We hadn’t seen him in years, ever since he left to work abroad. So, on the day of his return, his mother invited the extended family to lunch. As he walked through the door we reacted collectively, gasped audibly. He wore a sharp suit but sported one of those long, unkempt, rowdy beards. Perhaps, I thought, there are no barbers in Saudi Arabia. (You never know, it’s a weird place).
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.
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.
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 and Al-Zawahiri in the latter half of the 20th century. This step will then take investigators to the Al-Qaida movement and thence to the more recent brand of Wahhabism embodied within ISIS.
Clarence Shelton Anthony Pererawas 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 AmarasekereContinue reading →
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
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”.
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 Politics … ISSN: 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.
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.