Ranga Kalugampitiya, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, dated 20 July 2015, where the title runs ‘Rāvanā & Sinhala Buddhism: A Strained Relationship Ridden With Contradictions”…. The version here being embellished with Editorial highlighting.
Rāvanā, one of the principal characters in the Rāmāyana, emerges as a villain in the mainstream (Hindu) understandings of the text. Given the important position that Rāmā (Rāvanā’s opponent), who is believed to be a manifestation of Viśnu, occupies in the Hindu religious tradition, Rāvanā becomes a symbol of evil in those readings of the text.
Nevertheless, the conceptualizations of Rāvanā within the context of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism point to alternative perspectives on the character. One such perspective that has emerged in the post-2009 Sri Lankan context shows a tendency to idealize Rāvanā as a national hero. The present paper argues that the relationship between Rāvanā and Sinhala Buddhism that this conceptualization suggests is ridden with certain contradictions that Sinhala Buddhist nationalism fails to address successfully. Continue reading
Filed under art & allure bewitching, atrocities, cultural transmission, heritage, Hinduism, historical interpretation, Indian religions, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, Saivism, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real
A road junction memorial for Annai Poopathi in Batticaloa District, Annai Poopathi, a mother of ten children and aged 55, fasted unto death in protest against the IPKF presence in Sri Lanka, breathing her last on 19th April 1988. –thereby backing Thileepan’s fast-unto-death earlier in Jaffna in 1987. A permanent memorial in her homage was also constructed at Kiran … but the tsunami destroyed it. Her memory is evoked to this day. Her sacrifice is remembered and hallowed today among Tamils in many lands –Germany, Netherlands, UK et cetera –see http://www.tamilguardian.com/content/annai-poopathy-remembered?articleid=4700.
Filed under cultural transmission, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, Saivism, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, zealotry
Anushka Perinpanayagam, paperback, 2010 …
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is a nationalist organisation which has been a key player in Sri Lanka’s ethnic war. Like the early Tamil nationalist groups in Sri Lanka, the LTTE professes to be a secularist organisation. This tradition of secularism distinguishes Tamil nationalism from its Sinhalese counterpart. A small group of academics, however, has debated whether the LTTE is truly secularist. The debate focuses on the LTTE’s ritual calendar and commemorative events which draw on religious symbols and which, according to some critics, have the character and quality of religious events. This project intervenes in this debate by analysing how scholars use the terms ‘religion’ and ‘secular’ when discussing the LTTE and Sri Lankan politics. In addition, this book investigates how the LTTE’s claim to be secular impacts upon its narration of history and its discourse around death and dying. This work is useful not only for those interested in the Sri Lankan situation but also for those who wish to explore nationalism, modernisation and the categories of religion and the secular.
The book can be purchased via AMAZON = http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/xmlui/handle/10063/1784… with illustrations below being from the Thuppahi stock associated with my work on the “sacrificial devotion” of the Tamil Tigers — work which is considered intelligently by Perinpanayagam in association with the writings of Peter schalk Dagmar Hellmann-Rajanayagam and others. Continue reading
Filed under cultural transmission, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, religiosity, Saivism, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes, zealotry
Sinharaja Tammita-Delgoda, courtesy of the Daily Mirror, 26 April 2017, where the title rune thus: “Martyrdom and LTTE. The worship of death” … with highlighting and additional bibliographivcal references at the end inserted imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
Dr. SinhaRaja Tammita-Delgoda is one of the few non-combatants allowed into the war zone during the final stages of the Eelam War. On his own initiative, he made an application to visit the operational areas and was granted permission to do so by the Defence Ministry. He toured these areas on three occasions between March and April 2009. His work has been published in international media and military journals, and presented to audiences in the U.K., India and Canada. Dr. Tammita-Delgoda has never been an employee of the Sri Lankan Government nor the Defence Ministry. These impressions and supporting photographs are original and based on firsthand experience in 2009 when the war was still raging and had entered its final stages.
Filed under art & allure bewitching, Buddhism, gender norms, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, religiosity, Saivism, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes, zealotry
Michael Roberts, courtesy of Berghahn Press and Social Analysis and Doug Farrer, the Editor of the Special Volume on “War Magic“, Social Analysis, 2014, vol 58/1…….. see http://berghahn.publisher.ingentaconnect.com/content/berghahn/socan/2014/00000058/00000001;jsessionid=brf7pbpqi52o9.Victoria….. Note that the article has a sub-title: “Tantric Principles in Tamil Tiger Instrumentalities.”
Abstract: This study highlights the Tantric threads within the transcendental religions of Asia that reveal the commanding role of encirclement as a mystical force. The cyanide capsule (kuppi) around the neck of every Tamil Tiger fighter was not only a tool of instrumental rational-ity as a binding force, but also a modality similar to a thāli (marriage bond necklace) and to participation in a velvi (religious animal sacrifice). It was thus embedded within Tamil cultural practice. Alongside the LTTE’s politics of homage to its māvīrar (dead heroes), the kuppi sits beside numerous incidents in LTTE acts of mobilization or military actions where key functionaries approached deities in thanks or in preparation for the kill. These practices highlight the inventive potential of liminal moments/spaces. We see this as modernized ‘war magic’—a hybrid re-enchantment energizing a specific religious worldview.
Keywords: cosmic encirclement, enchanted practices, liminality, LTTE, regeneration, sacrifice, suicide attacks, Tantrism
Figure 1 Young Tiger Fighter with Holy Ash on His Forehead Heads for the Battlefield in the Late 1980s —Photograph © Shyam Tekwani
Filed under cultural transmission, Eelam, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, mass conscription, military strategy, nationalism, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, religiosity, Saivism, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes, zealotry
Mylvaganam Sooriasegaram, courtesy of Ceylon Today, where it will appear with the title “Logic behind the actions and politics of the NPC”
Vigneswaran–Pic from www.hirunews.lk
It is essential to try to go deep into the actions and politics of the NPC, led by TNA’s breakaway group centred around the Chief Minister, C. Vigneswaran and assess the inherent dangers. Separatist ideology and an attempt to return to the barren politics of the LTTE can be seen in every one of their actions. If this is not identified and exposed, once again the Tamil people will be forced to take the road to disaster and Sri Lanka will be plunged into another civil strife for decades. One such painful experience in our history is too many – we have to mobilize ourselves and act together to prevent its repetition. Otherwise we will sleepwalk into another disaster like the one we had to endure during the last 30 years. I am not a nationalist but if we have to choose between the nationalism of the TNA and that of the Federal Party, the latter is a tolerable one. Neither is my choice… provided we can collectively work for a truly democratic Sri Lanka where all the different communities can enjoy equal rights, opportunities and privileges, irrespective of their religion, language and ethnicity. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, devolution, economic processes, energy resources, governance, historical interpretation, island economy, life stories, LTTE, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, population, power politics, prabhakaran, reconciliation, Saivism, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, welfare & philanthophy, world affairs, zealotry