Category Archives: Rajiv Gandhi

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

LTTE still active, warns USA

Robert Blake of the US Dept of N. Sathiyamoorthy *courtesy of Eurasia Review and South Asia Monitor where the title is “US Report On LTTE A Caution For India, Too” 

The American acknowledgement and confirmation of the continued existence of LTTE’s global network of sympathisers and finances should be a cause for concern as much for neighbouring India as much for Sri Lanka. In ways, it should also be a source of concern and embarrassment for Western nations, including the US. “The LTTE used its international contacts and the large Tamil diaspora in North America, Europe, and Asia to procure weapons, communications, funding, and other needed supplies,” the 2014 annual report of the US State Department’s Counter-terrorism Bureau said. Whoever rules from Colombo – and administers Jaffna – and whatever the domestic political conditions and electoral compulsions, Sri Lanka cannot be silent after the US has referred to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) procuring weapons.


Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, LTTE, nationalism, politIcal discourse, Rajiv Gandhi, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, world events & processes

Tamil Person and State: Pictorial … Images Listed

Michael Roberts


Acknowledgements v

Preface vii

List of Pictorial Items xvii

Abbreviations xxxiii

Prologue xxxv

Visual Imagery within Political Struggles and Manoeuvres …. pp. 1-44

Photographs …. pp. 45-208

Postface: BBC Blind …. pp. 209-29

Bibliography …. pp. 230-51

List of Appendices … pp. 252-92

Appendix I: Media Personnel transported to battlefront by Min-of Defence … pp. 252-63

Appendix II: Estimates of the Death Toll among the Fighting Forces of the LTTE and Government of Sri Lanka …. pp. 264-66

Appendix III: NGOs providing Relief at the Mānik Farm Detention Centres …. pp. 267-70

Appendix IV: US Ambassador Robert Blake’s Secret Despatch, 19 March 2009…. pp. 271-72

Appendices V: Inaugural Meeting of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi, Colombo, 18 December 1949 … with Presidential Address by SJV Chelvanayagam …. pp. 273

List of Pictorial Items

Illustrations for introductory chapter

  1. Ecstasy and a karate kick before the kill, 24/25 July 1983
  2. A killing victim at Varanāsi, 23 December 1992
  3. A Muslim shot by police during Seelampur riots, Delhi, 1992
  4. Hindu mob assembled at night during Bhagalpur pogrom, 28 October 1990
  5. Massive crowd of White Americans assembles to watch thelynching of a Black American, Henry Smith, at Paris, Texas, 1 February 1896
  6. A case of torturing: two interpretations

F1: The image and its tale in The Cage

F2. The unmodified image discovered by GSL sources … with tell-tale slippers suggestive of Tiger troops

  1. DiManno’s slanted pictorial pick: a weak attempt to fool the public about the scenario of the Last Redoubt

H1, 2. LTTE video of auxiliary mobilisation for belligerent activity

  1. David Cameron’s visit to Jaffna draws world attention to the anguish of kin seeking the “missing”
  2. Tamils greet Cameron with demonstration depicting photographs of missing kin
  3. Tamil women seeking their kin in public expressions of grief and anger
  4. Tamils abandon Thamilīlam and walk through jungle at night to safety of Army terrain, February 2009

M1, 2. Mobilisation in search of the “disappeared” kin, 2012 and 2013

PONNA CHELVA  GG Ponnambalam, SJV Chelvanayakam and C Vanniasingham, of the Tamil Congress in 1947

2b-Chelva hustings  Chelvanayakam campaigning 13c--Prabha with pistol-2 the talaivar Pirapaharan with automatic handgun … probably a Glock Continue reading


Filed under accountability, asylum-seekers, atrocities, caste issues, citizen journalism, disaster relief team, discrimination, economic processes, Eelam, gordon weiss, governance, historical interpretation, IDP camps, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, NGOs, patriotism, photography, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, population, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, Rajiv Gandhi, rehabilitation, security, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war crimes, welfare & philanthophy

Tamil Person and State: Essays

Michael  Roberts

L 135a --Medivac child at Pulmoddai

50-LTTE senior commanders -tamilnet

Essay – Cover 



CHAPTER 1.….Inspirations and Caste Threads in the Early LTTE … 1-43

CHAPTER 2…..Hitler, Nationalism, Sacrifice: Koenigsberg and Beyond … 44-68

CHAPTER 3…..Hero Figures and Hitler in Young Pirapāharan’s Thinking … 69-89

CHAPTER 4…..Tamil Tigers: Sacrificial Symbolism and‘Dead Body Politics’ … 90-100

CHAPTER 5……Killing Rajiv Gandhi: Dhanu’s SacrificIal Metamorphosis in Death? 101-31 Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under authoritarian regimes, cultural transmission, Eelam, female empowerment, gordon weiss, governance, historical interpretation, Hitler, Indian Ocean politics, life stories, LTTE, nationalism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, propaganda, Rajapaksa regime, Rajiv Gandhi, riots and pogroms, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, TNA, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, vengeance, world affairs

India rejects Cultivated English. Modi’s Gujarati and Hindi swamps the old school tie

Sanjay Subramanian, courtesy of the New York Review of Books, where the title reads “India after English?”

india after english--NYRB A scene at Calcutta in mid-May 2014 —Pic by Piyal Adhikary/epa/Corbis

In the days since the decisive victory of Narendra Modi and his conservative Bharatiya Janata Party in India’s national election, many Indian commentators have perceived a turning point in Indian politics. Modi’s critics sense, in his sweeping mandate, an ominous revival of Hindu nationalism; his supporters maintain that he won because of his robust economic record in Gujarat, where he was Chief Minister from 2001 to 2014. Few on either side, though, dispute that Modi’s political rise signals, in part, a rejection by voters of India’s traditional political elite. Continue reading


Filed under accountability, British colonialism, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, governance, heritage, Hinduism, historical interpretation, Indian General Elections, Indian traditions, life stories, politIcal discourse, Rajiv Gandhi, unusual people, world events & processes