« September 2008 | | November 2008 »

October 24, 2008

Oct 26-Nov 1: "Reason and judgment are the qualities of a leader." - (ca. 56 – ca. 117) Historian of the Roman Empire

International Press Freedom Mission to Sri Lanka [FI] 

B. Raman: Bleeding Assam cries out for Attention [FI] 

Having an Obama in its future - Good or bad for us?

By B.Raman

The world has seen made-in-the-Internet scholars, made-in-the-Internet stock-brokers, made-in-the-Internet lovers and even made-in-the-Internet terrorists.

If Senator Barrack Obama is elected the President of the United States on November 4, the US and the rest of the world will be seeing for the first time a made-in-the-Internet President. [FI]

Majoritarianism Unmoved

By Dr. Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu

The Up Country People’s Front leader and minister in the Rajapakse regime P.Chandrasekeran is to face a disciplinary committee appointed by President Rajapakse on statements the minister made in Parliament in support of the Tamil Nadu stand on the current conflict including calls for a halt to military operations. [TC]

This land doesn’t belong to me or to you

By M.S.Shah Jahan

It was mid 1975. He was my neighbour — a popular guitarist in the city and a Malay Muslim married to a Burgher woman. He came to say good-bye to me on the eve of his migration to Australia. [TC]

LTTE Air Wing strikes Again

By B. Raman [TC]

Pastoral Address given by Bishop Duleep de Chickera, Oct 25 [FI]

Impact of Monsoon Rains on Eelam War

by Col.R.Hariharan

Indra, the god of war in Hindu mythology whose chariot thunders across the rain clouds, must be smiling as the torrential northeast monsoon rains brought the Eelam War in Sri Lanka to a near halt last week. [TC]

Remembering Sri Lanka’s Nightingale: 30th Death Anniversary of  Rukmani Devi [TC]

Sri Lanka Commits Itself Firmly To India On Political Process In Pranab-Basil Meeting

India has decided to send around 800 tonness of relief material to Sri Lanka for the affected civilians in the North, a joint statement issued by the Sri Lankan and Indian governments said today. [TC]

Pirabhakaran ‘Returns’ To India

By P.C. Vinoj Kumar

IN 2002, THEN chief minister Jayalalithaa arrested Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) founder Vaiko and other politicians for their support to Sri Lanka’s Tamil rebels. [TC]

Kilinochchi: A Stalingrad In The Making?

By B.Raman

In pursuance of my article titled "Kilinochchi: The Spectre of Stalingrad", I have been in receipt of many messages---- some complimenting me for drawing attention to the Battle of Stalingrad and others pointing out previous references to it by some LTTE cadres. [TC]

Indian strategy in full circle: Is taming the Tiger, is to tame the Lion?

By Ravi Sundaralingam

It seems from some angles that there is no hope of a resolution for the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka at least from the Tamils point of view, for the moment. [TC]

Basis for national unity and lasting peace

By Dr. S. Narapalasingam

National unity and peace are essential for securing the territorial integrity and promoting social, economic, cultural and political progress of any democratic multi-ethnic country. [FI]

India, Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and the LTTE

By Rajan Philips

The situation in Sri Lanka calls for a more nuanced understanding of the different issues, parties and interests at play than the simplistic view of it as a straightforward military operation by a sovereign and democratic government to defeat and disarm an abominable terrorist organization. [FI]

Will There be a Mother of All Battles for Kilinochchi?

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

If current politico – military realities are taken into account all indicators are that the anticipated mother of all battles for Kilinochchi may not take place after all. [DM]

Ambassador Blake's Remarks at the University of Madras " U.S. Perspectives on Sri Lanka"

I will talk first about our support for a political solution, the situation in northern Sri Lanka, our policy on terrorism in Sri Lanka, and conclude with our assessment of Sri Lanka’s promise if fighting can be stopped. [FI]

Sri Lankan Identity in a Time of Siege

By  Dayan Jayatilleka

Though it may seem otherwise at first blush, the agitation in Tamil Nadu is not helping the Tamil cause in Sri Lanka. It is hardening majority opinion on the island and serves as a reminder of the existential threat posed to the Sinhalese from across the narrow Palk Straits. [TC]

Time to realize the suitability of Federalism

by A.Rajasingam

The measures taken to solve the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka within the concept of a Unitary framework has ended in a futile exercise. The only achievement to solve the problem eventually not only ended in destruction of lives and property but also in mass exodus to foreign countries. [FI]

October 17, 2008

Oct 19-25: "Here the people rule"- Gerald Ford (1913 - 2006) 38th President of the United States

The Video/DVD/VCD Rousing Emotions in Tamil Nadu [TC]

New Delhi  Policy For Sri Lanka Must  Change course in  Sri Lanka

by M.S.S.Pandian

A recent issue of a Sri Lankan newspaper has published excerpts from the memoirs of Neville Jayaweera, a distinguished civil servant who once headed the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation. [TC]

New Level of Danger for Sri Lanka’s Journalists as Threats Mount

Statement by International Federation of Journalists

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is alarmed at widespread and frequent verbal and physical attacks against journalists and press freedom defenders in Sri Lanka as the country’s internal conflict continues. [FI]

"Mahason" Death Squad Threatens Human Rights Lawyers

A large number of people comprising courts registrars and lawyers appearing in human rights cases have received threatening letters from an organization calling itself the “Mahason Balakaya” or Mahason battalion. [TC]

Unleashing Ethnic Extremism  

by T. Sabaratnam

I wish to take your mind back to January 1939 when S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, the leader of the Sinhala Maha Sabha, declared at a public meeting in Balapitiya, “This is our country. I am prepared to sacrifice my life to save my country.” [TC]

How Did Tamils Come to Lanka?

by Ilaya Seran Senguttuwan

Minister Champika Ranawake – that wise man of the JHU who appears to have a superior opinion on almost everything under the sun - is reported to have said last week “Tamils came here after being chased away by the Moguls in South India .” [TC]

Tactical Aspects of the Eelam War

by Col. R. Hariharan

There is a lot of excitement as the Sri Lanka security forces are inching towards Kilinochchi from the southwest on multiple axes. The political tensions in Tamil Nadu over the plight of Tamil civilians in the war zone have added a bit of nervous expectation in Sri Lanka to the war scene. [TC]

Kilinochchi: The Spectre of Leningrad

By B. Raman

The Battle of Stalingrad is considered the bloodiest battle with the largest battlefield casualties in the history of conventional warfare. Under a carefully worked out plan, the Soviet Army inveigled an advancing and over-confident Nazi Army into Stalingrad and then inflicted severe casualties on the Nazi Army. Many of those Nazi soldiers whom the Soviet Army could not kill were killed by "Gen. Winter". The entire Sixth Army of the Nazis was trapped by the Soviet troops with the help of "Gen. Winter" and destroyed. [TC]

A Different view of the Conflict

By Tahnee Hopman and Myanthi Peiris

There is a strange thing about war; being so much a part of our lives, the impact of 20 years of conflict has left most Sri Lankans strangely immune to the violence now almost synonymous with our culture. [TC]

Delhi Dermarche more important than Tamil Nadu Tempest

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj [Daily Mirror]

West Urged Not to Ignore Sri Lanka

By Ethirajan Anbarasan [BBC]

Indo Lanka Equation: Time for a Trade-Off

By Dayan Jayatilleka [TC]

Intelligence in India's Sri Lanka War

by Col R Hariharan

A review of India's military intervention in Sri Lanka (1987-90) now after two decades has the benefit of hindsight. During those two decades a number of global developments have enlarged the concept of strategic security. As a result, Military Intelligence (MI) has undergone changes in form, content and expectations. [TC]

All Lands Home

I, The Convert

My conversion was not a change of religion; it was a change of heart

By Anand Mahadevan

I was born a Brahmin and am the grandson of a priest whom I dearly loved. I am educated and my current professional standing indicates that I am reasonably intelligent. [TC]
Arts ~ Culture ~ Heritage
Veteran Film Director Sridhar Dead
One of the chief architects of contemporary Tamil cinema, director Sridhar, passed away here on Monday after a brief illness. He was 75. [Hindu]

October 12, 2008

Oct 12-18: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou (b. 1928), poet

Tens of thousands of IDPs hit by monsoon rains

Report by IRIN News

The onset of the north-eastern monsoon in Sri Lanka is accelerating the need to provide adequate shelter to more than 220,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in areas controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the north, UN and government officials said. [FI]

‘I am committed to political solution and ending Tamil civilian hardships’

by N. Ram

“I am firmly committed to a just and enduring political solution” to the Tamil question in Sri Lanka and “am clear that there are no military solutions to political questions,” President Mahinda Rajapaksa told me in a telephonic conversation from Colombo on Thursday morning. [TC]

Take firm action against those who menace freedom of expression

Statement by N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu on three incidents targeting The Hindu and freedom of expression by pro-LTTE and anti-social elements in Tamil Nadu [TC]

The dangers of Tamil chauvinism

by Malini Parthasarathy

Time appears to have stood still for most Tamil Nadu’s politicians who seem completely insulated from the complex ground realities that mark India’s new political landscape. India’s political establishment and civil society are anxiously grappling with the enormity of the horrific new threat to Indian society — terrorism — fast becoming an everyday reality on the streets. [TC]

LTTE-Time to be carefully buried

By Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

The on-going onslaught by the Sri Lankan armed forces on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Vanni and its continuing success has brought forth reactions from a multitude of players. The die-hard LTTE supporters are no doubt shell-shocked, but yet not sufficiently to withdraw into their lairs. [TC]

Sri Lanka's Eastern Province: Land, Development, Conflict

Report by International Crisis Group 

Sri Lanka’s government must address the security needs and land-related grievances of all ethnic communities in its Eastern Province or risk losing a unique opportunity for development and peace. [TC]

The Martyr Bomber Becomes a Goddess: Women, Theosis, and Sacrificial Violence in Sri Lanka

 By Dr. William Harman

I will be speaking about female martyr bombers in the civil war here. It is a strange topic to select, but it is one that interests me immensely. It would take sometime for me to say why the topic attracts my attention, but a few words will, I hope, suffice. [TC]

Indian Express Survey: 'DMK should cut off ties with UPA, for centre's role in arming and training Sri Lankan armed forces' [IE]

Tamil Homeland in Sri Lanka

By Dr. S. Narapalasingam

Tamil homeland has existed in Sri Lanka for the past several centuries. Kandyan Sinhalese, low-country Sinhalese and N-E Tamils and Muslims have their ancestral roots in three distinct parts of the island. Language, religion, tradition, social life and ‘Thesa Valamai’ of Tamils are different. [FI]

Understanding Each Other's "Concerns"

By Col. R.Hariharan

The tragedy of the Fourth Eelam War is that it is going along well trodden path of wars of earlier vintage. So as the Sri Lanka security forces knocked on the doors of Kilinochchi, the undeclared capital of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the rhetoric of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi reached a new high. He spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on August 6, 2008 to highlight his concern at the growing plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka due to the ongoing war and requested New Delhi for action. [TC]

Fonseka made immature by the Chinthanaya?

By Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

When I was in the sixth standard at Ananda College, I used to believe that Sri Lanka belonged to the Sinhala people. My parents lived in Matugama, a predominantly Sinhala area.The Mahawamsa and its associated Sinhala mythologies were then, very real to me. I extrapolated my little world and assumed that the island of Lanka was full of Sinhala people from Point Pedro to Devundara. [TC]

Sri Lanka is a Republic, not a Sinhala country

by Dushy Ranetunge

Ven. Ellawala Medhananda thero’s comments about Sri Lanka being referred to as a Sinhala country are interesting. [TC]

All Lands Home

Sunrise ~ A Slide Show featuring Chilaw, North West Sri Lanka [HA]

Brahmotsavam in Tirumala [Indian Express]

October 03, 2008

Oct 5-11: " Experience is the teacher of all things " - Julius Caesar (100 - 44 BC) Roman Leader

Renewed support for Sri Lankan Tamil cause in Tamil Nadu

by B. Raman

There have been signs of renewed support for the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils across the political spectrum in Tamil Nadu, except from the Congress (I), which continues to adopt an ambivalent attitude. This support has come not only from the traditional supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), but also from other parties such as the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) of M.Karunanidhi and J.Jayalalitha of the Anna DMK, the main opposition party. Even the Tamil Nadu branch of the Communist Party of India (CPI) has come out in support of the Sri Lankan Tamils. [TC]

Six Days In Vanni: A Personal experience

by A Catholic Visitor

On the 30th of September, I traveled to Kilinochchi through Oddusuddan, Puthukudiyiruppu. This is not the regular A9 road which we travel from Vavuniya to Kilinochchi. It is the road A34 which turns towards Mullaitheevu at Mankulam from A9. [TC]

Time is right for Bhanu to defect and save lives

by Shanaka Jayasekara

The recent battlefield success of the Sri Lankan Security Forces has dramatically changed the ground realities and dynamics of the Sri Lankan conflict. The Tamil Tigers have been dislodged from areas they dominated militarily for many years in the North and East of the island. [TC]

Livelihoods at risk as tourism sector slides


Sri Lanka's struggling tourism industry - hard hit by the conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and government forces, and with security concerns increasing in Colombo, the capital - is banking on the island's traditional attractions to lure tourists back again. [FI]


Report From Jaffna: Whose Victory?


Mixed feelings among Tamils at the prospect of the war’s end [The Economist]


Sinhalese, Tamils and the LTTE


By K. Arvind


Contrary to the popular perception in Southern Sri Lanka, Tamils in the North-East have always had a somewhat lukewarm attitude towards the LTTE. With the passage of time, the faith and attitudes of the Tamils towards the movement progressively cooled. [TC]


Serendipity and Ingratitude: The Mahinda Miracle and Janaka Perera’s Assassination in Retrospect


by R.Venugopal


The course of this conflict has seen many unlikely bed-fellows, serendipitous twists of fortune, and actions that led to very unforeseen consequences. When the dust settles and the history of the present is written some day, it will have to record the extraordinary debt that the Rajapakse clan and its retinue bear to their nemesis, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Janaka Perera's assassination yesterday morning, (presuming it was by the LTTE), is yet another example of the extent to which the ruling clan's hegemonic grip on power is beholden to the Tigers. [TC]

Attacks against civilians must cease

Statement by Amnesty International

In the wake of this morning's suicide bombing, Amnesty International calls again on all parties in the conflict in Sri Lanka to comply with their obligations under international law to protect civilians. [AI]

Sri Lanka: Canada's attention is overdue

By Kshama Ranawana

If the declared purpose of successive Sri Lankan governments has been to ensure the unity of the island nation, then recent events seem to aim at achieving just the opposite. [TC]

Sri Lanka: Sources of Hope, Reasons for Optimism

By Dayan Jayatilleka

While I worry and agonize about the country and its prospects – a habit of decades—I refuse to succumb to the pessimism that seems to consume most commentators writing in English on Sri Lankan affairs. [TC] 

The war and the new wretched of Sri Lanka

by Rajan Philips

Having missed every opportunity to stop fighting and reach a resolution, the LTTE is now reaping exponentially what it has all along been sowing linearly. It is now the government’s turn at sowing, which it is doing with great gusto and transparent glee. Over a thousand hits from the air by the government, so far, against the paltry seven bomb-drops by the LTTE’s more-show-than-sting air force. The ground skirmishes may be a little less uneven but are very much lopsided against the LTTE. It is a matter of time, says the government, before Kilinochchi falls. [FI]

PBS Video ~ Sri Lanka: A Terrorist in the Family

Inside the life of a female suicide bomber, By Beate Arnestad

Civilians of Wanni are wretched of Lankan Earth

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Franz Fanon’s famous phrase “wretched of the earth” is quite applicable in the Sri Lanka of today to the civilian population inhabiting the northern mainland known as the “Wanni”. More than 200,000 internally displaced persons trapped in territory that was/is controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are in existential terms the wretched of the Sri Lankan “Wanni” earth. [DM]