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, Shamindra Ferdinando, 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)
Filed under accountability, atrocities, disparagement, doctoring evidence, Eelam, female empowerment, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, news fabrication, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, vengeance, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes
Two Insights from the Sri Lankan scenario in early 2009 during the last stages of Eelam War IV which I re-discovered in going through an essay based on a Skype chat with Gotabaya Rajapaksa and investigation among the US Embassy despatches to Washington open to the world via Wikieaks
A = Ambassador Robert Blake to Gota: “We are Americans. We will teach them a lesson and even bomb them if need be.” –– in response to Gotabaya’s scepticism about the Tiger leadership’s readiness to accept international intervention to save the threatened civilian population in the remnant LTTE stronghold on the coastal shores abutting Nandikadal Lagoon [in the course of an amiable conversation on either the 11th or 15th April 2009]
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Daya Somasundaram … http://repo.jfn.ac.lk/med/bitstream/701/1011/1/Somasundaram-Suicide%20bombers%20of%20Sri%20Lanka.pdf
ABSTRACT The phenomena of suicide bombers in Sri Lanka share some similarities with but also have some marked differences with what is seen in other parts of world today. Increasing discrimination, state humiliation and violence against the minority Tamils brought out a militancy and the phenomena of suicide bombers. The underlying socio-political and economical factors in the North and East of Sri Lanka that caused the militancy at the onset are examined. Some of these factors that were the cause of or consequent to the conflict include: extrajudicial killing of one or both parents or relations by the state; separations, destruction of home and belongings during the war; displacement; lack of adequate or nutritious food; ill health; economic difficulties; lack of access to education; not seeing any avenues for future employment and advancement; social and political oppression; and facing harassment, detention and death. At the same time, the Tamil militants have used various psychological methods to entice youth, children and women to join and become suicide bombers. Public displays of war paraphernalia, posters of fallen heroes, speeches and video, particularly in schools and community gatherings, heroic songs and stories, public funeral rites and annual remembrance ceremonies draw out feelings of patriotism and create a martyr cult. The religio-cultural context of the Tamils has provided meaning and symbols for the creation and maintenance of this cult, while the LTTE has provided the organisational capacity to train and indoctrinate a special elite as suicide bombers. Whether the crushing of the LTTE militarily by the state brings to an end the phenomena of suicide bombers or whether it will re-emerge in other forms if underlying grievances are not resolved remains to be seen.
KEY WORDS: Altruistic suicide; Ethnic conflict; Insurgency; Sacrifice; Sri Lanka; Suicide bombers Continue reading
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Arthur Wamanan & Ruwan Laknath Jayakody, courtesy of The Nation, 11 March 2017, where the title is “The battle after the war”
Life continues to be a struggle for 45-year-old Kathir, a former Tamil Tiger combatant, and his family. Kathir was one of the 12,000 Tiger cadres who underwent a rehabilitation process soon after the end of the war. Kathir was lucky to be released after a year of rehabilitation. “I was disabled due to the war and therefore my time at rehabilitation centres was just one year,” he said.
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Gerald H. Peiris, being a reprint of Chapter Six in his Twilight of the Tigers, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2009, with Vijitha Yapa Publications in Colombo as local distributors, pp. 151-77 … a reprint inspired by the presentation of Jeremy Liyanage’s Q and A with Karuna in mid-2010.
The contents of this chapter, except its ‘Introductory Notes’ and the ‘Postscript’, are based almost entirely on an article titled “An Assessment of the Current Crisis among the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam” written by me in March 2004 while the events that constituted the early stages of the revolt led by ‘Colonel Karuna’ against the Vanni-based Tiger leadership were unfolding in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. It was published by the Jane’s Information Group, UK. Written as it was in the context of acute paucity of documented information on the rapidly changing and bewilderingly complex scenario in the ‘north-east’ of Sri Lanka at that time, the article contained a fair amount of reasoned speculation. Here, in this chapter, I have retained the original article largely unchanged mainly for the reason that some of my speculations and predictions proved subsequently to be correct. The changes of the original article made in the formulation of this chapter have involved only some alterations of tense, and the addition of foo-notes for clarification and substantiation, and a ‘postscript’, intended to update the impact of the events examined in the article from the viewpoint of the thematic concerns of this volume. Gerald Peiris
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