Category Archives: Tamil civilians

In Praise of Traitors: Intimacy, Betrayal, and the Sri Lankan Tamil Community

Sharika Thiranagama, Chapter in Suspicion, Intimacyy and The Ethics of State-building, ed. by S. Thirangama and Tobias Kelly, , University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.

 

ABSTRACT: In a 2006 Canadian Sri Lankan Tamil pamphlet called Thurohi (Traitor), the author tells his diasporic audience, “many of us fled and came to this country. Why? Our life’s duty is to survive. But what is our historical duty? To be traitors” (Jeeva 2006, 3; emphasis added).1 The war between the Sri Lankan state and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) drew in Sri Lanka’s three largest ethnic groups: The majority Sinhalese, the minority Sri Lankan Tamils, and Sri Lankan Muslims; the latter, while war-affected, were not active in the conflict. The primary battlefields and areas of LTTE control were northern and eastern Sri Lanka. In May 2009 the war came to a bloody close in a stand-off with the Sri Lankan Army and the death of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and most senior leadership. This end came long after the writing of this chapter and is not its subject……. Continue reading

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Tiger Insurgents caught in the Oddusuddan Locality in June 2018

D.B.S. Jeyaraj in Daily Mirror, 30 June 2018, where the title reads “Seizure of Tiger arsenal in North renews fears of an LTTE revival attempt”

The 21km-long Puthukkudiyiruppu-Oddusuddan road progressing through the hinterland of North-Eastern Mullaitivu District, links Puthukkudiyiruppu on the A-35 Paranthan-Mullaitivu highway and Oddusuddan on the A-34 Mankulam-Mullaitivu highway. It was along this road that a trusted deputy of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed by the deep penetration squad of the Sri Lankan armed forces on September  26, 2001. Vaithilingam Sornalingam alias “Col” Shankar, the founder-chief of the tiger air wing was killed by a claymore mine hung on a tree as he was driving his two-seater four-wheeler pick-up vehicle alone. The killing transmitted shockwaves amongst LTTE circles as it demonstrated the fact that the armed forces were capable of infiltrating the heartland of tiger-controlled territory and inflicting lethal damage.

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Our Murali: An Ecumenical Man for All Peoples and Ethnicities

Pushpendra Albe, in Cricket Age, 10 November 2018 where the title is Murali Helps All Communities Alike, So Who Can Complain?”

As a cricketer, Muttiah Muralitharan has been regarded as the greatest spinnerof all time. As a cricketer, his journey to become the living legend of the game by overcoming all the hurdles and controversies, was nothing sort of a spectacular fairy tale.

However, there is another side of Murali, which has turned out equally admirable. As a philanthropist, through his NGO Foundation Of Goodness (FOG), Murali have brought change in the millions of the Sri Lankans, irrespective of their caste, background or religion. Murali’s journey as a philanthropist in last one decade has transformed Sri Lanka’s poor communities and has opened the whole new world for the younger generations. With his manager and founder trustee of FOG Kushil Gunasekera, Murali has become a symbol of peace, harmony and has uplifted millions of lives. Those Tamil leaders, who are questioning Murali’s contribution to the community, must see the ground reality of bowling legend philanthropic achievements, before pointing fingers towards him!

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Confronting Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Q & A in 2018 – Swedish Journalist Mikaelsson

Johan Mikaelsson, in Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka, 5 November 2018, where the title is Impunity Island: Sri Lanka’s “predator emeritus” on rebound,”

Many local journalists feel discomfort when they hear the name Gotabaya Rajapaksa[1]. He is seen as a ruthless person, who was behind the murder wave that took the lives of their colleagues. They see it as unthinkable to contact him and ask critical questions. The few foreign journalists who tried to put some pressure on him when he held his powerful position 2005–2015 were met with anger. After 2015, Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been almost invisible in international media.

 

‘Gota’, the nick-name under which he is usually known, is now often surrounded by a glow, a shimmering luster. Many want to see more of ‘Gota’, they regard him as a wonder maker. Most editors avoid challenging him. A few journalists in the domestic English-language press have asked difficult questions, but ‘Gota’ appears to be ready to move on, possibly as a candidate in the presidential election in 2020.

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The Situation of the Tamils in the Present Saga — Guruparan

Kumaravadivel Guruparan in Scroll, 5 November 2011, where the title is Sri Lanka’s political crisis explained, and what it means for the island nation’s Tamil community”

In November 2014, Maithripala Sirisena, who was then a cabinet minister and member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, broke ranks with his leader, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and agreed to be the common presidential candidate of the Opposition, led by the United National Party. Sirisena won the election in what was then hailed as a “democratic revolution”.

He undid that “revolution” on October 26 this year when he sacked Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and appointed Rajapaksa in his place. He did so ignoring the constitutional amendment he had helped pass after coming to power in 2015, which had done away with the president’s power to remove the prime minister. He thus triggered what is being called Sri Lanka’s first unconstitutional transfer of power – a coup.

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The DBS Jeyaraj Column in DAILY MIRROR



Ashraff: Single most popular mass figure in Eastern Muslim politics

October 23 is the 70th Birth anniversary of legendary Muslim Congress leader M.H.M. Ashraf…



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Turmoil in the North Too? Jeyaraj Clarifies

D. B.S. Jeyaraj, in Daily Mirror,  27 October 2018

 

 

Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Wigneswaran  has announced the launch of a new political formation known as the “Thamizh Makkal Koottani” meaning Tamil People’s Alliance (TPA). The retired Supreme Court judge who was until a few days ago the Northern Province Chief Minister has split from the “Thamizh Thesiya Koottamaippu” or the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and declared his intent to form the TPA which is expected to electorally-target the TNA. Some may even argue that the raison d’etre for the ‘new’ TPA is the objective of politically undermining the ‘old’ TNA.
The Tamil National Alliance is the premier political configuration of Sri Lankan Tamils. The chief constituent of the TNA is the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) referred to in English as the Federal Party (FP). The TNA contests under the House symbol of the ITAK in elections. C.V. Wigneswaran  contested the Northern Provincial Council elections in September 2013 as the chief ministerial candidate of the TNA. He contested as the ITAK candidate in the Jaffna District with the backing of other TNA constituents at that time, namely the TELO, PLOTE, TULF and EPRLF.

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Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, communal relations, constitutional amendments, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, the imaginary and the real, trauma, unusual people, world events & processes