In addressing the serious issues raised by some of the Western media reportage of the events unfolding during the last phase of Eelam War IV and several seemingly deliberate obfuscations, I recently sent a short set of questions to some Indian journalists who were in Sri Lanka then and also to a few Sri Lankan reporters/cameramen who had been taken to the war front – guided here by an official list available. I have only received responses from a few, but it is enough to set the reflections rolling.
Journalists in plane en route to war front, circa 27 January —Pic by Kanchan Prasad
These responses throw light on the difficulties faced by journalists in reporting the war and I see them as important appendages to an analytical review that I have already penned in draft form (in progress). Those studying Eelam War IV should pay heed to these recollections, while also visiting the Al Jazeera You-Tube presentations provided by Tony Birtley & David Chater and marveling at the capacities revealed by Sergei de Silva Ranasinghe in deciphering the ups-and-downs of the SL Army progress from distant shores far better than Birtley or those in Colombo who visited the front on conducted tours on some occasions. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, doctoring evidence, Eelam, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, mass conscription, military strategy, news fabrication, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, war reportage, world events & processes
The Newsletter of the International Institute of Asian Studies at Leiden reveals the interests of two recent Fellows at IIAS who have been delving into Sri Lankan issues in recent times. Herewith some summaries
Giacomo Mantovan is of Italian lineage:
“My research in social anthropology, which focuses on individuals and their relations with their social milieu, and in particular with state authorities, aims to grasp how certain critical times, such as civil war, exile, and illness, become moments of construction of subjectivity and memory.” Continue reading
Filed under cultural transmission, education, governance, historical interpretation, island economy, life stories, LTTE, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, rehabilitation, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes
Dayan Jayatilleka, in Island, 6 October 2017, with title “The rise of the Sinhala fundamentalist new right: Response to Prof GH Peiris” … the emphasis below being that of the Editor Thuppahi
Philosophy, said Kautilya (Chanakya) in the Arthashathra, deals primarily with the right and wrong use of force. At least from that time, it was recognized that there is a right way and a wrong way of doing even what is necessary or unavoidable. This was of course the very premise of the Just War doctrine of Christian theologians St Ambrose, St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. A war had to be for the right cause and the right cause was not self-evident or merely self-referential and self–proclaimed. It needed to pass certain criteria to qualify. This too was not enough. For war to be just it not only needed to satisfy the criteria for a just cause but be fought by just means, which too needed to meet certain criteria to warrant the appellation. Modern theologians, especially of the Protestant persuasion, have added a third criterion, that of Just Peace, i.e. of the outcome of the war.
Filed under accountability, Buddhism, China and Chinese influences, communal relations, constitutional amendments, devolution, economic processes, fundamentalism, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, politIcal discourse, power politics, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes
Ravi Velloor,, in The Island, 15 September 2017, where the title reads “Rohingya issue and the danger to South-east Asia” … with highlighting being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi
Not since the landlocked Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan swept out its Nepali-speaking Hindu population in the late 1980s has Asia witnessed as relentless an action against a minority group as seen lately in Myanmar. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called the sustained drive to push Rohingya Muslims out of Myanmar a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, asylum-seekers, atrocities, Buddhism, communal relations, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, ethnicity, fundamentalism, governance, historical interpretation, IDP camps, Islamic fundamentalism, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, power politics, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, truth as casualty of war, Uncategorized, vengeance, women in ethnic conflcits, working class conditions, world events & processes