Category Archives: women in ethnic conflcits

Sovereignty, Space and Civil War in Sri Lanka: Porous Nation

Anoma Pieris has produced yet another book, this time with the prestigious Taylor & Francis imprint. In hardback it runs to 236 pages and has line drawings, tables and 35 illustrations — so it is expensive: Aus $ 216.88

 

Analyses of the Sri Lankan civil war (1983-2009) overwhelmingly represent it as an ethnonationalist contest, prolonging postcolonial arguments on the creation and dissolution of the incipient nation-state since independence in 1948. While colonial divide-and-rule policies, the rise of ethnonationalist lobbies, structural discrimination and majoritarian democracy have been established as grounds for inter-ethnic hostility, there are other significant transformative forces that remain largely unacknowledged in postcolonial analyses.

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Cracking Impact! The Suntharalingam Saga’s Theatrical Tour de Force

Cassie Tongue in Time-Out, 16 January 2019, where the title is “Counting and Cracking review” ….. with Brett Boardman’s PICs …. and highlighting added

It’s only January, but we have an early contender for the best play of the year in Counting and Cracking. And we certainly won’t see another play like it any time soon. Set in a recursion of town halls – a Sri Lankan-style one built inside Sydney’s landmark Town Hall – Counting and Cracking takes place in both Colombo and Sydney, in the 1970s and 2004, and always keeps one foot in each world; as we are about to see, the past and present are not so easily separated.

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“Putting The World To Write” …. in Galle

An INVITATION to a Writing Event with a Title that is Right

Talk, Tea & Book Launch Wednesday January 16th …. 3- 5 pm Jetwing Lighthouse

The first Galle Literary Festival was launched in 2007 amid the chaos of the Civil War. Despite the bitterness of that war, the festival projected the country onto the arts stage as a serious global literary force and attracted many big literary heroes from around the world, which it continues to do, up to this day, where the tenth anniversary is going to be the most exciting festival yet. There is no better location for it to be held in and around the Galle Fort, a UNESCO world heritage site and modern bastion of protection, both physically as in the tsunami of 2004 and ideologically, for all kinds of people from all kinds of religious backgrounds, all working together for the good of the fort, its people and its visitors.

Donald Trump and …

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Anne Abayasekara’s Sturdy Witness to Our Troubled Times

Suvendrini Kanagasabai Perera, in Island, 26 December 2018, where the title reads In the thick of it: Anne Abayasekara, Unfaltering Witness. Review of book – ‘Telling It Like It Is’emphasis via highlights below being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

Reflecting on her life at an address to the Rotary Club in 2012, Anne Abayasekara made a telling comparison between the life of the creative writer and what she described as her own “enduring love affair with journalism”: “The distinctive feature about journalism … is that in writing for newspapers, you don’t sit in solitude, but have to be out on the street, in the thick of people and events.”

Anne Abayasekara spent over 65 years in the thick of it, thoroughly enmeshed in a world she relished and clearly loved, but nonetheless viewed with great clarity. Her extraordinary career spans Independence in 1948 (she attended the festivities as a young reporter for the fashion pages), the three grim decades of the war and the unpromising peace that has succeeded it. Through it all, she held up a mirror to the society she loved, bearing witness to its atrocities and most egregious failures, as to its small acts of grace and moments of beauty. This carefully distilled selection of her writings provides an important snapshot of this period. At the same time, emerging from its pages is a picture of the writer herself: a spirited, large-hearted, deeply humane woman, characterised, above all, by a rare, sustained courage. Continue reading

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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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Our Murali: An Ecumenical Man for All Peoples and Ethnicities

Pushpendra Albe, in Cricket Age, 10 November 2018 where the title is Murali Helps All Communities Alike, So Who Can Complain?”

As a cricketer, Muttiah Muralitharan has been regarded as the greatest spinnerof all time. As a cricketer, his journey to become the living legend of the game by overcoming all the hurdles and controversies, was nothing sort of a spectacular fairy tale.

However, there is another side of Murali, which has turned out equally admirable. As a philanthropist, through his NGO Foundation Of Goodness (FOG), Murali have brought change in the millions of the Sri Lankans, irrespective of their caste, background or religion. Murali’s journey as a philanthropist in last one decade has transformed Sri Lanka’s poor communities and has opened the whole new world for the younger generations. With his manager and founder trustee of FOG Kushil Gunasekera, Murali has become a symbol of peace, harmony and has uplifted millions of lives. Those Tamil leaders, who are questioning Murali’s contribution to the community, must see the ground reality of bowling legend philanthropic achievements, before pointing fingers towards him!

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Young Tamara Kunanayakam in Central Europe, 1970s-to-1980s

Michael Roberts

 With Tamara Kunanayakam what you see and hear is what you get: no subterfuges, straight-talking without frills or obscurantisms. Seeking to explore the events in Geneva from 2011 when she was our Permanent Representative there for a short spell, I met her in her rented home in Battaramulla in June 2016 in the convivial presence of her French husband and their dog Hombrito.[1]

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