Category Archives: violence of language

Suicide Missions as Witnessing: From Self-Immolation to Assassination and Mass Strike

Michael Roberts ….. This article appeared first in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 2007, vol. 30:  857-88.with the titleSuicide Missions as Witnessing: Expansions, Contrasts” and is reproduced here with its original American English spelling. The re-working of this article was seen to by Ms Nadeeka Paththuwaarachchi of Battaramulla. The pictorial images are embellishments that were not part of the original essay. I have also added highlighting emphasis in orange as well as a few hyperlinks to other standard sources of information. The bibliographical references are within the End Notes as in the original format.

ABSTRACT: Studies of suicide missions usually focus solely on attacks. They also have highlighted the performative character of suicide missions as acts of witness. By extending surveys to suicidal acts that embrace no-escape attacks, theatrical assassination, defensive suicide, and suicidal protest, one gains further insight into the motivations of individuals and organizations. Illustrative studies, notably the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and Sadat as well as Tamil Tiger operations, generate a typology that underlines the benefits of such extensions. The Japanese and Tamil contexts reveal the profound differences in readings of sacrificial acts of atonement or punishment by local constituencies. Norman Morrison in Washington in 1965 and Jan Palach in Prague in 1969 did not have such beneficial settings and the immediate ramifications of their protest action were limited. Morrison’s story highlights the significance of a societal context of individuated rationalism as opposed, say, to the “pyramidical corporatism” encouraging martyrdom operations in the Islamic world.

Jan Palach…19 Jan. 1969 Nathuram Godse vs Mahatma Gandhi .. 30 Jan 1948

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A Merry-Go-Round in Sri Lanka …. No Blood

Michael Patrick O’Leary, in Private Eye, where the title is “A Letter from Colombo: Blood Bath in Sri Lanka- not Many Dead”

There is much talk of the second coming of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. It seems that he may have come prematurely, without the potency he had presumed. He says he is prime minister of Sri Lanka. Ranil Wickremesinghe, leader of the UNP (United National Party), says he is prime minister. There have been ugly scenes in parliament as ugly politicians punch each other and throw things about, including a bible (or possibly Erskine May).

 

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Sri Lanka’s Political Story from 1948-2018 in a Slash-and-Burn Nutshell

Qadri Ismail, in Groundviews, 3 November 2018, where the title is “WHAT, to the minority, is democracy?” ….with emphasis insertedby the Editor, Thuppahi

Maithripala Sirisena violates the constitution, stands to destroy democracy itself. Liberals, overwhelmingly Sinhalese, are aggrieved, appalled, aghast.

As a minority, I laugh. Not the happy laughter of someone enjoying a good joke. But the bitter, mirthless cackle of someone forced to read this script many times before – like every full moon, when the temple speakers blare its bana and you can’t blot out the noise with sleep because the liquor stores are closed.

All postcolonial Sri Lankan heads of government, all of them Sinhalese, have consistently violated the constitution and/or “threatened” democracy – usually by practicing it – and/or oppressed minorities. One could deem it a job requirement.

Just a few months after independence, Don Stephen Senanayake denaturalized, then disenfranchised ‘Indian’ Tamil citizens, already alienated from this country by their naming. Constitutional? Probably not. Democratic? Absolutely – passed by a majority of Parliament. Continue reading

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Sinhalese War Poems and the Portuguese

Rohini Paranavitana … a reprint of an article from Jorge Flores (ed.) Re-exploring the links. History and Constructed History=ies between Portugal and Sri Lanka, Wiesdbaden, Harassowitz Verlag , 2007, pp. 49-62.

Sri Lankan classical literature enriched with Buddhist thought did not promote any war or violence up to about the 16th century. Even though war is involved in these writings, the classical writers took the North Indian legendary war as a model. The European model of war was experienced in Sri Lanka only after the arrival of the Portuguese on the island. It was quite a new experience to the Sinhala king and his army to retaliate against Europeans as invaders. The Portuguese engaged in ruthless war with a nation which had a great poetic tradition that made use of this new experience to generate a new area of literary expression within the tradition, referred to as “war poems”.

 

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Mark Knight’s Retaliation by Cartoon: Touche!

Mark_Knight SW cartoon 16-9-2018 HERALD SUN

THOSE who stew and fume in this world as fervent feminist victims –or victims tout court — are asked to look at themselves …. as incisively as the good cartoonist does.

AA SERENA FINGER

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Pirapāharan’s Inspirations and Mind-Set

Michael Roberts … being an expanded and illustrated version of an article that has been presented in the Daily Mirror = http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/Understanding-Velupillai-Pirapaharan-s-mindset-153407.html ...where it has received 1878 hits thus far

Recent revelations on the detailed course of Eelam War IV in its last phase in 2009 made possible by Lord Michael Naseby’s extraction of the contemporary readings of the battle theatre provided by the British Military Attache in Colombo, namely Lt. Col. Gash, permits one to chart specific strands of deceit and conspiratorial design perpetuated by the Western states led by USA and Norway[1] with the implicit or explicit participation of a host of humanitarian agencies, such as ICG, AI and HRW together with several agencies in Colombo.[2]

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NEVER AGAIN! Groundviews Recalls Black July 1983 … Towards Meaningful Reflection

Borella Junction Mayhem–Pic bt Chandragupta Amarasinghe

A Forgotten Community: Remembering Black July

Writer S Karunakaran reflects on Black July from the perspective of a marginalised and often forgotten community – the Malaiyagha Tamils – and specifically those who tried to resettle in the North…

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