Category Archives: suicide bombing

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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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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Channa Wickremesekera’s Books on Sri Lanka’s Past …. & Beyond

Channa Wickremesekera’s Publications

Channa Wickremesekera is the son of the late Percy Wickremesekera, an acquaintance of mine from Peradeniya Campus days and a ‘Trot’ activist who migrated to Australia. Channa lives in Melbourne. I got to know him when I was working on my book on Sinhala Consciousness in the Kandyan Period¸1590’s-1815 (which came out in 2003  …………………… https://www.amazon.com/Sinhala-Consciousness-Kandyan-Period-1590s/dp/9558095311).

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Misreading the Tamil Tigers: An American Scholar in 2017

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.

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Horrendous Western Misreadings of Sri Lankan Situation in 2008-09

  Tony Donaldson’s Capsule Comment in Facebook A Few Years Back++
Michael, …. Two great articles in “Ambassador Blake in Never-Never Land…” and “The imperious interventions of David Miliband….” I am not surprised by any of this. US diplomats should study anthropology for a few years. It might teach them to recognize neo-colonialism in their own value system.
It reminds us that the US., its diplomats and think tanks which operate in the guise of academic institutions, do not present global or universal values as they pretend or claim, but a deeply entrenched relativist one that is tied to US interests (but in this instance, the sheer lack of understanding about what occurs in SL is mind-boggling).
Displaced Tamils on the movein the northern Vanni  — from west eastwards in mid-late 2008

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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.

 

Pirapaharan honouring Miller on Black Friday Day, Continue reading

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Penetration: Tammita-Delgoda’s Essays on Eelam War IV

SELECT REFERENCES: WRITNGS FROM TAMMITA-DELGODA

Tammita-Delgoda, S. 2009 “The Casualties of Sri Lanka’s Brutal Civil War,” 16 April 2009, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/the-casualties-of-sri-lankas-brutal-civil-war-1669280.html

Tammita-Delgoda, S. 2009 “Sri Lanka: The Last Phase in Eelam War IV. From Chundikulam to Pudukulam,” New Delhi: Centre for Land Warfare, Manekshaw Paper No. 13http://www.claws.in/administrator/uploaded_files/1274263403MP%2022.pdf

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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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Conflicts in Sri Lanka reviewed in 2009 by Muralidhar Reddy

Muralidhar Reddy, in Frontline, vol. 26/20, Sept 26-Oct 09, 2009 where the title reads “Analytical Anthropology”

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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