Category Archives: the imaginary and the real

The Samaraweera-Yahapālana Induction of Tony Blair in support of their “Reconciliation Programme” in August 2015

Michael Roberts

A chance finding during my sojourn with Moninna and Ranjit Goonewardena in Galle Fort in July/August 2015 introduced me to the visit of Tony Blair’s family to Sri Lanka in August 2015 ….. See https://thuppahis.com/2020/11/22/tony-blair-and-family-in-galle-mid-august-2015/ As we all know, in 2015 the Yahapālana govt indulged in an about/turn (with US backing) and joined the HR lobbies by saying ‘mea culpa’ at the UNHRC Sessions in Geneva in March/April that year. This programme overturned the presentations pursued earlier by Dayan Jayatilleke and Tamara Kunanayakam under the Mahinda Rajapakse dispensation. Kunanayakam’s competent representations in 2011 earned the undiluted ire of Eileen Donahue (the American ambassador at the UNHCR) who even threatened Kunanayakam verbally on the phone: “we will get you!”.[1] Internal machinations within the Rajapaksa camp, apparently involving Sajjin Vaas Gunawardena and a Ministry staffer Kshenuka Seneviratne, led to Kunanayakam’s displacement a little later.

Donahoe  Samaraweera at UNHCR sessions in 2015

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Samantha Power on USA’s Interventionist Mission in 2002

Stephen Wertheim

Reproduced here is a sub-section from Wertheim’s review article in the 4th quarter edition[1] of the Journal of Genocide Research in 2010 (without re-deploying his footnotes). This section focuses on the Pullitzer Prize winning book by Samantha Power (2002) and argues that its programme resembles shades of the “civilizing mission” associated with European and Evangelical agencies during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Here, with and within Samantha Power, the mission of “humanitarian intervention” was vested solely in US arms and feet ……..…. thus, not in the UN or any other agencies.

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Galle: Basic Facts ….. Historical, General and Pacha

Ruhunu Putra, in THE ISLAND, 2o  November 2020, where the title is “Historical Glance at Galle”

Galle is the capital of the Southern Province. The popular derivation of its name is from the Sinhala word Gaala – a cattle pen. The mighty king Ravana’s cattle pen had extended from the present day Mahapola premises to the Town Hall, according to legend.  Galle is also considered to be the Tarshish in the Bible. It is reputed for cottage-crafts, lace making, tortoise shell work, gem polishing, ivory carving, jewellery and ornamental ebony elephants.

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Nostalgia: Foenander & Potger compose “My Special Island”

https://www.elanka.com.au/further-down-the-road-rob-foenander-keith-potger-by-patrick-ranasinghe/Further Down The Road – Rob Foenander & Keith Potger – by Patrick Ranasingh

I am Visiting my country roots with this composition. It is the title track off of my forth coming album featuring 12 new country songs I have written over the past couple of years and currently recording .Have someone like Keith join me on this song was a very exciting concept for me, and an opportunity that doesn’t come long too often.

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The SIOT Concept: One Foundation for SL Army Success in Eelam War IV

Colonel HP Ranasinghe: “The Eight Man Team,” 17 August 2018,  https://lrrp.wordpress.com/tag/special-infantry/.

Sri Lanka builds its future soldier capability around Special Forces, used to great effect against the LTTE insurgency. Sri Lanka is continuing its soldier modernisation plans continuing with the initiatives that it attributes to its success in defeating the LTTE insurgency.

Colonel HP Ranasinghe, Commander Special Forces Brigade, Sri Lanka Army stated, “[The] Special Forces of Sri Lanka rely principally on human skills blended with little equipment and technology. “Skill and will” being the policy due to compelling economic constraints. However, looking into the security challenges of the future, the Special Forces are contemplating upgrading programmes, designed to blend human skill with the “right technology.”

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The Case for Metric Land Measurements in Sri Lanka

Asela Atukorala, in The SBlog,26  December 2017 …. ………………… https://aselaatukorala.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-case-for-metric-land-measurements_26.html

Sri Lanka adopted the metric system in the 1970s, yet (with the exception of square kilometres) land is usually measured the imperial way of square feet, perches, roods and acres instead of the metric way of of square metres and hectares. In this article, I will say why I think Sri Lanka should use metric units for land measurements giving its benefits. I will also give information on the sizes of square metres & hectares and list the metric land sizes of famous landmarks in Sri Lanka.

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Robert Pape’s Blunders in Tigerland: Pape’s Muddles on ‘Suicide Bombers’ in Sri Lanka

Michael Roberts, reprinting here an article which appeared initially in November 2007  as Working Paper No. 32 November 2007 in the Heidelberg Papers on South Asian PoliticsISSN: 1617-5069 …. edited by Subrata Mitra. Insofar as this essay is being reproduced in 2020, I cannot overstress the point at which it appeared in the public realm — in 2007 well before the LTTE was defeated… [noting that, with the exception of the emblematic Picture at the start, all other illustrations appeared in the Heidelberg publication. These pictorial scenes, I stress now in 2020, are valuable data in themselves].

No study of the LTTE can afford to neglect Sri Lanka’s cultural, historical, and geographical backdrop, The lack of existential awareness of religious cross-fertilisation, the either/or foundations of Western reasoning and the absence of local knowledge bedevil the scholarship that incorporates Sri Lanka within the global surveys of suicide attacks. Pape’s Dying to Win is an example. Here, in Pape’s article, the LTTE’s multi-pronged capacities are poorly evaluated. Too much significance is attributed to the coercive success of SMs in bringing the government to the negotiating table at various moments. Religious persecution has not been the main reason for the Tamil struggle. Comparative references to SMs elsewhere are occasionally interspersed in this review of the Sri Lankan scene.

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Brihadeeswarar Temple at Thanjavur: A Eleventh Century Marvel

Courtesy of Cyril Ernst in California and Buddy Reid in Melbourne who brought this marvellous architectural feat to Thuppahi’s attention

For DETAILS watch this Video:

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Enthusiasm for War: Australians in the 1910s and Jihadists in the 2010s

Michael Roberts

Introduction:  Remembrance Day ceremonies in Australia and Europe led to the recuperation of items on the “Will to War” which I had presented way back in time[1] and Dr Richard Koenigsberg[2] in New York has chipped in by sending me copies of some of my articles in the Library of Social Science (his outfit). At a time in 2020 when sporadic jihadist assassinations in France and Australia in 2020 have reminded us forcefully of the recurring phenomenon of the force of Allahu Akbar in the Middle East as well as such outposts as Sri Lanka (witness the 21/4 strikes in 2019)[3] as well as Australia (see below).

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Henry Jayasena: An Appraisal in Appreciation — with Further Insights from Azdak’s Lore

Nandasiri Jasentuliyana

There was one other leading figure from the cultural world that I came to know very well, particularly through my association with Namel. It was none other than Henry Jayasena, acclaimed as an outstanding stage actor, film star, writer, producer, director, and translator, all rolled in to one. He is a legendary artiste of our times.

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