Category Archives: women in ethnic conflcits

Revisiting the Story of the IDP Camps, 2009 et seq: ONE

Michael Roberts

As with Eelam War IV the Western media juggernaut, primed and fed by the extensive LTTE networks abroad, mounted an effective disinformation campaign on this topic. One illustration was when Jeremy Page of the BBC reported in June 2009 that 1400 persons were dying per week in the Manik Farm camps.

Coping with the influx of internal Tamil IDPS from late 2008 onwards was in fact a huge administrative and humanitarian problem with security implications. The task was faced by the Government of Sri Lanka and a collection of INGOS and NGOs with the support of monetary aid provided by the Western governments and UN agencies and with a Coordinating Committee chaired by Mahinda Samarasinghe keeping an eye on proceedings.

Annet Royce (standing) and Sewalanak Cooking team at Omanthai transit camp in mid-May 2009 preparing food packets for IDPS bussed in from war front on way to Manik Farm Camps Continue reading

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Revelations in Britain: Lord Naseby undermines the received ‘Wisdom’ on Civilian Deaths

Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, 12 November 2017 ... where the title is different and where verbal disparagement of the author and lively comments are likely to eventuate

Michael the Lord Naseby has set a cat among the British and international pigeons by extricating the reports of Lt. Col. Anton Gash (Defence Attache at the UK High Commission in Colombo in 2009) and presenting a summary review to the House of Lords. By immediately deploying Mandy Clark to interview Lord Naseby, Padma Rao Sundarji, the Foreign Editor of India’s first global channel, WION, drew upon his views and findings for the benefit of the world. This is something of a media coup.

Padma Rao Sundarji

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Tamils Yesterday, Rohingyas Today: Rohingya Issue and Its Wider Ramifications in a Nutshell

Ravi Velloor,, in The Island, 15 September 2017where the title reads “Rohingya issue and the danger to South-east Asia” … with highlighting being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

Not since the landlocked Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan swept out its Nepali-speaking Hindu population in the late 1980s has Asia witnessed as relentless an action against a minority group as seen lately in Myanmar. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called the sustained drive to push Rohingya Muslims out of Myanmar a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. Continue reading

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The New Constitution is a Neo-Colonial US Project

Tamara Kunanayakam, being the full text of a talk entitled The new Constitution – a neo-colonial project!” at a Forum in Sri Lanka on 6th September 2017 .. with highlighting emphasis added by The Editor, Thuppahi

As we meet here this evening, a radical overhaul is underway – of our political, economic, financial, social and cultural system. A new Constitution is being discussed, at the same time a plethora of radical reforms are being rushed through. The fact that many of these reforms are being challenged as unconstitutional indicates that the new Constitution is aimed at making what is un-Constitutional today, Constitutional tomorrow, making legal what is illegal by a simple trick of changing the Law!

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Speaking of the Self: Gender Issues in South Asia

Niroshini Somasundaram, in IIAS Newsletter, reviewing A. Malhotra & S. Lambert-Hurley. 2015. Speaking of the self: gender, performance, and autobiography in South Asia. Durham: Duke University Press. ISBN 9780822359838

In the last few decades, scholars of South Asian history have disputed the notion that South Asian cultures do not possess the autonomous representation of the individual, particularly in documenting histories, compared to their European counterparts. To that end, the numerous ways in which self-representation has been practiced in this region in different forms and time periods have been increasingly explored in scholarship. The rich collection of essays in this volume, edited by Anshu Malhotra and Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, challenge the existing boundaries and discourses surrounding autobiography, performance and gender in South Asian history by presenting a varied and fresh selection of women’s autobiographical writing and practices from the seventeenth to mid-twentieth centuries. The compelling choice of authors explored in the essays include Urdu novelists, a Muslim prostitute in nineteenth century Punjab, a Mughal princess, a courtesan in the Hyderabad court and male actors who perform as female characters. It moreover challenges conventional narratives in the field of autobiographical studies by relaying in careful detail the different forms which ought to be encompassed within the genre of autobiography such as poetry, patronage of architecture and fiction. Continue reading

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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

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Threads of Moral Puritanism in Sinhala Nationalist Practice

 Michael Roberts ** … a reprint of an article published in South Asia, Vol. XIX, Special Issue, (1996), pp. 205-220. with the title “Teaching Lessons, Re mo ving Evil: Strands of Moral Puritanism in Sinhala Nationalist Practice

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Expressions of Sinhala nationalism since the mid-nineteenth century, as one might expect, have been varied and multi-faceted. In this essay, I highlight a thread of moral puritanism which has not only been powerfully inscribed into the pogroms espoused in the period 1880s to 1910s, but also within the altered context of the 1950s-1980s.

 Borella Junction, Colombo, 24.25 July 1983

   A Hindu mob waiting to defend their own from Muslims in Bhagalpur –before becoming a marauding band seeking retribution — in a pattern also seen in 1915 in Sri Lanka during the anti-Moor pogrom

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