Category Archives: refugees

Justin Trudeau Rapped on Knuckles for Statement on Victims of Eelam War

When Justin Trudeau issued a brief statement on the 18th May 2020 expressing sympathy for all the victims of Eelam War IV in the course of his request for an accountability purpose, he was clever. There was no slant towards Tamil victims. But there was a reference to “the last phase of the war at Mullivaikal” …. and this, together with the focus on accountability, implied that he was supporting Sri Lankan Tamil and HR claims alleging mass killings.

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FOR Sri Lanka: Engaging Lord Naseby and His Journeys in Sri Lanka

Michael Roberts

Since I had been introduced to the British peer Lord Michael Naseby in the surrounds of the House of Lords in March 2018,[1] I assumed that he had been born into the aristocratic upper layer of British society. Wrong. It required his book Sri Lanka for me to learn that he was from the upper middle class and had contested parliamentary seats from the late-960s on behalf of the Conservative Party in what were Labour strongholds – with his peerage being of 1990s vintage. As vitally, his early career as a marketing executive had seen him working in Pakistan and Bengal in the early 1960s before he was stationed in Sri Lanka as a marketing manager for Reckitt and Colman in the period 1963-64.

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Yogaraja sparks Protest against Caste Disabilities in the Tamil Regions

Ahilan Kadirgamar. in Daily Mirror, on 17 February 2020, where the title is “Breaking the Silence on Caste”

Caste is all present in Jaffna, but a silence prevails about caste oppression. Such silence and invisibility were not always the case, where vibrant struggles against caste oppression shook Jaffna some five decades ago.

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Mangala’s Show at Geneva in 2017 lauded by Dharisha Bastians

As the annual witch-hunt mounted by the UNHRC in its role as an arm of the Western world’s foreign policy approaches in March 2020, it is worthwhile reflecting on the ‘triumphant’ public performances in Geneva orchestrated by the Yahapaalana government and one of its driving forces, namely, Mangala Samaraweera — as presented by one of his proteges, Dharisha Bastians….. Editor, Thuppahi.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera heading the Sri Lankan Government delegation to the UNHRC’s 34th Session addressing a side event at the Palais des Nations last week. The event was organised by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva and chaired by Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha. Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms Mano Tittawella, MP and Constitutional expert Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne and Ariyasinha are also present – Pic by Sunanda Deshapriya

BASTIANS:  Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s masterful diplomacy is winning over a world eager to keep believing in Sri Lanka’s political transformation story, but the Government faces a deepening disconnect with activists and war-affected constituents at home who are losing faith in its promises to heal the wounds of a long and violent conflict.

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Addressing Shenali Waduge and the One-Eyed UNHRC Hunters, One

Michael Roberts

Shenali Waduge has a long history as a defender of Sinhala interests within and beyond the island of Sri Lanka. In quite a few minds she would be classified as a Sinhala chauvinist. One must, however, not throw the baby out with the dirty bathwater.[1] Her essays should not be dismissed out of hand. Indeed, there were several striking claims in an essay she presented recently in two outlets[2] for me to include it within Thuppahi under this imposed heading: “To Your Face: UN and UNHRC challenged by Shenali Waduge.”

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The LTTE and Its “Treasury” in Switzerland in Its Halcyon Days

DBS Jeyaraj, in his website column 15 December 2019, with this title “The Switzerland Connection in LTTE Fund Raising Activity”

Recent events have focused the media spotlight on the Federal Republic of Switzerland known officially as the Swiss Confederation. The landlocked European nation is respected highly on a global scale due to its policy of armed neutrality. Despite the impeccable credentials of Switzerland, the country is being viewed negatively by influential sections of the Sri Lankan people. There is suspicion that an orchestrated campaign is being pursued by certain elements to depict the country as an “enemy” of Sri  Lanka. Three recent happenings concerning Switzerland–Sri Lanka relations have contributed to this unfortunate state of affairs.

Tamil rally in Geneva, summer 2003

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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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