Category Archives: Rajiv Gandhi

Channa Wickremesekera’s Military History on Eelam War One

A Tough Apprentiecship: Sri Lanka’s Military against the Tamil Militants 1979 -1987… by Channa Wickremesekera


Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, doctoring evidence, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, modernity & modernization, nationalism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajiv Gandhi, riots and pogroms, security, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

“Sacrificial Devotion” — How I Entered This Terrain

Michael Roberts

With the benefit of a Teen Murti Fellowship I was collecting data on communal violence in India in 1995 when my readings of news archives indicated that the death of Mrs Indira Gandhi by assassination in Delhi induced a handful of individuals in southern India to commit sympathetic suicide. Since news reports did not indicate similar reactions in other parts of India, I began to reflect on the cultural foundations that promoted such expressions – acting, of course, in contexts that also could provide political and economic inspirations. This eventually led to my first essay on this topic:  “Filial Devotion and the Tiger Cult of Suicide,” Contributions to Indian Sociology, 1996, 30: 245-72.

Dhanu waits to kill Rajiv Gandhi in suicide attack

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under authoritarian regimes, cultural transmission, Eelam, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajiv Gandhi, religiosity, religious nationalism, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry

Fire-Storm Images, II: The Indian Intervention, 1987

Naval rating Wijemuni Rohana de Silva attempts to hammer — deliver guti, so to speak — Premier Rajiv Gandhi for the humiliation imposed on Sri Lanka Through the insertion of an Indian Peace Keeping Force  as the main pillar of the Indo-Lanka Accord.  This incident occurred during the guard of honour on his arrival  to finalize the Accord.  Note that after serving his period of imprisonment for this act WR de Silva contested parliamentary elections under the JVP banner in his home area down south. I have been reliably informed that The cameraman was Sena Vidanagamage — what a camera strike!

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under historical interpretation, indian armed forces, Indian Ocean politics, LTTE, military strategy, power politics, power sharing, prabhakaran, Rajiv Gandhi, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes

Introducing FIRE AND STORM by Michael Roberts

Anonymous Reviewer in Sunday Times, 21 July 2013,  where the title runs “Important contribution towards a dialogue on Lankan polity. Book facts”

When Michael Roberts left Peradeniya in the late seventies, he was part of an exodus of intellectuals from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, arguably one of the best universities at that time. The exodus of academics at that time was compelled by the economic difficulties faced by university dons. It was the second wave of such emigration that diminished the intellectual life of the university and country.

  Pirapāharan and leading Tiger Commanders at the Indian sponsored training camp at Sirimalai in 1984

The Arts Faculty of the University of Peradeniya never regained its prestigious academic status after that. Today the University of Peradeniya cannot take pride in intellectuals of the eminence of E. F. C. Ludowyck, E. R Sarachchandra, H. A. de S. Gunasekera, Fr. Ignatius Pinto, Ian Van den Driesen and many others. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, communal relations, devolution, discrimination, education policy, Eelam, electoral structures, female empowerment, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, IDP camps, indian armed forces, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, Rajiv Gandhi, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

Thomas Meaney, A Review Article, courtesy of the Author and the London Review of Books,… with emphasis by highlights added by The Editor, Thuppahi … SEE

prabha-with-pistol-2   prabha-tiger

Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World by Steven Kemper, Chicago, 480 pp, £31.50, January 2015, ISBN 978 0 226 19907

Tamil: A Biography by David Shulman, Harvard, 416 pp, £25.00, September 2016, ISBN 978 0 674 05992 4

The Seasons of Trouble: Life amid the Ruins of Sri Lanka’s Civil War by Rohini Mohan, Verso, 368 pp, £16.99, October 2015, ISBN 978 1 78168 883 0

Independence was handed to Ceylon’s elite on a platter. ‘Think of Ceylon as a little bit of England,’ Oliver Ernest Goonetilleke, the first native governor-general, said. This was a point of pride. Don Stephen Senanayake, the country’s first prime minister, remarked: ‘There has been no rebellion in Ceylon, no non-cooperation movement and no fifth column. We were among the peoples who gave full collaboration while Britain was hard-pressed.’ After independence in 1948, Ceylon alone among the former colonies not only retained but promoted the monarchy: the Union Jack flew alongside the Ceylon flag; a new constitution was drafted by a former LSE professor, Ivor Jennings; Colombo debutantes were presented at Buckingham Palace; and, thanks to some genealogical ingenuity, George VI was recognised as the latest monarch in the ancient line of Kandyan kings. While the rest of the empire in Asia smouldered – in India there was Partition, in Malaya the Emergency, in Burma the civil war – Ceylon became Whitehall’s model for the transfer of colonial power. ‘There was no fight for that freedom which involved a fight for principles, policies and programmes,’ Solomon Ridgeway Bandaranaike, the anti-colonial head of state who took power in 1956, said when he reviewed the transition a decade later. ‘It just came overnight. We just woke up one day and were told: “You are a dominion now.”[1] Continue reading

1 Comment

February 10, 2017 · 1:03 pm

Defeating the LTTE: Major-General Kamal Gunaratne in Riveting Q and A

Shanika Sriyananda, courtesy of DailyFT, 7 September 2016, which carries the title “The Road to Nandikadal”... and also in ..…Note that the highlighting is embellishment by The Editor, Thuppahi

Battle-hardened soldier Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne, who has shed his Army uniform which he wore for 35 years, yesterday urged political leaders of the country to maintain the hard-earned peace. Maj. Gen. Gunaratne, who is credited for commanding his troops of the 53 Division to fight the 45-minute final battle of the Eelam IV war, which killed LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and put the curtains down on the 30-year-long war against LTTE terrorism, will be launching his memoir ‘Road to Nandikadal’ today (6) at his alma mater, Ananda College. In an exclusive interview with the Daily FT, he explained the historical failures that led the LTTE to become a stronger fighting force, the motive of writing of his memoir, the downfall of the LTTE, transforming the SLA to a victorious Army, allegations on human rights abuses and the last days of the final battle.  “I wrote this book for the poor parents who sent their sons to fight with the ruthless LTTE, the elite people in Colombo and abroad and the human rights activists, who were misled by a wrong picture about the our soldiers and the war,” he said, adding that he doesn’t want his memories to be buried with him after his retirement.  Maj. Gen. Gunaratne said that for the LTTE to make a comeback with the same vigour it needed a leader like Prabhakaran, who was an equally committed, dedicated, disciplined and ruthless terrorist leader.

Continue reading


Filed under accountability, Eelam, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military expenditure, military strategy, performance, politIcal discourse, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, Rajiv Gandhi, reconciliation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes

Rajiv’s Killer Nalini Sriharan seeks Early Release

Courtesy of Daily News, 16 December 2015 , where the title reads “Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: Nalini Sriharan again moves Madras HC”

RAJJIV's KILLERS Nalini Sriharan, undergoing life imprisonment in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, on Monday again moved the Madras High Court seeking a direction to Tamil Nadu government to consider her representation for premature release. Nalini, now confined in the Special Prison for women in Vellore, submitted that she has undergone imprisonment for more than 24 years. She was first awarded death sentence, which was confirmed by the Supreme Court and subsequently Tamil Nadu government under Article 161 of the Constitution commuted her sentence to life on April 24 2000.

Stating that about 2,200 life convicts who had served 10 years of sentence had been released by Tamil Nadu, she said it had not considered her release on the ground that her case falls under a different section of Code of criminal procedure. She submitted Tamil Nadu government has framed a scheme of premature release of life convicts who had completed 20 years of actual imprisonment. A Government Order was also passed on Novedmber 10, 1994 even under which she was not considered for release, she said.

Claiming that she is eligible to be considered for premature release under this scheme, Nalini submitted that she had made a representation on October 22, 2014 to the state government to consider her premature release but government was yet to decide on the representation. She sought a direction from the court to decide on her representation within a reasonable time.Nalini was sentenced to death by the trial court in the case on January 28, 1998. Her sentence was commuted to life term by the Tamil Nadu Governor on April 24, 2000. (Pix:NDTV)3a-dhanu-and-co-waitDhanu (second from left and Sivarasan (the operational commander) wait for the Kill

AA-Waiting 1111 Scene of carnage at Rajiv’s assassination- Pic from

AA-Waiting 1 NALINI plusNalini & Murugan at trial


 * Michael Roberts (2009) Killing Rajiv Gandhi: Dhanu’s sacrificialmetamorphosis in death, South Asian History and Culture, 1:1, 25-41 … AND

 AND ABSORB the details in the book by DR Kaarthikeyan & R. Raju, The Rajiv Gandhi Assassination. The Investigation. Slough: New Dawn Press Inc., 1994…. documenting what was truly a remarkable work of detection and trial


Leave a comment

Filed under atrocities, Indian Ocean politics, life stories, LTTE, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajiv Gandhi, security, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, war crimes, world events & processes