighting emphasis being impositions by The Editor, Thuppahi

Sri Lankan armed forces have almost ended the capacity of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) to engage in conventional war in the near future. They may also succeed in severely curtailing attempts by the LTTE to resort to sabotage, terrorism and socio-economic disruptions, subsequently. They have also recovered almost the entirety of the territory once held by the LTTE. These achievements, contrary to the expectations of many, have not only attracted the attention of the world, but also its implicit support. However, the plight of the 250,000 Tamil civilians, believed held by the LTTE in the jungles of Mullaitivu is weighing heavy on the world’s conscience. How the Sri Lankan government and armed forces will deal with the issue of these civilians, is being scrutinized closely by a concerned world and the Tamil-speaking people at large.

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Evaluating Jehan Perera’s Assessments of the Presidential Candidates

Edward Upali in Canada, via Email Memo to Thuppahi, September 2019**

In his opinion piece on the Presidential Stakes Jehan Perera (JP) evaluates three of the more likely candidates at the next Presidential Election in Sri Lanka (SL).  However, I have some concerns relative to the criteria he uses to evaluate the prospective candidates.  It is a common practice in Problem Solving, to use the same criteria to all alternatives and score them to choose the best solution.  However, JP who claims to be a lawyer by training, appears to use several sets of criteria /attributes to evaluate three prospective Presidential Candidates

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Sri Lanka’s Prejudiced and Petty Rulers

Rifat Halim in LankaWeb, 22 August 2019, in http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2019/08/22/three-idiots-and-a-blind-woman/

Three Idiots is a classic Hindi movie that features a group of morons. Sri Lanka has gone one step further by producing three modayas and a blind woman in real life. Future historians would be hard-pressed to explain Sri Lanka’s civil conflict (1983–2009). How could a small section of a microscopic minority terrorise the country for so long? In 1983, Sri Lankan Tamils were barely 10% of the populations and the LTTE (also known as the Tamil Tigers) was a minuscule group

The answer lies in the stupid rivalry of the politicians. Every time the Tigers committed an atrocity, the politicians blamed someone else. They were so transfixed by their petty quarrels that they were blind to the big beast.

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India’s Kashmir Action: Severe Implications for Sri Lankan Tamils

 PK Balachandran, of BD News, in Island, 13 August 2019, “Kashmir episode further dims chances of devolution of power to Sri Lankan Tamils

What is happening in India now in regard to federalism and devolution of power to Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir (J and K) region could further dim prospects of Sri Lankan Tamils’ getting power devolution beyond what they have been given de facto under the 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution.

Through a Presidential Order on August 5, the Indian central government headed by strongman Narendra Modi, nullified Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution which had given J and K State a large degree of autonomy. The Presidential Order also divided the State of J and K into two Union territories with very much less autonomy.

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Lakshman Kadirgamar’s Legacy

H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, in Sunday Times, 11 August 2019, where the title is “Lakshman Kadirgamar: The Legacy of an Icon”

Fourteen years ago this month, a suspected LTTE assassin snuffed out the life of Sri Lanka’s best known and widely admired Foreign Minister — Lakshman Kadirgamar. The media reported recently that authorities in Germany had arrested a suspect connected to this crime. This news brings into sharp relief the sorry state of accountability in our country. Even after fourteen long years, we have not yet been able to conclusively investigate and prosecute a single offender involved in this ghastly act of terror. Much else has happened though.

Mr. Kadirgamar’s diplomacy, while advocating human rights, prevented human rights issues from becoming foreign policy problems

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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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