Padraig Michael Colman is an experienced journalist and writer who pursued his trade in England and Europe before moving to Sri Lanka with his vivacious Sri Lankan wife Tiny and a coterie of dogs. They settled down awhile in Uva district; but have moved to the outskirts of Colombo in more recent times…. and have since moved back to Great Britain.
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).
Elmo Jayawardena, in The Island, 4 March 2021, where the title reads “A Clear Blue Sky” … bearing this ’emphasis’…. I publish this article just so that we can remember how sad the times were during the war for both sides. Let us hope and pray such will never happen again)
The one unforgettable memory that Selva always carried within himself was the colour of the vast Jaffna sky, spotless and shimmering in brilliant blue. It appeared as if the Gods had decided to spread a sheet and tucked it taut to the corners of the horizon as if to show off how perfectly they could do things. Off and on there would be fluffy white clouds, being sheep-dogged by winds aloft, harmless cartoons scattered in the sky, men and dogs, trees and castles or whatever a child wanted to imagine them to be. The clouds were seldom grey and laden with rain. That’s how the dry climate came about to roast the soil where Selva’s family toiled under the merciless sun, for generations, to grow chilli on. The kochika as they called it, were the thin and long kind, blood red, extremely hot and mouth-burning. Selva’s people sold the chilli harvest at the week-end market in the closest town. That was Vaddukodai, located an hour’s distance away, by bullock cart, from their nameless village of nowhere and no one; just blood red kochika and blue skies.
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
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.
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.
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
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.”
Gerald Peiris …. where the original title was “Michael Roberts’ Writings”
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]
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.
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.
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.