Sir: I have read through and consider this an excellent summary of the key issues,particularly for those who are not very knowledgeable about history and of the sort who are busier protesting matters that have no relevance to them (the current trend among especially the youth in Sri Lanka on social media bandwagoning on BLM issues in the US simultaneously ignoring the more immediate realities of fellow Sri Lankans engaged in modern day slavery in the Middle East and other countries).
My recent use of the term “pogrom” to mark the constellation of events in mid-1915 that were (are) commonly referred to as “riots” has been challenged on Facebook by a Sinhalese ideologue named Amare Kodikara (who has not taken the trouble to read the original articles in 1994 on which this usage was based). I am therefore placing the relevant segment from the pertinent article in the web-domain once again as Segment Two in this article.
“Deceit Magnified: The Western World’s Appraisal of Eelam War IV”by Michael Roberts in FAULTLINES The K.P.S. Gill Journal of Conflict & Resolution Volume 24 September 2019 ……………… https://www.satp.org/Docs/Faultline/24.pdf– with some minor tweaking and the use of highlights to emphasize points of particular value
The last stage of Eelam War IV in Sri Lanka in 2008/09 has generated a large volume of literature. In addressing the issues arising from this work, it is possible to proceed by assertions founded upon previous articles with their supporting evidence.The focus here is on the pursuits of the US State Department through its point man in Colombo, US Ambassador Blake, as well as its ‘auxiliaries’ in the UN and European Union. The arguments here are deliberately provocative. They commence with eleven assertions that highlight a worldwide ignorance of alarming proportions in 2009, a shortcoming that persists today.
The terrorist attacks in Paris rendered her new book Fields of Blood. Religion and the History of Violence suddenly and tragically very urgent. In over five hundred pages Karen Armstrong, once a nun and the respected author of bestsellers like A History of God and The Case for God, answers the question whether religion is the principal cause of violence. A conversation about Islam and terrorists, Western responsibility and the world in which we live.
Kim Wall and Mansi Choksi, in Longreads, May 2018 where the title is “A Chance to Rewrite History: The Women Fighters of the Tamil Tigers” …… How during a brutal, 25-year civil war in Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tigers failed the women soldiers who sacrificed everything to fight for a sovereign state for the Tamil minority [with a NOTE from the Editor, Thuppahi at the end]
“We went on our first reporting trip together to write about an emerging Chinatown in Kampala in 2015,” says Mansi. “And then the next year, I moved to New York, where she was living, so we would spend our afternoons working together.” Mansi and Kim traveled to Sri Lanka in 2016. Mansi recalls Kim’s dedication to telling the story of the women who fought with the Tamil Tigers during Sri Lanka’s brutal, 25-year civil war. “Kim genuinely fell in love with the women we were writing about,” says Mansi. “You can hear it in her voice, in the tapes of our interviews.”
Email Note from Bill Deutrom in Lanka to Michael Roberts, 8 Dec 2018
Thank you, Michael for your amazing collection of articles on the Eelam War and its aftermath as well as the present political impasse. Alas, they will not convince people who have already made up their mind based on emotion, ethnicity or with a hatred for Rajapaksa.Continue reading →
This is a reproduction of COMMENTS in a previous Thuppahi Item from 2012 — which presented an article by Rajan Philips in the Sunday Island of 26 February 2012. This unusual step is taken because the information therein: (1) about caste oppression in the Jaffna Peninsula even in the 1970s; (2) data on the politics of the Jaffna Youth congress and its boycott campaign against the Donoughmore Reforms and the 1931 elections in the north; (#) a reading of GG Ponnambalam (4) the contributions to the discussion from R, Sid Perinbanayagam and Nalliah Thayabharan — with Thayabharan’s slashing criticisms of the LTTE and Tamil diasporic supporters evincing a remarkable courage.
“[This poem was presented] a small pamphlet called “Ganga” published in Colombo in 1978: it was aimed at the boasting men of violence everywhere – the Warriors of Terror whom in the guise of Freedom Fighters were inflicting further violence on already violated communities:
To Aloysius-Ludovico (The Terrorist)
I am tired of hearing you sing
the anthems of Freedom and War…
How joyously you crack the whip
and bellow out the tune above the drums!
But the faces of my friends haunt me
in the mornings when I see Death’s Armada
With its pirate’s flag of torture trailing….
what does it matter, your Freedom?
They are dying, my friends and their children…
Nalliah Thayabharan, thank you for reminding me of this poem written in despair in Colombo 30+ years ago. A whole generation has grown up since then but the same (better) poem is probably being written today in Syria by some unknown idealist…..as the song goes “When will we ever learn?”
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.