Category Archives: war crimes

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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Tamils pay Homage to Dead Tigers on 27th November: Channel 4 You Tube on Deep Scars of the Wars

Jonathan Miller of Channel 4 reporting from Sri Lanka, 27 November 20 — with title  Tamils hold provocative remembrance services for fallen Tiger fighters”

https://www.channel4.com/news/tamils-hold-provocative-remembrance-services-for-fallen-tiger-fighters

Amid continuing political turmoil in Sri Lanka, the Tamils in the north of the country have tonight held ceremonies commemorating fallen fighters of the Tamil Tiger insurgent army which was summarily defeated nine years ago. The remembrance events are highly controversial, particularly among ethnic Sinhalese nationalists.

Despite international outrage over alleged atrocities committed by Sri Lankan armed forces, there has been little progress towards accountability. We report from the former Tamil Tiger capital, Killinochi. A warning: the report contains images that some viewers might find distressing.

 This snap is from 27 November 2015

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The Role of Religion in Tamil Militancy in Sri Lanka

Iselin Frydenlund, …..  which reached me via the University of Adelaide circuit and where the title is Tamil Militancy in Sri Lanka and the Role of Religion”. It is presented here against the wishes of the author, with a change of title, modifications in the hyphenation style, the addition of illustrative photographs from my own stock and the use of coloured  highlighting to mark significant passages….. The Editor, Thuppahi

From the late 1970s to its defeat by the Government of Sri Lanka in 2009, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fought for Tamil independence in Sri Lanka. The ultimate aim of what was often considered to be one of the world‘s most disciplined and efficient insurgency groups was to create an independent Tamil homeland (which they called Tamil Eelam) in the northern and eastern parts of the island. The LTTE based itself on a unique mix of Tamil nationalist, socialist, and feminist visions of a new future for the marginalized Tamil communities of Sri Lanka.

Tiger fighters

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An Ode in the Face of The Terrorist Liberation-Fighter

  Jane Russell

“[This poem was presented] a small pamphlet called “Ganga” published in Colombo in 1978: it was aimed at the boasting men of violence everywhere – the Warriors of Terror whom in the guise of Freedom Fighters were inflicting further violence on already violated communities:

To Aloysius-Ludovico (The Terrorist)

I am tired of hearing you sing
the anthems of Freedom and War…
How joyously you crack the whip
and bellow out the tune above the drums!
But the faces of my friends haunt me
in the mornings when I see Death’s Armada
With its pirate’s flag of torture trailing….
what does it matter, your Freedom?
They are dying, my friends and their children…

Nalliah Thayabharan, thank you for reminding me of this poem written in despair in Colombo 30+ years ago. A whole generation has grown up since then but the same (better) poem is probably being written today in Syria by some unknown idealist…..as the song goes “When will we ever learn?”

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In Praise of Traitors: Intimacy, Betrayal, and the Sri Lankan Tamil Community

Sharika Thiranagama, Chapter in Suspicion, Intimacyy and The Ethics of State-building, ed. by S. Thirangama and Tobias Kelly, , University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.

 

ABSTRACT: In a 2006 Canadian Sri Lankan Tamil pamphlet called Thurohi (Traitor), the author tells his diasporic audience, “many of us fled and came to this country. Why? Our life’s duty is to survive. But what is our historical duty? To be traitors” (Jeeva 2006, 3; emphasis added).1 The war between the Sri Lankan state and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) drew in Sri Lanka’s three largest ethnic groups: The majority Sinhalese, the minority Sri Lankan Tamils, and Sri Lankan Muslims; the latter, while war-affected, were not active in the conflict. The primary battlefields and areas of LTTE control were northern and eastern Sri Lanka. In May 2009 the war came to a bloody close in a stand-off with the Sri Lankan Army and the death of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and most senior leadership. This end came long after the writing of this chapter and is not its subject……. Continue reading

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Confronting Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Q & A in 2018 – Swedish Journalist Mikaelsson

Johan Mikaelsson, in Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka, 5 November 2018, where the title is Impunity Island: Sri Lanka’s “predator emeritus” on rebound,”

Many local journalists feel discomfort when they hear the name Gotabaya Rajapaksa[1]. He is seen as a ruthless person, who was behind the murder wave that took the lives of their colleagues. They see it as unthinkable to contact him and ask critical questions. The few foreign journalists who tried to put some pressure on him when he held his powerful position 2005–2015 were met with anger. After 2015, Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been almost invisible in international media.

 

‘Gota’, the nick-name under which he is usually known, is now often surrounded by a glow, a shimmering luster. Many want to see more of ‘Gota’, they regard him as a wonder maker. Most editors avoid challenging him. A few journalists in the domestic English-language press have asked difficult questions, but ‘Gota’ appears to be ready to move on, possibly as a candidate in the presidential election in 2020.

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Beware the Global Human Rights Mafia and Their Sri Lankan Parrots

C. A. Chandraprema, in Island, September 2018, with this title “Cardinal’s words and Mangala’s response”.… the highlighting is the work of the Editor, Thuppahi

The comments made by Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith last Sunday at the Ekala St Matthew’s Church have made waves with Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Saliya Peiris criticising the Cardinal’s words and the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and several Catholic MPs in the Joint Opposition condemning Samaraweera and Peiris for taking on the Cardinal. What the Cardinal said last Sunday during a sermon delivered in Sinhala was roughly as follows.

“The latest religion in the West is the religion called human rights. Human rights were discovered only recently. It is being regarded as a wonderful new discovery which is being held aloft and we are being relentlessly lectured about it. However our people began adhering to religions centuries ago. Some people in our country talk of a secular society. Human life is not just food and drink and the pursuit of comfort. Many people in the West now regard religion as an outer garment. They use religion when it suits them but if they are required to make sacrifices, they put religion aside. Our lives are short and if we limit it to the pursuit of pleasure we will come to an unfortunate end. If we adhere to a religion we don’t need human rights. Those who are dependent on human rights are those who have no religion. We must not be misled by these chimeras. We must look at this intelligently.”

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