Padraig Michael Colman is an experienced journalist and writer who pursued his trade in England and Europe before moving to Sri Lanka with his vivacious Sri Lankan wife Tiny and a coterie of dogs. They settled down awhile in Uva district; but have moved to the outskirts of Colombo in more recent times…. and have since moved back to Great Britain.
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.
Lucien Rajakarunanayake in An Article on 11th September 2014 entitled “Sandbags of Humans” in strategy to woo the West” …. with the highlighting being the present impositions of The Editor, Thuppahi
“I come across new evidence regularly in the midst of misinformation and dis-information that is a facet of the propaganda war that has been sharpening since the LTTE began to retreat in 2008. Since the volume of data is huge, a thorough investigation calls for assiduous work by a team which includes those who are culturally competent and able to discern manipulation.”
Gerald Peiris …. where the original title was “Michael Roberts’ Writings”
Unlike the reports compiled by the ‘UNSG PoE’ and the UTHR-J, the writings by Professor Roberts (hereafter, ‘Michael’ as ’Gerry’ has I have known him during the past 66 years) demonstrates the possibilities and the limitations of the ‘Sporadic Information Method’ in its application to situations such as that of the Vanni war-zone, and how a committed scholar with no axe to grind and no personalised political cause to promote could weigh a mass of information gathered from a miscellany of sources, and arrive at reasonably plausible findings (not that I agree with all such conclusions) without being judgemental and obdurate. His application of this method (in combination other methods of research) in many of his writings has two features worthy of special mention – one, his avid use of photographic records as both embellishments attractive to the reader, as well as evidence meant for reinforcement of what he wishes to convey in the text; and the other, an extraordinarily wide range of personal contact in his sources of information some of which have been conveyed to him orally. Adding to this comment that ‘graphics’ and orally conveyed information have both been prominent ingredients in documentation of information from time immemorial sounds almost banal.
Analytic Map composed by the Daily Mirror on 24 April 2009 [depicting the battle situation at atime when Tamil civilians were fleeing in droves after the SL army penetrated the last stronghold on 19/20th April 2009]
Paige Ziegler, in The Bridge, 13 April 2017, where the title is “Learning from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam” …. reproduced here in Thuppahi, a site which has presented umpteen articles on Eelam War IV, in order to indicate [see THUPPAHI EDITOR’s NOTE at the end] how young American scholars present essays without extensive research.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were a highly successful terrorist organization who were famous for successfully forming a fully functional military. Their fight for separation from the Sri Lankan government lasted a quarter century, and parallels can be drawn between the Sri Lankan conflict and the current situation in the Middle East (and elsewhere). With civilian casualties reaching staggering numbers and negotiations leading nowhere, Sri Lanka had elected a new government and, with it, a new approach. By leveraging popular support, utilizing external countries to manage the conflict, and employing strategic military measures, the new Sri Lankan government recovered its country. Duplicating similar political actions and military maneuvers as those that proved successful for the Sri Lankan government may usher in peace for the Middle East.
Sri Lanka Guardian interview with KP, 4 June 2021, where the title runs thus “Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias KP speaks after years of silence”
The story of a man who transformed his life to shelter and educate hundreds of kids affected during armed conflict and due to social disparity in Sri Lanka. He is widely known as KP. Selvarasa Pathmanathan is now a social activist and founded the North-East Rehabilitation and Development Organization
When the world’s one-time most wanted man is given the chance to speak, what does he say? When he is given the chance to walk freely, where does he go? When he is given time and freedom, what does he do?
KP in Kilinochchi ( Pic by Lakshman Dias for Lanka Courier)
On the 25th of April, ANZAC DAY, Australia honoured its war dead in ceremonies large and small throughout the country. This moment has been marked every year –beginning with a ceremony in London in 1916 which recognised the deadly toll and the bravery shown on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey where so many colonial Aussies fought … and died … on behalf of the British state (their “mother-country” to many Aussies then).
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.
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.