Category Archives: law of armed conflict

Biden and USA stray into Untenable Territory

Jean-Pierre Page, in New Cold War, 27 April 2021, where the ttile runs thus: “The Longer War and Sleepy Joe in Wonderland,”

The Biden Administration appears to be implementing most of the recommendations in the Atlantic Council’s  Longer Telegram: Toward a new American China strategyan important strategic document about US policy towards China published in January 2021.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, China and Chinese influences, economic processes, foreign policy, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, law of armed conflict, Middle Eastern Politics, military strategy, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, propaganda, security, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes

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

2 Comments

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

The Western Bloc vs China in Clash of Giants: A Veteran Lankan Leftist Speaks

Lakshman Gunasekara**

“I am NOT interested in Western anti-Chinese conspiracies, having been familiar with them all my Left activist life since 1974. My interest is (as a good Communist) in the internal problems faced within China and grappled with by the Communist regime there – including the Han ethnocentrism, the anti-Uighur AND anti-Tibetan racism, the huge social problems faced by the intricately managed, partial transition to the capitalist market and, by the new class relations that the CCP must manage with the rise of private capital. So, I repeat my request that if you do come across such studies, please do point me to them. Not this stuff which is as old as the Cold War.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, discrimination, economic processes, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, Left politics, military expenditure, military strategy, modernity & modernization, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, press freedom, security, self-reflexivity, unusual people, world events & processes

High-Level Western Picture of Uyghur Genocide directed towards Shaming China

Ajit Singh: Independent’ report claiming Uyghur genocide brought to you by sham university, neocon ideologues lobbying to ‘punish’ China” … 17 March 2021, at https://thegrayzone.com/2021/03/17/report-uyghur-genocide-sham-university-neocon-punish-china/

US media hailed a Newlines Institute report accusing China of Uyghur genocide as a “landmark” independent analysis. A look beneath the surface reveals it as a regime change propaganda tool by interventionist operatives at a sham university.

Ajit Singh

Throughout March 2021, headlines in corporate media outlets from CNN to The Guardian blared about the release of the “first independent report” to authoritatively determine that the Chinese government has violated “each and every act” of the United Nations convention against genocide, and therefore “bears State responsibility for committing genocide against the Uyghurs.”

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, conspiracies, elephant tales, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, meditations, military strategy, news fabrication, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, security, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, world events & processes, zealotry

The Far Eastern Bureau and Its News Reels during World War II

Tony Donaldson

I enjoyed reading Michael Roberts’s short essay titled “Michael’s Testimony for VE Day in Britain, 8th May 1945,” published at Thuppahi on 10 May 2020. But I felt the story ended too quickly, leaving me to ponder where the story goes next. It would be good if Michael could continue this story. In the meantime, the following short note was triggered by Michael’s comment about the “insidious impact of Movietone News or Pathe News.”

After 3 September 1939, when Britain went to war with Germany, the British Ministry of Information (MOI) began arranging with numerous companies the release and distribution of their newsreels. One example was The Battle of Tobruk which was sent by plane to Colombo in March 1941. It was cleared through customs and distributed to cinemas in Colombo in time for screening at the evening shows on the same day the film arrived in Ceylon.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under British colonialism, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, military expenditure, military strategy, modernity & modernization, news fabrication, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

The SIOT Concept: One Foundation for SL Army Success in Eelam War IV

Colonel HP Ranasinghe: “The Eight Man Team,” 17 August 2018,  https://lrrp.wordpress.com/tag/special-infantry/.

Sri Lanka builds its future soldier capability around Special Forces, used to great effect against the LTTE insurgency. Sri Lanka is continuing its soldier modernisation plans continuing with the initiatives that it attributes to its success in defeating the LTTE insurgency.

Colonel HP Ranasinghe, Commander Special Forces Brigade, Sri Lanka Army stated, “[The] Special Forces of Sri Lanka rely principally on human skills blended with little equipment and technology. “Skill and will” being the policy due to compelling economic constraints. However, looking into the security challenges of the future, the Special Forces are contemplating upgrading programmes, designed to blend human skill with the “right technology.”

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, military strategy, modernity & modernization, performance, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, 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 Ideology of Sacrificial Death and Australian Nationalism during World War One

ALSThis short essay appeared  in the year K????K within the Website run the Library of Social Science headed by Richard Koenigsberg and he has sent it to me this month (November 2020) — presumably inspired by the recent jihadist attacks in Europe and by Thuppahi’s determined pursuit of the comparative literature on martyrdom pursued in a variety of contexts by diverse forces (not merely Islamic).

Michael Roberts

Addressing the practices of remembrance in Australia, Richard Koenigsberg has noted the irony that a battlefield defeat at Gallipoli in World War One, 1915, served a people as an emblem of nationhood: the “Australian nation, came into being on the foundations provided by the slaughter of its young men.”

Burying the dead at Gallipoli in 1915 ,,,and The Last Post

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, ancient civilisations, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, Australian culture, australian media, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, education, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Hitler, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, martyrdom, military strategy, modernity & modernization, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, psychological urges, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

Norah Roberts: A Letter from Her Past, April 1995

My sister Norah Roberts, I now realise, was a remarkable woman. Further elaborations along these lines will follow in a second “Memoriam.” The present display is via a Letter she sent to Fr Corera of the Vanareeth House for Elders run by the Sisters of Charity in Galle on the 15th April 1995 …. a copy of which has been preserved by Moninna Goonewardena of 15 Parawa Street, Fort, Galle.[1]

The copy of the Letter below will be followed by a commentary on several facets touched on within the letter; while my Ode in Praise in a subsequent essay will present details on Norah Roberts and her difficult circumstances of total deafness from her 32/33rd years on earth.

GalleFort~library~2002

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under accountability, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, communal relations, education, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, literary achievements, LTTE, meditations, military strategy, patriotism, politIcal discourse, prabhakaran, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war crimes, world events & processes

Eelamist Movement Rises Again in the North?

Dinasena Ratugamage, in Island, 15 August 2020, where the title is “Wiggy makes vow before LTTE memorial”

Newly elected TMTK (Thamil Makkal Thesiya Kuttani) MP C.V. Wigneswaran, on Thursday (13), vowed before the LTTE memorial at Mullivaikkal that he would fulfill the aspirations of the Tamil people.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, education, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, nationalism, performance, photography, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, religiosity, Saivism, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes, zealotry