The factors promoting political agitation among the Sri Lankan Tamils since the 1920s, particularly the developments after Sri Lanka secured independence in 1948, have inspired a large literature. Three turning points in the temporal progression of this agitation have often been marked: one in 1956 when an electoral transformation helped enshrine Sinhala as the language of administration and placed the majority Sinhalese peoples in a dominant position in the political dispensation; secondly, in the early 1970s when militant Tamils placed secession at the forefront of their demands; and, thirdly, in July 1983 when an anti-Tamil pogrom in the Sinhalese-majority regions that involved state functionaries as well as people from many walks of life alienated the mass of Tamils and sparked an expansion in the militant separatist struggle.
Bandaranaiake in rhetorical mode
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Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, 12 November 2017 ... where the title is different and where verbal disparagement of the author and lively comments are likely to eventuate
Michael the Lord Naseby has set a cat among the British and international pigeons by extricating the reports of Lt. Col. Anton Gash (Defence Attache at the UK High Commission in Colombo in 2009) and presenting a summary review to the House of Lords. By immediately deploying Mandy Clark to interview Lord Naseby, Padma Rao Sundarji, the Foreign Editor of India’s first global channel, WION, drew upon his views and findings for the benefit of the world. This is something of a media coup.
Padma Rao Sundarji
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In addressing the serious issues raised by some of the Western media reportage of the events unfolding during the last phase of Eelam War IV and several seemingly deliberate obfuscations, I recently sent a short set of questions to some Indian journalists who were in Sri Lanka then and also to a few Sri Lankan reporters/cameramen who had been taken to the war front – guided here by an official list available. I have only received responses from a few, but it is enough to set the reflections rolling.
Journalists in plane en route to war front, circa 27 January —Pic by Kanchan Prasad
These responses throw light on the difficulties faced by journalists in reporting the war and I see them as important appendages to an analytical review that I have already penned in draft form (in progress). Those studying Eelam War IV should pay heed to these recollections, while also visiting the Al Jazeera You-Tube presentations provided by Tony Birtley & David Chater and marveling at the capacities revealed by Sergei de Silva Ranasinghe in deciphering the ups-and-downs of the SL Army progress from distant shores far better than Birtley or those in Colombo who visited the front on conducted tours on some occasions. Continue reading
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