Serge De Silva Ranasinghe … This article was first available online at jir. janes.com on 11 November 2009, where it carries this title: “Good Education: Sri Lankan military learns insurgency lessons”*++*
A SUMMARY: In May 2009, the Sri Lankan government declared victory in the country’s brutal civil war. Sergei De Silva-Ranasinghe examines the effectiveness of the military tactics that helped defeat the LTTE. … While The Editor Thuppahi has imposed highlighting to stress some key aspects
Sri Lanka’s victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009 offers insights and lessons in confronting an intractable and formidable insurgency. To achieve victory, Sri Lanka expanded its army and adopted new tactics for the largest military campaign in the country’s history. Determined leadership and superior manpower were ultimately decisive in a war that killed as many as 22,000 rebels and over 5,000 soldiers.
The maps indicate the Sri Lankan military’s advance through the country, the various operations that led to the capture of insurgents and the LTTE’s gradual downfall over the past four years.
Tiger fighters relax in camp, late 1980s—Pic by Shyam Tekwani who was embedded with LTTE for a while.
With the benefit of a Teen Murti Fellowship I was collecting data on communal violence in India in 1995 when my readings of news archives indicated that the death of Mrs Indira Gandhi by assassination in Delhi induced a handful of individuals in southern India to commit sympatheticsuicide. Since news reports did not indicate similar reactions in other parts of India, I began to reflect on the cultural foundations that promoted such expressions – acting, of course, in contexts that also could provide political and economic inspirations.This eventually led to my first essay on this topic:“Filial Devotion and the Tiger Cult of Suicide,” Contributions to Indian Sociology, 1996, 30: 245-72.
In presenting a Zoom Lecture relating to the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka in April 2021 for Dr. Geethika Dharmasinghe’s class at Colgate University in USA a month or so back, I deplyed the work that went into one of books: that entitled FIRE & STORM.
I now atempt to schock people around the world with pictorial illustrations of some — note “Some” (with all its partialities) — photographs of the political and Eelam War scenarios in Sri Lanka displayed in Fire & Storm.
Janaka Perera, in The Daily News,5 April 2023, entitled “Oh What A Lovely War for the Colonels of Ceylon – Remembering the April 1971 insurgency – a reporter’s experience,” …. With this qualifying Note: “This however is not meant to be a reflection on JVP’s present-day politics but only a brief recording of history.”
April 5th marks the 52nd anniversary of JVP’s April insurgency of 1971. It saw the first armed insurrection in post-independence Sri Lanka (then Ceylon). All legally recognized political parties at the time cooperated with the then Government in suppressing the insurgency since they did not consider it a people’s uprising.
27 May 2002 Blood drips off the deck; a torrent of rapid gunfire sores through the air. We are in the midst of a savage sea battle, fought by the Sea Tigers — the maritime arm of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Produced by ABC Australia Distributed by Journeyman Pictures
ABSTRACT: This study highlights the Tantric threads within the transcendental religions of Asia that revealthe commanding role of encirclement as a mystical force. The cyanide capsule (kuppi) around the neck of every Tamil Tiger fighter was not only a tool of instrumental rationality as a binding force, but also a modality similar to a thāli(marriage bond necklace) and to participation in a velvi(religious animal sacrifice). It was thus embedded within Tamil cultural practice. Alongside the LTTE’s politics of homage to its māvīrar(dead heroes), the kuppi sits beside numerous incidents in LTTE acts of mobilization or military actions where key functionaries approached deities in thanks or in preparation for the kill. These practices highlight the inventive potential of liminal moments/spaces. We see this as modernized ‘war magic’—a hybrid re-enchantment energizing a specific religious worldview.
Michael Roberts: A recent invitation to present a Zoom Lecture from Dr. Geethika Dharmasinghe of Colgate University in USA found me stumbling upon one of my unpublished Notes from yesteryear: a “Note” which seems worthy of resuscitation for public consumption now with suitable illustrations added.
Young LTTE recruits receive their kuppi (cyanide capsule) as final award at a passing out ceremony filmed by the BBC in Jaffna in 1991 …. One of the LTTE officers at this ceremony was the Australian Adele Balasingham, who told he BBC team that “the cyanide capsule has come to symbolise a sense of self-sacrifice by cadres of the movement, their determination, their commitment to the cause and, ultimately, of course, their courage.”
Apropos of the misleading interpretations of suicide attacks by Western commentators such as the political scientist, Robert Pape, it is important to note that the act of suicide was initially adopted by the LTTE as a defensive tool to protect the organisation from the leaking of information after capture. It was also a mark of their dedication to the Tamil liberation cause and thus a method of drawing popular admiration. It was not till 5 July 1987 that it was deployed as a low cost precision weapon when Miller (a nom de guerre) drove a truck bomb into an SL Army encampment at Nelliyadi. This was but one instance of uyirayutham — life as weapon.
Serge De Silva-Ranasinghe, in Asia-Pacific Defence News, Vol.5/5, May 15-June14, 2010, where the title is “Defeat Of The LTTE And Its Significance” …. with the difficult & painstaking task of conversion being handled by Darshanie Ratnawalli in Sri Lanka ... whilethe highlighting emphasis in the article is the work of The Editor, Thuppahi
The month of May 2010 marks the first anniversary of the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE), which was widely considered to be among the most formidable insurgent-terrorist organisations in the world. In what was universally thought to be an unwinnable war, Sri Lanka emerged victorious in one of the most remarkable counter insurgency campaigns in the history of modern counter-insurgency(COIN) warfare, says Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe
Michael Roberts in the DEDICATION presented on the first page of the bookTamil Person and State: Essays, Colombo, Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2014, … ISBN 978-955- 665-230-7
The essays that make up this anthology would not have been possible without the assistance of numerous individuals who provided me with information during face-to-face conversations, Skype and telephone chats or through responses by email. This will be only too evident if readers take note of my citations and footnotes.For this reason, it is entirely appropriate that I dedicate this work to all those who have assisted me in my researches over the last few years. Not all of them will agree with my thrusts. Indeed, there are a few of them in Colombo, such as Ananda Chittambalam, who have disputed some of my arguments, while yet encouraging me in my researches and publication programmes.
Ana Chittambalam: ex-Royal College, raconteur, promoter of causes and a staunch ally and dangerous foe
This little presentation is a DEDICATION. It illustrates the potency and power of friends in producing an academic booklet in 2011. As it happens, the booklet bears the title Potency, Power & People in Groups and was financed by the good friends Godfrey & Amar Gunatilleke of the Marga Institute.
The “Acknowledgements” and the “Foreword” taken together spell out the names of those friends who assisted this project. But let me single out Anura Hettiarachchifor his aid in this project and in the endeavours leading to my book on Sinhala Consciousness in the Kandyan Period (Colombo, Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2004) because he was struck down by heart failure recently.
To Anura, then, in gratitude I place this item in my website.
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.