Category Archives: power politics

Religion within Tamil Militancy and the LTTE

  Iselin Frydenlund, presenting her article in Oxford Encyclopedia of Religion, May 2018, …. one entitledTamil Militancy in Sri Lanka and the Role of Religion” …. https://sangam.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Tamil-Militancy-in-Sri-Lanka-and-the-Role-of-Religion.pdf  … OR … https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Tamil-Militancy-in-Sri-Lanka-and-the-Role-of-Frydenlund/4cbf5235611dd3407dfa3a2962e6ea635ac50674 … with highlights and pictures being impositions by the Editor, Thuppahi

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

 

Historical Background

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.

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Macron’s Warnings: France’s Immediate Future Bleak

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Rare Items marking Queen Elizabeth’s Visit to Ceylon in 1954

The Rupee Notes and A Stamp

 

 

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Deeply Wounded. Also Divided? Sri Lanka Today

Neloufer De Mel, in History Today, Vol 72/8, September 2022, where the title reads “Sri Lanka’s Deep Wounds” **

On 31 March 2022 a public protest occurred in the vicinity of the home of the Sri Lankan president Gotabhaya Rajapakse. The protest marked frustration at the shortages of essential commodities (gas, medicines, fuel) and the gruelling ten-to-13-hour power cuts imposed by a cash-strapped government with insufficient dollars to pay for imported fuel. The protestors also sought answers as to why certain neighbourhoods (such as Mirihana, where the president lived) continued to enjoy uninterrupted power.

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Escalation! On the Cusp of World War III?

Fair Dinkum

Putin announces partial mobilisation to boost the forces in Ukraine, as the two Donbass republics and two regions of Ukraine go to a referendum to join the Russian Federation.  If the referendums support joining Russia, then the four areas must formally apply to join Russia. It then goes to the Duma for approval, and if they do, it goes to Putin to sign into law. Perhaps the mobilisation is timed to coincide with these 4 areas joining Russia which would mean Ukraine is at war with Russia, no longer against the two republics in the Donbass. 

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Multi-faceted Campaign against the SL Government Crackdown on the Aragalaya

HRW …. 31 August 2022 …………. https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/08/31/sri-lanka-end-use-terrorism-law-against-protesters 

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From my Mother “Elizabeth” to Elizabeth Truss: Downhill …

Michael O’Leary in Sunday Island, 17 September 2022, where the title reads: “A Tale of Three Elizabeths” … with highlighting being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

England’s Glory: My mother had the same name as the UK’s latest and current (as I write) prime minister. My mother was Elizabeth Jane King and when she married Jeremiah O’Leary, the Irish labourer who helped to build her parents’ house, number 9, Stanway Road, Coney Hill, Gloucester, she became Elizabeth O’Leary. When Mary Elizabeth Truss married Liverpool accountant Hugh O’Leary she became Elizabeth O’Leary, just like my mother.

Queen Elizabeth II at Trinity in 1954 

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Riaz Hassan: Straddling the World …. An Ecumenical Scholar for All Ages

Michael Roberts

 I met Riaz Hassan for the first time as one of the keynote speakers at a conference organised by Neelan Tiruchelvam in Sri Lanka circa 1974 (details forgotten) when I was teaching in the History Department at Peradeniya University and Riaz was at an university in Singapore. It was the best of serendipity (a word deriving perhaps from Serendib aka Sri Lanka) that I found him attached to Flinders University when I moved to the Anthropology Department at University in 1977.

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In Appreciation of Professor Riaz Hassan: Two Accolades as Vale

 

 

 

 

 

 

ONE …. Joanne Barker: A Memory about RIAZ HASSAN

From 1992-2006 I worked at Flinders University in various positions, finally leaving in 2006 as the faculty general manager of one of the four faculties. In around 1993-4 when I was still in my early 30s and quite new at the university, I came to know Riaz Hassan as one of the professors. He probably didn’t know my name, but he was always kind and smiled and said hello if we passed on campus.

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Power Balancing Moves in Asia: Displacing USA

Scott Ritter in Energy Intelligence, 9 September 2022, with this title “India And China Eye Asian Century”

As the world lurches through the growing pains of massive geopolitical change, the US’ relationship with India will increasingly take center stage. Washington likes to see itself as providing a geopolitical center of gravity that is inherently attractive to nations like India, especially against regional competitors such as China. As the US is about to discover, however, India and China have a shared ambition about who should dominate the Pacific in the coming century, and it doesn’t include the US.

 

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