Category Archives: security

Bridging Lanka I: Sustaining Mannar’s Kulams

BRIDGING LANKA is a multi-faceted programme initiated by the Sri Lankan Austrailan Jeremy Liyanage and friends from circa 2009(?) to assist the social welfare of all the peoples in Mannar island and its adjoining hinterland. I was an observer at a town planning jam-session way back around 2011(?) and have been in touch with Liyanage ver since. Thuppahi is delighted to feature the several social service paths that BRIDGING LANKA is pursuing in the locality.

Protecting and Rehabilitating Mannar’s Kulams (ponds)

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Our aim: This project aims to rehabilitate Periyakamam Kulam as a ‘demonstration kulam’ so that authorities and residents alike will be inspired to value, protect and rehabilitate other kulams in Mannar. The sharp decrease in the number of kulams caused by severe encroachment has led to worsening annual flooding in the urban area, resulting in much human displacement and misery.

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Filed under heritage, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, patriotism, performance, plural society, reconciliation, rehabilitation, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, unusual people, voluntary workers, welfare & philanthophy, world affairs

Talaivar Pirapāharan embodied in Notebooks: One Mark of the LTTE’s Remarkable Propaganda Machinery

Michael Roberts

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These three images adorn the cover of little notebooks, each 4 inches in height and 2.7 inches breadth, in my possession. They were purchased by me at Kilinochchi on 27th November 2004 when I visited the administrative capital of the state of Thamilīlam[1] during the ceasefire. The tale is recounted below as entry-point to a portrait of the LTTE’s remarkable innovations.

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, governance, heritage, Hinduism, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, religiosity, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

The LLRC Sittings in Pictures

The recent presentation in Thuppahi of a specific proposal from the LLRC on national anthems as well as the issues raised by Thuppahi on the topic of DISAPPEARANCES prompt me to present a number of images from the sittings conducted by this peripatic body of personnel together with a brief officla report. the images have been helpfully provided by Kithsiri De Silva an old Aloysian class-mate who was an officer servicing the work of this august body.  I am also tacking on an official report on the LLRC plus one dissenting note about its lopsided composition from Harshadeva Amarathunga. Michael Roberts

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Filed under accountability, atrocities, communal relations, democratic measures, disparagement, ethnicity, gender norms, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, law of armed conflict, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, mass conscription, military strategy, modernity & modernization, news fabrication, NGOs, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, security, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, trauma, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, working class conditions, world events & processes

Ignorant Oversimplifications in the Theresa May-Obama Characterization of ISIS

Damian Whitworth, in The Times and The Australian, 17 January 2017, with the title in the latter being “The Man who knows Islamic State’s Mindset” … with highlighing being additions by the Editor, Thuppahi

British Prime Minister Theresa May once exposed what she believed to be the basic flaws at the murderous heart of Islamic State. “I will tell you the truth,” she told the Conservative Party conference in 2014, the year that the militant group gained worldwide notoriety. “They are not Islamic and they are not a state.”

aaisia-11-times Pic from Times

Her words echoed sentiments expressed by US President Barack Obama. Today, with Islamic State under pressure from Western-backed forces in Mosul, the debate about whether it has actually succeeded in establishing a caliphate continues. However, on the question of Islamic State’s ­Islamic credentials, May is plain wrong. Continue reading

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Sinhalaness in the Middle Period and in Wars Against Colonial Intrusions

Chris Speldewinde, in the The Australian Journal of Anthropology, vol. r19, No. 1, 2008, reviewing  Michael Roberts. Sinhala Consciousness in the Kandyan Period 1590s to 1815. Colombo 4, Sri Lanka: Vijitha Yapa Publications. 2004. Pp.xx +274, bibliog., index. US$60.00 (He), ISBN 955-8095-31-1.

Having spent a considerable period during my undergraduate studies of anthropology concentrating on cultural aspects of Sri Lankan society, I was enthusiastic to have been given the opportunity to read and review this work by Michael Roberts. In this latest addition to his many volumes of work on his native Sri Lanka, Roberts, has provided a rich tapestry of the period pre-dating the formalisation of British colonial rule on the island of Sri Lanka. He examines the forms of reaction of a society affected by migrating Indians from the north and European colonial expansion, beginning with the arrival of the Portuguese in the mid-sixteenth century and later, the Dutch and the British. This book provides a considerable amount of both historiographical and ethnographic material, from a wide range of sources to keep the reader engrossed in the development of distinct ethnic identities on this island nation. The use of verbal history passed on through poems and songs from the period is used extensively to substantiate Roberts’ theories of the development of a definitive Sinhalese ethnic identity.

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The People’s War in Nepal and Martyrs, Living and Dead

marie-lecomte-tilouineMarie Lecomte-Tilouine, courtesy of http://samaj.revues.org/3018, where the title is “Martyrs and Living Martyrs of the People’s War in Nepal

Abstract: In Nepal, the Maoists’ armed wing (PLA) developed as a collective of martyrs-to-be, whose example was disseminated as soon as they fell through tributes, poems and ceremonies. Its dynamic relied on self-sacrifice rather than any heroic prowess, and acquired a strong power of attraction in that it fundamentally asserts that anyone, whether illiterate, poor or of the lowest status, is of ‘priceless’ value, and can contribute to the project to change the order of things by putting their lives at stake. The People’s War also brought about a wave of ‘Living Martyrs’, who survived the war and who are now busy recording their past experiences. They combine all the ingredients in terms of pathos and achievement to become historical figures and models for the future, while fallen immortals have already lost their individualities and play a collective and anonymous role.nepal-maoists-22-revo-in-asia  nepal-maoists-globalsecurity-org Pic from Global Security Org

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Today’s Backlash against Globalism: Trump and Le Pen

Greg IP, in The Australian, 12 January 2017, and The Wall Streeet Journal, where the title is Trump, Brexit, Le Pen: West’s anti-globalism backlash”

Late on a Sunday evening a little more than a year ago, Marine Le Pen took the stage in a depressed working-class town in northern France. She had just lost an election for the region’s top office but the leader of France’s anti-immigrant, anti-euro National Front did not deliver a concession speech. Instead, Le Pen proclaimed a new ideological struggle. “Now, the dividing line is not between Left and Right but globalists and patriots,” she declared, with a gigantic French flag draped behind her. Globalists, she charged, wanted France to be subsumed in a vast, world-encircling “magma”. She and other patriots, by contrast, were determined to retain the nation-state as the “protective space” for French citizens.

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