Category Archives: religiosity

Tamil Tigers: Dead Body Politics and Sacrificial Devotion

Michael Roberts, reproducing here an article  entitled “Tamil Tigers:  Sacrificial symbolism and ‘dead body politics’,” that was first presented in  Anthropology Today, June 2008,  vol.  24/3: 22-23. The re-working of this article was seen to by Ms Nadeeka Paththuwaarachchi of Battaramulla.

Scholars and journalists often mistakenly treat the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, or Tamil Tigers) as a ‘secular organization’ at a time when stereotypes of the Islamic ‘terrorist’ or ‘Hindu fundamentalist’ dominate popular thinking about political extremism. Political scientists devote space to the Tamil Tigers in their global surveys of what they term ‘suicide terrorism’.[1] Recently, Roland Buerk of the BBC presented a similar view: ‘They are not religious and believe that there is nothing after death. Their fanaticism is born of indoctrination from childhood.[2]

Tiger fighters relax in camp but retain their kuppi with cyanide in chainsaround neck-Pic by Shyam Tekwani c.1989 whne embedded among the LTTE

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Suicide Missions as Witnessing: From Self-Immolation to Assassination and Mass Strike

Michael Roberts ….. This article appeared first in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 2007, vol. 30:  857-88.with the titleSuicide Missions as Witnessing: Expansions, Contrasts” and is reproduced here with its original American English spelling. The re-working of this article was seen to by Ms Nadeeka Paththuwaarachchi of Battaramulla. The pictorial images are embellishments that were not part of the original essay. I have also added highlighting emphasis in orange as well as a few hyperlinks to other standard sources of information. The bibliographical references are within the End Notes as in the original format.

ABSTRACT: Studies of suicide missions usually focus solely on attacks. They also have highlighted the performative character of suicide missions as acts of witness. By extending surveys to suicidal acts that embrace no-escape attacks, theatrical assassination, defensive suicide, and suicidal protest, one gains further insight into the motivations of individuals and organizations. Illustrative studies, notably the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and Sadat as well as Tamil Tiger operations, generate a typology that underlines the benefits of such extensions. The Japanese and Tamil contexts reveal the profound differences in readings of sacrificial acts of atonement or punishment by local constituencies. Norman Morrison in Washington in 1965 and Jan Palach in Prague in 1969 did not have such beneficial settings and the immediate ramifications of their protest action were limited. Morrison’s story highlights the significance of a societal context of individuated rationalism as opposed, say, to the “pyramidical corporatism” encouraging martyrdom operations in the Islamic world.

Jan Palach…19 Jan. 1969 Nathuram Godse vs Mahatma Gandhi .. 30 Jan 1948

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At Cricket in 1946: British India vs England

Anindya Dutta, in The Cricket Monthly, 25 June 2018, where the title reads “A dinner in 1946”

It was the last tour by undivided India to Britain. It was the summer of Merchant and Mankad, and independence was around the corner.The year was 1946. England was caught between the exhilaration of emerging victorious from the Second World War and the devastation the war had wrought upon the country, both in terms of people and resources. Rationing was still in place, and the economy was in tatters.For six long years, while war raged, cricket had taken a backseat. There had been little first-class cricket, and the battlefields claimed some of England’s most talented players, like the venerated Hedley Verity. There were only 11 first-class matches in the 1945 season. Nineteen forty-six was the first year when a normal county season was scheduled and Test cricket could again be played. Cricket was seen as a way to restore a feeling of normalcy to a country severely affected by war and its consequences.

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The Mahathma’s Lines = The Reconciliatory Path We Need in Sri Lanka

Courtesy of KNO Dharmadasa

New Delhi, Oct 02 (ANI): On the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, artists from over 124 countries have contributed in paying homage to the Father of the Nation through his favourite bhajan ‘Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye’. The famous Gujarati hymn was penned by the 15th century poet Narsimha Mehta and was one of the favourite bhajans of Gandhi, who included it into the roster of prayers routinely sung before his meetings. During the closing ceremony of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Conference (MGISC) and in the presence of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Gutierrez, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation Uma Bharti, launched a medley version of the bhajan, sung by artists from over 124 countries. All Indian Missions abroad identified local artist groups to record the bhajan who gave rise to an eclectic, colourful and rich rendition of the hymn infused with the local flavour of the region. Videos from different regions of the world have also been put together in a fusion video of about five minutes to give flavour to the bhajan. Amongst the star performers is President of Nauru Baron Divavesi Waqa. Waqa’s gesture was not just a tribute to Gandhi but was also a personal gift from him to Prime Minister Modi. The medley version and individual country contributions are available on the External Affairs Ministry’s Youtube page. ———————————————————————————————- ☛ Subscribe to our Youtube Channel – https://goo.gl/k1Aee1 ☛ Visit our Official website: https://www.aninews.in/ Enjoy and stay connected with us!! ☛ Like us: https://www.facebook.com/ANINEWS.IN ☛Follow us : https://twitter.com/ANI ☛ Circle us : https://goo.gl/QN5kXy ☛ Feedback to Shrawan K Poddar : shrawankp@aniin.com

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The Role of Religion in Tamil Militancy in Sri Lanka

Iselin Frydenlund, …..  which reached me via the University of Adelaide circuit and where the title is Tamil Militancy in Sri Lanka and the Role of Religion”. It is presented here against the wishes of the author, with a change of title, modifications in the hyphenation style, the addition of illustrative photographs from my own stock and the use of coloured  highlighting to mark significant passages….. The Editor, Thuppahi

From the late 1970s to its defeat by the Government of Sri Lanka in 2009, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fought for Tamil independence in Sri Lanka. The ultimate aim of what was often considered to be one of the world‘s most disciplined and efficient insurgency groups was to create an independent Tamil homeland (which they called Tamil Eelam) in the northern and eastern parts of the island. The LTTE based itself on a unique mix of Tamil nationalist, socialist, and feminist visions of a new future for the marginalized Tamil communities of Sri Lanka.

Tiger fighters

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An Ode in the Face of The Terrorist Liberation-Fighter

  Jane Russell

“[This poem was presented] a small pamphlet called “Ganga” published in Colombo in 1978: it was aimed at the boasting men of violence everywhere – the Warriors of Terror whom in the guise of Freedom Fighters were inflicting further violence on already violated communities:

To Aloysius-Ludovico (The Terrorist)

I am tired of hearing you sing
the anthems of Freedom and War…
How joyously you crack the whip
and bellow out the tune above the drums!
But the faces of my friends haunt me
in the mornings when I see Death’s Armada
With its pirate’s flag of torture trailing….
what does it matter, your Freedom?
They are dying, my friends and their children…

Nalliah Thayabharan, thank you for reminding me of this poem written in despair in Colombo 30+ years ago. A whole generation has grown up since then but the same (better) poem is probably being written today in Syria by some unknown idealist…..as the song goes “When will we ever learn?”

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Remembrance Day 1918

Lucy Robinson: “Remembrance Day: How Australia celebrated the first Armistice Day 100 years ago

As gunfire ceased on the Western Front on the morning of November 11, 1918, Australia’s first war correspondent Charles Bean observed “the gates to the future silently opened”.The armistice which secured the end of World War I had been signed at dawn, marking the conclusion of a four-year conflict that had claimed more than 60,000 Australian lives.Confirmation would take several hours to reach Australia, where crowds were gathering in the streets at the first whispers of the news. Continue reading

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