Category Archives: Tamil Tiger fighters

Dr Narendran Rajasingham: A Tamil Sri Lankan Indomitable and Sincere

 Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, 13  September 2019, where it has a different title

This NOTE is a felicitation of Dr Rajasingham Narendran – a presentation that is long overdue. Narendran was a graduate from Peradeniya University’s Agriculture Faculty, a food scientist with international expertise who was also a fearless advocate for the Sri Lankan Tamil peoples circumscribed within a firm Sri Lankan perspective. He stood for truth in reportage and brought a clinical mind to the appraisal of horrendous circumstances – among them the decomposition of dead bodies in war-torn locales. Continue reading

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Clobbering Rajiv Gandhi as Chastisement in 1987: A Guti Dheema

Michael Roberts

When Vijithamuni Rohana de Silva upended military discipline and attempted to clobber the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on the head as the latter was inspecting a guard of honour on 30th July 1987, he was indulging in an act of chastisement – a guti dheema in Sinhala parlance. As such, in my tendentious elaboration, Rohana de Silva was administering a medicinal pill in the vocabulary of archaic Sinhala – a vocabulary that has resonances within the term beheth guliya. [1]

The emphasis on guti dheema was a conjecture I presented way back in 2002.[2] In my reading now, one that Retd Commodore Somasiri Devendra does not share, the intricate details provided recently by Retd Lt KH Perera confirm this set of musings.

 Indo-Lanka Accord about to be signed on 29th July 1987

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Ludicrous Science. Huge Error Margins in Death Toll Figures

Chandre Dharmagunawrdena, in Island, 26 July 2019, where the title isGenocide Claims, Number Games and their margins of error”

June 23, 1983  known as “Black July” was a day of shame for Sri Lanka where a government calling itself a “Dharmista Rajya” (a Righteous Regime)  permitted, aided and abetted armed mobs to attack a section of its defenseless citizens — civilian Tamils.  The fact that there were looters, or the possibility that other forces  fished in  troubled waters (http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=74181),  or that most DIG’s of the time were Tamils (http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=74047), etc.,  are irrelevant to the very clear-cut  main issue. That state-aided  terror  happened in the CAPITAL itself  is a FACT and not some allegation based on a numbers game of guessing how  many Tamils  lived in the Metropolis before and after the event.

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Studies of the LTTE Defeat and the Significance of the Rajapaksa Regime’s Measures

Daniel Alphonsus** ….. A review of Peter Stafford Roberts’ “The Sri Lankan Insurgency: Rebalancing the Orthodox Position” and Stephen Battle’s “Lessons In Legitimacy: The LTTE End-Game Of 2007–2009… with highlights being the impositions of The Editor, Thuppahi

It is a truth universally acknowledged that in May 2009 the Government of Sri Lanka won the war. This extraordinary turn of events, we are told, resulted from the political carte blanche granted to the Gotabaya, Fonseka and Karanagoda troika. License from on high, the story goes, unshackled their hitherto caged military nous and single-minded, perhaps even bloody-minded, focus on military victory.

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Causes for the Failure of the LTTE Insurgency: A Capsule Statement

Peter S. Roberts: Abstract of Dissertation “The Sri Lankan Insurgency: A Rebalancing of the Orthodox Position” … being a D. Phil Thesis Brunel University April 2016 …. https://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/13366

The insurgency in Sri Lanka between the early 1980s and 2009 is the topic of this study, one that is of great interest to scholars studying war in the modern era. It is an example of a revolutionary war in which the total defeat of the insurgents was a decisive conclusion, achieved without allowing them any form of political access to governance over the disputed territory after the conflict. Current literature on the conflict examines it from a single (government) viewpoint – deriving false conclusions as a result. This research integrates exciting new evidence from the Tamil (insurgent) side and as such is the first balanced, comprehensive account of the conflict. The resultant history allows readers to reframe the key variables that determined the outcome, concluding that the leadership and decision-making dynamic within the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had far greater impact than has previously been allowed for. The new evidence takes the form of interviews with participants from both sides of the conflict, Sri Lankan military documentation, foreign intelligence assessments and diplomatic communiqués between governments, referencing these against the current literature on counter-insurgency, notably the social-institutional study of insurgencies by Paul Staniland. It concludes that orthodox views of the conflict need to be reshaped into a new methodology that focuses on leadership performance and away from a timeline based on periods of major combat.

SOME PERTINENT STUDIES

Ask these questions: have Peter Roberts, Stephen Battle and Daniel Alphonsus  taken in most of these studies? Allowing for the difficulty of covering every essay, what are the implications arising from the lot missed?

IDAG [i.e. Citizen Silva] 2013 “The Numbers Game: Politics of Retributive Justice,” http://www.scribd.com/doc/132499266/The-Numbers-Game-Politics-of-Retributive-Justice OR http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/shrilanka/document/TheNG.pdf.

De Silva-Ranasinghe, Sergei 2009b “The Battle for the Vanni Pocket,” Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter, March 2009, Vol. 35/2, pp. 17-19.http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/aulimp/citations/gsa/ 2009157395/156554.html

De Silva-Ranasinghe, Sergei 2010b “Downfall of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,” South Asia Defence and Strategic Review, May-June 2010, pp. 10-15.

Roberts, Michael 2013 “BBC-Blind: Misreading the Tamil Tiger Strategy of International Blackmail, 2008-13,” 8 December 2013, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/bbc-blind-misreading-the-tamil-tiger-strategy-of-international-blackmail-2008-13/#more-1122

Jeyaraj, DBS 2011 “KP” speaks out. An Interview with Former Tiger Chief, Vavuniya: NERDO.

Roberts, Michael 2013 “Introducing “Numbers Game” – A Detailed Study of the Last Stages of Eelam War IV,” 30 April 2013, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/introducing-numbers-game-a-detailed-study-of-the-last-stages-of-eelam-war-iv/

Roberts, Michael 2013 “Towards Citizenship in Thamiilam: The Tamil People of the North, 1983-2010,” South Asia Research vol. 33: 57-75.

Roberts, Michael 2014 Tamil Person and State. Essays, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications.

Roberts, Michael 2014 Tamil Person and State. Pictorial, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications.

Roberts, Michael 2014 “Generating Calamity, 2008-2014: An Overview of Tamil Nationalist Operations and Their Marvels,” 10 April 2014, http://groundviews.org/2014/04/10/generating-calamity-2008-2014-an-overview-of-tamil-nationalist-operations-and-their-marvels/

Roberts, Michael 2010d “Self-Annihilation for Political Cause: Cultural Premises in Tamil Tiger Selflessness,” in Roberts, Fire and Storm. Essays in Sri Lankan Politics, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, pp. 161-201.

Roberts, Michael 2012a “Inspirations: Hero Figures and Hitler in Young Pirapāharan’s Thinking,” Colombo Telegraph, 12 February 2012, http://thuppahi. wordpress.com/2012/11/26/velupillai-pirapaharan-veera-maranam/… rep. in TPS: Essays, 2014: 69-89.

 

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A Clinical Study of the LTTE and Pirapakaran

Muttukrishna Sarvananthan, being an article entitled  ‘Terrorism’ or ‘Liberation’? Towards a distinction: A Case Study of the Armed Struggle of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)” in Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol.12/2, 2018 ….

Abstract: This article based on extensive empirical field research and primary sources/data attempts to distinguish terrorism from liberation / freedom struggle by means of a case study of the armed struggle of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. It is argued here that the LTTE was primarily a terrorist organisation/movement because: (i) it’s struggle was overwhelmingly based on armed violence; (ii) it demanded support from the masses through persecution; (iii) it intentionally targeted civilians; (iv) it substantially relied on suicide attacks; (v) it substantially deployed under-age children; and (vi) it was proactively involved in internecine war.

Keywords: Civil War, Freedom Fighters, Liberation, LTTE, Sri Lanka, Tamil Tigers, Terrorism

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Gota’s Role in Eelam War Victory: Peiris challenges Roberts

Gerald Peiris in Kandy to Michael Roberts in Adelaide, 20/21 May 2019

Here are my observations on two of your comments (reproduced below in brown) on Long’s article**

  1. So, Gotabaya was not the single decisive hand in shaping the outcome of Eelam War IV. But in support of some lines in the Stephen Long essay, I shall dwell on several of his special contributions within a separate essay. Moreover, the recent Easter Sunday attacks and subsequent tensions in Sri Lanka encourage me to endorse Stephen Long’s caustic account of the glaring shortcomings in the intelligence operations of the Yahapaalana government. That, ofcourse, is a conclusion that is widely shared.
  2. However, the Sri Lanka Army began to transform its infantry divisions from around 2001 with the development of the SIOT concept which encouraged operational planning from the frontline-upwards and sharpened soldier skills.[2] General Sarath Fonseka is one to whom this course of development can be attributed, but I speculate that there were others involved.

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