Category Archives: suicide bombing

The Death Toll in 2009: Deceit and Myopia, International and Lankan

 Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph which  accepted the idea in principle several days ago, but requested a division of the essay into six parts.

Discussion of the death toll during Eelam War IV and the related topic of “The Disappeared” has been marked by collective myopia. Most discussions have dwelt in cloud cuckoo-land. This criticism can be levelled at the witch-hunters in the Western international order (whether UN and Western officials, media personnel or Tamil migrants) as well as the liberal humanists within the Sri Lankan middle class supporting a range of allegations. However, it also applies to analysts and reporters in defense of the realm such as Rohan Gunaratna,[1] Shamindra Ferdinando,[2] the editors of Sri Lanka’s print and internet media and many defenders of the Sri Lankan dispensation in its moment of crisis.

 1=Tiger dead assembled by SL Army (MoD Pic)    2 = A body in the Last Redoubt, presumably Tiger (MoDefence Pic)

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

Michael Roberts

prabha-22 prabha-33 prabha-11

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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The Limits of State Sovereignty and R2P: Gareth Evans in Colombo, Mid-2007

Gareth Evans: “The Limits of Sovereignty: The Responsibility to Protect in the 21st Century,”  being the Neelan Memorial Lecture of 2007 …. see vital NOTE at the end clarifying the context and inviting responses.

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Today more than ever, on this eighth anniversary of his assassination, Sri Lankans and those in the wider international community need to remember and be re-inspired by Neelan Tiruchelvam’s life and achievements. While we can no longer benefit directly from his remarkable intelligence and learning, his boundless energy, his political commitment, and his optimism, we do still have his spirit living among us in the ideas and institutions he gave us, and in the example he set for us of an engaged intellectual and a principled politician.

ge-mani

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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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Moving to War: Critical Events that hardened Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Resolve in 2006

 Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, 27 September 2016, where the title is “From Hesitant Compromise to Resolve: Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2006”

 fig-2-keb-bus The carnage caused by the LTTE’s claymore mine attack on a civilian bus at Kebithigollewa was a major factor in hardening Prsident Rajapaksa’s resolve …keb-22-archives-dailynews-lk

Delineating the fault lines and events that generated the ethnic conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese Sri Lanka since 1948 will demand careful historical work that builds upon the many studies by a battery of scholars thus far — referring here to a whole line of intellectual work extending from Howard Wriggins through Robert Kearney, KM de Silva, SJ Tambiah and AJ Wilson to Nira Wickremasinghe. Historical causation is usually multi-factorial not singular. It is also marked by critical episodes and temporal moments. Each episode and/or phase is likely as not to be generated by several causes involving a multiplicity of factors. Continue reading

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Sri Lanka’s Success in the Eelam War IV: Some Insights

1 .jpg  Colonel Hariharan … This article was written on 28th February 2009 before the war ended and was published  in  Agni–Studies in International Strategic Studies, XII, No. 1, Jan-March 2009. It has been sent to me by the author for inclusion in Thuppahi. Emphasis via highlighting in BLUE is my imposition.

 

Sri Lanka appears to be the only success story in the dismal scene everywhere in the war against terror. It has been extremely successful in the Eelam War IV, going on since 2006 against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) insurgents. Collectively known as the Eelam Wars, these wars have been going on from 1983. Sri Lanka security forces (SLSF) were not able to achieve decisive results in their three earlier outings. The Tamil insurgent group fighting for an independent Tamil Eelam state to be created for minority Tamils has been rated by According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), “the Tamil Tigers are among the most dangerous and deadly extremists in the world.” The FBI said the LTTE’s “ruthless tactics have inspired terrorist networks worldwide, including Al Qaeda in Iraq.”

49a-balraj-and-troops Colonel Balraj  and Tiger  troops advancing during Eelam War III

The LTTE has also the dubious credit of refining the use of suicide terrorism as a force multiplier in its terrorist operations. The LTTE is perhaps the only insurgent and terrorist group in the world with proven capability to wage both conventional as well as non conventional war on land, in air, and on sea. It has used suicide terrorism to change the course of events irreversibly both in India and Sri Lanka. Continue reading

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Defeating the LTTE: Major-General Kamal Gunaratne in Riveting Q and A

Shanika Sriyananda, courtesy of DailyFT, 7 September 2016, which carries the title “The Road to Nandikadal”... and also in http://sangam.org/road-nandikadalmaj-gen-kamal-gunaratne/. ..…Note that the highlighting is embellishment by The Editor, Thuppahi

Battle-hardened soldier Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne, who has shed his Army uniform which he wore for 35 years, yesterday urged political leaders of the country to maintain the hard-earned peace. Maj. Gen. Gunaratne, who is credited for commanding his troops of the 53 Division to fight the 45-minute final battle of the Eelam IV war, which killed LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and put the curtains down on the 30-year-long war against LTTE terrorism, will be launching his memoir ‘Road to Nandikadal’ today (6) at his alma mater, Ananda College. In an exclusive interview with the Daily FT, he explained the historical failures that led the LTTE to become a stronger fighting force, the motive of writing of his memoir, the downfall of the LTTE, transforming the SLA to a victorious Army, allegations on human rights abuses and the last days of the final battle.  “I wrote this book for the poor parents who sent their sons to fight with the ruthless LTTE, the elite people in Colombo and abroad and the human rights activists, who were misled by a wrong picture about the our soldiers and the war,” he said, adding that he doesn’t want his memories to be buried with him after his retirement.  Maj. Gen. Gunaratne said that for the LTTE to make a comeback with the same vigour it needed a leader like Prabhakaran, who was an equally committed, dedicated, disciplined and ruthless terrorist leader.
aaaroad-to-nkl

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