Category Archives: refugees

Facing Charles Sarvan: Mark His Obliteration of Context

Michael Roberts

Charles Sarvan’s recent essay in Colombo Telegraph “On ‘Reading’ A Picture” presents reflections with a dispassionate air that conveys an impression of philosophical weight above the tumult of a propaganda war in which all of us are willy-nilly involved.[1] He distances himself at the outset from the identities of the victors in the picture as Sinhalese and the vanquished as Tamil by terming that differentiation “accidental”. But, in concentrating on the horrendous assaults on women perpetrated by men, he proceeds to a presentation of the contemporary Tamil litany about the horrendous acts inflicted on the Tamils in the last stages of Eelam War IV. He does this without any historical, political and cartographic contextualization of the events that unfolded from mid-2006 to May 2009.

 Map I = The Situation in late December 2008

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Bishop Francis in Incisive Critique of Sri Lanka’s Poltical Leaders

A Note from a Sinhalese Friend in Canada: “Hello Michael, I have attached a video of a former Bishop of Kurunegala talking to a Adaderana TV interviewer- a Sinhala Broadcast.on March 12, 2019.The former Bishop is a Sri Lankan, by birth an ”Estate Tamil” Christian. He talks of a secret meeting with Ban Ki-Moon in 2011 and also about chats with another Lankan Leader who was very anti-Sri Lankan!! This interview is very, very interesting: apparently the Bishop resigned from his position as a Bishop due to the anti-SL stand taken by the church. The former Bishop is very pro SL in his views.”

Note 2:  Shantha Francis was appointed anAnglican Bishop in 2010 and then on 6 January 2015 the Archbishop of CanterburyJustin Welby, announced that Francis had resigned as Bishop of Kurunegala. In a statement by Francis he advised that he had been threatened by Tamil diaspora groups opposing his stand for a unitary state and the sovereignty of the country” — from Wikipedia …. So my Canadian friend’s final note is in error. Continue reading

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Arrogance, Ignorance, Deceit: The Many Faces of Taylor Dibbert

Michael Roberts

Taylor Dibbert is an example of one stream in American academia: armed with a liberal arts degree, peace corps experience and links with the Pacific Forum, HR agencies[1] and such personnel as Frances Harrison,[2] he has now taken on Michael the Lord Naseby (Dibbert 2019). His essay is a shining example of intellectual arrogance and contention by ASSERTION. His assertions on the details of Eelam War IV in its last phase are typical of many writings from an educated bourgeoisie lacking experience in battle theatres. This major deficiency applies to many Sri Lankans as well as Yasmin Sooka, Marzuki Darusman, Ban-Ki-Moon,[3] Alan Keenan[4] and Charu Lata Hogg.[5]

Sooka Keenan Hogg

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Naseby on the Hands Off Sri Lanka Warpath: ONE

Item in Sri Lanka Guardian, 5 February 2019, entitled “Sri Lanka: Time to stand her own two feet”

Is this really a country that has to be monitored by the West almost every day? The President of the APPG on Sri Lanka thinks not.

About 6 months ago I was conscious that the UN Motions on Sri Lanka would be reviewed in March 2019 by the UNHCR in Geneva.I decided I should try to initiate a debate as near to Independence Day on February 4th as I could. After all it is nearly four years since these resolutions were passed; being originally moved by the USA and the UK and co-sponsored by the Government of Sri Lanka who welcomed help.

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Prejudiced and Infantile Readings of Sri Lanka at Chatham House in 2019

Introductory Note from Michael Roberts

 The public event organised by Chatham House to discuss recent events in Sri Lanka on 17th January was chaired by a University Lecturer at University College London whose specialty is “human rights,” rather than any one of the Sri Lankan specialists teaching at British Universities (for e.g. Rajesh Venugopal, Asanga Welikala, Sujit Suvisundaram, Zoltan Beidermann and Alan Strathern).  The combination of ignorance, distortion and prejudice that guided the organisation and direction of the debate was exposed in the opening lines of this Chairperson, one Kate Cronin-Furman. “[We are meeting today some ten years after the “final push” of the Sri Lankan Army in a war that ended in May 2009 – “a final phase where the UN estimates said that more than 40,000 civilians were killed by that military [action].”

aaa -kate cronin

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Cracking Impact! The Suntharalingam Saga’s Theatrical Tour de Force

Cassie Tongue in Time-Out, 16 January 2019, where the title is “Counting and Cracking review” ….. with Brett Boardman’s PICs …. and highlighting added

It’s only January, but we have an early contender for the best play of the year in Counting and Cracking. And we certainly won’t see another play like it any time soon. Set in a recursion of town halls – a Sri Lankan-style one built inside Sydney’s landmark Town Hall – Counting and Cracking takes place in both Colombo and Sydney, in the 1970s and 2004, and always keeps one foot in each world; as we are about to see, the past and present are not so easily separated.

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In Praise of Traitors: Intimacy, Betrayal, and the Sri Lankan Tamil Community

Sharika Thiranagama, Chapter in Suspicion, Intimacyy and The Ethics of State-building, ed. by S. Thirangama and Tobias Kelly, , University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.

 

ABSTRACT: In a 2006 Canadian Sri Lankan Tamil pamphlet called Thurohi (Traitor), the author tells his diasporic audience, “many of us fled and came to this country. Why? Our life’s duty is to survive. But what is our historical duty? To be traitors” (Jeeva 2006, 3; emphasis added).1 The war between the Sri Lankan state and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) drew in Sri Lanka’s three largest ethnic groups: The majority Sinhalese, the minority Sri Lankan Tamils, and Sri Lankan Muslims; the latter, while war-affected, were not active in the conflict. The primary battlefields and areas of LTTE control were northern and eastern Sri Lanka. In May 2009 the war came to a bloody close in a stand-off with the Sri Lankan Army and the death of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and most senior leadership. This end came long after the writing of this chapter and is not its subject……. Continue reading

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