Category Archives: martyrdom

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.

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Songs and Music from Auschwitz and Other Concentration Camps

Meagan Flynn, in Washington Post, 17 April 2018, where the title runs thus: “How thousands of songs composed in concentration camps are finding new life”

  Ilse Weber 1903-1944

Ilse Weber, a Jewish poet, was imprisoned at the concentration camp at Terezin in German-occupied Czechoslovakia when she wrote a song called “When I Was Lying Down in Terezin’s Children’s Clinic.” The song was about caring for sick children at the camp where Weber worked as a nurse. She had little-to-no medicine available. But she had her poetry and her music — some of which her husband managed to salvage by hiding the written verses in a garden shed after her death at Auschwitz in 1944.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp 

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The Making of Wahhabi Zealots in Sri Lanka, 1980s-2019

Michael Roberts

All those addressing the fervour that promoted the killing work of the Zahran Hashim jihadist network in Sri Lanka in April 2019 must come to grips with the modern currents of Wahhabi political thinking that go back to the outpourings of the Egyptian intellectuals Sayyid Qutb[1] and Al-Zawahiri[2] in the latter half of the 20th century. This step will then take investigators to the Al-Qaida movement[3] and thence to the more recent brand of Wahhabism embodied within ISIS.

Sayyid Qutb  al-Zawahiri

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Filed under accountability, Al Qaeda, arab regimes, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, chauvinism, communal relations, conspiracies, cultural transmission, disparagement, Eelam, ethnicity, fundamentalism, governance, historical interpretation, insurrections, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, Middle Eastern Politics, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, propaganda, racist thinking, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, world events & processes, zealotry

India Triumphant at the Gabba

A BRUISED and BATTERED INDIAN SQUAD effect a remarkable victory …. that may well equal the famous TIED TEST between the Windies and Aussies way back in 1961…

READ ALL ABOUT IT …………. https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/india-in-australia-2020-21-1223867/australia-vs-india-4th-test-12

Rishabh Pant is all smiles after guiding India home  Getty Images

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Ceylonese Enlisting in RAF during World War II: More Data

Group Captain Kumar Kirinde, SLAF (Retd)

 

Clarence Shelton Anthony Perera  was a member of the 1st batch of Ceylonese to join the RAF. As per the only ATA record available he has first served in the RAF from September 1941 to January 1943. He has left the service as a LAC. He then in April 1943 joined as a Pilot Cadet in the Air Transport Auxillary (ATA), a civilian organisation ferrying aircraft for the RAF and Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy ” — Charles Amarasekere Continue reading

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“Murali is Not a Match for Thileepan” — says Bharathiraja

Item in The NEWS, December 2020: “Bharathiraja asks Vijay Sethupathi to avoid Muralitharan biopic, [and] calls the latter a traitor ……. “Do you want your face to be forever associated with a racist person and be looked at with hatred by people?” he has asked Vijay Sethupathi in his letter.

Thileepan during his fast unto death n September 1987

Pirapaharan visits Thileepan

Murali after capturing his 800th Test wicket 

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Dissecting the Federal Option for SL Tamils in 2005 — An Important Appraisal

  Gerald Peiris, whose original refereed essay in 2005 in Faultlines, Volume 17, Journal of the Institute for Conflict Management, New Delhi …. is entitled “Federalism and the ‘Federal Option’ for Sri Lanka” ….. Its Table of Contents is reproduced at the end of this presentation.

On Federalism as a Modality of Conflict Resolution

“The successful operation of federal systems requires a particular kind of political environment, one that is conducive to popular government and has the requisite traditions of political cooperation and self-restraint.  Beyond this, federal systems operate best in societies with sufficient homogeneity of fundamental interests to allow a great deal of latitude to local government and permit reliance upon voluntary collaboration.  The use of force to maintain domestic order is even more inimical to the successful maintenance of federal patterns of government than to other forms of popular government.  Federal systems are most successful in societies that have the human resources to fill many public offices competently and the material resources to afford a measure of economic waste as part of the price of liberty”.

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Maaveerar Homage in London: Virtual Reality

Photographs and ‘sights’ courtesy of a Muslim Friend

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Robert Pape’s Blunders in Tigerland: Pape’s Muddles on ‘Suicide Bombers’ in Sri Lanka

Michael Roberts, reprinting here an article which appeared initially in November 2007  as Working Paper No. 32 November 2007 in the Heidelberg Papers on South Asian PoliticsISSN: 1617-5069 …. edited by Subrata Mitra. Insofar as this essay is being reproduced in 2020, I cannot overstress the point at which it appeared in the public realm — in 2007 well before the LTTE was defeated… [noting that, with the exception of the emblematic Picture at the start, all other illustrations appeared in the Heidelberg publication. These pictorial scenes, I stress now in 2020, are valuable data in themselves].

No study of the LTTE can afford to neglect Sri Lanka’s cultural, historical, and geographical backdrop, The lack of existential awareness of religious cross-fertilisation, the either/or foundations of Western reasoning and the absence of local knowledge bedevil the scholarship that incorporates Sri Lanka within the global surveys of suicide attacks. Pape’s Dying to Win is an example. Here, in Pape’s article, the LTTE’s multi-pronged capacities are poorly evaluated. Too much significance is attributed to the coercive success of SMs in bringing the government to the negotiating table at various moments. Religious persecution has not been the main reason for the Tamil struggle. Comparative references to SMs elsewhere are occasionally interspersed in this review of the Sri Lankan scene.

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Enthusiasm for War: Australians in the 1910s and Jihadists in the 2010s

Michael Roberts

Introduction:  Remembrance Day ceremonies in Australia and Europe led to the recuperation of items on the “Will to War” which I had presented way back in time[1] and Dr Richard Koenigsberg[2] in New York has chipped in by sending me copies of some of my articles in the Library of Social Science (his outfit). At a time in 2020 when sporadic jihadist assassinations in France and Australia in 2020 have reminded us forcefully of the recurring phenomenon of the force of Allahu Akbar in the Middle East as well as such outposts as Sri Lanka (witness the 21/4 strikes in 2019)[3] as well as Australia (see below).

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