Michael Roberts, … reproducing Chapter III in Volume I of Documents of the Ceylon National Congress and Nationalist Politics in Ceylon, 1929-1950, Vol I, 1977, Department of National Archives, 1977 , pp. lxviii–lxxviii **
While the political activists of the first half of the twentieth century were drawn from both the national and the local elites, the political leadership (at significant island-wide levels) was largely composed of individuals who could be ranked among the national elite. As indicated earlier, the national elite was a small segment of the Ceylonese population. Its levels of wealth, power and status, its lifestyle, and its value-system marked it off from the rest of the population.
It is unclear whether this item is from today in 2020 in the Daily Mirror online …. or …. from 23rd November 2012
TITLE = “LTTE Leader thwarted Oslo’s Moves for a Ceasefire in 2009”
By D.B.S. JEYARAJ
Q: The recent media exposure about an internal report compiled by the UN regarding its role and conduct in Sri Lanka has focused much attention on the final phase of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009. You also made several observations in this respect when I interviewed you in detail in 2010 for the “Daily Mirror”. In view of the media spotlight on this issue I am thinking of focusing on it again to clarify certain matters. Shall we re-visit those past events again?
Yes. I am also seeing a lot of interest in the subject again. Old things are being dug up again. As usual some facts are being suppressed or distorted by interested people. I am ready to talk about whatever I know in this so that some aspects of the truth are made known.
In 1984, the CIA and the State Department produced a joint document – a highly classified one – solely on US foreign policy towards Sri Lanka after the LTTE started its terror campaign to bifurcate Sri Lanka followed by the JR Jayewardene administration seeking Washington’s help for military assistance.
I have met PK Balachandran on a couple of occasions in Sri Lanka in connection with its political developments at specific points of time. I have always found him a straightforward and earnest person. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Masters in Sociology, both from the University of Delhi. He has resided in Sri Lanka since 1997, working initially for The Hindustan Times before moving to the Indo-Asian News Service for a short while and then joining The New Indian Express. He therefore brings a depth of local experience that few foreign reporters will match. When I came across US Ambassador Robert Blake’s Address in Chennai in late October 2008 and decided to present a critical essay on its implications as one facet of a critique of Blake’s readings of the ongoing war in early 2009 that was already in the public realm (with a caustic title “Blake in Never-Neverland”), I sent that article as well as Blake’s Address to Bala. Typically and efficiently, Bala replied at once. The outcome has been a series of short and long ‘notes’ of immense value.
I reproduce them in full in temporal order, with my inquiries included where requisite, because of the empirical data in the form of Bala’s recollection of events and, last but not least, Bala’s assessment of the overarching political and foreign policy scenario. Indeed, they bring into question some facets of my own interpretation I conveyed in an article that appeared yesterday. Continue reading →
The title for this item is inspired by that riveting film from 1998 entitled Saving Private Ryan with Tom Hanks in the lead role.
KEY QUOTATION: “It is said that the LTTE was agreeable to USA’s direct involvement, but they were not agreeable to locking the weapons. The USA had also started preparing for the Mullivaikal operation. Accordingly, PACOM’s Naval unit, Marine Expediency Brigade, will land at the Mullaithivu shores; and the Navy and the Air Force of PACOM will also join in this operation” … being just one stick of dynamite in “Mullivaikal Last Stages: Facts Unknown to the Tamil-Speaking World,” by Fr. Gaspar Raj, an essay in Tamil translated by one “ M N” for Nakeeran and then presented to the world by Sri Lanka Guardianon 23rd June 2010.
Fr. Gaspar RajTalaivar Pirapāharan in his guerrilla days
This essay was re-discovered by accident when I went through my computer files recently and becomes extremely important in the light of (A) the recent review article by Daya Gamage; (B) the startling facts and manoeuvres that are displayed in the raw within the US Embassy despatches of 2009 made available by Wikileaks; and (C) by the veteran journalist PK Balachandran’s information on Revd. Fr. Jegath Gaspar Raj’s role in 2009 and his endorsement of key facts in the Gaspar Raj essay…….inserted here at the end of the article by Gaspar Raj.MichaelRoberts.
A scene at Calcutta in mid-May 2014 —Pic by Piyal Adhikary/epa/Corbis
In the days since the decisive victory of Narendra Modi and his conservative Bharatiya Janata Party in India’s national election, many Indian commentators have perceived a turning point in Indian politics. Modi’s critics sense, in his sweeping mandate, an ominous revival of Hindu nationalism; his supporters maintain that he won because of his robust economic record in Gujarat, where he was Chief Minister from 2001 to 2014. Few on either side, though, dispute that Modi’s political rise signals, in part, a rejection by voters of India’s traditional political elite. Continue reading →
In 2014, the year when Bollywood’s most popular ‘item’ song featured an Indo-Canadian porn star lip-syncing a song called ‘Baby Doll’, India elected a conservative Hindu chauvinist as its prime minister. Narendra Modi’s extraordinary ascent to power from humble party worker to a national icon of communal violence to hyper-efficient developmentalist leader is intriguing and revealing in itself, but let’s leave that aside for now.
The poll surveys and election data shows that the demographic most responsible for placing him in harm’s way came largely from young upper caste North Indian Hindus. Draw a line from Mangalore in the south-west to Darjeeling in the north-east – and with the exception of tiny pockets in Punjab and Kashmir, the saffron wave swept the vast majority of parliamentary seats to the north and west of that line. Continue reading →
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.