Category Archives: nationalism

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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Sustaining Memory as a Central Facet of Transitional Justice

Gehan Gunatilleke: “The Right to Memory: The Forgotten Facet of Transitional Justice* with highlighting emphasis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting — Milan  Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979)

Introduction

Memory does not explicitly feature among the four pillars of transitional justice: truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. Hence the precise role memory plays within a transitional justice process is often left to those negotiating the contours of the process. Memory is a vital ingredient in ascertaining the truth and in securing evidence to ensure justice for victims and survivors. Moreover, memorialisation of loss has a place in the symbolic initiatives owed to victims and survivors under the reparations pillar. Meanwhile, public memorials commemorating man-made tragedies contribute towards a society’s collective commitment to non-recurrence. Thus memory often becomes the lifeblood that preserves and binds the traditional pillars of transitional justice.

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The Ethics of History: Discussion to be built upon Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington’s Lecture

Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington to speak on THE ETHICS of HISTORY and thus promote a Live Discussion, 14 April 2021, courtesy of Merton College, Oxford

Since the pandemic began, we have adapted our events programme to move online, and we are pleased to announce that our next 40 Years Series online lecture, a part of our Merton Women: 40 Years celebrations, will be airing live at a time more suitable for our alumni in Asia, Australasia and the Pacific.

Hughes-Warrington & Irene Tracey

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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.

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Ameer Ali’s Academic Works and Career

Recent Essays of Some Significance 

LIST OF PUBLICATIONS as set out in Wikipedia, …. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ameer_Ali_(academic)  …. clearly not updated

Ali, A. (2016) From Islamophobia to Westophobia: The long road to radical Islamism. Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, 3 (1). pp. 1-19.

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Trump and Hitler in Same Bed? Generating Love and Hate?

A NOTE from Richard Koenigsberg, March 2021 …. in an Item presented four years back and headed thus: “Is Trump Stealing Hitler’s Playbook? How does One Test the Truth of a Hypothesis: Predictive Validity.” 

Hitler addressing rally in May 1937 — Associard Press Photo …https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/05/books/review/the-nazi-menace-benjamin-carter-hett.html  

  Donald Trump  speaking at Phoenix on 23rd June 2020 (https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-06-24/trump-phoenix-speech-demagogue)

A wonderful Internet radio program, Howard Bloom Saves the Universe, is hosted by Chad Dougatz. Howard invited me to join the show to explore the question, “Why does Donald Trump stir us (either negatively or positively).”

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A Lament: The Geneva ‘Games’ and Lanka’s Failures

Sarath Gamani De Silva, in The Sunday Island, 26 February 2021, where the title runs  “Problems in Geneva: Facts that brought us here””

The annual patriotic taunts and the laments of the majority are heard as the day of reckoning approaches in Geneva. We are shouting ourselves hoarse, complaining that the whole world is ganging up against the brave Sri Lankans, to punish them for eliminating the most brutal terrorist outfit the world has ever seen. It is true that what was achieved in 2009 is something that no other country could do in eliminating terrorism. But does that guarantee peace when the basic grievances that led to civil unrest over the years have not been addressed?

This article is not an attempt to justify violence, untruth or deplorable and unprincipled activities of other countries. Nor is it to devalue the achievements up to 2009. The intention is to open the eyes of my own countrymen to the reality of the hopeless situation facing the nation.

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Facing the Central Bank Bomb on 31st January 1996

 Somasiri Skandakumar in Sunday Island, 7 February 2021

As the clock moved towards 10.50 am on January 31, 2021, my mind went back 25 years to that fateful day. It was a Wednesday, and having finished our weekly meeting of the Parent Board of Directors in the Board Room on the eighth floor of Steuart House around 10.30 am, we sat around to exchange views on matters of a non-official nature as was customary, before returning to our rooms.

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Charting Anagarika Dharmapala’s Many Pursuits

Nandasiri Jasentuliyana, reviewing  Bhadrajee S. Hewage’s book A NAME FOR EVERY CHAPTER: Anagarika Dharmapala and Ceylonese Buddhist Revivalism”

‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ – Socrates.

Rarely has so much been written both in the West and in the East about the work of a ‘revivalist,’ that one would conclude there is nothing left to be revealed of the man or his work. That is until you read Bhadrajee Hewage’s “Anagarika Dharmapala and Ceylonese Buddhist Revivalism.”

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From Trump to Hitler …. and Populist Mahinda Rajapakse

Richard A. Koenigsberg

Abstract: All the nonsense about “diagnosing” Donald Trump: calling him a “malignant narcissist,” for example: The delusion that giving identifying or naming Trump’s pathology–somehow constitutes an “explanation.”

I understand 70 million people voted for Trump in the recent election. The question is WHAT WAS TRUMP SAYING AND/OR DOING THAT APPEALED TO SO MANY PEOPLE?

I’ve analyzed Hitler for years. There are things one might say about Hitler’s “personality.” However, the central question is: What was Hitler saying–that the German people found so appealing?

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