Category Archives: Eelam

The SBS: Marine Commandos of the Sri Lankan Navy

Michael Roberts

A recent article by Dishan Joseph (see below) has marked the role of a commando outfit known as the SBS, or Special Boat Service, that was developed within the Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) during the Eelam Wars.  The story is complex and demands an elaborate ‘companion piece’ that is attentive to time, combat locations, initiatives and the lessons derived from a remarkable and formidable enemy, namely, the Sea Tigers. In war one becomes like one’s opponent in order to survive. The innovativeness of the LTTE was monumental and its sea-faring capacities were one reason why it outdid-and-outbid the other Tamil militant organisations in the fight to lead the claim for independence for Thamililam during the 1980s/1990s.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under education, Eelam, ethnicity, female empowerment, historical interpretation, insurrections, island economy, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, modernity & modernization, nationalism, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, unusual people, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, working class conditions, world events & processes

Western Real-Politic at UNHRC Sesions in Geneva, 2021

Chandre Dharma-wardana,24 March 2021, whose preferred title is “The Real-Politik behind the UNHRC Actions and What the West Aims to Achieve in Sri Lanka” …  … note PS at end….. End Notes are by Thuppahi

The core-group of Western countries behind the UNHRC resolution have their own highly developed intelligence sources of information on the Eelam War as it was of intense interest to the Western nations – in fact the foreign ministers of UK and France actually came to Colombo to intervene personally.[1] Given that level of interest, they had reams of information on the Eelam War. Lord Naseby has exposed the tip of this hidden iceberg of information possessed by the British Government alone.[2] The US, the Indians, the French, Germans, and most of all the Norwegians possessed first-hand information. None of that has been exploited by the UN, but remain hidden because, in all probability, what is in them are of little use to the agenda of the core group of nations behind the UNHRC resolution.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, conspiracies, disparagement, doctoring evidence, education, Eelam, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

Ameer Ali’s Academic Works and Career

Recent Essays of Some Significance 

LIST OF PUBLICATIONS as set out in Wikipedia, …. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ameer_Ali_(academic)  …. clearly not updated

Ali, A. (2016) From Islamophobia to Westophobia: The long road to radical Islamism. Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, 3 (1). pp. 1-19.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, australian media, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, democratic measures, devolution, economic processes, education, Eelam, electoral structures, fundamentalism, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian traditions, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, jihad, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, LTTE, modernity & modernization, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, religiosity, religious nationalism, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

The Making of Wahhabi Zealots in Sri Lanka, 1980s-2019

Michael Roberts

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[1] and Al-Zawahiri[2] in the latter half of the 20th century. This step will then take investigators to the Al-Qaida movement[3] and thence to the more recent brand of Wahhabism embodied within ISIS.

Sayyid Qutb  al-Zawahiri

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, Al Qaeda, arab regimes, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, chauvinism, communal relations, conspiracies, cultural transmission, disparagement, Eelam, ethnicity, fundamentalism, governance, historical interpretation, insurrections, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, Middle Eastern Politics, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, propaganda, racist thinking, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, world events & processes, zealotry

Lord Naseby targets Adele Balasingham …. and Lord Tariq Ahmad

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.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, centre-periphery relations, discrimination, Eelam, historical interpretation, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, politIcal discourse, prabhakaran, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil Tiger fighters, war crimes, women in ethnic conflcits

A German Scholar’s Incisive Review of the Western Powers’ Treatment of Sri Lanka, 2009-21

Mathias Keitle, a German scholar from Statalendorf ++

Sri Lanka eliminated a dreaded terrorist group, with intricate global links, but receives little credit for it! Unlike elsewhere in the world, Sri Lanka has succeeded in resettling 300,000 IDPs (Internal Displaced Persons). There are no starving children for the NGOs to feed but this gets ignored!

Sri Lanka has avoided mass misery, epidemics and starvation, but the West takes no notice of this. Sri Lanka has attained enviable socio-economic standards for a developing country while eliminating terrorism but gets no
acknowledgement.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, asylum-seekers, atrocities, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, democratic measures, devolution, economic processes, Eelam, ethnicity, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, IDP camps, Indian Ocean politics, insurrections, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes

Facing the Central Bank Bomb on 31st January 1996

 Somasiri Skandakumar in Sunday Island, 7 February 2021

As the clock moved towards 10.50 am on January 31, 2021, my mind went back 25 years to that fateful day. It was a Wednesday, and having finished our weekly meeting of the Parent Board of Directors in the Board Room on the eighth floor of Steuart House around 10.30 am, we sat around to exchange views on matters of a non-official nature as was customary, before returning to our rooms.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, communal relations, economic processes, Eelam, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, nationalism, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, rehabilitation, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, trauma, unusual people, world events & processes

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