Category Archives: Tamil civilians

Life and Death for SL Army Infantrymen on the Vanni Battlefront

Sinha-Raja Tammita Delgoda[1]

As a layman who blundered into a war of his own volition and someone who has lived in and worked in the Weli Oya border region for 6 months,[2] I think you are absolutely right in your stress on the difficulties encountered by infantry soldiers and the critical relevance of specific landscapes. Let me quote relevant segments from one of the Manekshaw papers published by India’s Centre For Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS).

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Infantry Warfare and the Final Phase of Eelam War IV: Where Laymen Blunder into Infantile Assessments

Michael Roberts

 In his typically feisty style Mark Salter has taken issue with the characterization of a statement in his To End a Civil War as “infantile”  (within an article based on the Lt Col Gash files[1]). [This protest is now reproduced at the end of this essay as well]. Salter’s assertion is from an UTHR report which in turn is based on appraisals provided by Tamil civilians who survived the last stages of the war. Here I address both Salter and Rajan Hoole, a friend of mine and the central figure behind the exhaustive 2009 UTHR reports.

Sri Lankan Tamil civilians arrive to a government-controlled area after fleeing territory controlled by the LTTE separatist rebels in Puthukkudiyirippu…Sri Lankan Tamil civilians arrive to a government-controlled area after fleeing territory controlled by the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) separatist rebels in Puthukkudiyirippu, northeast Sri Lanka, March 26, 2009. Pictures taken March 26, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer (SRI LANKA POLITICS CONFLICT IMAGE OF THE DAY TOP PICTURE)

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The Personal Touch in Diplomacy seen within the Troika 2008/09 … But Then …!!!

Rajiva Wijesinha, in Island, 13 June 2017, where the title is “The Troika and the importance of individuals” with the highlighting  being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

I have read with interest the accounts by Lalith Weeratunge and Dayan Jayatilleke of the way in which a Troika managed relations between India and Sri Lanka during the war period. Lalith’s account is most illuminating, in explaining how our three representatives, Lalith himself and Gotabhaya and Basil Rajapaksa, ensured the confidence of the Indians, even though the latter were nervous about possible reactions in Tamil Nadu.

ALOK PRASAD

But I believe Dayan is correct in drawing attention to the policy commitments underlying the very positive relationship they nurtured in those crucial years. And I think Dayan is also correct in noting that we need to look also at what happened afterwards, and how the benefits of what the Troika achieved were squandered. Continue reading

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Competing Commemorations and A Hotbed of Political Manoeuvres — says Ferdinando

The Global Sri Lanka Forum (GSLF) celebrated Sri Lanka’s triumph over terrorism in May, 2009 with a public gathering in Dubai. Former Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohina addressed the gathering. On the invitation of the GSLF, Mrs S.G Juliet, mother of Corporal Gamini Kularatne of the Sixth Battalion of the Sinha Regiment garlanded a statue of her son. Gunaratne carried out suicide attack on an LTTE bulldozer on July 14, 1991 during the battle for the strategic Elephant Pass base, the gateway to the Jaffna peninsula. The event took place in the wake of the recent split in the GSLF, leading to the formation of another organization, World Patriotic Lankan Forum (WPLF), headed by Wasantha Keerthiratne.

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Where USA sought to arm-wrestle Sri Lanka in March-April-May 2009

Michael Roberts

The ethnographic ‘nugget’ from Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama recorded by Professor Chandre Dharma-wardana in 2013 has set off a hornet’s nest.[1] In pursuing further inquiries, I have reached the tentative conclusion that Bogollagama has not presented a total fib.[2] He is probably referring to the entry of an US recce team rather than a commando force from America’s Pacific Air Command (PACOM in short) at some point during the last phase of the war – probably in February/March.. This would have been around the time the Western conglomerate in Sri Lanka known officially as the “Co-Chairs” had mooted the idea of “a sea-directed civilian rescue mission” in February.[3]

C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron prepare to land at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 4, 2018, during the 374th Airlift Wing Generation Exercise. The formation flight enabled the pilots to perform training necessary for them to remain current on their skillsets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres) — a snap which has nought to do with Sri Lanka but, like the second one below, serves to illustrate the power and reach of the US forces in general and those in the Pacific in particular

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The Bogollagama Gem: Thoughts on the Threatening US Spectre in March-May 2009

Michael Roberts

A = The ethnographic gem on events in 2009 provided by former minister Rohitha Bogollagama in 2013 that is now clarified by Chandre Dharmawardana is startling news even for those aware of the exchanges taking place in the (i) ambassadorial despatches now accessible via Wikileaks and (ii) the bare details of the secret meeting held in Kuala Lumpur at KP’s ‘office’ in February 2009 between Norwegian diplomats and LTTE operatives (with US cognisance).[1]

two symbolic snaps 

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An US Commando Force was at Katunayake in April 2009 prepared for a So-called ‘Humanitarian Intervention’

Chandre Dharma-wardana, an Item arising from our recent email exchanges and taken from his website …. http://dh-web.org/place.names/posts/blake.html ……….with emphasis in different colours added by me as Editor, Thuppahi

Rohitha Bogollagama was the Foreign Mininster (FM) in 2009, during the last days of the Eelam War-IV. On October 20, 2013 evening, I had a conversation with him in the presence of Mohanil Samarakoon (Address: 7 Rajapihilla Terrace, Kandy). We were at the Estate bungalow of the late Mrs. Sharmini Maththew, Korakaha Estate, Kurunegala. This was after dinner, when all other guests had moved out to the veranda. I was not personally known to Mr. Bogollagama until that afternoon. The three of us lingered further, seated around the dining table. I asked Mr. Bogollagama about the last days of the war. He spoke willingly, and with no further encouragement from me. 

Rohitha Bogollagama

Later it occurred to me that many of the things stated by Mr. Bogollagama were of historical significance; hence I wrote down from memory a brief synopsis of our conversation the following day, after I returned to Colombo. What Mr. Bogollagama said was as follows.

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