Category Archives: war crimes

Philip Maisel’s Oral History of Jewish Holocaust Experiences

Jewish Holocaust Centre, Melbourne ….  http://www.jhc.org.au/museum/collections/survivor-testimonies.html

The JHC has over 1300 video testimonies as well as over 200 audio testimonies in its collection. These provide eyewitness accounts of the horrors of the Holocaust, as well as glimpses into the vibrancy of pre-war Jewish life in Europe. The collection is widely used by researchers and students of oral history, the Holocaust and a variety of other disciplines. The testimonies’ project began in the 1980s as the Melbourne Oral History Project, established by Sandra Cowan and Jenny Wajsenberg and later co-ordinated by the late Anne Bernhaut. They conducted over 200 audio recordings of Holocaust survivors.

 Phillip Maisel has been recording a testimony of Holocaust survivors for 25 years. (ABC News: Peter Drought)

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, historical interpretation, Hitler, human rights, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, racist thinking, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, war crimes, world events & processes, World War II

Glossing over the Atrocities

Sanjana Hattotuwa,  courtesy of The Island, 20 May 2017, where the title is “Eight years hence” ... followed by Jehan Perera

These violent delights have violent ends,

And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,

Which, as they kiss, consume. Shakespeare

 CTF report being handed in 

There are 71 mentions of ‘Army’ in the 491-page final report of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF), released earlier this year. One paragraph is worth flagging in full. “The Army representatives also stated that although they had achieved the Government’s objective under its political direction and in difficult and challenging circumstances, they felt a lack of solidarity and support at present. They stated their support for a truth-seeking process and if there is any evidence of criminal activity, for the prosecution of the guilty. Given that as far as they were concerned, no criminal activity had been undertaken, they saw no need for amnesty either. Whilst they insisted that civilians were not deliberately targeted and that a policy of zero-civilian casualties was followed, they conceded the possibility of civilian deaths on account of civilians being caught in the crossfire. They also denied that sexual violence was used as a weapon of war. The Air Force reiterated that no crimes were committed and no illegal weapons used.”

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, communal relations, democratic measures, disparagement, historical interpretation, human rights, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, war crimes, world events & processes

Murali Reddy’s Frontline Access to the War Zone in May 2009

Shenali D Waduge, reproducing here an old article in Lankaweb from 22 December 2013 which I had not seen even though I had interacted closely with Murali  in Colombo in May-June 2009 (as well as subsequently) and been commissioned to write pieces for Frontline; while also been privileged to chat with Kanchan Prasad in mid-2010 after Murali introduced me to her, after which I gained access to her invaluable snaps of the Nandikadal war zone. These I placed in a special site, viz.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/thuppahi/sets/72157626797805167/ et seq.

Waduge’s article is entitled “Sri Lanka’s War had Witnesses : Indian Journalist B. Murali Reddy”. In the reproduction below, the highlighting in red [as distinct from black] is my imposition as Editor, Thuppahi. Also see my SPECIAL NOTE at the end

 Murali at entrance to LTTE bunker hospital at Last Redoubt –Pic by Kanchan Prasad

Firstly Sri Lanka’s war did have witnesses. The witnesses were however NOT – Gordon Weiss, Francis Harrison, Channel 4, the Darusman Panel, Charles Petrie and a whole list of others who have promoted themselves as witnesses when they are not because they were never inside the war zone. They were only passing between themselves a version they have contrived that fits well within a different agenda that has nothing to do with what they claim it is. Questioning their credibility further is their sources – who happen to all be pro-LTTE. However, there was a witness throughout. He was foreign and his name is B. Muralidhar Reddy, an Indian journalist working for The Hindu/Frontline and his account “Final HoursAn eyewitness account of the last 70 hours of Eelam War IV’ gives a real eyewitness account of what he himself saw. http://www.frontline.in/static/html/fl2612/stories/20090619261200900.htm Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, gordon weiss, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, photography, politIcal discourse, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes

Has Assad been Tarred with a Sarin Brush? A False Flag Stratagem at Play?

 in Daily Mirror, 8 May 2017,  with title   “False-flag chemical weapons attack: Re-play of an old US ploy to smash Syria? – See more at:

As the fallout of the April 4th chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhun in Syria continues to unfold, contradictory reports on the incident have produced more questions than answers as to what really happened.  The only certainty seems to be that sarin or a similar poison was used. This was confirmed by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons according to Reuters, but OPCW was not mandated to assign blame.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, arab regimes, life stories, Middle Eastern Politics, news fabrication, photography, politIcal discourse, propaganda, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes

The Death Toll in 2009: Deceit and Myopia, International and Lankan

 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,[1] Shamindra Ferdinando,[2] 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)

Continue reading

1 Comment

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

Face Our Future: Jihadist Offshoots and Continuing Maelstrom in Middle East

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, arab regimes, asylum-seekers, australian media, authoritarian regimes, life stories, military strategy, modernity & modernization, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, security, self-reflexivity, trauma, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, war crimes, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes, zealotry

HRW in Syria and Sri Lanka: Moral Fervour generating Political Blindness and Partisanship

Michael Roberts,  courtesy of Colombo Telegraph where the title is different and reads as “The Political Bankruptcy of the Western Human Rights Lobby: Their Stance in Syria & Sri Lanka in Juxtaposition.” I anticipate lively blog-comments therein –with the usual quota of disparaging ‘assassinations’.  Highlighted emphasis in RED in the version below is my work.

 A friend in Adelaide recently directed me towards an article in a prestigious world media outlet by Kenneth Roth, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch. In this essay entitled “What Trump Should Do in Syria,” Roth contends that Donald Trump needs to pursue “a much tougher approach toward Moscow than he so far envisions” because the Syrian President Bashar Al Assad has been “targeting and indiscriminately firing upon civilians and civilian infrastructure in opposition-held areas” with Russian backing. In his reading the enormous civilian death-toll is the product of the regime’s deliberate strategy, Besides generating an outflow of refugees, he says that the consequence will also produce an escalation of Islamist extremism. 

As an outsider with a limited knowledge of the extremely complex Syrian and Middle-Eastern ground situation, what strikes me about Roth’s declamation is its one-sidedness and its simplifications. It slides over the impact of US and NATO bombing runs. It implies that the extremism of ISIS, Al Qaida and other forces who are challenging the Syrian dictator is an outcome of the latter’s policies and says little about (a) the Sunni-Shia rivalries that are one aspect of the complex politics in Syria and the Middle East and (b) the repercussions flowing from the American dethronement of Saddam via invasion.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under american imperialism, arab regimes, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, cultural transmission, gordon weiss, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, Middle Eastern Politics, military strategy, nationalism, news fabrication, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, vengeance, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes