Category Archives: power politics

The Sinhala-Tamil Conflict, 1983-2009: A Brief Overview

“Double Eagle” responding to a Query that I sent re the Assassination of Retd Major-General Janaka Perera in 2008.[i]

He was assassinated by the LTTE in their calculated political-military strategy directed towards selectively eliminating potential Sri Lanka Sinhalese leaders whom the Tamils considered a threat to their Eelam ambition. I am inclined to believe that the Tamil grand strategy to selectively take out strong Sinhala leaders was not of LTTE making. The LTTE were fighters and not strategists. The strategy may have evolved at a higher level from the pro-Eelam Tamil community within the country and abroad.[ii]

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The JVP Movement Revisited

Mick Moore, reproducing an article he has sent — one placed in POLITY on the 20th September 2021…. http://ssalanka.org/insurrectionary-jvp-sri-lankan-state-mick-moore/. His prefered title is “The Insurrectionary JVP and the Sri Lankan State” …. The highlighting in the essay below are the impositions of the Editor, Thuppahi

Much has been written about the insurrectionary Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP—Peoples Liberation Front). The main focus has been on the character of the organisation itself, why it emerged, and how it was defeated in 1971, and again in 1989. This paper deals with a different set of issues: the ways in which the Sri Lankan state and the insurrectionary JVP interacted and shaped one another. This reflects a broader interest in the question of why the quality of national governance in Sri Lanka has deteriorated so much in the 50 years since the first JVP insurrection of 1971. I suggest that JVP-state interactions can help explain that deterioration. But only so far. There is much more to that story – which is far too big and complex to explore further here.

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Vale: Remembering Ananda Wickremeratne, A Versatile Scholar

Gerald Peiris, in The Island, 23 September 2021, where the title reads “Ananda Wickremaratne:  Homage to Scholarly Excellence”

Professor Ananda Wickremeratne ranked among our most brilliant scholars whose careers commenced in the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ceylon in the 1950s and the early ‘60s. From about the late 1960s, as our political turbulences and economic hardships intensified, many among them were induced to emigrate to countries where their qualifications and skills could be put into more rewarding use. When Ananda joined that exodus in 1979, belatedly and somewhat reluctantly, the prospects in the ‘West’ (especially the United States) for our graduates in Arts and Humanities were far more restricted than in earlier times.

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The Benefits from the Hambantota Port Project: Mathews faces Perera Head-On

An Email Memo from Gus Mathews addressing His Schoolmate Prithi Perera,[1] 22 September 2021 … with highlighting and End Notes being impositions of The Editor, Thuppahi

Prithi, we will not concur on this debate about Hambantota and I wish to conclude this discussion. But before I go let me take you up on India being a friendly country to Sri Lanka. While Sri Lanka wants a friendly relationship with India, it does not want to be a vassal state of India.

Recent events have proved that India is not to be trusted. India trained, armed and let loose the LTTE in Sri Lanka to murder 100,000 Sri Lankan civilians. Many Presidents could not defeat the LTTE and one Sri Lankan President paid the ultimate price. The LTTE became powerful and even defeated the IPKF. Unfortunately, India will never learn that interference in Sri Lanka is detrimental to India too – my case in point is the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE.[2] Finally, it was left to Mahinda Rajapakse who gave the political will[3] and Gotabhaya Rajapakse who banged the heads of the Service Chiefs to strategise the ultimate demise of the LTTE.

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Addressing Hostility to China from Sri Lankan Commentators

A Memo from “Fair Dinkum” to Michael Roberts, 21 September 2021 ….with highlighting imposed by The Editor, ThppHI Nmwly, Michael

Michael,

I was glancing at some of the comments on the latest Hambantota piece. I am mystified as to why some Sri Lankans are so hostile to Chinese investment.

To touch on one specific point:  One person who posted a message could only highlight three instances of Chinese interventions. In truth, two of those were not intervention; namely, the 1962 India conflict and China-Vietnam conflict. India had provoked China in 1962. China decided to send a message to India. They crossed the border into Indian territory and seized 45,000 sq km of land, but then suddenly withdrew. In other words, China never intended to take control but simply wanted to show India they could do so if provoked. It’s a Chinese strategy. These two were small conflicts and were not about taking control of India or Vietnam. So, I’m afraid these are not good examples to use against China.  By contrast the US has overthrown over 72 governments, were implicated in the deaths of millions in Indonesia in the 1960s, as one example, but similar patterns can be found in the other 72.

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The Hambantota Port Debate: Common Sense from the Sideline

The momentous issues arising from the development of Hambantota port and its associated ancillaries has now generated some commentary from Sri Lankan patriots on the sidelines …. And, in some cases, far afield in UK and Australia. It is a measure of the common sense and intelligence reposing in personnel we could frame as “Citizens Perera or Silva” that these comments have been deemed worthy of airing in the pages of Thuppahi. While Michael Obeyesekere happens to be related to one of my brothers-in-law (now deceased), Gus Mathews is a recent email contact (via the brothers Rajeewa — alas no more with us–and Sanjeewa Jayaweera) and Prithi Perera is a total stranger…. A Note from The Editor, Thuppahi, 20 Septmber 2021

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A Momentous Issue: The Hambantota Port Project under Scrutiny in Thuppahi

Thuppahi is pleased to mark its intense interest in the Hambantota Port Project by listing its recent entries from a wide spectrum of authors located in Australia, England, USA and Sri Lanka. The bibliographies within these essays will also serve up further material.

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Hambantota Port inks in New Prospects

NEWS ITEM ….http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/asiapacific/2021-08/10/c_1310119624.htm

Sri Lanka’s Hambantota International Port (HIP) signed a 58-million-U.S. dollar deal with Maldivian company Sea Horse Yachts on Monday to assemble and export yachts from HIP’s industrial park.

Mr Jayampathy, Secy, Ministry of Ports i signing the document, with Parakrama Dissanayake seated on his right

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Pointers from Singapore towards the Appraisal of the Hambantota Port Scheme

Fair Dinkum

When Sir Stamford Raffles arrived in Singapore in 1819, the British set about creating the Port of Singapore. In time, with much hard work, the port became successful. In the 1960s, the Singapore government set about further expansions of its ports along the south of the island, with five additional gateways operating by the 1990s. It is now one of the biggest and busiest collection of ports in the world. Having visited these ports over the years, the scale of operations is extraordinary. The success of Singapore Ports was built up over time. It didn’t come easily or immediately. The same with the Piraeus Port in Greece, although it became successful and profitable quickly.

  Hambantota — a Pix and a Sketch

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UNHRC slams Britain as well as Sri Lanka

PK Balachandran, in Daily Mirror, 14 September 2021, where the title runsIts-not-only-Sri-Lanka-which-gets-the-rap-at-UNHRC

Many Sri Lankans grumble that their small and powerless country is singled out for trenchant criticism at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) while bigger and more powerful countries with worse records go scot-free. But the truth is that powerful Western countries also get pulled up.


For example, in the follow-up reports to be presented at the 48th. Session of the UN Human Rights Council, which began on Monday, the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence, Fabián Salvioli, has criticized both Sri Lanka and Britain for failing to satisfactorily address accountability issues (https://undocs.org/Home/Mobile? Final Symbol =A%2FH RC%2F48%2 F60%2FAdd.2 &Language=E&DeviceType=Mobile).

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