Category Archives: refugees

Young Pirapāharan’s Inspirations and Ideology: Ragavan’s Incisive Memorial in May 2009

Ragavan, being a reprint from The Sunday Leader, 24 May 2009, where the title runs Memories of a much-mythologised rebel leader by a former LTTE fighter ” …. with the highlighting being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

  The body identified as that of the Tamil rebels’
leader, Velupilai Pirapaharan, was carried Tuesday
through Sri Lankan troops — 
Courtesy Reuters

“Those who bear arms acquire and wield an extreme measure of power. We believe that if this power is abused, it will inevitably lead to dictatorship.” – Pirapaharan, from an interview with N. Ram, 1986

The LTTE’s supreme leader and commander, Velupillai Pirapaharan, along with his wife, children and the entire leadership of the LTTE, have been completely wiped out by the Sri Lankan military. The LTTE began as a guerrilla unit during the 1970’s, at its peak, it controlled vast territory and built up a conventional force consisting of an army, navy and air force. The group won many battles against the Sri Lankan Army, crushed all Tamil opposition groups functioning in Sri Lanka, and was seen as a deadly, brutal and disciplined organisation.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, conspiracies, Eelam, governance, historical interpretation, Hitler, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, refugees, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, tamil refugees, terrorism, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes

Life and Death for SL Army Infantrymen on the Vanni Battlefront

Sinha-Raja Tammita Delgoda[1]

As a layman who blundered into a war of his own volition and someone who has lived in and worked in the Weli Oya border region for 6 months,[2] I think you are absolutely right in your stress on the difficulties encountered by infantry soldiers and the critical relevance of specific landscapes. Let me quote relevant segments from one of the Manekshaw papers published by India’s Centre For Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS).

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, education, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, refugees, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

Infantry Warfare and the Final Phase of Eelam War IV: Where Laymen Blunder into Infantile Assessments

Michael Roberts

 In his typically feisty style Mark Salter has taken issue with the characterization of a statement in his To End a Civil War as “infantile”  (within an article based on the Lt Col Gash files[1]). [This protest is now reproduced at the end of this essay as well]. Salter’s assertion is from an UTHR report which in turn is based on appraisals provided by Tamil civilians who survived the last stages of the war. Here I address both Salter and Rajan Hoole, a friend of mine and the central figure behind the exhaustive 2009 UTHR reports.

Sri Lankan Tamil civilians arrive to a government-controlled area after fleeing territory controlled by the LTTE separatist rebels in Puthukkudiyirippu…Sri Lankan Tamil civilians arrive to a government-controlled area after fleeing territory controlled by the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) separatist rebels in Puthukkudiyirippu, northeast Sri Lanka, March 26, 2009. Pictures taken March 26, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer (SRI LANKA POLITICS CONFLICT IMAGE OF THE DAY TOP PICTURE)

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, conspiracies, discrimination, doctoring evidence, Eelam, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, news fabrication, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, refugees, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, vengeance, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes

A Slashing Critique of Hillary Clinton and the HR Lobby in April-May 2009: Realities of War

Michael Roberts: reproducing an article drafted in late April 2009 and appearing in FRONTLINE Volume 26 – Issue 10 :: May. 09-22, 2009 **



Frontline
Volume 26 – Issue 10 :: May. 09-22, 2009
INDIA’S NATIONAL MAGAZINE
from the publishers of THE HINDU
 Contents

Printer Friendly PageSend this Article to a Friend

COVER STORY

Realities of war

MICHAEL ROBERTS

A response challenging the calls for ceasefire as a solution to the hard realities around the LTTE’s endgame.

SRI LANKA NAVY HANDOUT/REUTERS 

IN THIS PHOTOGRAPH released by the Sri Lanka Navy on April 21, people flee a beach controlled by the LTTE in the north-east of the island nation.

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, atrocities, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, IDP camps, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, refugees, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes, zealotry

Douma: Terror from Many Sides and Confusing Tales. Hypoxia not Gas?

Robert Fisk, in The Independent, 15 April 2018with this titleThe search for truth in the rubble of Douma – and one doctor’s doubts over the chemical attack”

This is the story of a town called Douma, a ravaged, stinking place of smashed apartment blocks – and of an underground clinic whose images of suffering allowed three of the Western world’s most powerful nations to bomb Syria last week. There’s even a friendly doctor in a green coat who, when I track him down in the very same clinic, cheerfully tells me that the “gas” videotape which horrified the world – despite all the doubters – is perfectly genuine.

an image from another source -viz. The Guardian

War stories, however, have a habit of growing darker. For the same 58-year old senior Syrian doctor then adds something profoundly uncomfortable: the patients, he says, were overcome not by gas but by oxygen starvation in the rubbish-filled tunnels and basements in which they lived, on a night of wind and heavy shelling that stirred up a dust storm.

Continue reading

1 Comment

April 19, 2018 · 2:03 pm

The Gash Files IV: The War on Land

Michael Roberts, with emphasis in bold being my imposition

I will be reproducing pertinent sections of Lt Col. Gash’s “Situation Reports” (or Sitrep) verbatim below in single spacing with the date of each despatch specified at the outset, while indicating blacked out sections where pertinent. These reproductions are extensive and demand careful reading. Vital bodies of information will be highlighted in red as a guideline for readers; but they are encouraged to form their own appraisals.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

April 16, 2018 · 10:59 am

Saving Tamil Civilians by Sea: More on the ICRC-cum-SL Navy Operations: Admiral Travis Sinniah Speaks

Michael Roberts

I sent my article “Gash Files III” to Admiral (Retired) Travis Sinniah as soon as it was placed on web and was able to conduct an extended Skype-Chat with him on 12th April.[1] He had no major quarrels with the gist of that article. However, he stressed that the whole exercise was an extremely difficult one – involving difficulties that words cannot quite capture.

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under charitable outreach, disaster relief team, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, Rajapaksa regime, refugees, rehabilitation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes