Category Archives: UN reports

The Gash Files II: LTTE’s Strategic Design

Michael Roberts

In Despatch COL/2/08 of12 March 2009 Lt. Col Anton Gash has this summary appraisal for his superiors: The LTTE has been forcing the civilian population to move in accordance with their tactical requirements. The NFZ is rigorously policed and patrolled by LTTE cadres, who control access to food and medical facilities, ensuring that their own needs are met before any capacity is allowed for civilians.”

This is a critical observation pointing in the right direction. Nevertheless, it falls short of the mark. The mass of Tamil civilians was not merely a tactical element. They were a central pillar in the LTTE’s grand strategy. For one, they constituted a defensive formation: just so many sandbags restraining the full deployment of the government forces’ military weaponry. While the standard description of the civilians as “hostages” in HR and Western circles does point in this direction, the terminology is “weak” and does not fully capture the overarching strategic purpose of the corralled civilian mass. In addition to serving as a restrictive ‘bund’, the civilian mass provided an active incentive for Western intervention in favour of a ceasefire and some sort of “political solution.

 a tent citty in the Tigers’ last redoubt –-Pic from UNPoE circa February 2009

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Michael Roberts in Conversation in London, 8 March 2018

VISIT https://vimeo.com/259131094

Distinguished academic Dr Michael Roberts was in England recently and talked about his experiences and work including his online life as creator of the Thuppahi Blog (https://thuppahi.wordpress.com) …. This Q and A takes 60 minutes.

Pic by Eranga Jayawardena

Michael Roberts is a historian by training and has taught at the Department of History at Peradeniya University (1961-76) and the Department of Anthropology at Adelaide University (1977-2003). His major works are in agrarian history, social mobility, nationalism and ethnic conflict. Based on his interest in the Tamil liberation struggle and the sacrificial devotion mustered by the LTTE, he has written extensively on suicide missions. Michael Roberts has also edited several volumes on Sri Lanka entitled Collective Identities. In 2004, he retired as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Adelaide University, but continues to write articles.

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Is the Resounding Silence of the Western Powers Today a Meaningful Pointer to the Recent Past?

J. Natasha Gooneratne, in Island, 14 February 2018, where the title is “Yahapalanaya and silence of international community”.Note that the highlighting has been imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

Does the international community’s silence during the rule of Yahapalanaya mean Sri Lanka is finally on the ‘right’ path, or that we’re finally doing what we’re told to do!!!

Mangala Samaraweera at UN, 2015– http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/39111

From 2009 to 2014, Sri Lanka was so heavily featured in international news and foreign government feeds that it was impossible to ignore. From the US led resolution, submitted to the UNHRC, to opinions on how the former government leaders should be tried in international courts (one American journalist even explained how the former Defense Secretary could be taken out of Sri Lanka and be tried in a US court in order to remove impediments toward Yahapalanaya rule), to unsubstantiated claims about corruption, the international community seemed to only want to take out the Rajapaksa-led government, whether they had proof or not of what they were writing about. Continue reading

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Revisiting the Story of the IDP Camps, 2009 et seq: ONE

Michael Roberts

As with Eelam War IV the Western media juggernaut, primed and fed by the extensive LTTE networks abroad, mounted an effective disinformation campaign on this topic. One illustration was when Jeremy Page of the BBC reported in June 2009 that 1400 persons were dying per week in the Manik Farm camps.

Coping with the influx of internal Tamil IDPS from late 2008 onwards was in fact a huge administrative and humanitarian problem with security implications. The task was faced by the Government of Sri Lanka and a collection of INGOS and NGOs with the support of monetary aid provided by the Western governments and UN agencies and with a Coordinating Committee chaired by Mahinda Samarasinghe keeping an eye on proceedings.

Annet Royce (standing) and Sewalanak Cooking team at Omanthai transit camp in mid-May 2009 preparing food packets for IDPS bussed in from war front on way to Manik Farm Camps Continue reading

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Balancing Human Rights with Poverty Alleviation

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka, in The Island, 29 December 2017

Professor Richard Falk’s inspiring and reflective article on Human Rights, Democracy and International Liberalism in ‘The Island’ of Dec 28th (originally titled ‘Democracy, Development, and Reputation: Vietnam, Turkey, and International Liberalism’) re-thinks human rights in a way that potentially introduces a whole new paradigm which  will resonate with many developing countries including Sri Lanka. That it was written by an internationally eminent Professor of Law who has been involved with issues of Human Rights for decades including as Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council, makes it all the more important.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_A._Falk

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A Propaganda Concoction: Tamil Torture Claims in 2017 challenged by Naseby and WION

WION and Padma Rao Sundarji, courtesy of WION, 18 November 2017, where the title is “Tamil torture wounds may have been self-inflicted: Lord Naseby”

Last week, 50 Sri Lankan Tamil men used an  international news agency to make a damning accusation: that they were raped and tortured by Sri Lankan authorities on suspicion of being members of the separatist terror group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), against whom Sri Lanka fought a bloody, 30-year-long civil war. By the time the war ended, more than 120,000 people had been killed. But the conflict ended in 2009. These men say they were tortured in 2016. Why did they wait so long to speak up? British parliamentarian Lord Naseby knows Sri Lanka intimately, having been associated with it for 45 years. He heads a parliamentarian group supportive of Sri Lanka in England’s House of Lords. And he spoke to WION in an exclusive about the latest charges and possible motives.

……………….. http://www.wionews.com/south-asia/self-inflicted-torture-24468

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Lord Naseby Word-for-Word on The Farcical UN Reports on Eelam War IV

WION London, United Kingdom Nov 14, 2017, 12.21 PM (IST) Padma Rao Sundarji … AT http://www.wionews.com/world/un-fudged-sri-lanka-war-casualty-figures-uk-parliamentarian-says-citing-classified-files-24164

For eight years now, western nations and the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva have slammed the Sri Lankan Armed Forces (SLAF) and the former Sri Lankan government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa for brutal human rights violations during Sri Lanka’s three-decade long civil war against the separatist terror group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Of special focus for the West has been the last phase of the war that took place around the Nanthikadal lagoon in North Eastern Sri Lanka.

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