Category Archives: power politics

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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Narendran’s Evaluation of the IDP Camps in August 2009

Narendran Rajasingham, in TamilWeek, 30 August 2009** … where the title is “Internally displaced persons: The new front of an old war in Sri Lanka”

Since the defeat of the LTTE on 18th May’ 2009 at Nandikadal, the issue of the 300,000 ‘Internally Displaced persons (IDPs)’ has become the new front to fight an old war.  People who have not been to the IDP camps in Chettikulam have been very vociferous in condemning the conditions and the very existence of these camps.  Objective reports based on contextual realities by those who have visited these camps and talked to a cross section of the IDPs are dismissed as propaganda on behalf of the government. Other reports of those who visited these camps, but have highlighted problems that fit in with the agenda of those fighting in the new front, are gobbled up with glee. The reports of those who have not visited these camps and are relying on second hand information and photographs, are accepted as the gospel truth. The desire to condemn and use the situation as an opportunity to continue the old Eelam agenda under a new guise is overwhelmingly obvious.

Rajasingham et al with General Gunaratne  young IDPs at school –Pic deployed in TamilWeek

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A Tamil Diaspora Delegation Evaluates the Situation faced by the Northern Tamils in early April 2009

This tiny cluster of Tamil personnel came from Australia, Germany, UK and Dubai and were clearly not enmeshed in the tales predominant in the LTTE networks abroad.  Though Dr Narendran Rajasingham was working in Saudi Arabia at this point of time, note that he had a house in Colombo and stronger roots in the island than the others (as far as I can work out). This report, it seems, appeared first in German in ”LTTE watch” (see the Google reference —  https://lttewatch.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/ltte-ist-immun-gegen-internationalen-druck/). To stress this flavour’, the last section is also repeated in Deutsch.

Internally displaced people reach the camps in the hope of returning to their villages and homes soon. Photos from Rukmal Gamage

Manjula Fernando in April 13, 2009• lttewatch

Most issues that have plagued Tamils ​​thirty years ago have become irrelevant. Security, law and justice are the most important issues now. The people of the north are ready for political change. If you talk to people in Jaffna, they will tell you that they no longer want the LTTE in their vicinity.

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Gotabaya read as An Autocrat in the Wings

Sarath De Alwis, in Sunday Observer, 14 September 2019, where the title runs Death of Truth at Shangri-La”

Actioning the Blueprint’ was the title of the presentation. The venue was the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo. The packed audience included everybody who was somebody in industry, commerce, and other professional disciplines.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is a determined contender. He is well on his way to the presidency; a hazardous prospect that should send chills down the spines of those who cherish essential human freedoms, specifically the freedom from fear that interferes with the citizen’s right of democratic dissent. This essay is intended for my fellow citizens who are not morons to be mesmerized by the magic of a monster.Gotabaya Rajapaksa is a determined contender. He is well on his way to the presidency; a hazardous prospect that should send chills down the spines of those who cherish essential human freedoms, specifically the freedom from fear that interferes with the citizen’s right of democratic dissent.

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Brits who bat for Sri Lanka on the Political Front: FOSLA

Rajeewa Jayaweera, in Sunday Island, 14 September 2019, where the title is FOSLA batting for Sri Lanka”

Friends of Sri Lanka Association (FOSLA) is a non-political association comprising of a diverse group of British nationals. They all are drawn together by a shared common interest in Sri Lanka. In 1987, several leading Englishmen including Sir John Nicholas, a former British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka (1979-1984) and a Sri Lanka-born lawyer had been invited to the High Commission by the then High Commissioner Chandra Monerawela. Former Foreign Minister ACS Hameed had met them and urged this group of Sri Lanka enthusiasts to form an association. FOSLA was the outcome of this meeting (http:/HYPERLINK “https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fosla.org.uk%2F&data=02%7C01%7 %7Cbe1c60dbcb2e4ec2a3e008d730ce3620%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637031534534473663&sdata=RK%2BwgG%2BswgbtzHwoZn0JowKSMsy6L1FQSDsriV%2FwFjA%3D&reserved=0″/www.fosla.org.uk/).

L to R: John Field (BHC 1991-6), HE Manisha Gunasekera (Sri Lankan HC to the UK), Sir Peter Heap (FOSLA Chairman), Linda Duffield (BHC 1999-2002) and Jame Dauris (BHC 2015-19) at the recent luncheon.

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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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