Category Archives: Eelam

Cricketing Talent Denied: Derelict in the Jaffna Peninsula, 1980s Onward

Andrew Fidel Fernando, in The Cricket Monthly at ESPN, in 2014, where the title is “The lost boys of Jaffna” … [with two ‘contemporary’ Pix added by the Editor, and some highlighting of the text imposed ….. Thuppahi]

Amid the gunshots and landmines of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war, cricket managed to stay alive. The first time M Kandeepan visited the emigration centre in his city in 1993, the man in combat gear behind the desk asked why he wanted to leave.
“I want to go and play cricket.””Play cricket where? In Colombo? You want to play for Sri Lanka?””Yes, because I am in Sri Lanka.””You lie. This is Tamil Eelam. You’re not going anywhere.”

    Tiger “boys’ guarding the shoreline …maybe early 1990s Kids play on the St John’s cricket ground in Jaffna, 2014

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, Eelam, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, meditations, military strategy, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, trauma, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes, zealotry

The Samaraweera-Yahapālana Induction of Tony Blair in support of their “Reconciliation Programme” in August 2015

Michael Roberts

A chance finding during my sojourn with Moninna and Ranjit Goonewardena in Galle Fort in July/August 2015 introduced me to the visit of Tony Blair’s family to Sri Lanka in August 2015 ….. See https://thuppahis.com/2020/11/22/tony-blair-and-family-in-galle-mid-august-2015/ As we all know, in 2015 the Yahapālana govt indulged in an about/turn (with US backing) and joined the HR lobbies by saying ‘mea culpa’ at the UNHRC Sessions in Geneva in March/April that year. This programme overturned the presentations pursued earlier by Dayan Jayatilleke and Tamara Kunanayakam under the Mahinda Rajapakse dispensation. Kunanayakam’s competent representations in 2011 earned the undiluted ire of Eileen Donahue (the American ambassador at the UNHCR) who even threatened Kunanayakam verbally on the phone: “we will get you!”.[1] Internal machinations within the Rajapaksa camp, apparently involving Sajjin Vaas Gunawardena and a Ministry staffer Kshenuka Seneviratne, led to Kunanayakam’s displacement a little later.

Donahoe  Samaraweera at UNHCR sessions in 2015

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, devolution, disparagement, economic processes, Eelam, ethnicity, European history, foreign policy, fundamentalism, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, language policies, legal issues, life stories, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes

Robert Pape’s Blunders in Tigerland: Pape’s Muddles on ‘Suicide Bombers’ in Sri Lanka

Michael Roberts, reprinting here an article which appeared initially in November 2007  as Working Paper No. 32 November 2007 in the Heidelberg Papers on South Asian PoliticsISSN: 1617-5069 …. edited by Subrata Mitra. Insofar as this essay is being reproduced in 2020, I cannot overstress the point at which it appeared in the public realm — in 2007 well before the LTTE was defeated… [noting that, with the exception of the emblematic Picture at the start, all other illustrations appeared in the Heidelberg publication. These pictorial scenes, I stress now in 2020, are valuable data in themselves].

No study of the LTTE can afford to neglect Sri Lanka’s cultural, historical, and geographical backdrop, The lack of existential awareness of religious cross-fertilisation, the either/or foundations of Western reasoning and the absence of local knowledge bedevil the scholarship that incorporates Sri Lanka within the global surveys of suicide attacks. Pape’s Dying to Win is an example. Here, in Pape’s article, the LTTE’s multi-pronged capacities are poorly evaluated. Too much significance is attributed to the coercive success of SMs in bringing the government to the negotiating table at various moments. Religious persecution has not been the main reason for the Tamil struggle. Comparative references to SMs elsewhere are occasionally interspersed in this review of the Sri Lankan scene.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, communal relations, cultural transmission, Eelam, ethnicity, fundamentalism, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, religiosity, Saivism, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, social justice, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

Kamikaze, Mujahid, Tamil Tiger: Sacrificial Devotion in Comparative Lens

Michael Roberts, reprinting an essay drafted in 2007 and since presented in Fire & Storm in 2010 (chapter 19: 131-38)

  • Gandhi tried for years to reduce himself to zero” (Dennis Hudson 2002: 132).
  • Hitler: “You are nothing, your nation is everything” (quoted in Koenigsberg 2009: 13).
  • LTTE: “the martyr sacrifices himself for the whole by destroying the I…” (Dagmar Hellmann-Rajanayagam’s interpretation of a Tamil Tiger supporter’s poem; 2005: 134).
  • Spokesman for Al Qaida after the Madrid bombing: “You love life and we love death”
  • Col. Karuna, ex-LTTE: “Death means nothing to me….”
  • The Hagakure is “a living philosophy that holds that life and death [are] the two sides of the same shield” (Yoshio Mishima in his The Way of the Samurai, quoted in Moeren 1986: 109-10).
  • Bushido means to die” (Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney 2002: 117).
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVpbl0azdFM …. Kamikaze strike

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, arab regimes, atrocities, Australian culture, australian media, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, conspiracies, cultural transmission, economic processes, Eelam, ethnicity, European history, female empowerment, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, immolation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian traditions, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, meditations, Middle Eastern Politics, military strategy, nationalism, patriotism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power sharing, propaganda, psychological urges, religiosity, religious nationalism, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Sri Lankan scoiety, suicide bombing, Taliban, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, violence of language, war reportage, world events & processes, Zen at war

The Insidious and False Dimensions of the “Traditional Homeland” Thesis

Gerald Peiris 

The concept of the ‘Traditional Tamil Homeland’ as promulgated by its exponents is based on the notion that, from the distant past, the island of Sri Lanka comprised the territories of two distinct nationalities that were arbitrarily unified in the formation of British Ceylon in the early 19th century.  My survey, which draws from several authoritative writings, some of which have been authored by reputed Tamil scholars, shows that such a notion does not conform to known facts and unbiased interpretations of the country’s history.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, conspiracies, cultural transmission, devolution, doctoring evidence, economic processes, Eelam, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, irrigation, island economy, land policies, landscape wondrous, language policies, legal issues, literary achievements, nationalism, politIcal discourse, population, power politics, power sharing, prabhakaran, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, world events & processes

Clandestine Tiger Forays in Sri Lanka, 2012-20

Camelia Nathaniel in Ceylon Daily News, 4 August 2020, where the title reads “Forces thwart attempts to revive LTTE terror”

Since the LTTE’s defeat in 2009, there have been several attempts over the years to revamp the terror outfit. From 2012 there have been 12 such attempts that are on record. All of these incidents have had some form of foreign hand in them. Intelligence units are investigating these incidents and the international connections.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, conspiracies, Eelam, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, refugees, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, unusual people, world events & processes

Achtung! Whiffs of Tiger Militarism and Tamil Federalism in Recent Talk and Action

ONE: Camelia Nathaniel, in Daily News, 9 July 2020, which carries this title Resurrection of LTTE’s Agenda of Violence”

The LTTE network overseas has been planning a series of attacks in Sri Lanka since the war ended in May 2009. The latest attempt to disrupt peace and stability in Sri Lanka was on July 4, 2020. A former member of the Tamil Tigers Thangarajah Thevathashan was preparing to conduct a bombing to mark the Black Tigers Day. The foreign handlers knew Thangarajah Thevathashan by his LTTE name Gangai Athman alias Kavinjan. He was serving in the LTTE Intelligence wing, notorious for the assassinations of several leaders including the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, democratic measures, devolution, Eelam, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, language policies, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, nationalism, parliamentary elections, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, prabhakaran, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry

Sri Mudannayake on the SL Army’s Land Warfare Campaign in 2006-09

The SL Army’s Land Warfare Campaign in 2006-09: Debating the Lines of Strategic Emphasis ONE: Retd Brig. Sri Mudannayake’s Clarification

In a telephone conversation in June 2020 relating to the Sri Lankan armed forces successful military campaign on land against the formidable LTTE forces during Eelam War IV,[1] issues arose regarding the lines of strategic emphasis. As I was not au fait with one of the summary terms mentioned in this chat, I formulated a ‘QUESTION’ which I sent to several personnel with a military background.[2] In a deliberate presentational ‘tactic,’ I am placing the Memoranda I received in reply from Red Brig. Sri Mudannayake ahead of the Question I presented to him.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, education, Eelam, historical interpretation, insurrections, landscape wondrous, life stories, military strategy, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

Battling the West. For Sri Lanka. Naseby at his Best

Professor Rajiva Wijesinha, in Island, 16 June 2020 where the title is “Lord Naseby’s Paradise”

It is a great joy to come across someone who loves this country passionately. In the case of Lord Naseby the joy is enhanced by the practical aspects of his devotion, his unceasing efforts to promote Sri Lanka’s interests and to combat what he sees as unremitting and vicious hostility to Sri Lanka on the part of successive governments.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, economic processes, Eelam, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, insurrections, island economy, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, modernity & modernization, nationalism, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Challenging Michael Roberts … with Straight Left and Right Hook

Gerald Peiris ... in the spirit of vigorous debate which we used to pursue in the Arts Faculty and the Ceylon Studies Seminar at Peradeniya University in the late 1960s and the 1970s, Gerry Peiris has responded with two sharply critical notes of some significance to my critical review of Sri Lankan society and politics, an essay that is directed by an optimistic eye …. Ha! Ha! … towards a major overhaul.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, ancient civilisations, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, devolution, discrimination, doctoring evidence, economic processes, Eelam, electoral structures, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, Muslims in Lanka, parliamentary elections, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, working class conditions, world events & processes