Category Archives: working class conditions

Fighting LTTE Women …. Looking Back from 2016

Kim Wall and Mansi Choksi, in Longreads, May 2018 where the title is “A Chance to Rewrite History: The Women Fighters of the Tamil Tigers” …… How during a brutal, 25-year civil war in Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tigers failed the women soldiers who sacrificed everything to fight for a sovereign state for the Tamil minority [with a NOTE from the Editor, Thuppahi at the end]

“We went on our first reporting trip together to write about an emerging Chinatown in Kampala in 2015,” says Mansi. “And then the next year, I moved to New York, where she was living, so we would spend our afternoons working together.” Mansi and Kim traveled to Sri Lanka in 2016. Mansi recalls Kim’s dedication to telling the story of the women who fought with the Tamil Tigers during Sri Lanka’s brutal, 25-year civil war. “Kim genuinely fell in love with the women we were writing about,” says Mansi. “You can hear it in her voice, in the tapes of our interviews.”

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Filed under communal relations, Fascism, female empowerment, gender norms, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, mass conscription, military strategy, modernity & modernization, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, working class conditions, world events & processes, zealotry

Ultimate Loyalties: Sri Lankan Muslims in Lanka but beyond the Nation

Rajeewa Jayaweera in a Comment that responds toa QUERY from Michael O’Leary addressed to Ameer Ali

Michael, If one contributes to the absurd theory, [that] only those who returned from Saudi Arabia make up the radicalized elements in the Muslim community in SL; there is no sensible and meaningful answer to O” Leary’s question.

If however, one can look beyond the theory of “Peace-loving Muslim Community,” it would be easier to understand. Those who went to Saudi Arabia were mostly from the impoverished segment of Muslim society. They worked as housemaids, laborers, etc. and had nil to minimal educational qualifications. Many returned radicalized in a manner of speaking. Women who covered their heads when they left returned covering their faces. Those who did not adhere strictly to praying five times a day earlier would not dream of missing a single prayer session after their return. Watching movies, even musicals became taboo after their return. Continue reading


Filed under accountability, arab regimes, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, economic processes, education, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, jihad, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, patriotism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, terrorism, unusual people, vengeance, working class conditions, world events & processes, zealotry

The Skirmish at Sainthamaruthu and the Suicidal Deaths of Some Wahhabi Jihadists -Jeyaraj as Investigative Journalist

DBS Jeyaraj, in Daily Mirror, 2 May 2019, where the title is “Battle of Sainthamaruthu Zahran’s family members dead in Sainthamaruthu skirmish between security forces and Islamic State terrorists”

Sri Lanka’s security forces have engaged in many battles and armed confrontations during the long war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The military defeat of the LTTE in May 2009 brought an end to the conflict. Thereafter for ten years, the country has been experiencing peace and relative tranquillity. The armed forces too were confined to barracks most of the time as there was no enemy to combat. The Easter Sunday suicide bomber attacks on Churches and Hotels on April 21st shattered this blissful situation. Sri Lanka was in peril and once again the sacred duty of guarding the nation beckoned to the armed forces after the guns of the Tigers were silenced a decade ago.

  • The firing went on for about three and a half hours from 7.30 p.m. to 11 P.m. 
  • fifteen bodies consisting of six men, six children and three women were found amidst the wreckage
  • One came outside & threw bundle of 5,000 notes in the air As the currency notes scattered the youth shouted out

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Filed under accountability, communal relations, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, life stories, martyrdom, Muslims in Lanka, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, terrorism, unusual people, war reportage, working class conditions, world events & processes

A Muslim Lankan’s Thoughts on the Atrocities and Their Implications

Irfan Husain, in Sri Lanka Guardian, 29 April  2019, where the title isJihadis in Sri Lanka

Whenever there’s a terrorist attack anywhere, I pray that Muslims weren’t involved. And if they are, I cross my fingers and wish none of them were Pakistanis. In the horror stories emerging from Sri Lanka, I seem to have got my second wish. However, this is scant consolation for the mayhem unleashed by a little-known Islamist group, the National Towheed Jamaath (NTJ), backed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

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Filed under accountability, Bodu Bala Sena, citizen journalism, communal relations, conspiracies, cultural transmission, heritage, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, jihad, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, patriotism, politIcal discourse, psychological urges, reconciliation, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, terrorism, tolerance, trauma, women in ethnic conflcits, working class conditions, world events & processes

Nimal Sanderatne’s Review of Lanka’s Economic Performance over 71 Years

Nimal Sanderatne, in Sunday Times, 3 February 2013, where the title reads  Tale of lost opportunities: 71 years of economic underdevelopment amid social progress”  









On the eve of the country’s 71st anniversary of independence, we cannot be content with the country’s post-independence economic performance. It has been far below our potential and expectations at independence. It has been a tale of lost opportunities. Nevertheless, our post-independence social development has been impressive with significant improvements in education, health and social amenities. Continue reading

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Filed under accountability, economic processes, education, export issues, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, performance, politIcal discourse, sri lankan society, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes

Yellow Jacket Protests in France: The Power of Social Media and Populism

Jeremy Harding, review essay in London Review of Books, March 2019, with this title “Among the Gilets Jaunes”

When they gathered at roads and roundabouts at the end of last year, the French government was caught off guard. Within a week of their first nationwide mobilisation, they were turning out regularly at intersections across the country to slow up traffic, and marching through Paris and the big provincial cities. Hasty polls announced that 70 or 80 per cent of the population, including many in France’s largest conurbations, supported this massive show of impatience. Yet the gilets jaunes first came together beyond the margins of the major cities, in rural areas and small towns with rundown services, low-wage economies and dwindling commerce. They were suspicious of the burgeoning metropolitan areas, which have done well on a diet of public funding, private investment, tourism and succulent property prices. Among them are people who grew up in city centres but can no longer afford to live in them: these barbarians know where they are when they arrive at the gates. Parading in central Paris and the new, carefully massaged hubs of French prosperity – Toulouse and Bordeaux especially – they end proceedings with a show of violence and destruction. After 15 weeks of costly protest, public sympathy in the big metropolitan areas has only recently begun to fall off. That is one of many puzzles.

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Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, citizen journalism, governance, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, social justice, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes

One for the Road: Rags to Potential Riches

An Item from India, entitled ” Smart and Grateful daughter”

“The girl pulling rickshaw☠is the current IAS topper in IAS exams (IAS = Indian Administrative Service) …. *Man sitting behind is her father who normally pulls this rickshaw…. . She did so to publicly acknowledge her gratitude towards her father for her achievement. The daughter who became IAS topper, honours her father by taking him around the streets for everyone to see the rickshaw (and the puller) which enabled her to realize her dream.


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