Category Archives: martyrdom

Confrontation. Covid-Quarantine. Ordeal.

Michael Roberts

Preamble: I flew to Sydney in Australia on Sri Lankan Airlines UL 606 leaving Katunayake at 17.00 o’clock on Wednesday 16th September. The airport was depressingly empty. Only about 35 passengers were on the flight –undoubtedly due to Australian restrictions. Two were Aussie women and the rest looked dinky-die Sri Lankan.

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Richard Koenigsberg’s Succinct Summary of the Law of Sacrifice

Richard Koenigsberg: “The Proof of the Pudding is in the Dying”

  • The desire to die and kill–in war, genocide, revolution and terrorism–grows out of attachment to an ideology conceived as absolute
  • Dying and killing are undertaken with the purpose of validating an ideology (“proof of the pudding”).

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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.

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Tales of War and Heroic Action around Kokavil Tower

Shanika Sriyananda in Sunday Observer, 12 June 2020, where the title runs “Saved through blood, sweat and tears”

Her voice quivers when she reads out the certificate given by the Government in honour of her son’s bravery; she could not find words to express her feelings. Even after nearly 21 years, she still cries recalling how her ‘Saliya putha’ embraced her before leaving home for duty, proudly carrying his uniform.

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Achtung! Whiffs of Tiger Militarism and Tamil Federalism in Recent Talk and Action

ONE: Camelia Nathaniel, in Daily News, 9 July 2020, which carries this title Resurrection of LTTE’s Agenda of Violence”

The LTTE network overseas has been planning a series of attacks in Sri Lanka since the war ended in May 2009. The latest attempt to disrupt peace and stability in Sri Lanka was on July 4, 2020. A former member of the Tamil Tigers Thangarajah Thevathashan was preparing to conduct a bombing to mark the Black Tigers Day. The foreign handlers knew Thangarajah Thevathashan by his LTTE name Gangai Athman alias Kavinjan. He was serving in the LTTE Intelligence wing, notorious for the assassinations of several leaders including the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

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The Threads of Intolerance within Contemporary Liberal/Radical Fervour

A Letter on Justice and Open Debate …. Harpers’ Magazine, July 7, 2020 ……………..
……… The letter below  will be appearing in the Letters section of the magazine’s October issue. We welcome responses at letters@harpers.org

Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity. As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second. The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy. But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion—which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting. The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

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Fresh Insights on the 4/21 Salafi Bombings in Sri Lanka

Samanth Subramanium, in New York Times, 2 July 2020, where the title reads “Two Wealthy Muslim Brothers became suicide Bombers, but Why?”

There’s a video of the exact moment Inshaf Ibrahim decided to abandon his life as a rich young man and turn into a mass murderer. In one sense, he had made up his mind weeks earlier, which was why he was loitering in the Cinnamon Grand hotel’s breakfast buffet on Easter Sunday last year in Colombo, strapped into a knapsack of explosives. Once he arrived, though, he appeared to dither. Later, investigators picked him out of CCTV footage, standing near a vacant table, wearing a baseball cap and a T-shirt, his back to the camera. In the footage, he moves like a perplexed penguin. Two steps forward, half a step back, a turn, another turn: a choreography of hesitation. Perhaps he is reconsidering? But no, the investigators concluded; he is waiting for more people to come in. Finally, a microsecond of stillness, arms heavy by his side; then his hands reach toward the front of his waist, and the film goes dark.

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The Web Site on “Sacrificial Devotion” …. Its Short Run

Recent Thuppahi entries have highlighted the Workshop on Sacrificial Devotion” held in Adelaide University in late 2005, one framed within the concept fashioned by Michael Roberts to study and comprehend suicidal commitments to political cause. Note the ITEM

Thilipan on Fast unto death in 1987

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Sacrificial Devotion in Comparative Perspective: A Workshop at Adelaide University in Late 2005

Daya ….. Rohan…. Shyam…. Riaz ….. what a South Asian spread! …………………. a dinkie-die curry’

I = Michael Roberts: An Explanatory Preamble Cast in May 2020

By 2004 I had retired from teaching in the Anthropology Department at Adelaide University and was proceeding with the pursuit of my research interests at my own pace within my limited resources. Sri Lanka and my connections therein was one such resource. When researching in Colombo in late November 2004 I flew to Jaffna on a wing and a prayer[1] with the intention of exploring the Tamil Tiger “cult of suicide.” Previous contacts with two Tamil Canadians and a visit to the University of Jaffna as soon as I landed assisted me no end: partly via the invaluable support provided by the Krishnaswamy family[2] and the readiness of their medical student son Chenthan to become my aide and guide during peregrinations within the Peninsula.[3]

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Karuna’s Defection: An Early Analysis in Speculative Mode

Gerald H. Peiris: being Chapter 6 in Peiris, Twilight of the Tigers

The contents of this chapter, except its ‘Introductory Notes’ and the ‘Postscript’, are based almost entirely on an article titled ‘An Assessment of the Current Crisis among the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’ written by me in March 2004 while the events that constituted the early stages of the revolt led by ‘Colonel Karuna’ against the Vanni-based Tiger leadership were unfolding in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka.  It was published by the Jane’s Information Group, UK. Written as it was in the context of acute paucity of documented information on the rapidly changing and bewilderingly complex scenario in the ‘north-east’ of Sri Lanka at that time, the article contained a fair amount of reasoned speculation. Here, in this chapter, I have retained the original article largely unchanged mainly for the reason that some of my speculations and predictions proved subsequently to be correct. The changes of the original article made in the formulation of this chapter have involved only some alterations of tense, and the addition of footnotes for clarification and substantiation, and a ‘postscript’, intended to update the impact of the events examined in the article from the viewpoint of the thematic concerns of this volume.

 LTTE commanders circa 2005(?)

 the talaivar Pirapāharan LTTEleader 

some Tigress fighters

Sea Tigresses –a formidable element in the LTTE armoury

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