Fire and Storm. Essays in Sri Lankan Politics, Volume One

by Michael Roberts is now in print












 Table of Contents

                  I Political Excursions on Historical Reinterpretation

1. Lanka without Vijaya …. Beyond the new millennium                                                           1

2. History as dynamite. Let us circumscribe history-talk                                                          5

3. Addressing Vijaya & Dutugämunu                                                                                                13

4. Dakunin sadi kotiyo, uturen golu muhudai                                                                         19

5. History-making in Lanka in 2008: problems                                                                       25

                                                                   II Political Excursions on Identity

6. The Sri Lankan identity and our vocabulary                                                                      37

7. Sri Lankan-ness … and being mongrel                                                                                 43

8. Sri Lankan-ness: hegemonic umbrella, hyphenated response                                   49

9. How does one become Sinhalese or Tamil in sentiment?                                               57

                                                                        III Political Excursions on the polity 

10. The meaning of Eelam                                                                                                             67

11. Sri Lankans and Eelam Tamils                                                                                                75

12. Self-determination(s) and the Sri Lanka Tamils                                                              81

13. LTTE pragmatism: at two moments                                                                                     87

14. The Achilles heel in democracy                                                                                            95

15. Split asunder: four nations in Sri Lanka                                                                            99

16. Addressing the nations of Sri Lanka                                                                                    109

17. Issues for Tamil nationalism: revisiting Publius                                                            115

                                                       IV Political Excursions of Comparative Scope

18. Self-immolation                                                                                                                                     123

19. Sacrificial devotion in comparative scope: kamikaze, mujahid, Tiger                           131

20. The concept “secular” and state dispensations today: fragmentary thoughts                     139

21. Self-annihilation – Tamil Tigers and beyond:

                             cultural premises inspiring sacrificial suicidal acts                                                 163

                                                                V Tamil Tigers: Emergence, Actions, Rituals

22. The Tamil movement for Eelam                                                                                                            205

23. Suicide for political cause                                                                                                                          221

24. LTTE and Tamil people                                                                                                                                241

                                                                    VI Hothouse War Situation: Early 2009

25. Dilemmas at war’s end: thoughts on hard realities                                                                        267

26. Dilemmas at war’s end: clarification and counter-offensive                                                       277

27. Simpletons at the world’s peak: Sri Lankan situation stumps the world                                 291

28. Some pillars for Lanka’s future                                                                                                                305 

               Bibliography for Figures                                                                                  314

              Amalgamated Bibliography   




INTERWOVEN                                                                                                                        page


1. Bandaranaike woos a crowd of Sinhala language enthusiasts                                              18

2a. Chelvanāyakam and others at satyagrāha                                                                                24

     2b. Forcible removal of Tamil satygrāhis from Galle Face Green                                      24

3. FR Jayasuriya fasts unto death in support of the Sinhala Only bill, 24 May 1956              42

4. Ponnudurai Sivakumāran presents new horizons                                                                  56

5a. Tigers on alert on the road as Tamil people move house                                                   80

            4b. Pirapāharan in contemplation                                                                                  80

            4c. The Bālasinghams and Pirapāharan in relaxed discussion                           80

  1. Four Tamil Eelam leaders                                                                                               86
  2. Indo-Lanka Accord press meeting                                                                               94

8.         Street protests against Indo Accord                                                                           130

            CLUSTERED                                                                                                   facing page 160

9. Assault on Rajiv Gandhi    

10a. Pirapāharan as Ché Guevera

    10b. Tiger commanders at Indian training camp

11a. Induction of a Tiger recruit

     11b. Black Tigers marching

12. Annai Pupati billboard shrine

13. Central Bank bomb blasts and effects

14. Pirapāharan and Bālasingham hold court in Kilinochchi, April 2002

15. The LTTE directorate

16. Tamil parliamentarians’ Nazi-style salute at Pongu Thāmil gathering

17. Mass mobilisation of Tamil civilians

18. Battle terrain

19a,b. Tiger dead on lagoon banks and PTK area

20. Tamil dead after shellfire at Mullivāikkāl

21. Nanthikadal: a scene from the last redoubt before it became a crucible of death

22. Migrant Tamils mass to demonstrate

23. Tamil refugees and their reception at battlefront

24. Pirapāharan’s corpse draws military eyes



25. Pirapāharan’s parental home in Velvittathurai, November 2004                                      204

26a,b. Pirapāharan’s last homeland                                                                                         263

27a,b. Pirapāharan identified by Karunā                                                                                290



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Filed under cultural transmission, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, suicide bombing, Tamil migration

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