Tamil Person and State: Pictorial … Images Listed

Michael Roberts


Acknowledgements v

Preface vii

List of Pictorial Items xvii

Abbreviations xxxiii

Prologue xxxv

Visual Imagery within Political Struggles and Manoeuvres …. pp. 1-44

Photographs …. pp. 45-208

Postface: BBC Blind …. pp. 209-29

Bibliography …. pp. 230-51

List of Appendices … pp. 252-92

Appendix I: Media Personnel transported to battlefront by Min-of Defence … pp. 252-63

Appendix II: Estimates of the Death Toll among the Fighting Forces of the LTTE and Government of Sri Lanka …. pp. 264-66

Appendix III: NGOs providing Relief at the Mānik Farm Detention Centres …. pp. 267-70

Appendix IV: US Ambassador Robert Blake’s Secret Despatch, 19 March 2009…. pp. 271-72

Appendices V: Inaugural Meeting of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi, Colombo, 18 December 1949 … with Presidential Address by SJV Chelvanayagam …. pp. 273

List of Pictorial Items

Illustrations for introductory chapter

  1. Ecstasy and a karate kick before the kill, 24/25 July 1983
  2. A killing victim at Varanāsi, 23 December 1992
  3. A Muslim shot by police during Seelampur riots, Delhi, 1992
  4. Hindu mob assembled at night during Bhagalpur pogrom, 28 October 1990
  5. Massive crowd of White Americans assembles to watch thelynching of a Black American, Henry Smith, at Paris, Texas, 1 February 1896
  6. A case of torturing: two interpretations

F1: The image and its tale in The Cage

F2. The unmodified image discovered by GSL sources … with tell-tale slippers suggestive of Tiger troops

  1. DiManno’s slanted pictorial pick: a weak attempt to fool the public about the scenario of the Last Redoubt

H1, 2. LTTE video of auxiliary mobilisation for belligerent activity

  1. David Cameron’s visit to Jaffna draws world attention to the anguish of kin seeking the “missing”
  2. Tamils greet Cameron with demonstration depicting photographs of missing kin
  3. Tamil women seeking their kin in public expressions of grief and anger
  4. Tamils abandon Thamilīlam and walk through jungle at night to safety of Army terrain, February 2009

M1, 2. Mobilisation in search of the “disappeared” kin, 2012 and 2013

PONNA CHELVA  GG Ponnambalam, SJV Chelvanayakam and C Vanniasingham, of the Tamil Congress in 1947

2b-Chelva hustings  Chelvanayakam campaigning 13c--Prabha with pistol-2 the talaivar Pirapaharan with automatic handgun … probably a Glock

Main Body of Images

 1. GG Ponnambalam, SJV Chelvanāyakam and C Vanniasingham, the triumvirate of the Tamil Congress, just after the General Election results were announced on 1st September 1947

2a. Sir John Kotelāwala with Tamil supporters

2b. SJV Chelvanāyakam addresses a crowd at Valvettithurai

3a, b. Tamil satyagrāha protests on Galle Face Green and violent Sinhala reactions by word and fist

4. Bandāranaike and Chelvanāyakam seal the BC Pact with a handshake, 26 July 1957

5a. A bhikkhu castigates Prime Minister Bandāranaike at Rosmead Place

5b. Another bhikkhu rouses people against the BC Pact

6. Mrs Wijewardene and bhikkhus in protest outside PM’s residence

7. Sinhalese people assaulting and ridiculing a Tamil person in Colombo during the mini-pogrom of mid-1958

8a, b. Riot and arson scenes, 1958

8c. A government official listens to a cluster of Tamil refugees

9a, b. Tamil satyagrāhi increase pressure in north & east and face state violence, 1960-61

8. Ponnuthurai Sivakumāran of Urimpurai: liberation hero

11a, b. Onfield Tamil protests at Kennington Oval, London, 11 June 1975

12. Four early Tiger leaders of commanding capacity

13. Young Pirapāharan and his fascination with weaponry

14a. Enjoying their assaults: riotous mob at Borella reveal exhilaration, night of 24/25th July 1983

14b. A scene from Borella … afterwards

15. The other militant forces, 1980s

15a. TELO calendar poster

15b. A clutch of EPDP guerrillas

16. Uneasy cooperation under Indian pressure, 1985: four fighting Tamil leaders

17. Tiger commanders at Sirimalai camp in north India, 1984

18a. Pirapāharan in conversation with MGR, February 1985

18b. Pirapāharan as Che Guevera

19a. The northern shoreline as militants’ lifeline

19b. Tiger “boys” on guard, late 1980s 19b--Tigers on shore best

18. The Vadamarachchi Operation launched by the Sri Lankan Army on 26 May 1987 …. and its commanders

21a, b. Indian interventions: virulent protests from legal fraternity and other groups in Lanka, mid-1987

22. Rajiv Gandhi and JR Jayewardene sign the Indo-Lanka Accord, 29 July 1987

23. Kumarappa (LTTE Commander, Vavuniya District) shaking hands with General Harikat Singh of the IPKF with Mahattayā (Tiger second in command) looking on

24.The LTTE directorate on the platform at Sudumalai, 4 August 1987

25. Tamils assembled en masse at Sudumalai Ammān Kovil grounds to hear Pirapāharan speak, 4 August 1987

26a, b. Thilīpan fasts unto death in protest against the IPKF policy and presence, 15-26 September 1987

27a. Indian troops on guard during their war, 1987-89

27b. Indian troops in waiting

28. Embedded with the ‘enemy’– Shyam Tekwani’s striking camerawork28a--tigers on guard

28a. Tigers on guard along shoreline

28b. Tigers covering internal movement of Tamil refugees

28c. A young Tiger lad heads for duty with vipoothi and kuppi as protection

29. Uyirāyutham: life gifted for cause. Tiger fighters relaxing in camp display their kuppi, the  cyanide capsules they were committed to bite when facing threat of capture

30. Adele & Anton Bālasingham in the LTTE command area

31. Six martyrs from the early decades of the Tamil liberation struggle

32a. Pirapāharan pays homage to the Black Tigers, 5 July 2005

32b, c. Flame of Sacrifice being lit at the Black Tiger ceremony at Sampur, 5 July 2003 with Pirapāharan respectfully commemorating the māvīvar at another ceremony (no details)

33. Calendar poster from 2004 depicting the pre-1983 Tiger māvirār

34a. Black Tigers marching, date uncertain

34b. Black Tigers pay homage to their fallen at Sampur in Muttur East, 5 July 2003 34b-Black Tiger homage Sampur

35a. Pirapāharan has a meal with Black Tigers prior to their suicide mission

35b. Pirapāharan presented with the Tiger squad before their suicidal commando mission at Anuradhapura airbase, 22 October 2007

36a. Induction ceremony after training: a Tiger commander ‘anoints’ a new recruit with a kuppi

36b. Tamil Tigresses on patrol

37a. A female platoon of the LTTE in parade formation

37b. Tamil Tigresses

38a. Sea Tigers load a fast attacking craft

38b. Sea Tiger fast attack craft with shallow draft ferries people

39. Pirapāharan, Anton, Shankar and KP in the Vanni, n. d.

40. The LTTE’s massacre of Muslims at Kattankudy Mosque in the Eastern Province is marked by this poignant image of fellow Muslims bearing their dead away

41a. Civilians in Welikanda area massacred by the LTTE during Eelam War IV, 29 May 2006

41b. Kin folk grieve their dead after an LTTE assault on civilians in the frontier zone, n. d.

42a, b. LTTE attack on Central Bank in the heart of Colombo, 31 January 1996

43. Mahesweri School in Batticaloa decked out with photographs of 250 māvīrar enveloped in a blaze of light and colour evocative of ārati, November 2004

44a. Tuyilam illam at Kopay, Jaffna Peninsula readied for Māvīrar Day, 27 November 2004

44b. A kinsman pays homage to a māvīrar at Kopay, n. d.

45a. Flagpole encompassed by jasmine flowers at the tuyilam illam at Vavuniya

45b. Gravestones encompassed as kin folk grieve and pay homage to their māvirar at a tuyilam illam 45b--Mourning dead mavirar

46a, b. Māvīrar commemoration shed at Tirunelvely campus, Jaffna University, November 2004

47. Female māvīrar surrounded by tropes of abundance at Valvettithurai commemoration shed, 2004

48. Bodies that fight on: the implicit message inscribed through the cenotaph at Kilinochchi

49a. Balraj, an exemplary fighter & commander

49b. Balraj at work

49c. Balraj and his troops celebrate the capture of a battle tank at Ithaavil

50. Senior LTTE commanders line up, c. 2004

51. LTTE ingenuity and its conventional military strength

52. Māvīrar Nāl in Chicago, 2004… and the “Tamil homelands”

53a, b. Pongu Thāmil pageant in Geneva, summer 2003

54. Pirapāharan as regenerative force for the Tamil people

55. Tiger salute by TNA politicians at Pongu Thamil gathering at Trincomalee, March 2002

56a, b. Mass support for Thamilīlam at Pongu Thamil rally at Trincomalee, 19 March 2002

57a, b. Performative pageantry evoking LTTE claims among the Tamil diaspora at Pongu Thāmil event

58. The LTTE emblem of karthigai embodied in a stage pageant in Germany

59. Pirapāharan signs the ceasefire agreement, 21 February 2002

60a. Pirapāharan’s father’s house in Valvettithurai

60b. Pirapāharan, Adele and Anton mount the podium for the LTTE media event at Kilinochchi, 10 April 2002

61a, b, c. Thāmilīlam as nation state: LTTE media event, 10 April 2002

62a, b. Mākkal Padai: the LTTE’s mobilisation of the Tamil people as militia from late 2004

63b-miltitia with guns 64-armed militia

63. Peoples’ militia in and for Thamilīlam

64a, b, c. Weapons training for the militia

65a, b. Sri Lankan Army closes in on the last LTTE stronghold in the east at Thoppigala

66. Capture of Thoppigala circa 14 August 2007 marks LTTE’s loss of power in the Eastern Province

67. Map of Thamilīlam and forward defence lines: late 2007 stalemate

68. Sinking of the Seishin, a LTTE arms-carrying cargo ship, 10 September 2007

69a. Map showing how Sri Lankan Navy ranged far & wide into Indian Ocean to destroy LTTE supply ships, September 2007

69b. “Matsushima” incapacitated, 7 October 2007

69. Waveriders and Arrow boats of SL Navy’s Special Boat Squadron

71a, b. Sri Lankan Army makes inroads into Thamilīlam territory in the Northern Vanni from c. April 2008

72a, b. Sri Lankan Army advances, 2008

73a, b. Bund, ditch & water defence system perfected by the LTTE to thwart the SL Army


74. Embankment and ditch defence system: more illustrations

75a, b, c. LTTE bases topple as SL Army advances northwards on the western coast and then eastwards

76a, b, c. The LTTE loses ground through 2008 and retreats eastwards

77. Map of the war fronts, 23 December 2008

78. Situation map, 6 January 2009

79. Situation map, 22 January 2009

80a, b. Multiple displacements for the Tamil citizens of Thamilīlam in the Vanni, mid-2008-February 2009

81. Displaced discomfort in the Vanni Pocket imposed by the LTTE

82. On the move again and again – the fate of the corralled Tamil citizens of Thāmilīlam, 2009

83a, b. Maps of the war front within the “Vanni Pocket” on 22 February 2009

84a, b. Bursting shells among civilian dwellings

85a, b, c. Wounded people and medical responses

86a, b. Outpourings of grief as people die or are injured

87a. Puthumaathalaan makeshift hospital, 13 February 2009

87b. Civilian dead at LTTE mortuary, 1 January 2009

88a. Wounded are brought for treatment

88b, c. Lamentations for dead kin

89. Map of the “Vanni Pocket” in early 2009 – as presented by Ban Ki-Moon’s UN Panel

90a. Map of the war front within the “Vanni Pocket,” 20 March 2009

90b. Graphic map of the war front, 2 March 2009

91. A tent city in the Last Redoubt 91--Tent City-daru 27

92a, b. Congestion along the main road at Ampalavanpokkanai in the northern sector of the Last Redoubt, 29 March and 16 April 2009

93a. Queues for food and water as daily routine in the Last Redoubt

93b. Children queue for essentials

94a, b. Medivac operations from ICRC & SL Navy rescue some of the injured, plus others, from the Last Redoubt, February – 9 May 2009

95. Tamil people evacuated by sea: ICRC and SL Navy

96a, b, c. The SL Navy to the rescue

97. Medical disaster management: forward planning by Tamil doctors & Ministry of Health

98a, b, c. Tamils who fled by sea and the SL Navy

99a, b, c. SL Army successes in the last stages of the war & its terrain

100a, b. Tiger dead after Puthukkudiyirippu was captured

101. Analytic graphic map revealing how SL Army brigades penetrated the Last Redoubt, 19-22 April 2009

102. “Wretched of the earth break free of bondage” – Jeyaraj

103a, b. Abandoning the LTTE   102b -- april 2009 exodus

104a, b. Other Tamils move south into Vellamullaivaikkal in the Last Redoubt

105a, b. Congestion in the southern reaches of the Last Redoubt

106. BBC’s twist on this shift in settlement pattern: a slant reiterated in 2013

107a, b. A congealed mass of dwellings, people & traffic around the main road, May 2009

108a, b, c. Shelling impact captured by LTTE sources

109a, b, c. Protective foxholes & make-do sandbags among civilian ‘dwellings’… Mullaivaikkal area

110a, b. Bunkers in Last Redoubt camouflaged by shack and truck

111a, b. Making do: basic shelter & life under tarpaulin

112a, b. Queues … and more queues

113a, b. LTTE paradox: sustaining life while endangering life

114a. An Out Patients Department at medical work

114b, c. LTTE organisational capacities: keeping administrative track

115a, b. Making do: catch fish, sell goods

116. Graphic map of the shrunken “Last Redoubt” of the LTTE, 7 May 2009

117a. Mortar pits trailer and bulldozer identified amidst the debris in the Last Redoubt

117b. Heavy mortar, LTTE

118a, b. The LTTE’s last stand in May 2009 & desperate propaganda

119a, b. Mullaivaikkal hospital said to be under attack, 12 May 2009

120. Alleged hospital attacks as incendiary propaganda

121a, b, c. Mullaivaikkal hospital mostly intact: a lie revealed in mid-May 2009

122. Mortar crater and trickery: LTTE ‘evidence’ of shelling impact

123. Deciphering LTTE subterfuge: a re-working that identifies a mortar crater

124. Satellite imagery analysed

125a, b. Re-analysis: MBR shell impact in aerial picture identified by Citizen Silva

126a. The final squeeze: map of Thamilīlam and its death throes, 15 May 2009

126b. The final squeeze

127a. LTTE blow their munitions, 15 May 2009

127b, c. Buried LTTE artillery within Last Redoubt unearthed by cyclone, 31 October 2013

128a, b, c, d. The trapped Tamil people stream out ….. as IDPsFigure 10a Tamil People at the Last Redoubt after the final battles 2009

129a, b. The second exodus: Yatawara’s pictorial ‘strikes’

130. Escape, death and killing in the last week, mid-May 2009

131a, b. Pirapāharan’s last refuge

132a. Pirapāharan identified

132b. Pirapāharan’s LTTE identity card recovered and displayed

133a. The key architects of victory shake hands in balmy mood

133b. Sri Lankans celebrate

134a. Tamil demonstrations at University Avenue, Toronto. late April 2009 onwards

134b. Rallies in London

135a, b. Tamil agitation at fever pitch, April-May 2009

136. SL Army struggles to cope with Tamil survivors at the rear of the battlefield

137a, b. Aid and care extended to most survivors

138a, b. Water at a premium

L 136a -sri-lanka-army-with-civilians

139a, b. Relief and logistical problems at the battlefront-rear

140. Transporting a mass of IDPs

L 138 -human shields --bus op-Sob 3 May 2010

141a, b. The Sewalanka feeding operation, Omanthai, mid-May 2009

142. Zones 1 and 2 in Mānik Farm being prepared on the run in late April 2009

143. A field hospital being set up at Mānik Farm, late April 2009

144. NGOs at the heart of the welfare effort L 142 - Health Min officials with NGos

145a, b, c. Scenes from Mānik Farm in April-May 2009

146a, b, c. Hostile reportage re detention centres: barbed wire & “razor wire” imagery deployed widely

147. Stark images deployed

148a, b. Food packets distributed to IDPs as they arrived in the zonal camps, May 2009

149. Communal kitchens run by inmates & aid workers L 146  - Dlshy -025=communal kitchne

150a, b. Medical clinics in open-air and on the run: April-May, 2009

151a, b. Medical clinics on the run: April-May, 2009 L 148a --docsat work manori 01

152. Daily deaths chartered as spot graph, late May 2009-November 2009

153a, b. Schooling facilities set up at Mānik Farm

154a, b. Street drama and a dance performance as recreation at the IDP camps, July 2009

155a. A ward at one of the medical centres within a field hospital at Mānik Farm, July 2009

155b. Children painting and drawing at a psycho-social centre, Mānik Farm, July 2009

156a. A street scene, probably at Kadirgamar Camp, July 2009

156b. Vegetable plots, Kadirgamar Camp, July 2009

157a, b, c. Shops within the precincts of camps at Mānik Farm, 2009

158. Telephone facility in use, Mānik Farm, 2009

159. UNICEF charts the improvement in nutritional levels at the IDP camps

160. Birthday cake & sweet essences offered in homage to talaivar Pirapāharan on 26 November 2012

161a, b, c. Tamil rallies abroad, 19 May as another moment of Tamil commitment


Filed under accountability, asylum-seekers, atrocities, caste issues, citizen journalism, disaster relief team, discrimination, economic processes, Eelam, gordon weiss, governance, historical interpretation, IDP camps, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, NGOs, patriotism, photography, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, population, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, Rajiv Gandhi, rehabilitation, security, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war crimes, welfare & philanthophy

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