Category Archives: Sinhala-Tamil Relations

Canadian Cha-Cha-Cha: Genocide Claims

Chandre Dharmawardana, in Colombo Telegraph, 5 July 2019, where the title “Two Alleged Genocides – And Canada’s Claimed Support For Conflict Prevention In Sri Lanka”

David McKinnon, Canada’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka  has stated, on Canada’s National Day  that  “Canada would continue to support conflict prevention efforts in Sri Lanka, where  it has been seen how hate speech and media can entrench communal divisions”.  Meanwhile back in Canada, successive Canadian governments have failed to understand how this very “hate speech” is being entrenched in Canadian municipal discourse and even in parliamentary proceedings by militant diaspora groups. They wish to replay the old ethnic animosities of their homeland  in Canada too.

fervent demonstrations in Toronto mounted by Canadian Tamils in 2009 … presaging recent claims

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Sri Lanka in 1988: Experiencing ‘Ordinary Living’ in A Conflict Zone

John Richardson, whose title in this article conveying diary notes runs thus:  “Ordinary Living” in the Midst of Civil War Notes to Family and Friends“[1]  … with highlighting and pics inserted by The Editor, Thuppahi

February 1988: After getting settled in our home at number 5 Bagatelle Terrace, within walking distance of Colombo University, we have begun to fit into our neighborhood and the city.   Already we have made a number of Sri Lankan acquaintances.  Emily knows the city better because she is an inveterate walker.  She covers three to five miles each day on foot; more than any expatriates and most Sri Lankans, except the very poor.  She feels quite safe walking about during the day. We walk about at night, too, but are more careful as the streets are poorly lighted.  “Homeless” people do live on the streets here.  They are about as visible as they are in Washington, D.C., but I think the culture here is more accepting; the gap between rich and poor is much less than in America.  In fact, what strikes me about the majority of Sri Lankans, both rich and poor, is their unfailing honesty, courtesy and decency.  (The principal exception appears to be some of those who deal regularly with foreigners).  They are a considerate, friendly people – and for many, life is arduous.

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SWRD Bandaranaike in Pictures ….. Social and Political

A Nomads tennis team gathering in 1926 – with young J. R. Jayewardene standing second from the left (facing); while young SWRD Bandaranaike is seated in front of him

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Buddhism over Time in Colonial and Independent Sri Lanka

Abstract of Article by Ananda Abeysekara entitledBuddhism and ‘Influence’: The Temporality of a Concept” Qui Parle, 2019, Vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 1-75.

For almost three decades the concept of “Protestant Buddhism” has been the object of critique by numerous scholars such as John Holt, Charles Hallisey, Anne Blackburn, Erik Braun, Alicia Turner, Steven Kemper, and others. They claim to tell a different story about the relation between religion and modernity (“Protestantism”) in South Asia. By extension, these scholars seek to reconstruct the temporal relation between the past and the present, questioning postcolonial conceptions of history, time, and religious practice. But this story of temporality is staked on the question of “influence,” which has a genealogy that includes not just colonial, missionary, liberal politics but also contemporary legal-political questions about foreign influence on democracy and sovereignty. This article contests the ways in which the critiques of Protestant Buddhism conceptualize colonial and postcolonial forms of time, translated into universal forms of self, agency, responsibility, etc. The article argues that the question of influence, which animates parts of the story of secular ways of inhabiting time, obscures not just how the encounter with the temporality of a tradition is an encounter with power. It obscures how even modern sensibilities of inhabiting time, ironically, require coherence even as they are repeatedly said to be constituted by “heterogeneous” forms of everyday life.

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Studies of the LTTE Defeat and the Significance of the Rajapaksa Regime’s Measures

Daniel Alphonsus** ….. A review of Peter Stafford Roberts’ “The Sri Lankan Insurgency: Rebalancing the Orthodox Position” and Stephen Battle’s “Lessons In Legitimacy: The LTTE End-Game Of 2007–2009… with highlights being the impositions of The Editor, Thuppahi

It is a truth universally acknowledged that in May 2009 the Government of Sri Lanka won the war. This extraordinary turn of events, we are told, resulted from the political carte blanche granted to the Gotabaya, Fonseka and Karanagoda troika. License from on high, the story goes, unshackled their hitherto caged military nous and single-minded, perhaps even bloody-minded, focus on military victory.

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Causes for the Failure of the LTTE Insurgency: A Capsule Statement

Peter S. Roberts: Abstract of Dissertation “The Sri Lankan Insurgency: A Rebalancing of the Orthodox Position” … being a D. Phil Thesis Brunel University April 2016 ….

The insurgency in Sri Lanka between the early 1980s and 2009 is the topic of this study, one that is of great interest to scholars studying war in the modern era. It is an example of a revolutionary war in which the total defeat of the insurgents was a decisive conclusion, achieved without allowing them any form of political access to governance over the disputed territory after the conflict. Current literature on the conflict examines it from a single (government) viewpoint – deriving false conclusions as a result. This research integrates exciting new evidence from the Tamil (insurgent) side and as such is the first balanced, comprehensive account of the conflict. The resultant history allows readers to reframe the key variables that determined the outcome, concluding that the leadership and decision-making dynamic within the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had far greater impact than has previously been allowed for. The new evidence takes the form of interviews with participants from both sides of the conflict, Sri Lankan military documentation, foreign intelligence assessments and diplomatic communiqués between governments, referencing these against the current literature on counter-insurgency, notably the social-institutional study of insurgencies by Paul Staniland. It concludes that orthodox views of the conflict need to be reshaped into a new methodology that focuses on leadership performance and away from a timeline based on periods of major combat.


Ask these questions: have Peter Roberts, Stephen Battle and Daniel Alphonsus  taken in most of these studies? Allowing for the difficulty of covering every essay, what are the implications arising from the lot missed?

IDAG [i.e. Citizen Silva] 2013 “The Numbers Game: Politics of Retributive Justice,” OR

De Silva-Ranasinghe, Sergei 2009b “The Battle for the Vanni Pocket,” Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter, March 2009, Vol. 35/2, pp. 17-19. 2009157395/156554.html

De Silva-Ranasinghe, Sergei 2010b “Downfall of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,” South Asia Defence and Strategic Review, May-June 2010, pp. 10-15.

Roberts, Michael 2013 “BBC-Blind: Misreading the Tamil Tiger Strategy of International Blackmail, 2008-13,” 8 December 2013,

Jeyaraj, DBS 2011 “KP” speaks out. An Interview with Former Tiger Chief, Vavuniya: NERDO.

Roberts, Michael 2013 “Introducing “Numbers Game” – A Detailed Study of the Last Stages of Eelam War IV,” 30 April 2013,

Roberts, Michael 2013 “Towards Citizenship in Thamiilam: The Tamil People of the North, 1983-2010,” South Asia Research vol. 33: 57-75.

Roberts, Michael 2014 Tamil Person and State. Essays, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications.

Roberts, Michael 2014 Tamil Person and State. Pictorial, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications.

Roberts, Michael 2014 “Generating Calamity, 2008-2014: An Overview of Tamil Nationalist Operations and Their Marvels,” 10 April 2014,

Roberts, Michael 2010d “Self-Annihilation for Political Cause: Cultural Premises in Tamil Tiger Selflessness,” in Roberts, Fire and Storm. Essays in Sri Lankan Politics, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, pp. 161-201.

Roberts, Michael 2012a “Inspirations: Hero Figures and Hitler in Young Pirapāharan’s Thinking,” Colombo Telegraph, 12 February 2012, http://thuppahi.… rep. in TPS: Essays, 2014: 69-89.


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A Clinical Study of the LTTE and Pirapakaran

Muttukrishna Sarvananthan, being an article entitled  ‘Terrorism’ or ‘Liberation’? Towards a distinction: A Case Study of the Armed Struggle of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)” in Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol.12/2, 2018 ….

Abstract: This article based on extensive empirical field research and primary sources/data attempts to distinguish terrorism from liberation / freedom struggle by means of a case study of the armed struggle of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. It is argued here that the LTTE was primarily a terrorist organisation/movement because: (i) it’s struggle was overwhelmingly based on armed violence; (ii) it demanded support from the masses through persecution; (iii) it intentionally targeted civilians; (iv) it substantially relied on suicide attacks; (v) it substantially deployed under-age children; and (vi) it was proactively involved in internecine war.

Keywords: Civil War, Freedom Fighters, Liberation, LTTE, Sri Lanka, Tamil Tigers, Terrorism

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