The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting — Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979)
Memory does not explicitly feature among the four pillars of transitional justice: truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. Hence the precise role memory plays within a transitional justice process is often left to those negotiating the contours of the process. Memory is a vital ingredient in ascertaining the truth and in securing evidence to ensure justice for victims and survivors. Moreover, memorialisation of loss has a place in the symbolic initiatives owed to victims and survivors under the reparations pillar. Meanwhile, public memorials commemorating man-made tragedies contribute towards a society’s collective commitment to non-recurrence. Thus memory often becomes the lifeblood that preserves and binds the traditional pillars of transitional justice.
Arjuna Ranatunga’s timely recollections and assessments of Sri Lanka’s cricketing triumph at the Final of the 1996 World Cup at Lahore on March 1996 add up to a master class – balanced, wide-ranging, revelatory and judicious within the space limits of a news-item.
Chandre Dharmawardana, 30 March 2021, in Email Memo entitled “Alleged Human Rights Abuses of the Sri Lankan Army” ……….. a memo commenting on responses to his previous Essay[i] … with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
Ramesh Somasundaram, (commenting on the Thuppahi website) is absolutely right in saying “that the Sri Lankan governments and the Sri Lankan military personal have been correctly accused of human rights abuses. “Sri Lankan Soldiers have been accused of grave crimes, and they should be investigated and brought to trial. Many of the soldiers were simply carrying out orders, and so the high command must bear the final responsibility except in cases where the soldiers exceeded their acts as soldiers and acted even more inhumanely than needed.
Situation Map 2 February 2009 — an excellent work by, I think?, the Daily Mirror
“Every 3rd of May, for the past 34 years, like a bunch of anxious surfers, we catch the rising wave of grief, glide on the intensifying emotions for a while and fall back to our senses as the wave of reality breaks. Although words can never remove the ache, I have worded this in memory of our dear friend Johann Chunchee who was killed that fateful day, and in honour of all my colleagues and other Air Lanka staff who survived the carnage”
Capt Elmo Jayawardena, in The Island, 24 March 2021,where the title is “The Pilot”
The UNHRC is in full swing. The ‘merchants of Geneva’ are getting ready to shoot their arrows of justice against the offenders of this planet. Of course, it is done democratically, by honourable people in Saville Row suits who sit around polished mahogany tables and determine by a count of votes who is guilty and who is not. That is the showpiece; but the truth could be so very different. Powerful people call the tune, and the theme is “You lend me your mule and I will remember you when it is your turn to take the stand. Then I’ll lend you my donkey.”
A NOTE from Richard Koenigsberg, March 2021 …. in an Item presented four years back and headed thus: “Is Trump Stealing Hitler’s Playbook? How does One Test the Truth of a Hypothesis: Predictive Validity.”
A wonderful Internet radio program, Howard Bloom Saves the Universe, is hosted by Chad Dougatz. Howard invited me to join the show to explore the question, “Why does Donald Trump stir us (either negatively or positively).”
All those addressing the fervour that promoted the killing work of the Zahran Hashim jihadist network in Sri Lanka in April 2019 must come to grips with the modern currents of Wahhabi political thinking that go back to the outpourings of the Egyptian intellectuals Sayyid Qutb and Al-Zawahiri in the latter half of the 20th century. This step will then take investigators to the Al-Qaida movement and thence to the more recent brand of Wahhabism embodied within ISIS.
Churches observed Black Sunday yesterday in protest over the terror attacks on 2019 Easter Sunday, calling on the government to deliver justice by prosecuting those responsible for the attacks. Protestors led by the two Colombo Auxiliary Bishops Rt.Rev. Anthony Jayakody and Rt.Rev.Maxwell Silva held placards pleading for justice in Negombo in front of the Katuwapitiya Church which was bombed on April 20, 2019 while others led by Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith gathered in front of the Kochchikade St. Anthony’s Church yesterday.
Lord Michael Naseby, in Island, 5 March 2021, where the title is “Lord Naseby asks why Adele not prosecuted in UK for child recruitment”
Lord Naseby President of the UK all party British-Sri Lanka Parliamentary group, has questioned the failure on the part of the UK to prosecute senior LTTE leader Adela Balasingham, wife of the outfit’s late theoretician Anton Balasingham. Lord Naseby said that Adele, who had been involved with the LTTE for several decades, was responsible for recruitment and deployment of child soldiers.
Sanjeewa Karunaratne, whose favoured title is “Stories from Sri Lanka’s Civil War – Lional Silva“
During 1984-89, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (“JVP”) or People’s Liberation Front launched a clandestine attack against the Government of Sri Lanka.Since its fighters were mingling among the public, the military and its militia groups were struggling to cope with this invisible enemy. As a result, spies were everywhere—one wrong word, move or contact may bestow a gruesome death on top of a burning tire. It may be an “in-kind” response to the JVP, whose piece of paper was enough to close down an entire city; and who did not hesitate to execute a school principal, government servant, singer, politician, or an ordinary person who disobeyed their orders, in front of their loved ones. It was a crisis of epic proportions and a very uncertain time in the country.
Thuppahi's Blog · This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.