Elmo Jayawardena, in The Island, 4 March 2021, where the title reads “A Clear Blue Sky” … bearing this ’emphasis’…. I publish this article just so that we can remember how sad the times were during the war for both sides. Let us hope and pray such will never happen again)
The one unforgettable memory that Selva always carried within himself was the colour of the vast Jaffna sky, spotless and shimmering in brilliant blue. It appeared as if the Gods had decided to spread a sheet and tucked it taut to the corners of the horizon as if to show off how perfectly they could do things. Off and on there would be fluffy white clouds, being sheep-dogged by winds aloft, harmless cartoons scattered in the sky, men and dogs, trees and castles or whatever a child wanted to imagine them to be. The clouds were seldom grey and laden with rain. That’s how the dry climate came about to roast the soil where Selva’s family toiled under the merciless sun, for generations, to grow chilli on. The kochika as they called it, were the thin and long kind, blood red, extremely hot and mouth-burning. Selva’s people sold the chilli harvest at the week-end market in the closest town. That was Vaddukodai, located an hour’s distance away, by bullock cart, from their nameless village of nowhere and no one; just blood red kochika and blue skies.
Induction of Tiger recruits into fighter ranks with receipt of the kuppi containing cyanide
Tiger soldiers relaxing in camp with cyanide kuppi around their necks — Pix by Shyam Tekwani
Understanding the role of religion in the Tamil insurgency requires an understanding of Sri Lanka’s cultural mosaic and of the development of modern nationalism before and after independence from British colonial power. Sri Lanka is a geographically small yet culturally rich and complex island, with numerous ethnic, linguistic, religious, and caste subgroups. The majority of the population identify as ethnically Sinhala, and they speak Sinhala, an Indo-European language. The great majority of the Sinhalese are Theravada Buddhists who live mostly in the south and central regions of the island. A small minority of Sinhalese are Catholics, and some also belong to evangelical Christian churches. The largest minority group in Sri Lanka is the Tamils, who speak Tamil (a South Indian Dravidian language) and comprise several subgroups. The largest of these are the so-called Sri Lankan Tamils, who traditionally have lived in the north and east. The so-called Indian Tamils are labor immigrants from India who were brought in by the British to work in the plantation sector in the highlands. The majority of Tamils are Hindus of the Śaiva Siddhanta tradition, but there are also a significant number who are Catholics and a few to smaller Evangelical denominations. The Tamil Muslims identify based on religious belonging, not on a common ethnic identity, and they speak Tamil. Historically, the Muslim communities are scattered throughout the island; they form a stronghold in urban trading centers in the south but are also farmers in the Tamil-majority Eastern Province. Social stratification based on caste and regional identities was strong in precolonial Lanka, and then the colonial classifications of the island’s inhabitants produced new identities with intensified religious and racial signifiers. These were reproduced in the emerging Tamil and Sinhala nationalisms of the late 19th century.
Jenny Wilson [00:00:24] Emeritus Professor Trevor Gordon Wilson, AM. Known as Trevor to Mum and his colleagues, as Gordon to his daughters and granddaughters, as ‘Trevors’ to his grandson Ben, was born on Christmas Eve in 1928 in Auckland, New Zealand. Sara and my existence depended on a crowded train from Oxford to Manchester and a custard tart. A story that will be told shortly. But Dad’s existence depended on the war that became his great area of research, writing and teaching. The First World War. Trevor’s dad, Andrew Gordon Kingsley Wilson, was fighting as an ANZAC in the trenches in France.
Michael Roberts, being an abridged version of an old article presented in the Library of Social Science run by Richard Koenigsberg and others.
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.”
There is more irony. The commemoration of Australian courage, sacrifice and manliness at Gallipoli (and subsequently on the Somme) was threaded by tropes of youthful innocence that drew on classical Hellenic motifs. While the monuments and epitaphs that were crafted in Australia to mark this event were manifestly Greek in form. The gendered masculine metaphor, in turn, was often embodied in the seminal image of a full-bodied blonde young man. “Archie Hamilton” in Peter Weir’s classic film Gallipoli was/is one such trope (and he died of course).
Since I had been introduced to the British peer Lord Michael Naseby in the surrounds of the House of Lords in March 2018, I assumed that he had been born into the aristocratic upper layer of British society. Wrong. It required his book Sri Lanka for me to learn that he was from the upper middle class and had contested parliamentary seats from the late-960s on behalf of the Conservative Party in what were Labour strongholds – with his peerage being of 1990s vintage. As vitally, his early career as a marketing executive had seen him working in Pakistan and Bengal in the early 1960s before he was stationed in Sri Lanka as a marketing manager for Reckitt and Colman in the period 1963-64.
The human rights lobby in UK (hereafter HR) has the International Crisis Group, Chatham House and the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace & Justice serving among the spearheads of the campaign for a political transformation of Sri Lanka – a campaign that is in line with USA’s interests and is linked to the interventions of the United Nations HR industry involving Navy Pillai,Prince Zeid Raad Zeid Al-Hassan, the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva and its cohort of officials (usually American or British personnel).
C. Bryson Hull, reporting for REUTERS on 23 February 2009 … with this title “Sri Lanka army measures end of 25 year-war in days” …with highlighting by The Editor, Thuppahi complemented by A SET of COMMENTS that is vital for debates today in 2019
After 25 years of war, Sri Lanka army Brigadier Shavendra Silva is measuring the last of the fighting in days. Standing not far from where he expects a final showdown with Tamil Tiger separatists in the Indian Ocean island’s northeast, the 58th Division commander ordered in his armoured units as Tiger mortar bombs exploded on the nearby frontline
Reuters PIX = recalcitrant = Three T-55 tanks and an armoured personnel carrier with a 30 mm cannon raced down the A-35 road, throwing up clouds of fine red dust, the thump of their 30 mm cannon heard within a minute.
“Deceit Magnified: The Western World’s Appraisal of Eelam War IV”by Michael Roberts in FAULTLINES The K.P.S. Gill Journal of Conflict & Resolution Volume 24 September 2019 ……………… https://www.satp.org/Docs/Faultline/24.pdf– with some minor tweaking and the use of highlights to emphasize points of particular value
The last stage of Eelam War IV in Sri Lanka in 2008/09 has generated a large volume of literature. In addressing the issues arising from this work, it is possible to proceed by assertions founded upon previous articles with their supporting evidence.The focus here is on the pursuits of the US State Department through its point man in Colombo, US Ambassador Blake, as well as its ‘auxiliaries’ in the UN and European Union. The arguments here are deliberately provocative. They commence with eleven assertions that highlight a worldwide ignorance of alarming proportions in 2009, a shortcoming that persists today.
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.