Category Archives: Tamil migration

Thomas Meaney, A Review Article, courtesy of the Author and the London Review of Books,… with emphasis by highlights added by The Editor, Thuppahi … SEE www.lrb.co.uk

prabha-with-pistol-2   prabha-tiger

Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World by Steven Kemper, Chicago, 480 pp, £31.50, January 2015, ISBN 978 0 226 19907

Tamil: A Biography by David Shulman, Harvard, 416 pp, £25.00, September 2016, ISBN 978 0 674 05992 4

The Seasons of Trouble: Life amid the Ruins of Sri Lanka’s Civil War by Rohini Mohan, Verso, 368 pp, £16.99, October 2015, ISBN 978 1 78168 883 0

Independence was handed to Ceylon’s elite on a platter. ‘Think of Ceylon as a little bit of England,’ Oliver Ernest Goonetilleke, the first native governor-general, said. This was a point of pride. Don Stephen Senanayake, the country’s first prime minister, remarked: ‘There has been no rebellion in Ceylon, no non-cooperation movement and no fifth column. We were among the peoples who gave full collaboration while Britain was hard-pressed.’ After independence in 1948, Ceylon alone among the former colonies not only retained but promoted the monarchy: the Union Jack flew alongside the Ceylon flag; a new constitution was drafted by a former LSE professor, Ivor Jennings; Colombo debutantes were presented at Buckingham Palace; and, thanks to some genealogical ingenuity, George VI was recognised as the latest monarch in the ancient line of Kandyan kings. While the rest of the empire in Asia smouldered – in India there was Partition, in Malaya the Emergency, in Burma the civil war – Ceylon became Whitehall’s model for the transfer of colonial power. ‘There was no fight for that freedom which involved a fight for principles, policies and programmes,’ Solomon Ridgeway Bandaranaike, the anti-colonial head of state who took power in 1956, said when he reviewed the transition a decade later. ‘It just came overnight. We just woke up one day and were told: “You are a dominion now.”[1] Continue reading

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February 10, 2017 · 1:03 pm

A Requiem for Stanley J. Tambiah

Sachi Sri Kanthain Ilankai Tamil Sangam, 9 February 2014, … http://sangam.org/stanley-jeyaraja-tambiah-1929-2014/

tambiah-pic-11 “In 1958, while I was leading a research team composed of university undergraduates, all of whom were Sinhalese, that were engaged in a sociological study of peasant colonization in Gal Oya, ethnic riots unexpectedly broke out in our midst, and at Amparai, Sinhalese public workers went on the rampage in hijacked trucks, attacking Tamil shopkeepers and Tamil peasant colonists. My students, very solicitous for my safety, insisted that I stay behind closed doors while they stood guard. And I was later hidden in a truck, and spirited out of the valley to Batticaloa, a safe Tamil area. That experience was traumatic: it was the first time the ethnic divide was so forcibly thrust into my existence. And intuitively reading the signs, I wished to get away from the island, for I experienced a mounting alienation and a sense of being homeless in one’s own home.” …… Tambiah SJ (1997) a rejoinder to ‘Buddhism Betrayed’ book review by Sasanka Perera

Tambiah SJ (1997) on 1983 ethnic riots in Sri Lanka

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HRW in Syria and Sri Lanka: Moral Fervour generating Political Blindness and Partisanship

Michael Roberts,  courtesy of Colombo Telegraph where the title is different and reads as “The Political Bankruptcy of the Western Human Rights Lobby: Their Stance in Syria & Sri Lanka in Juxtaposition.” I anticipate lively blog-comments therein –with the usual quota of disparaging ‘assassinations’.  Highlighted emphasis in RED in the version below is my work.

 A friend in Adelaide recently directed me towards an article in a prestigious world media outlet by Kenneth Roth, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch. In this essay entitled “What Trump Should Do in Syria,” Roth contends that Donald Trump needs to pursue “a much tougher approach toward Moscow than he so far envisions” because the Syrian President Bashar Al Assad has been “targeting and indiscriminately firing upon civilians and civilian infrastructure in opposition-held areas” with Russian backing. In his reading the enormous civilian death-toll is the product of the regime’s deliberate strategy, Besides generating an outflow of refugees, he says that the consequence will also produce an escalation of Islamist extremism. 

As an outsider with a limited knowledge of the extremely complex Syrian and Middle-Eastern ground situation, what strikes me about Roth’s declamation is its one-sidedness and its simplifications. It slides over the impact of US and NATO bombing runs. It implies that the extremism of ISIS, Al Qaida and other forces who are challenging the Syrian dictator is an outcome of the latter’s policies and says little about (a) the Sunni-Shia rivalries that are one aspect of the complex politics in Syria and the Middle East and (b) the repercussions flowing from the American dethronement of Saddam via invasion.

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How USA got into bed with the LTTE

aadaya-gAbout Daya Gamage”s Book “Tamil Tigers’ Debt to America”

aa-ltte-and-usa   ISBN: 1537053485 …

ISBN 13: 9781537053486…..Library of Congress Control Number: 2016913508 … Copyright © 2016 Daya Gamage

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The Full Monty: Commentary and Debate around Thuppahi’s Sinhala Mind-Set

I reproduce here the series of sporadic comments on my opening ‘signature’ entitled SINHALA MIND-SET. These occurred for the most part between 2010 and 2013 and I have taken the liberty of highlighting segments of the commentary as guidance and as a stirring of the brew. I invite readers to use these thoughts as an inspiration to serious reflection on the situation in Sri Lanka today in its recent ‘evolution’ after the end of Eelam War IV. I will be presenting an article with my own thoughts so you will have scope for two bites at this mango. This second post will include a bibliography, but an even more extensive bibliography on “Disappearances” is in the planning stage.

 aa-jane-r Jane Russel aa-xcharlieCharles Ponnadurai aka Sarvan michael-2015Roberts

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Filed under accountability, citizen journalism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, disparagement, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, modernity & modernization, plural society, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, world events & processes

What Trump may bring to the US Table on Sri Lanka in contrast with Clinton’s ”Humanitarian Imperialist Cloak”

Daya Gamage, courtesy of Asian Tribune, where the title reads “Trump – Tamil Diaspora Eelam Activists & Sri Lanka Trajectory”

When asked about the implications of the ongoing purge – immediately following the abortive military coup in Turkey – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump echoed: What right do we in the United States have to criticize the condition of human rights elsewhere? Here’s Trump: “I think right now when it comes to civil liberties, our country has a lot of problems, and I think it’s very hard for us to get involved in other countries when we don’t know what we are doing and we can’t see straight in our own country. We have tremendous problems when you have policemen being shot in the streets, when you have riots, when you have Ferguson. When you have Baltimore. When you have all of the things that are happening in this country — we have other problems, and I think we have to focus on those problems. When the world looks at how bad the United States is, and then we go and talk about civil liberties, I don’t think we’re a very good messenger.” donald-trump_3 hillary-11-business-indider

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Filed under accountability, Al Qaeda, american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, Indian Ocean politics, Islamic fundamentalism, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Presidential elections, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, terrorism, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes

Returned Tamil Asylum Seekers Today: A Jaundiced and Gullible Australian Reporter’s View

Greg Bearup, in The Australian, 31 October  2016, where the title isIn the Wash-Up Asylum Loser Wins” …. with emphasis in this presentation being t e work of The Editor, Thuppahi.

The crab-trapper of Jaffna is a happy man; he has a sturdy boat with a new Suzuki motor. Each morning he rises before dawn to motor out to a vast lagoon in his new auto rickshaw to fish for prawns and crabs — partly funded by the $5000 given to him by Australian taxpayers. In August 2012, when Marcus Pireesan fled Sri Lanka for ­Australia in search of a better life, Jaffna, the northern Tamil capital and his home town, was a very different place from what it is today.

marcus Pireesan with some of his childrenPic Greg Bearup

The long civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ended in 2009 – a UN report estimating that 40,000 people died in final months of the conflict, mainly civilians – but the Rajapaksa regime, which brutally obliterated the Tigers, was still in power; young Tamil men were still being bundled into government vans and never seen again. “We lived in constant fear,” Pireesan, 40, tells me, “just knowing information was dangerous. You could be stopped at a roadblock and kidnapped (by the government forces) and no one would ever know.” And fishermen like him were told where and on what days they could fish. Continue reading

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