Category Archives: nationalism

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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Tamil Tigers: Dead Body Politics and Sacrificial Devotion

Michael Roberts, reproducing here an article  entitled “Tamil Tigers:  Sacrificial symbolism and ‘dead body politics’,” that was first presented in  Anthropology Today, June 2008,  vol.  24/3: 22-23. The re-working of this article was seen to by Ms Nadeeka Paththuwaarachchi of Battaramulla.

Scholars and journalists often mistakenly treat the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, or Tamil Tigers) as a ‘secular organization’ at a time when stereotypes of the Islamic ‘terrorist’ or ‘Hindu fundamentalist’ dominate popular thinking about political extremism. Political scientists devote space to the Tamil Tigers in their global surveys of what they term ‘suicide terrorism’.[1] Recently, Roland Buerk of the BBC presented a similar view: ‘They are not religious and believe that there is nothing after death. Their fanaticism is born of indoctrination from childhood.[2]

Tiger fighters relax in camp but retain their kuppi with cyanide in chainsaround neck-Pic by Shyam Tekwani c.1989 whne embedded among the LTTE

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The Political Tussles behind the Cricketing Grounds in Colombo, 1945-2018

Nicholas Brookes and Benjamin Golby in The Cricket Monthly, 19 November 2018, where the title is “In Colombo, three is not a crowd” …..
courtesy of the two authors, my new pals…. with some liberty on my part with reference to the title, the pictorial illustrations and the deployment of highlighting to aid understanding … and a few additional pictorial touches.

Learn more about the SSC, P Sara and the Premadasa and you will understand Sri Lanka a bit better as a country.  Colombo has 3 active international cricket grounds. Indulgent? A triumvirate of venues when Kolkata, Karachi, Cape Town and Melbourne settle for a single ground; even London houses merely two.

AFESPN Ltd

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The Role of Religion in Tamil Militancy in Sri Lanka

Iselin Frydenlund, …..  which reached me via the University of Adelaide circuit and where the title is Tamil Militancy in Sri Lanka and the Role of Religion”. It is presented here against the wishes of the author, with a change of title, modifications in the hyphenation style, the addition of illustrative photographs from my own stock and the use of coloured  highlighting to mark significant passages….. The Editor, Thuppahi

From the late 1970s to its defeat by the Government of Sri Lanka in 2009, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fought for Tamil independence in Sri Lanka. The ultimate aim of what was often considered to be one of the world‘s most disciplined and efficient insurgency groups was to create an independent Tamil homeland (which they called Tamil Eelam) in the northern and eastern parts of the island. The LTTE based itself on a unique mix of Tamil nationalist, socialist, and feminist visions of a new future for the marginalized Tamil communities of Sri Lanka.

Tiger fighters

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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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Rivetting Data on the Jaffna Peninsula and Tamil Politics, 1929-1970s

Handy Perinbanayagam 

This is a reproduction of COMMENTS  in a previous Thuppahi Item from 2012 — which presented an article by Rajan Philips in the Sunday Island of 26 February 2012. This unusual step is taken because the information therein: (1) about caste oppression in the Jaffna Peninsula even in the 1970s; (2) data on the politics of the Jaffna Youth congress and its boycott campaign against the Donoughmore Reforms and the 1931 elections in  the north; (#) a reading of GG Ponnambalam (4) the contributions to the discussion from R, Sid Perinbanayagam and Nalliah Thayabharan — with Thayabharan’s slashing criticisms of the LTTE and Tamil diasporic supporters evincing a remarkable courage.  

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An Ode in the Face of The Terrorist Liberation-Fighter

  Jane Russell

“[This poem was presented] a small pamphlet called “Ganga” published in Colombo in 1978: it was aimed at the boasting men of violence everywhere – the Warriors of Terror whom in the guise of Freedom Fighters were inflicting further violence on already violated communities:

To Aloysius-Ludovico (The Terrorist)

I am tired of hearing you sing
the anthems of Freedom and War…
How joyously you crack the whip
and bellow out the tune above the drums!
But the faces of my friends haunt me
in the mornings when I see Death’s Armada
With its pirate’s flag of torture trailing….
what does it matter, your Freedom?
They are dying, my friends and their children…

Nalliah Thayabharan, thank you for reminding me of this poem written in despair in Colombo 30+ years ago. A whole generation has grown up since then but the same (better) poem is probably being written today in Syria by some unknown idealist…..as the song goes “When will we ever learn?”

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