Category Archives: unusual people

The SBS: Marine Commandos of the Sri Lankan Navy

Michael Roberts

A recent article by Dishan Joseph (see below) has marked the role of a commando outfit known as the SBS, or Special Boat Service, that was developed within the Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) during the Eelam Wars.  The story is complex and demands an elaborate ‘companion piece’ that is attentive to time, combat locations, initiatives and the lessons derived from a remarkable and formidable enemy, namely, the Sea Tigers. In war one becomes like one’s opponent in order to survive. The innovativeness of the LTTE was monumental and its sea-faring capacities were one reason why it outdid-and-outbid the other Tamil militant organisations in the fight to lead the claim for independence for Thamililam during the 1980s/1990s.

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Filed under education, Eelam, ethnicity, female empowerment, historical interpretation, insurrections, island economy, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, modernity & modernization, nationalism, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, unusual people, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, working class conditions, world events & processes

Prince Philip’s Indelible ‘Marks’ in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy of my old student pal Piyasiri Wickramasekara ….more details below

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Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, chauvinism, cultural transmission, education, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, modernity & modernization, patriotism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Don Bradman and Prince Philip

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Filed under cricket for amity, cultural transmission, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, photography, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Kunanayakam’s Incisive Review of the West’s Machinations at Geneva and Lanka’s Failures

Gus Mathews

This is a very incisive interview with Tamara Kunanayakam, a former ambassador to the UNHRC in Geneva. In a no-nonsense manner she unravels why the pursuit of Sri Lanka by the Western nations is taking place.

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Filed under accountability, american imperialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, disparagement, ethnicity, foreign policy, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, life stories, LTTE, news fabrication, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, taking the piss, tamil refugees, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, vengeance, war crimes, world events & processes

KD Paranavitana’s Felicitation Volume: A Treasure Trove

 

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Filed under accountability, ancient civilisations, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, military strategy, paintings, power politics, sri lankan society, transport and communications, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

A Restrained but Reconciliatory Feast at St. Anthony’s in Kachchativu in 2021

 

The Jaffna Divisional Secretary informed the public, well in advance, that St. Anthony’s Feast in the Kachchativu island had been cancelled this year due to the Covid- 19 pandemic. The decision was well understood by devotees of both Sri Lanka and India.

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India Unique: Villages Beyond Imagination

UNIQUE INDIA:  Village of Cobras, Portuguese Village, Doorless Village, Millionaires’ Village, Batchelor Only Village …. Et cetera, Et cetera

SHETPAL: It is a fact well-known that India is a country, where snakes are considered as revered creatures due to their ancient origin, and their connection with Hindu deity Shiva. Every year, on the Nag Panchami festival, thousands of devout people in Indian villages worship and feed the snakes to receive divine blessings. Continue reading

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Order of the Rising Sun for Professor Purnendra Jain in Adelaide

ADELAIDE UNIVERSITY New Item

Emeritus Professor Purnendra Jain (School of Social Sciences) was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays With Neck Ribbon by the Consul-General of Japan, Mr. Junji Shimada , in a ceremony on 26 March 2021. 

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Filed under centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, education, heritage, life stories, literary achievements, unusual people, world events & processes

Charlie Chaplin in Bali

Tony Donaldson’s Treasure Trove

Here are two photos of Charlie Chaplin in Bali from my collection.

In one photograph, we see Chaplin in a comical moment as if he is conducting a gamelan orchestra in a Balinese village, possibly Ubud.  He could also be dancing in front of the gamelan — for the way his arms and hands are positioned suggest this  We can’t say for sure. The gamelan players are clearly enjoying this moment with Chaplin, with lots of fun and laughter. A gamelan orchestra is led by the kendang (drum) player – the nearest thing to a kind of conductor in a gamelan.

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Sustaining Memory as a Central Facet of Transitional Justice

Gehan Gunatilleke: “The Right to Memory: The Forgotten Facet of Transitional Justice* with highlighting emphasis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting — Milan  Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979)

Introduction

Memory does not explicitly feature among the four pillars of transitional justice: truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. Hence the precise role memory plays within a transitional justice process is often left to those negotiating the contours of the process. Memory is a vital ingredient in ascertaining the truth and in securing evidence to ensure justice for victims and survivors. Moreover, memorialisation of loss has a place in the symbolic initiatives owed to victims and survivors under the reparations pillar. Meanwhile, public memorials commemorating man-made tragedies contribute towards a society’s collective commitment to non-recurrence. Thus memory often becomes the lifeblood that preserves and binds the traditional pillars of transitional justice.

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