Category Archives: the imaginary and the real

Fighting LTTE Women …. Looking Back from 2016

Kim Wall and Mansi Choksi, in Longreads, May 2018 where the title is “A Chance to Rewrite History: The Women Fighters of the Tamil Tigers” …… How during a brutal, 25-year civil war in Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tigers failed the women soldiers who sacrificed everything to fight for a sovereign state for the Tamil minority [with a NOTE from the Editor, Thuppahi at the end]

“We went on our first reporting trip together to write about an emerging Chinatown in Kampala in 2015,” says Mansi. “And then the next year, I moved to New York, where she was living, so we would spend our afternoons working together.” Mansi and Kim traveled to Sri Lanka in 2016. Mansi recalls Kim’s dedication to telling the story of the women who fought with the Tamil Tigers during Sri Lanka’s brutal, 25-year civil war. “Kim genuinely fell in love with the women we were writing about,” says Mansi. “You can hear it in her voice, in the tapes of our interviews.”

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under communal relations, Fascism, female empowerment, gender norms, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, mass conscription, military strategy, modernity & modernization, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, working class conditions, world events & processes, zealotry

SIOT or Special Action Infantry Teams: Their Origins and Critical Role in Eelam War IV

During m researches I discovered that the SIOT teams were a critical element in enabling the SL Army to outmanoeuvre the LTTE during Eelam War IV. Brigadier (Retd) Hiran Halangode has indicated[i] that General Sarath Fonseka was responsible for initiating this concept in 2001. He sent me a Memo written up Brigadier Ralph Nugera at some point in the past. Ralph Nugara (the correct spelling – altered in the military to rhyme with pronunciation?) is a Peterite whose skills were honed as a commando to the point where he led one of the special force units that crossed the Nandhikadal Lagoon on the night of 18th April 2009 and breached the fortified bunds of the LTTE on its eastern side. This was undoubtedly a remakable operation whihc demanded inovation and skill … as well as careful training beforehand against dummy embankments and defences re-rcreated well to the rear of the ongoing battles.

 I was fortunate in being able to interview Ralph before he retired in 2017; but this item is presented without recourse to my interview or memories thereof.[ii] I present the Nugera Memo sent by Brigadier Halangode.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under cultural transmission, education, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, modernity & modernization, performance, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, world events & processes

From Frying Pan into Fire. Pakistani Refugees in Peril in Sri Lanka

Kate Shellnutt, in Christianity Today, 3 May 2019, where the title is “Sri Lanka’s Christian Refugees Displaced by Retaliation Threats”

Pakistani asylum seekers in Negombo fled terrorist attacks in their home country, only to fear retribution for more deadly violence in their place of refuge.

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2019-05-03 14:50:41Z | |

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, asylum-seekers, atrocities, charitable outreach, discrimination, fundamentalism, life stories, politIcal discourse, racist thinking, refugees, rehabilitation, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, trauma, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Secular Bulwarks against Religious Fanaticism — Our Urgent Need

Tisaranee Gunasekara, whose choice of title has been “Secularism or Faith” — in an article which appeared in Groundviews as well as Sri Lanka Guardian

“And even here

Lies the other shore

Waiting to be reached.”

Tagore (My Reminiscences)

The blue, red, yellow, orange and white lights are on, as are the makeshift stalls selling lanterns. Yet few pause to see, haggle, buy. Vesak, so near chronologically, had never seemed so far away spiritually. After the Easter Sunday Massacre, fears were raised about Vesak too being turned into a bloody spectacle by the IS, working through its local adherents. As it turned out, neither the IS nor its local adherents were necessary to turn Vesak into a season of violence. The Sinhalese managed the task on their own.

Continue reading


Filed under accountability, atrocities, Buddhism, cultural transmission, education policy, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Left politics, life stories, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, racist thinking, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry

The Thinking and Operational Capacity of the 21/4 Jihadists

Asiri Fernando, in Sunday Times, 12 May 2019, “Easter Sunday bombers used high-tech communication: Army Chief”

The terrorists who carried out the Easter Sunday bombings used a Swiss developed, highly encrypted mobile communication App named “Threema”, Army Chief  Lt. General Mahesh Senanaayake told the Sunday Times. The mobile phone App boasts ‘best in the class’ end-to-end encryption and allows a user to generate a random Threema ID, thereby giving anonymity to the user, the product website claimed. The level of encryption used by the said App makes intercepting or decrypting such communications very difficult for Sri Lankan authorities with available technologies.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, arab regimes, atrocities, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, religiosity, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes

The Zahran Hashim Network and Other Factors behind the 21/4 Carnage in Sri Lanka

Anbarasan Ethirajan, BBC news, 11 May 2019 — with this title Sri Lanka attacks: The family networks behind the bombings”

For many Sri Lankans, it was a horrific shock to learn that local Muslims could have been behind the suicide attacks that killed more than 250 people last month. How could a smalL group have planned such a devastating wave of bombings undetected? The clues were there in mid-January, when Sri Lankan police stumbled upon 100kg (220lb) of explosives and 100 detonators, hidden in a coconut grove near the Wilpattu national park, which is a remote wilderness in Puttalam district on the west coast of the country.

  Zahran Hashim has been identified as the ringleader of the bombers

FACEBOOK – Inshaf Ibrahim (R) and his father (C) accepted an award in 2016 from a Sri Lankan minister

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, arab regimes, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, communal relations, conspiracies, education, heritage, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, Middle Eastern Politics, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, the imaginary and the real, trauma, unusual people, world events & processes, zealotry

Nigel Farage castigated by a Sri Lankan British Namesake …. British Imperial History Flogged

Nigel Kerner to Nigel Farage and the BREXIT & UKIP PARTY A Letter entitled “To a Land of Dope & Gory. The Farage Balloon”

What hypocrites so many white Brits are. So many of us  positively stink of racism and that brand of cowardice that hides behind contrived mental devices that are designed to try to fool the world that we are decent fair objective people. Just look at the faces on any football terrace any weekend if you want to see what many Brits are really like. Animals snarling in an open terraced Zoo. Shouting racist slurs and chants at black athletes and football players whose skill often surpasses those of white players. So much for the once vaunted ‘British gentleman’ that once justifiably announced our better senses.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, economic processes, historical interpretation, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, security, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, world events & processes