Category Archives: prabhakaran

Riddled with Deceit and Fallacy: The Western World’s Appraisal of Eelam War IV

“Deceit Magnified: The Western World’s Appraisal of Eelam War IV” by Michael Roberts in FAULTLINES The K.P.S. Gill Journal of Conflict & Resolution Volume 24 September 2019 ……………… https://www.satp.org/Docs/Faultline/24.pdf– with some minor tweaking and the use of highlights to emphasize points of particular value

The last stage of Eelam War IV in Sri Lanka in 2008/09 has generated a large volume of literature. In addressing the issues arising from this work, it is possible to proceed by assertions founded upon previous articles with their supporting evidence.[1] The focus here is on the pursuits of the US State Department through its point man in Colombo, US Ambassador Blake, as well as its ‘auxiliaries’ in the UN and European Union.[2] The arguments here are deliberately provocative. They commence with eleven  assertions that highlight a worldwide ignorance of alarming proportions in 2009, a shortcoming that persists today.

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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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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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IPKF and Sri Lankan Military at Ease, 1987-90

Retd Brig. Sri Mudannayake … responding to the Items describing the Assault on Rajiv Gandhi by a SLN rating after the signing of the Indo-Lanka Pact

You might want to add that, once the IPKF arrived, Sri Lanka Army and the Indian Army troops acted in perfect harmony upholding best of military traditions. There were misunderstandings at times at mess, but they were addressed and resolved amicably.

One notable incident happened in Trincomalee at a check point where our Army and Indian troops briefly exchanged fire. No one was killed.  The SLA’s ‘ hot headed’ Brigadier in charge of the area was transferred out by Gen Ranatunga. The Indian Army Chief Gen Krishnaswamy Sunderji came to Sri Lanka and addressed SLA officers at Army Hq Colombo after the incident. Gen Ranatunga in his book referred to him as ” An Officer & Gentleman.”

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Studies of the LTTE Defeat and the Significance of the Rajapaksa Regime’s Measures

Daniel Alphonsus** ….. A review of Peter Stafford Roberts’ “The Sri Lankan Insurgency: Rebalancing the Orthodox Position” and Stephen Battle’s “Lessons In Legitimacy: The LTTE End-Game Of 2007–2009… with highlights being the impositions of The Editor, Thuppahi

It is a truth universally acknowledged that in May 2009 the Government of Sri Lanka won the war. This extraordinary turn of events, we are told, resulted from the political carte blanche granted to the Gotabaya, Fonseka and Karanagoda troika. License from on high, the story goes, unshackled their hitherto caged military nous and single-minded, perhaps even bloody-minded, focus on military victory.

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Causes for the Failure of the LTTE Insurgency: A Capsule Statement

Peter S. Roberts: Abstract of Dissertation “The Sri Lankan Insurgency: A Rebalancing of the Orthodox Position” … being a D. Phil Thesis Brunel University April 2016 …. https://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/13366

The insurgency in Sri Lanka between the early 1980s and 2009 is the topic of this study, one that is of great interest to scholars studying war in the modern era. It is an example of a revolutionary war in which the total defeat of the insurgents was a decisive conclusion, achieved without allowing them any form of political access to governance over the disputed territory after the conflict. Current literature on the conflict examines it from a single (government) viewpoint – deriving false conclusions as a result. This research integrates exciting new evidence from the Tamil (insurgent) side and as such is the first balanced, comprehensive account of the conflict. The resultant history allows readers to reframe the key variables that determined the outcome, concluding that the leadership and decision-making dynamic within the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had far greater impact than has previously been allowed for. The new evidence takes the form of interviews with participants from both sides of the conflict, Sri Lankan military documentation, foreign intelligence assessments and diplomatic communiqués between governments, referencing these against the current literature on counter-insurgency, notably the social-institutional study of insurgencies by Paul Staniland. It concludes that orthodox views of the conflict need to be reshaped into a new methodology that focuses on leadership performance and away from a timeline based on periods of major combat.

SOME PERTINENT STUDIES

Ask these questions: have Peter Roberts, Stephen Battle and Daniel Alphonsus  taken in most of these studies? Allowing for the difficulty of covering every essay, what are the implications arising from the lot missed?

IDAG [i.e. Citizen Silva] 2013 “The Numbers Game: Politics of Retributive Justice,” http://www.scribd.com/doc/132499266/The-Numbers-Game-Politics-of-Retributive-Justice OR http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/shrilanka/document/TheNG.pdf.

De Silva-Ranasinghe, Sergei 2009b “The Battle for the Vanni Pocket,” Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter, March 2009, Vol. 35/2, pp. 17-19.http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/aulimp/citations/gsa/ 2009157395/156554.html

De Silva-Ranasinghe, Sergei 2010b “Downfall of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,” South Asia Defence and Strategic Review, May-June 2010, pp. 10-15.

Roberts, Michael 2013 “BBC-Blind: Misreading the Tamil Tiger Strategy of International Blackmail, 2008-13,” 8 December 2013, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/bbc-blind-misreading-the-tamil-tiger-strategy-of-international-blackmail-2008-13/#more-1122

Jeyaraj, DBS 2011 “KP” speaks out. An Interview with Former Tiger Chief, Vavuniya: NERDO.

Roberts, Michael 2013 “Introducing “Numbers Game” – A Detailed Study of the Last Stages of Eelam War IV,” 30 April 2013, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/introducing-numbers-game-a-detailed-study-of-the-last-stages-of-eelam-war-iv/

Roberts, Michael 2013 “Towards Citizenship in Thamiilam: The Tamil People of the North, 1983-2010,” South Asia Research vol. 33: 57-75.

Roberts, Michael 2014 Tamil Person and State. Essays, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications.

Roberts, Michael 2014 Tamil Person and State. Pictorial, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications.

Roberts, Michael 2014 “Generating Calamity, 2008-2014: An Overview of Tamil Nationalist Operations and Their Marvels,” 10 April 2014, http://groundviews.org/2014/04/10/generating-calamity-2008-2014-an-overview-of-tamil-nationalist-operations-and-their-marvels/

Roberts, Michael 2010d “Self-Annihilation for Political Cause: Cultural Premises in Tamil Tiger Selflessness,” in Roberts, Fire and Storm. Essays in Sri Lankan Politics, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, pp. 161-201.

Roberts, Michael 2012a “Inspirations: Hero Figures and Hitler in Young Pirapāharan’s Thinking,” Colombo Telegraph, 12 February 2012, http://thuppahi. wordpress.com/2012/11/26/velupillai-pirapaharan-veera-maranam/… rep. in TPS: Essays, 2014: 69-89.

 

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Gota’s Role in Eelam War Victory: Peiris challenges Roberts

Gerald Peiris in Kandy to Michael Roberts in Adelaide, 20/21 May 2019

Here are my observations on two of your comments (reproduced below in brown) on Long’s article**

  1. So, Gotabaya was not the single decisive hand in shaping the outcome of Eelam War IV. But in support of some lines in the Stephen Long essay, I shall dwell on several of his special contributions within a separate essay. Moreover, the recent Easter Sunday attacks and subsequent tensions in Sri Lanka encourage me to endorse Stephen Long’s caustic account of the glaring shortcomings in the intelligence operations of the Yahapaalana government. That, ofcourse, is a conclusion that is widely shared.
  2. However, the Sri Lanka Army began to transform its infantry divisions from around 2001 with the development of the SIOT concept which encouraged operational planning from the frontline-upwards and sharpened soldier skills.[2] General Sarath Fonseka is one to whom this course of development can be attributed, but I speculate that there were others involved.

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