Capt Elmo Jayawardena, in The Island, 24 March 2021,where the title is “The Pilot”
The UNHRC is in full swing. The ‘merchants of Geneva’ are getting ready to shoot their arrows of justice against the offenders of this planet. Of course, it is done democratically, by honourable people in Saville Row suits who sit around polished mahogany tables and determine by a count of votes who is guilty and who is not. That is the showpiece; but the truth could be so very different. Powerful people call the tune, and the theme is “You lend me your mule and I will remember you when it is your turn to take the stand. Then I’ll lend you my donkey.”
An Email Memorandum from Gus Mathews in London, c. 24 February 2021[i]
Michael, I am afraid there are no niceties in war. War is brutal as is the detritus of war. Unlike in a conventional war where the behaviours of troops are defined by the ‘Geneva Convention,’ it is not applicable in a civil insurrection especially one that attacks a legitimately elected democratic government. No country is bound to tolerate a secessionist group especially one that utilises terror to achieve its ends. History is replete with examples of civil wars that were prompted by secession. The most glaring example is the United States civil war. We also have an example from Vietnam and currently ongoing is the Korean debacle.
Tiger dead collected by the SL Army …. and Tamil civlians incl Tigers in civies leaving the final battle arena east of Nandhikadal Lagoon
see Roberts, Tamil Person & State. Pictorial, Colombo, 2014 for details and more Pix
Nick Pearson in 9news, 16 February 2021, where the title reads “Biloela family spared deportation for now, but remain on Christmas Island”
The Federal Court has stopped the deportation of a family from the Queensland town of Biloela, upholding a decision made in April 2020 which the Department of Home Affairs had sought to have overturned. But Priya and Nades Murugappan and their two young children will remain in Christmas Island Detention Centre for now. The Murugappan family’s lawyer Carina Ford are now considering an appeal to get the family back to their home in Biloela.
For what they are worth, here are three “imperatives for preventing conflict and terrorism” (from the 10 that conclude Paradise Poisoned) that seem particularly relevant to this discussion. These are excerpted from “elevator talk” I gave to Board members of the US Association for the Club of Rome a year or so ago.
Jane Russell. reviewing article by Thanges Paramsothy entitled “Caste Within the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora” in Anthropology Matters Journal, Vol.18 No 1 (2018)
I usually avoid reviewing academic articles. Many are derivative and ones that employ original research can be turgid and dull. But that is not the case with this article by Thanges Paramsothy, currently South Asia Program Scholar at Cornell. While replete with sociological and anthropological information about Sri Lankan Tamil caste groupings, both past and present, it is also full of revealing insights into a social system that has been a veiled inner sanctum to many outsiders.
Camelia Nathaniel in Ceylon Daily News, 4 August 2020, where the title reads “Forces thwart attempts to revive LTTE terror”
Since the LTTE’s defeat in 2009, there have been several attempts over the years to revamp the terror outfit. From 2012 there have been 12 such attempts that are on record. All of these incidents have had some form of foreign hand in them. Intelligence units are investigating these incidents and the international connections.
When Justin Trudeau issued a brief statement on the 18th May 2020 expressing sympathy for all the victims of Eelam War IV in the course of his request for an accountability purpose, he was clever. There was no slant towards Tamil victims. But there was a reference to “the last phase of the war at Mullivaikal” …. and this, together with the focus on accountability, impliedthat he was supporting Sri Lankan Tamil and HR claims alleging mass killings.
Since I had been introduced to the British peer Lord Michael Naseby in the surrounds of the House of Lords in March 2018, I assumed that he had been born into the aristocratic upper layer of British society. Wrong. It required his book Sri Lanka for me to learn that he was from the upper middle class and had contested parliamentary seats from the late-960s on behalf of the Conservative Party in what were Labour strongholds – with his peerage being of 1990s vintage. As vitally, his early career as a marketing executive had seen him working in Pakistan and Bengal in the early 1960s before he was stationed in Sri Lanka as a marketing manager for Reckitt and Colman in the period 1963-64.
Ahilan Kadirgamar. in Daily Mirror, on 17 February 2020, where the title is “Breaking the Silence on Caste”
Caste is all present in Jaffna, but a silence prevails about caste oppression. Such silence and invisibility were not always the case, where vibrant struggles against caste oppression shook Jaffna some five decades ago.
As the annual witch-hunt mounted by the UNHRC in its role as an arm of the Western world’s foreign policy approaches in March 2020, it is worthwhile reflecting on the ‘triumphant’ public performances in Geneva orchestrated by the Yahapaalana government and one of its driving forces, namely, Mangala Samaraweera — as presented by one of his proteges, Dharisha Bastians….. Editor, Thuppahi.
Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera heading the Sri Lankan Government delegation to the UNHRC’s 34th Sessionaddressing a side event at the Palais des Nations last week. The event was organised by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva and chaired by Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha. Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms Mano Tittawella, MP and Constitutional expert Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne and Ariyasinha are also present –Pic by Sunanda Deshapriya
BASTIANS:Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s masterful diplomacy is winning over a world eager to keep believing in Sri Lanka’s political transformation story, but the Government faces a deepening disconnect with activists and war-affected constituents at home who are losing faith in its promises to heal the wounds of a long and violent conflict.
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.