Category Archives: Tamil Tiger fighters

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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The LTTE’s Remarkable Capacities: Its Air Tigers

Compiled by Kumar Kirinde, Retd Officer of  the SLAF, whose chosen title was as follows: “The Air Tigers: The Air Wing of A Terrorist Organisation”  …… with information and images  sourced from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Tigers and Google Images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pirapaharan (ext. left) with Anton Balasingham on his left and KP Pathmanathan in front and Shankar on the extreme right in the Vanni jungles circa 2001(?) … Shankar was in effect the Air Tiger chief

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Tamil Civilians as Sandbags in 2008/09 & Blinding Ignorance in Geneva

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.”

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A Critical Appraisal of Michael Roberts’s Writings on Eelam War IV

Gerald Peiris …. where the original title was Michael Roberts’ Writings” [1]

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]

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Celebrating Duncan White in Pictures and Words

Michael Roberts 

The recent TV broadcasts of the Commonwealth Games at Birmingham and the Athletics Championship at Eugene in Oregon stimulaed thoughts of the breakthrough for Ceylon aka Sri Lanka initiated by the Trinitian athlete Duncan White in 1948.  In securing the second place  in the exacting 400 metre hurdles in the London Olympics on 31st Ju;y 1948, Duncan White carved his name in silver in the annals of Sri Lankan sport.

 

 

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Remembering Shanti Bahar: An Intrepid Naval Officer and a Man for the Jungles

ONE: A Momento from An SL Army Officer

Lieut Commander Shanti Bahar was the son of late Col. BJH Bahar from the CLI and his wife was a German lady. Being of mixed parentage his natural interests were in outdoor life. He was an excellent marksman and a superb underwater diver spending most of his time either hunting or diving whilst being in the Navy he spent most of career at the Trincomalee Naval base. He was the pioneer of the Special Forces (Boat Squadron) concept in the Navy. He died during an attack on an enemy hideout in Alankerni, Muttur, Trincomalee in 1986.

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Facing Vengeance & Hate: Some Internet Expositions

Pirapaharan with automatic weapon & Kittu & Prabha in relaxed mood in camp

*  Michael Roberts: “Addressing Two Angry Tamils,” 9 March 2012, https://thuppahis.com/2012/03/09/addressing-two-angry-tamils-heat-distortion-truth-fact-mendacity-and-eternal-enmity/

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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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