Daily Archives: November 1, 2011

Pirapāharan as uncompromising killer prone to vengeance: testimonies from the Jaffna heartland, 1989-91

Ben Bavinck diary entries

See Val Daniel’s Introduction to the first volume of the diaries as well as the other items that are now apart of the thuppahi series which extract themes from the methodical commentary embodied in Bavinck’s diaries as he worked so wholeheartedly to alleviate hardships among Tamil, Muslim and Sinhalese peoples throughout the island in these war years. Also note the recent article by Narayan Swamy entitled “Prabhakaran: From catapult killer to ruthless insurgent” in M. R. Narayan Swamy, The Tigers vanquished. LTTE’s story, Delhi, SAGE Publications, 2010, pp. 165-167, which meshes with the evaluations presented by the Jaffna Tamils who interacted with Bavinck  and whose readings are recorded here. However, note that these may well have been minority voices in the body of Tamil people at that time. A tough nut to crack that question: namely, how many and which proportion of the Jaffnese held similar sentiments to the body of dissidents known as the UTHR and their circle? Web Editor.

Pic by S. Walpola

5th January 1989, Jaffna: At the beginning of 1988, a group called University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) 28 was formed. Until that time nobody had dared to say anything against the Tigers except Rajan Hoole, another lecturer. But now people became more audacious. They also more and more had to intercede for Jaffna students, who had been arrested. All this had led to the founding of UTHR (J). UTHR (J) continues to collect facts about violations of human rights and to issue reports. Those are sent to the unions of the national universities. Now a book has been published by four members of the UTHR (J) i.e. by Rajani herself, Rajan Hoole, K. Sritharan and Daya Somasunderam. It deals with the war in 1987 and is called “The Broken Palmyrah”. Continue reading


Filed under Fascism, historical interpretation, life stories, LTTE, power politics, Rajiv Gandhi, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Tamil Tiger fighters, war crimes, women in ethnic conflcits