The Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was the Indian military contingent performing a peacekeeping operation in Sri Lanka between 1987 and 1990. It was formed under the mandate of the 1987 Indo-Sri Lankan Accord that aimed to end the Sri Lankan Civil War between Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups such as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan military.
The main task of the IPKF was to disarm the different militant groups, not just the LTTE. It was to be quickly followed by the formation of an Interim Administrative Council. These were the tasks as per the terms of the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord, signed at the behest of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Given the escalation of the conflict in Sri Lanka, and with the pouring of refugees into India, Rajiv Gandhi took the decisive step to push this accord through. The IPKF was inducted into Sri Lanka on the request of Sri Lankan President J. R. Jayewardene under the terms of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord.
Tiger fighters relax in camp, late 1980s—Pic by Shyam Tekwani who was embedded with LTTE for a while.
With the benefit of a Teen Murti Fellowship I was collecting data on communal violence in India in 1995 when my readings of news archives indicated that the death of Mrs Indira Gandhi by assassination in Delhi induced a handful of individuals in southern India to commit sympatheticsuicide. Since news reports did not indicate similar reactions in other parts of India, I began to reflect on the cultural foundations that promoted such expressions – acting, of course, in contexts that also could provide political and economic inspirations.This eventually led to my first essay on this topic:“Filial Devotion and the Tiger Cult of Suicide,” Contributions to Indian Sociology, 1996, 30: 245-72.
A former SAS commander whose mercenary business in Sri Lanka is under investigation for war crimes has left millions of pounds in his will.
Attached photo of Colonel Johnson leading an SAS parade in 1960. (Image: Imperial War Museum)
One of Britain’s most rapacious mercenaries amassed a fortune worth £4m before his death in 2008, an investigation by Declassified UK has found. The soldier of fortune, Colonel Henry ‘Jim’ Johnson, was once described by a senior British diplomat as having “political ideas [that] are probably to the right of Genghis Khan” – a reference to the infamously brutal Mongol emperor.
27 May 2002 Blood drips off the deck; a torrent of rapid gunfire sores through the air. We are in the midst of a savage sea battle, fought by the Sea Tigers — the maritime arm of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Produced by ABC Australia Distributed by Journeyman Pictures
Early in the month of February 2023, I was invited by a young friend, Dr Geethika Dharmasinghe, to deliver a Zoom Video Lecture to a small class of her students at Colgate University in New York. These students were following her course on “Religion and Violence in Asia.”
Gandhi speaking and Zahran Hashim in pact with fellow Lankan jihadists …. Zahran was one of the two suicide bombers at the Shangri La Hotel in Colombo on Easter Sunday 2019 where where 36 people died
ABSTRACT: This study highlights the Tantric threads within the transcendental religions of Asia that revealthe commanding role of encirclement as a mystical force. The cyanide capsule (kuppi) around the neck of every Tamil Tiger fighter was not only a tool of instrumental rationality as a binding force, but also a modality similar to a thāli(marriage bond necklace) and to participation in a velvi(religious animal sacrifice). It was thus embedded within Tamil cultural practice. Alongside the LTTE’s politics of homage to its māvīrar(dead heroes), the kuppi sits beside numerous incidents in LTTE acts of mobilization or military actions where key functionaries approached deities in thanks or in preparation for the kill. These practices highlight the inventive potential of liminal moments/spaces. We see this as modernized ‘war magic’—a hybrid re-enchantment energizing a specific religious worldview.
Michael Roberts: A recent invitation to present a Zoom Lecture from Dr. Geethika Dharmasinghe of Colgate University in USA found me stumbling upon one of my unpublished Notes from yesteryear: a “Note” which seems worthy of resuscitation for public consumption now with suitable illustrations added.
Young LTTE recruits receive their kuppi (cyanide capsule) as final award at a passing out ceremony filmed by the BBC in Jaffna in 1991 …. One of the LTTE officers at this ceremony was the Australian Adele Balasingham, who told he BBC team that “the cyanide capsule has come to symbolise a sense of self-sacrifice by cadres of the movement, their determination, their commitment to the cause and, ultimately, of course, their courage.”
Apropos of the misleading interpretations of suicide attacks by Western commentators such as the political scientist, Robert Pape, it is important to note that the act of suicide was initially adopted by the LTTE as a defensive tool to protect the organisation from the leaking of information after capture. It was also a mark of their dedication to the Tamil liberation cause and thus a method of drawing popular admiration. It was not till 5 July 1987 that it was deployed as a low cost precision weapon when Miller (a nom de guerre) drove a truck bomb into an SL Army encampment at Nelliyadi. This was but one instance of uyirayutham — life as weapon.
Serge De Silva-Ranasinghe, in Asia-Pacific Defence News, Vol.5/5, May 15-June14, 2010, where the title is “Defeat Of The LTTE And Its Significance” …. with the difficult & painstaking task of conversion being handled by Darshanie Ratnawalli in Sri Lanka ... whilethe highlighting emphasis in the article is the work of The Editor, Thuppahi
The month of May 2010 marks the first anniversary of the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE), which was widely considered to be among the most formidable insurgent-terrorist organisations in the world. In what was universally thought to be an unwinnable war, Sri Lanka emerged victorious in one of the most remarkable counter insurgency campaigns in the history of modern counter-insurgency(COIN) warfare, says Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe
Michael Roberts in the DEDICATION presented on the first page of the bookTamil Person and State: Essays, Colombo, Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2014, … ISBN 978-955- 665-230-7
The essays that make up this anthology would not have been possible without the assistance of numerous individuals who provided me with information during face-to-face conversations, Skype and telephone chats or through responses by email. This will be only too evident if readers take note of my citations and footnotes.For this reason, it is entirely appropriate that I dedicate this work to all those who have assisted me in my researches over the last few years. Not all of them will agree with my thrusts. Indeed, there are a few of them in Colombo, such as Ananda Chittambalam, who have disputed some of my arguments, while yet encouraging me in my researches and publication programmes.
Ana Chittambalam: ex-Royal College, raconteur, promoter of causes and a staunch ally and dangerous foe
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.