Category Archives: Tamil migration

The Travails of War in Lanka Underscored in a New Play in Sydney

Steve Dow @dowsteve  in a review in The Guardian, 18 November 2022… the play being entitled “The Jungle and the Sea” 

Sri Lankan civil war drama lifts joy above traumThis play by the xcreaators of the Helpmann-winning Counting and Cracking shows people living and loving despite danger, but sometimes minimises the horror.

 Blindfolded matriarch Gowrie (Anandavalli) and her firebrand daughter Abi (Kalieaswari Srinivasan) in The Jungle and the Sea at Belvoir St theatre in Sydney. Photograph: Sriram Jeyaraman

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, Australian culture, australian media, authoritarian regimes, communal relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, Eelam, ethnicity, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, performance, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

The Hill-Country Tamils: Their Shitty-Situation Then … and NOW

Ahilan Kadirgamar, in Daily Mirror, 21 November 2022, where the title reads “Hill-country Tamils and Crisis Times” …. with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

When our country collapses before our own eyes with one of the deepest crises in historical memory, from what vantage point should we analyse our predicament? Sri Lanka’s political economy over the last two centuries is anchored in the travails and strivings of Hill Country Tamils. Their sweat and blood, that began with the horrifying journey from South India two centuries ago as indentured labour to work in the coffee and later tea plantations, were central to building the country’s modern economy under British colonialism. However, their position in society, and for that matter even the writing of their history, was marginalised. And despite the great democratic and social welfare advances in Sri Lanka with universal suffrage in 1931 and a powerful legacy of free healthcare and education, the social, economic and political life of the Hill Country Tamil community is characterised by struggle amidst persistent crisis times.

‘Ceylon tea’ gave Sri Lanka the recognition in the world map, but the plantation workers are still languishing in their ages-old abode, known as line rooms and continue to be marginalised in education, community wellbeing and healthcare.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, anti-racism, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, communal relations, cultural transmission, demography, discrimination, economic processes, education policy, electoral structures, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, plantations, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

Playing to the Western Gallery? Shehan Karunatilaka

A Simple Silva

Shehan’s intervention with his prize-winning book at the present juncture is significant. He states the obvious re corruption, cronyism and expresses thumps his bleeding heart for the suffering people of Sri Lanka (and YES, Shehan, do please gift the prize money of 50,000£ to the suffering masses in the island).

In an article published in the Financial Times, he laments that “I would like to write from a Tamil woman’s point of view. I mean, that would be calling in a lot of grief if I get it wrong”. (Financial Times) …. … …………………………………. https://www.ft.com/content/fa8c6ebb-7c93-4b54-8337-b6f568234d78

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, asylum-seekers, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, communal relations, cultural transmission, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, trauma, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

The Machinations of Vellala Lawyer Leaders that Deepened Tamil-Sinhala Divisions from the 1920s-to-the-1960s

Sebastian Rasalingam, reproducing an article presented in 2008 in The Sri Lanka Guardian in October 2008 with this title “An Excellent and Timely Feature on the Tamils” **

 Please permit me to make some comments on the recent article on the “Sri Lankan Identity” by R. M. B. Senanayake, continuing a discussion in a previous article by Anne Abeysekera. Both these articles, written by authors who are familiar with the English-educated Sinhalese point of view, deal very inadequately with the issues of Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka and in erstwhile Ceylon. In fact, the modern generation, even the Tamils, are on the whole unaware of the true nature of the present conflict and the role of Tamil nationalism. They are misled and mesmerized by simplistic histories concocted by the great political agenda set in motion by the Tamil leaders of the pre-1956 era. In fact, I will outline below how the battlelines were drawn in the Donoughmore days, by G. G. Ponnambalam (GGP) and others who followed.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, anti-racism, caste issues, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, constitutional amendments, cultural transmission, demography, disparagement, economic processes, electoral structures, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Sri Lankan scoiety, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, unusual people, world events & processes

Enhancing Protection in the Face of Pandemics

Dr. Laleen Jayamanne:** in The Island, 19 October 2022, where the title reads thus: “An Insider’s Guide to Pandemics and Biosecurity”

“June Twenty Second Sixteen Thirty-three
A momentous day for you and me
Of all the days that was the one
An age of Reason could have begun”  ….
The Life of Galileo, Bertolt Brecht, 1939

“June Twenty Second Sixteen Thirty-three
A momentous day for you and me
Of all the days that was the one
An age of Reason could have begun”

The Life of Galileo, Bertolt Brecht, 1939

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, Australian culture, biotechnology, cultural transmission, democratic measures, economic processes, education, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, medical marvels, medical puzzles, performance, population, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, teaching profession, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

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.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, caste issues, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, demography, devolution, discrimination, economic processes, Eelam, electoral structures, ethnicity, female empowerment, fundamentalism, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian religions, insurrections, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, mass conscription, military strategy, nationalism, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes

Seven Lankans Survive Awful Ordeal in Ukraine

Sofia Bettiza, in BBC News Item, 19 September 2022, with the title “Sri Lankans freed from Russian brutality in Ukraine” .… the highighting here being impositions by the Editor, Thuppahi

Ukraine’s recapture of the city of Izyum has brought multiple allegations of atrocities under Russian occupation. Among the accounts emerging is that of a group of Sri Lankans held captive for months. Here, they tell their story.

The liberated Sri Lankans with Ukrainian police in Kharkiv

“We thought we would never get out alive,” says Dilujan Paththinajakan. Dilujan was one of seven Sri Lankans captured by Russian forces in May. The group had just set out on a huge walk to safety from their homes in Kupiansk, north-eastern Ukraine, to the relative safety of Kharkiv, some 120km (75 miles) away.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, atrocities, charitable outreach, disparagement, economic processes, education, ethnicity, historical interpretation, life stories, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, trauma, Ukraine & Its Ramifications, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

A Tamil Saivite Temple in Australia: Sustaining Community Amidst Linguistic Diversity

A Notice re a NEW BOOK on the negotiation of language and identity in a Tamil Saivite Temple in Australia by NILRUKSHI PERERA

Diversity is a buzzword of our times and yet the extent of religious diversity in Western societies is generally misconceived. This ground-breaking research draws attention to the journey of one migrant religious institution in an era of religious superdiversity.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian religions, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, modernity & modernization, performance, refugees, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, tolerance, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy

From Ceylon to Australia: Migrant Journeys, 1860s-to-2010s

Earl Forbes, whose chosen title in The Ceylankan is “Ceylon/Sri Lanka to Australia: Arrivals and Survival”

Ceylonese/Sri Lankans have entered Australia for a variety of reasons during the past one and a half centuries.  The far greater number of these arrivals occurred in the second half of the twentieth century and first two decades of the 21st century.  Early arrivals go as far back as the last two decades of the nineteenth century.

Figure 3  Queensland sugarcane plantation workers. … [placed as frontispiece because of its striking character

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, Australian culture, australian media, authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, demography, discrimination, economic processes, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, people smugglers, performance, politIcal discourse, population, power politics, racist thinking, refugees, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, transport and communications, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes

Thumbs Up for Sri Lankan Tamil Epic at Edinburgh Festival

Allan Radcliffe, a review essay … 10 August 2022 — with highlighting here imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

A stage epic is a rare beast in Edinburgh, where audiences are accustomed to shows of one-hour tops in makeshift venues. Counting and Cracking is novelistic in its scope and ambition, featuring several storylines that sprawl over two continents and nearly half a century. Its three-and-a-half-hour running time goes by in a blink.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under art & allure bewitching, Australian culture, British colonialism, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, literary achievements, modernity & modernization, performance, politIcal discourse, racist thinking, refugees, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, trauma, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes