Category Archives: war reportage

Hillary Quite Contrary: American Zealotry

About Hillary Clinton in public on the world stage on Sri Lanka on 22 April 2009

“One glaring instance of this blinding zealotry in the wielding of power was when Clinton directed a tongue-lashing at the government of Sri Lanka on the 22nd April 2009 for engendering “a terrible humanitarian tragedy.”[1] about 36 hours after all the Western ambassadors had been shown real time aerial footage[2] of some 100-110,000 civilians streaming across the shallow parts of Nandikadal Lagoon to safety in the wake of a remarkable SL Army military operation launched on the night of the 19th April.” …Michael Roberts = https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/the-death-toll-in-2009-deceit-and-myopia-international-and-lankan/#more-25087

             The Exodus 21-24 April 2009    Smoke from air strike in Syria – 1413219939287_wps_33_Smoke_from_an_airstrike_b-300×199.jpg Continue reading

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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)

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Christopher Hitchens in Perceptive Reading of the LTTE Defeat in May 2009

Christopher Hitchens,in Slate, 25 May 2009, where the title is “The End of the Tamil Tigers” … and where the chief by-line saysInsurgencies don’t always have history on their side” … See my brief NOTE at the end re the late Christopher Hitchens and note that the  highlights are my imposition

In the late fall of 1978, I was approached by a Sri Lankan Tamil rights group, which visited the office of the socialist weekly in London where I was then working and entreated me to pay a visit to their country. I say “their” country, though they actually referred to it as “Ceylon”: the British colonial name that continued to be the country’s name after independence in 1948. It was only changed in 1972. The word Lanka is simply the name for island in Sanskrit, and the prefix Sri has a connotation of holiness, and the alteration generally reflected the aspirations and preferences of the Sinhalese-speaking and Buddhist majority. So the difference in emphasis there was pretty large to begin with.

 Sri Lankan soldiers with the remains of what’s said to be Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran = pic & caption as in SLATE

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American Power, American Shambles — Lanka 2009

Two Insights from the Sri Lankan scenario in early 2009 during the last stages of  Eelam War IV which I re-discovered in going through an essay based on a Skype chat with Gotabaya Rajapaksa and investigation among the US Embassy despatches to Washington open to the world via Wikieaks

A = Ambassador Robert Blake to Gota: “We are Americans. We will teach them a lesson and even bomb them if need be.” –– in response to Gotabaya’s scepticism about the Tiger leadership’s readiness to accept international intervention to save the threatened civilian  population in the remnant LTTE stronghold on the coastal shores abutting Nandikadal Lagoon [in the course of an amiable conversation on either the 11th or 15th April 2009

 

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The Games that the Almighty Play: Syria Now, Sri Lanka Then

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka, from The Island, 10 April 2017, where the title is “Watching Syria, seeing Sri Lanka” … highlighting in this presentation being my workas Editor …. and with further Commentary and Bibliographic References at the end

It was not easy to watch the proceedings on Friday April 7 that the UN Security Council’s emergency ‘open session’ on Syria without thinking of Sri Lanka, although the actual circumstances of the UN’s engagement with the two countries are very different. Only one thing seemed alarmingly similar. It seemed like a set up. US Ambassador Nikki Haley’s dramatic gesture of holding up photographs of chemical-gassed children only served to bring to mind the now famous theatrical display of a vial of anthrax by US Secretary of State Colin Powell at the same venue to warn the Council of the imminent danger that lay before the world from WMDs in Iraq.

Image #: 24024242 Pigeons lie on the ground after dying from what activists say is the use of chemical weapons by forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad in the Damascus suburbs of Arbeen August 24, 2013. Picture taken August 24, 2013. REUTERS/Ammar Dar (SYRIA – Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT ANIMALS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) REUTERS /STRINGER /LANDOV

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A Moderate Tamil Voice of Reason in London 2013 — Pertinent Today

Rob Pinney from London, United Kingdom. May 18th, 2013…. http://tropicaltopix.tumblr.com/post/50977301878/read-the-entire-post-here-robpinney-london … With sections and highlighting inserted by Editor, Thuppahi

It really bothers me that the protest of ‘Tamils… gathered around photographs of those killed during the Sri Lankan civil war’ is being symbolized by people carrying the LTTE flag. Anyone who protests that massacres of Tamils in 2009 should by no means do so under the Tiger flag. In 2009, the Tigers forced innocent Tamil civilians to remain in the Vanni – under pain of death. When I was working in the Vanni, I began to truly sympathize with the Tamils who stayed behind in Sri Lanka. They lost EVERYTHING under the Tigers and the GoSL.Tamil protesters gather around photographs of those killed during the Sri Lankan civil war.

 Thousands of Tamils march through central London to commemorate those killed during the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war and to call on Prime Minister David Cameron to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, to be held on Colombo in November 2013…..(© Rob Pinney / www.robpinney.com) Continue reading

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The War Dead in Sri Lanka: Deceit and Ignorance Rule the Air Waves

      Both these images are from TamilNet and were part of the extensive stock sent to me in 2009/10 by “Citizen Silva” aka IDAG. The first is dated 6 April 2009 and the second 28 April 2009

ONE = Michael Roberts: “Introduction”

When I presented an essay on  “Missing Persons” in Groundviews in March 2013 the reactions were, as usual, mixed and included a derisive dismissal from one “Velu Balendran”.[1] However, one individual named Nathan inserted a dose of common sense and also introduced readers – as well as myself – to a pertinent article by two Indians, Ajay Sahni & S. Binodkumar Singh in the Indian magazine Outlook.

I do not know Nathan and where he resides, but am deeply grateful to him. As I am now returning to this topic, I believe that readers should be introduced to his brief thoughts and led to the article he recommended. I will thereafter insert key bibliographic references on the topic from my original essay and its companion piece; while also embellishing this ‘compendium’ with images that provide a glimpse of the context and assorted outcomes in indelible ways beyond words.

TWO = Nathan, 1 April 2013, extract from http://groundviews.org/2013/03/28/a-missing-person-in-sri-lanka-heartfelt-issues-ground-realities/

It’s a shame that people have failed to read and grasp the thrust of Dr Michael Robert’s article . Continue reading

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