Category Archives: war crimes

Experiencing Terror in the Heart of New York: 9/11

Palitha Kohona, courtesy of Ceylon Today

It was another sunny September morning. The sky was a brilliant blue. As I gazed out of my kitchen window while having breakfast, in Midtown Manhattan, the Twin Towers were glistening in the morning sun. I noted, as I often had, that they were still there, a familiar reassuring sight. The cute young blonde in the apartment across the street was drying her wet hair, as usual, by her plate glass window. The walk to the United Nations (UN) and my office on the 32nd floor of the Secretariat was uneventful.

Kent Kobersteen, former Director of Photography of National Geographic

“The pictures are by Robert Clark, and were shot from the window of his studio in Brooklyn. Others shot the second plane hitting the tower, but I think there are elements in Clark’s photographs that make them special. To me the wider shots not only give context to the tragedy, but also portray the normalcy of the day in every respect except at the Towers. I generally prefer tighter shots, but in this case I think the overall context of Manhattan makes a stronger image. And, the fact that Clark shot the pictures from his studio indicates how the events of 9/11 literally hit home. I find these images very compellingÑin fact, whenever I see them they force me to study them in great detail.”

Continue reading

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, Al Qaeda, atrocities, foreign policy, jihad, life stories, meditations, military strategy, photography, politIcal discourse, security, self-reflexivity, suicide bombing, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, trauma, vengeance, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes

Anguish!! Reading Mike

 Image from http://sangam.org/sachis-files-chapter-4-2/ by Sachi Sri Kantha, 16 October 2015,

When the essay “Anguish as Empowerment …A Path to Retribution” was presented on the 22nd March 2017, I received several private email comments from good friends. My recent little essay on Ëxtremist Cricket Fans” has led me to look over this set of remarks and a tirade of sorts directed at me by an embittered Tamil nationalist named Kathiravan espousing the cause of Eelam in February 2011 in the Blog Comments within Colombo Telegraph (and rehashed by me in Thuppahi = see ……………………….……………. https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/an-angry-tamil-kathiravan-confronts-roberts/).

The unsolicited readings are too valuable to lie in the cupboards and I am waxing bold by presenting them to the world without the permission of my friends within the present reflections on EXTREMISM. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, Buddhism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, devolution, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, ethnicity, fundamentalism, governance, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, modernity & modernization, Muslims in Lanka, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, religiosity, religious nationalism, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, violence of language, war crimes, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

Solheim and Sri Lanka: Q and A Today

Padma Rao Sundarji  courtesy of Asian Tribune, 20 August 2017, where the title reads Ërik Solheim : “Regret we could not spend more time with Prabhakaran”

Erik Solheim, Norwegian peace mediator in the 30-year-long Sri Lanka civil war breaks his silence on his controversial role to Padama Rao Sundarji.

If we had spent more time with him (Prabhakaran), we would probably be able to influence him more,’ said Solheim

Padma Rao Sundarji: How and when did the government of Norway decide to mediate in Sri Lanka and why did they pick you?

Erik Solheim: We were invited in absolute secrecy by the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga. At the time, only two people in Colombo knew — she and foreign minister Lakshman Kadiragamar. It stayed like that for one-and-a-half years. Only later, it became public. I believe we were invited because we could potentially be acceptable to India as a small nation. And, we were invited because we had, at that time, seen some successes in the Middle East. They were small successes. But as a small, faraway nation it was felt that we could not really mess up Sri Lanka and could be acceptable to both the Tigers and the government of Sri Lanka at the same time. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, charitable outreach, democratic measures, Eelam, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, law of armed conflict, legal issues, LTTE, military strategy, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes, zealotry

Fire-Storm Images, III: LTTE Leaders

 

Velupillai Pirapaharan in his presentation of self in Che Guevara mode

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, historical interpretation, island economy, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes, zealotry

A Blanket over India’s Dirty War in Kashmir

Rajeeva Jayaweera,  in The Island, 4 June 2017, where the title is Army fighting dirty war in J&K need be innovative – Indian Army Chief”

Indian Army Chief of Staff General Bipin Rawat, during a recent ceremony to award Chief of Army staff (COAS) commendation card to Major Leetul Gogoi, has strongly defended his soldiers currently involved in counter terrorism operations and quelling rioting Kashmiris. Major Gogoi is accused of using an arrested stone pelting protestor as a human shield. The protestor was tied to the front of an army jeep on April 9 before moving his unit together with a dozen local Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) employees, ten ITPB Jawans, several constables from J&K police and a bus driver trapped inside a polling booth, to safety. The group was surrounded by a large number of violent protestors who had also taken up position on surrounding roofs. After reaching safety, the protestor used as a human shield was handed over to local police. The incident which was videoed went viral within hours.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, historical interpretation, human rights, indian armed forces, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes

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