Category Archives: women in ethnic conflcits

Protecting Women from Trafficking & Abuse: Here. There. Everywhere

Stephen Keim, reviewing Elaine Pearson’s Chasing Wrongs and Rights” ….

 https://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/Chasing-Wrongs-and-Rights/Elaine-Pearson/97

Elaine Pearson was born in Sydney but grew up in Perth and completed her law degree at Murdoch University in November 1998.

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The Hill-Country Tamils: Their Shitty-Situation Then … and NOW

Ahilan Kadirgamar, in Daily Mirror, 21 November 2022, where the title reads “Hill-country Tamils and Crisis Times” …. with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

When our country collapses before our own eyes with one of the deepest crises in historical memory, from what vantage point should we analyse our predicament? Sri Lanka’s political economy over the last two centuries is anchored in the travails and strivings of Hill Country Tamils. Their sweat and blood, that began with the horrifying journey from South India two centuries ago as indentured labour to work in the coffee and later tea plantations, were central to building the country’s modern economy under British colonialism. However, their position in society, and for that matter even the writing of their history, was marginalised. And despite the great democratic and social welfare advances in Sri Lanka with universal suffrage in 1931 and a powerful legacy of free healthcare and education, the social, economic and political life of the Hill Country Tamil community is characterised by struggle amidst persistent crisis times.

‘Ceylon tea’ gave Sri Lanka the recognition in the world map, but the plantation workers are still languishing in their ages-old abode, known as line rooms and continue to be marginalised in education, community wellbeing and healthcare.

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Confronting Two Calamities in Eastern Sri Lanka in 2005

Dennis B. McGilvray, in India Review 5(2-3) November 2006, special issue on public anthropology, …. where the title reads  Tsunami and Civil War in Sri Lanka: An Anthropologist Confronts the Real World”  …. with highlighting in different colours imposed by the Editor, Thuppahi

Recent calls for a new “public anthropology” to promote greater visibility for ethnographic research in the eyes of the press and the general public, and to bolster the courage of anthropologists to address urgent issues of the day, are laudable although probably too hopeful as well.  Yet, while public anthropology could certainly be more salient in American life, it already exists in parts of the world such as Sri Lanka where social change, ethnic conflict, and natural catastrophe have unavoidably altered the local context of ethnographic fieldwork.  Much of the anthropology of Sri Lanka in the last three decades would have to count as “public” scholarship, because it has been forced to address the contemporary realities of labor migration, religious politics, the global economy, and the rise of violent ethno-nationalist movements.  As a long-term observer of the Tamil-speaking Hindu and Muslim communities in Sri Lanka’s eastern coastal region, I have always been attracted to the classic anthropological issues of caste, popular religion, and matrilineal kinship.  However, in the wake of the civil wars for Tamil Eelam and the 2004 tsunami disaster, I have been forced to confront (somewhat uneasily) a fundamentally altered fieldwork situation. This gives my current work a stronger flavor of public anthropology, while providing an opportunity for me to trace older matrilocal family patterns and Hindu-Muslim religious traditions under radically changed conditions.

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The Suriya Mal Campaign of the 1930s and Doreen Wickremasinghe nee Young

An Item at Roar.lk, where the title reads “We must remember Suriya Mal, even in this era of Manel Mal”

Doreen Wickremasinghe was a British leftist who became a prominent Communist politician in Sri Lanka and a Member of Parliament (MP). She was one of the handful of European Radicals in Sri Lanka.

Doreen & the Rodi lass she ‘rescued’

Doreen Wickremasinghe was the daughter of two British ‘ethical Socialists’. While a student in London in the 1920s, she became involved in the India League and carried out other anti-imperialist work. Here she met Dr S.A. Wickremasinghe, then a radical Sri Lankan moving in Communist and radical circles while a post-graduate student in London.

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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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Sumana Saparamadu: An Appreciative Vale from 2016

Lalitha Karalliadde Witanachchi, in the Sunday Observer, 8 May 2016, with this title “Epitome of Generosity, Kindness and Loyalty” **

The death occurred on April 15 [2016] of well-known journalist Sumana Saparamadu at the age of 92. She was born in Havelock Road, Wellawatte in the home of her parents Mr and Mrs. D.C. Saparamadu. Her father was a well-known apothecary who worked for several years in Kadugannawa, where Sumana spent her childhood “in the beautiful hill country with mist-laden hills and the train winding its way upcountry”, as she was wont to tell me when recalling her happy childhood.

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Female Leaders at the Grassroots in a COVID-19 World

Samanthi Gunawardana & Nedha De Silva, at https://lens.monash.edu/@celebrating-influential-women/2021/03/08/1382925/listening-to-women-in-grassroots-leadership-in-a-covid-19-world  …………. “It is a virus, we can get it anywhere, [but] we have a responsibility, and if we let go of workers now when they need us the most, what is the point?” – Chandra Devanarayana, Revolutionary Existence for Human Development, Sri Lanka

Long before COVID-19 hit Sri Lanka’s shores, grassroots women’s organisations fought poverty pay, long hours, and unsafe working conditions in the country’s garment manufacturing districts.

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A Kilted Scottish Lady who confronted the Fascists in spain in the 1930s

Item in Glasgow Live 20:41, 3 April 2022, bearing this title “Remembering Fernanda Jacobsen: The kilted woman who left Glasgow to fight fascism”

Barely 20 years after women got the vote, Glasgow secretary Fernanda Jacobsen became the unexpected leader of Glasgow’s ambulance unit that travelled to Spain in 1936

By Glasgow Live 20:41, 3 APR 2022

A Glaswegian woman in a kilt with a ‘big bottom’ hardly sounds like your typical war hero. But that’s exactly how Fernanda Jacobsen was described by those that met her when she was sent to Madrid – the beating heart of the social revolution – to help the wounded as the Republican government faced off rebel armies in 1936.

17th January 1937: Members of a Scottish ambulance unit in Glasgow before their second visit to the Spanish Civil War

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Introducing Siva and His Artwork

Gayaat http://isrilankan.com/ …on 6 March 2021

Siva is an artist,  survivor, citizen and a human most extraordinary.  His work is a testimony to how the human mind with artistic expression can transcend the violence of war, the other myriad constraints and negotiations that await the unsuspecting human and the navigation of pain and moving beyond. 

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In Appreciation of “Our Sam” … The Samarasinghe Family Collective

It is with profound sorrow that we share with you the passing of Prof. Stanley (Sam) Samarasinghe on Monday, Nov 22, 2021. Our husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, teacher, colleague and friend fought his illness with relentless courage and undiminished fortitude for several years. His enthusiasm to live his life to the full did not abate. Except family and close friends, no one else had even the slightest inkling that he was battling an invasive enemy within.

 

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