Category Archives: power sharing

The Political Travails of the Indian Tamils in the State Council Era 1931-48

Uditha Devapriya, in  The Island, 21 May 2022,  where the title runs thus “DS Senanayake and the Indian Tamil Question”

In his recent work on D. S. Senanayake, K. M. de Silva explores certain controversial aspects of Ceylon’s lurch into independent statehood. Among these is the issue of the fate of the country’s Indian Tamils. Brought to the island from South India amidst conditions of famine and mass starvation in the early part of the 19th century, Indian Tamil workers replaced Sinhalese and resident Tamil labour in the island. Governed by a semifeudal set-up that shut them out from the world outside, Indian Tamil labour grew up in a world of their own. It was their tragic fate that while the colonial government feigned little interest in their welfare, their lives lay in the hands of that government.

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Introducing the Ceylon National Congress: Its Agitation & Its Context

Michael Roberts

The four-volume edition of DOCUMENTS OF THE CEYLON NATIONAL CONGRESS was presented by the Department of National Archives in 1977 and has been out of stock for some time now.

Haris De Silva — Deputy Director, DNA in the 1970s

Volume ONE contains a book within a book written by me and entitled ELITES, NATIONALISMS and the NATIONALIST MOVEMENT IN BRITISH CEYLON – in seven chapters and running to ccxxii pages.

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A Tamil Tiger Migrant who Dares to Differ

Sabaratnam Sundaramoorthy

The book, Dare to Differ, is a short account of the long struggle of the Tamils to establish a separate state. It is written from the point of view of a Tamil expatriate living in Australia. The author is well equipped to write this account as he was an active member of the pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora which was the second front opened by the Tamil separatists. The Australian branch of the Tamil diaspora was a leading contributor to the cause. As a political activist and sympathiser of his people, he had close access to leading members of the LTTE. This has enabled him to give an insider’s view of some of the events that shaped the movement. His interactions with the Tamil leaders are revealing. His narrative runs smoothly. It is a MUST read for anyone interested in understanding the role played by the Tamil diaspora in the LTTE struggle.

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Sri Lanka as A Paradise blighted by Extraordinary Political Violence

Razeen Sally, in an article presented in November 2020 at NIKKEI ASIA, with the title “Rediscovering Sri Lanka through a travel memoir”  …. & with highlighting superimposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

The Island paradise mixes beguiling charm with an astonishing record of violence.  Foreign visitors have for centuries rhapsodized about Sri Lanka, or Ceylon as it was called until 1972: its seashores and landscapes, its governing religion, Buddhism, and its majority ethnicity, the Sinhalese.

Colombo’s Mount Lavinia Hotel in the 1960s. One of Asia’s legendary colonial hotels, it was managed by the author’s father through the political upheaval of the 1970s. “It was a turbulent time, much of which my father spent in remand and jail.” ……  Photo courtesy of Razeen Sally Continue reading

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Addressing Sri Lanka’s Future in June 2009

Michael Roberts, reprinting here an article that appeared in FRONTLINE vol. 26/12, 19 June 2009 … with this title “Some Pillars for Lanka’s Future”

“One can win the War, but lose the Peace” — A cliche this may be, but it is also a hoary truism that looms over the post-war scenario in Sri Lanka. The triumphant Sri Lankan government now [must] address the human terrain rather than the fields of battle.

 

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Major Political Strands & Challenges in 20th Century Sri Lanka

Uditha Devapriya, in The Island, 29 January 2022,  where the title is Socialist revolution or bourgeois compromise?” …. with highlighting being the imposition of The Editor, Thuppahi

For the oppressed masses of the Third World, the establishment of UNCTAD and the proposal for a New International Economic Order marked the high point of 20th century multilateralism. These coincided with the longest spell of decolonisation recorded in history, in turn fuelled by a spate of bourgeois democratic and Marxist Left alliances in almost every corner of the developing world [in the middle decaades of the twentieth century]. Though such alliances did not bring about emancipation for the masses, the experience of the 1960s suggested that radical transformations, for the Global South and the world in general, were in the offing.

 

Mrs Bandaranaike

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Tamara Kunanayakam: Some Career Highlights

Michael Roberts

I got to know Tamara Kunanayakam and her partner, Jean-Pierre Page, and their dog Umberto[1] when staying overnight with them at their rented house in Battaramulla around 2016[2] during the course of my inquiries into Sri Lankan political affairs on the diplomatic circuit and the UNHRC in particular. Since Tamara was our Ambassador at the UNHRC in Geneva in the years 2011-12, this was a logical step.

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Secessionist War and Terrorism in Sri Lanka: Transnatonal Impulses

Gerald H Peiris, being an article presented at an international conference held in New Delhi in October 2001 under the sponsorship of the Delhi-based Institute of Conflict Management. It has since then been published as a chapter in The Global Threat of Terror: Ideological, Material and Political Linkages, eds. K P S Gill & Ajai Sahni of the same institute….. with highlighting in black being the work of Peiris and that in red the hand of The Editor, Thuppahi

LTTE leaders at Sirumalai camp, Tamil Nadu, India in 1984 while theywere being trained by RAW (from L to R, weapon carrying is included within brackets) – Lingam; Prabhakaran’s bodyguard (Hungarian AK), Batticaloa commander Aruna (Beretta Model 38 SMG), LTTE founder-leader Prabhakaran (pistol), Trincomalee commander Pulendran (AK-47), Mannar commander Victor (M203) and Chief of Intelligence Pottu Amman (M 16).

The LTTE carried out its first major attack[44] on 23 July 1983, when they ambushed Sri Lanka Army patrol Four Four Bravo at Thirunelveli,

Introduction: The campaign led by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for the creation of a Tamil nation state consisting of the northern, northwestern and eastern parts of the island of Sri Lanka is financed in various ways which include donations from individual benefactors, private organisations, and, on a few occasions, foreign governments; extortion from its captive/pliant Tamil communities in Sri Lanka and abroad; smuggling of narcotics and weapons; trafficking in refugees; and forging currency, credit cards and travel documents.

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Reflections on the Commentary on “Sinhala Mindset”

Michael Roberts

When I set up the THUPPAHI WEBSITE in late 2009 I imprinted two project statements: one entitled “WHY THUPPAHI”;[1] the other bearing the heading ‘SINHALA MINDSET.” Readers can access these two items via the sub-headings within the website – so I will not reiterate the latter here.

This set of project statements was crafted after the LTTE-led drive to create an independent SL Tamil nation state had been defeated over the course of Eelam War IV. I had been in Colombo from April-mid-June 2009, so I had vivid experiences of the last stages of this ‘encounter’ and the triumphant sentiments expressed in the Colombo area when the war was won. More vitally, I had been commissioned by Muralidhar Reddy,[2] the correspondent from the Hindu newspaper chain based in Colombo to present analytic essays for their magazine FRONTLINE.

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Addressing Jehan Perera’s Recent Piece on Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Lakshman Gunasekara …. with highlighting and a cartoon imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

What ‘re-conciliation’ ??

Jehan Perera, a very good friend and long-time colleague, at least uses the term “re-conciliation” which was intelligently adopted by the Mahinda regime at the end of the military phase of the ethnic conflict (with a resounding defeat for the LTTE). That regime conveniently picked up that word from among local liberal activists who had begun using it — taking it from South African post-Apartheid peace-building parlance.

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