Category Archives: Saivism

Perinpanayagam’s Study of the LTTE Strand of Tamil Nationalism

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.

 https://www.facebook.com/anushka.perinpanayagam

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

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Tiger Martyrdom: Architectural ‘Marks’ in 2009 as the SL Army captured LTTE Terrain

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.   


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Hardline Ethnic Mind-Sets: Jane Russell’s Findings and Reflections

Michael Roberts

Rajan Hoole is now presenting his studies of Sri Lanka Tamil political ferment in the 20th century via the Colombo Telegraph and local newspapers. This earnest endeavour is to be applauded. However, such surveys are not without their problems. Serious commentary on his arguments – as distinct from off-the-cuff blog comments – will have to dwell on the “depth and reach” of his documentation.

JR in 1976Jane Russell in 1976Rajan-Hoole-3 Rajan Hoole today Chandra-w-borderChandra de Silva today

The historical material, whether secondary literature or primary sources, on the politics of the period extending from the 1920s to the 1980s is considerable. For one hand to delve into the readily available data at depth in brief articles[1] is well-nigh impossible. Even with this caveat it is surprising that Hoole has made no reference to Arasaratnam’s and KM de Silva’s essays on the constitutional agitation of the early 20th century, Ranjith Amarasinghe’s study of the Trotskite movement (2000) or the documentary material on GG Ponnambalam’s approaches to the Colonial Office in Documents of the Ceylon National Congress and Nationalist Politics in Ceylon: 1929-1950 (1977). Continue reading

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Encompassing Empowerment in Ritual, War and Assassination

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

28c-vipoothi lad Figure 1 Young Tiger Fighter with Holy Ash on His Forehead Heads for the Battlefield in the Late 1980s —Photograph © Shyam Tekwani

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Vigneswaran’s Fundamentalism and Present Political Manoeuvres spell Danger for Us Tamils

Mylvaganam Sooriasegaram, courtesy of Ceylon Today, where it will appear with the title Logic behind the actions and politics of the NPC”

aa-wigneswaran-www.hirunews.lkVigneswaran–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

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Farrer and Roberts discuss War Magic and the Sacrificial Devotion of Tamil Tigers

Q and A reprinted courtesy of Berghahn Press … at … http://ht.ly/VIYQMThis post is the transcript of an electronic interview between D. S. Farrer and Michael Roberts. Farrer is the special issue editor for Social Analysis Volume 58, Issue 1, and Roberts is the author of the article Encompassing Empowerment in Ritual, War, and Assassination: Tantric Principles in Tamil Tiger Instrumentalities” appearing in that issue. Below, Roberts answers a series of questions related to her article in Social Analysis.

This is the seventh in a series of interviews with contributors to this volume. Find the previous contributions on our blog. 

WAR MAGIC doug in fight Doug Farrer in action Continue reading

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Talaivar Pirapāharan among the Saivite Deities today in Tamilnadu

saved_resource  prabha2-Kovil

A Concerned Reader

The extent of misinformation and blind faith that exists among those who hear, read and think only in Tamil  has been highlighted by the recent news from the Sevugaraya Ayyanar temple in South Poigainallur village near Nagapattinam in South India. Apparently, Prabhakaran is raised to the level of a Guardian Deity, with the   Pro-LTTE Periyar Dravida Kazhagam acting as the prime mover of this deification. Apparently, the Tamil Nadu police had moved rapidly and removed the statues. However, we can well ask what would happen when Jayalalitha recovers her full powers. Continue reading

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