Category Archives: riots and pogroms

Sikh Troops as British Punishing Rods during the 1915 Riots

Joe Simpson, in Email Note responding to the Thuppahi Item https://thuppahis.com/2021/05/23/percy-colin-thome-and-the-composition-of-the-book-people-inbetween/

Most interesting, Michael. I’ve had the privilege of periodic correspondence with the estimable Ismeth Raheem in the past, and thanks to the kindness of Vancouver, BC-resident Ranil Bibile who agreed to be courier, once sent Ismeth a Giclée reproduction of a previously-unknown 1840s painting by Andrew Nicholl from his outbound voyage to Colombo, the original of which has been purchased by a British Columbia collector with whom I’d been in touch.
In regards to your attached bibliography, specifically the scholarly article on the 1915 communal riots that particularly affected the Galle-Tangalle area, while I was on VSO teaching at Richmond College (1973-74) some RCG colleagues and I were in Matara on our way to visit a rural jungle primary school in the Moneragala area, when we fell into conversation with an elderly local, who had been a fisherman all his working life [photo taken then].

 

 

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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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An American Reading of the Populist Aragalaya in Sri Lanka

German Lopez in The Morning, 24 July 2022

Good morning. Today, we explain what led to Sri Lanka’s recent protests.

Storming the Palace

Sri Lanka’s recent upheaval offers an extreme example of the world’s recent problems. Covid disrupted the country’s major industries, particularly tourism, and then leaders failed to adapt — setting off a chain of economic calamities, including food and fuel shortages. The crisis prompted protests, culminating in the president’s resignation and the installation of a new president on Wednesday.

  Protesters overtaking the prime minister’s office in Colombo, Sri Lanka….. Atul Loke for The New York Times

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The ISLAND Editorial …. Before the Military Assault at Galle Face Green

Editorial in THE ISLAND, 22 July 2022  …… before the Storming of the ARAGALAYA camp on Galle Face Green by security forses on that day viz TODAY 22 July 2022

TITLE = “An honourable defeat”

Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the President yesterday. Amidst a host of paeans to him, we believe that a word about the unsuccessful candidates in Wednesday’s contest in Parliament is in order. Dissident SLPP MP Dullas Alahapperuma, who was expected to be a dark horse, lost Wednesday’s vote in the House, but he certainly won the hearts of all Sri Lankans who desire an early end to the corrupt Rajapaksa rule, which has become a curse to all citizens save those who are benefiting therefrom. His was an honourable defeat. A beleaguered regime fighting for survival strikes back ferociously and is guided by Rafferty’s rules. Alahapperuma’s courageous attempt to put the brakes on the Rajapaksa juggernaut is to be commended.

Crowds at Galle Face

   This photo was presented on NEWS RADIO with article by Hazari Mohamed on Day 17 of the Protest

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An Unimaginable Outcome from the ARAGALA Revolt: Ranil As President

Malinda Seneviratne, in his web column https://malindawords.blogspot.com/2022/07/the-aragalaya-postscript.html

Ranil Wickremesinghe is no longer president in an acting capacity. He is the president, period. Did someone say ‘I don’t know whether to laugh or cry?’ I am pretty sure someone did. Did someone say, ’who wudda thunk?’ Well, if two or three years ago, if anyone suggested that in July 2023 Ranil Wickremesinghe would be the president of this country, there would have been laughter and tears, if at all, would have been of mirth.

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Malinda’s Inside View from within the Colombo Cauldron

Malinda Seneviratne, at …. https://malindawords.blogspot.com/2022/07/when-centre-cannot-hold.html  …. with this title “When the centre cannot hold…”

I write (it is 12.09 pm, on Wednesday) at a time when there’s a remarkable and unprecedented lack of political clarity in the country. As I write, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has left the country. As per the Constitution, if indeed Rajapaksa did resign, or, as reported, Rajapaksa citing Article 37.1 of the constitution , Ranil Wickremesinghe has assumed the presidency in an acting capacity. There’s ‘fighting’ within parliament with parties and politicians unable to decide on Rajapaksa’s successor and of course who the next premier should be. There’s fighting among ‘aragalists’ over representational legitimacy, ideological and political thrust, and preferred endgames.

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Mayhem in Sri Lanka: Violence ….. in Colombo …

SEE https://www.newsfirst.lk/2022/05/10/pictures-aftermath-of-colombo-violence/

…. AND ….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Remembering Professor Sinnappah Arasaratnam

ONE: A Valedictory Vale from Don Beer of the University of New England, Armidale, NSW, in 1998

  Emeritus Professor S. Arasaratnam died suddenly in Sydney on 4 October, aged 68.

Sinnappah Arasaratnam was born in Navaly, Ceylon, on 20 March 1930. After taking his BA with First Class Honours at the University of Ceylon in 1951, he began the first of two stints lecturing in history at that university, before undertaking doctoral research at the University of London in 1954. Arasa, as he asked to be called, graduated PhD in 1956, returned to the University of Ceylon as a lecturer, and in 1961 took up a lectureship in Indian Studies at the University of Malaya. By 1968 he had risen to the rank of Professor of History there.

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Conflict: Sinhalese, Muslims, Tamils and Others

Muralidhar Reddy, in FRONTLINE, 26/20, Sep. 26-Oct. 09, 2009 ….. reviewing  CONFRONTATIONS IN SRI LANKA,  Colombo, Yapa, 2009

Michael Roberts’ collection of essays on Sri Lankan identity is a breath of fresh air in an atmosphere polluted by callous accounts.

 

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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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