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May 30, 2009

May 30 - June 6

Sri Lanka After the War – Part II

by Col R Hariharan

Tamil speaking politicians are there in almost all parties including the two major political parties of Sri Lanka. [TC]

Poddala Jayantha: Latest Journalist victim in Sri Lanka

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The witch hunt against journalists depicted as enemies of the State continues unabated in Sri Lanka.

The latest victim in this "officially sanctioned unofficial campaign" is Poddala Jayantha, a senior Journalist and prominent media rights activist. [dbsj]

Video and full transcript: Ban calls for accountability and transparency in Sri Lanka [TC]

Sky News Video: MIA Hits Out At 'Concentration Camps'

MIA, who used to live in Sri Lanka and experienced the war, told Sky News: "Three hundred thousand people have been put into concentration camps and they (the authorities)have taken all the rights away from these people. [TC]

IDPs in Vavunia: "We are doing a great wrong to these people" - CJ Sarath Nanda Silva

Over two hundred thousand people in refugee camps are not treated according to the law of the land, says the Chief Justice (CJ) of Sri Lanka. [TC]

Healing and reconciliation: Three more responses

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

When I posted Mohan Sekaram’s mail with his permission on this blog little did I realize it would have such impact.

My original intention was simply that of presenting a different refreshing point of view. Needless to say I shared his opinion to a great extent too.

What I thought would be a mere ripple has made quite a splash and acquired a momentum of its own at least on this site. [dbsj]

Treating the wounded and medical emergencies remains a priority-MSF

"The current restrictions on access to the camps is limiting and slowing are ability to respond to the medical needs of the internally displaced persons,” said Severine Ramon, MSF coordinator in the MSF field hospital [TC]

Government Threats, ‘Disappearances’ After Past Military Victories Are Cause for Concern-HRW

The Sri Lankan government should ensure that military defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam does not result in new "disappearances," unlawful killings or the jailing of government critics, Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

End Incitement to Violence Against Journalists

Statement by IFJ

Poddala Jayantha, a journalist and general secretary of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association (SLWJA), an IFJ affiliate, was abducted by at least six unknown people. He was bashed repeatedly with wooden and metal poles and his beard and hair were shaved off. [TC]

Let’s get together and reconcile: Two Sinhala responses

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Mohan Sekaram’s private e-mail to some of his friends that I posted on this blog with his permission has evoked a tremendous response.

I am extremely happy about posting it because of the very positive vibes from people of Sri Lanka and of Sri Lankan origin. [dbsj]

Bloggingheads video: Sri Lanka Aftermath

Mark Leon Goldberg, left, of UN Dispatch and Matthew Lee of Inner City Press discuss post-conflict Sri Lanka. [TC]

Sri Lanka after the War - Part I

by Col R Hariharan

Undoubtedly Sri Lanka, under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has scored an unprecedented military victory in the Eelam War IV with the near total elimination of the entire leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). [TC]

CPA receives threatening letter [TC]

Sri Lanka Tamils 'facing misery' in the world's 'largest displacement camp'

V Anandasangaree described condition in camps for civilians displaced by the country's war as "horrible".

The head of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) said hundreds of thousands faced misery and hardship [TC]

Sinhala and Tamil: Let's get together and reconcile

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

These are troubling times for Tamils worldwide and many are either in a state of shock or denial.

The situation is made worse by the chauvinist, triumphalist crowing by some (NOT ALL) Sinhalese on the one hand and equally chauvinistic, unrealistic utterances by some (NOT ALL) Tamils. [dbsj]

Pictorial: Roadside Hopper Makers in Maamangam, Batticaloa

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

While traveling to Batticaloa, it’s very refreshing to witness the firewood carriers, trying to manage a whole load of firewood on their bicycles, and ride through the wind against them. Likewise while being in Batticaloa, we do not fail to catch the images of women making hoppers on the roadside at dusk. Most of us are used to stop by the hopper sellers to taste the instant milk hoppers. [TC]

The battle of Geneva was revelation of Lanka's true friends

by Dayan Jayatilleka

Was Geneva the last battle of the Thirty Years (hot) war, the first battle of the next war – a long Cold War against Sri Lanka -- or was it a combination? Only future history will tell. [TC]

Plight of children stuck in Sri Lankan camps


by: Save the Children

I visited Vavuniya in early May, one of the towns in the north of Sri Lanka where lots of people uprooted by fighting between troops and rebels have arrived over the last few months. [TC]

Sri Lanka 'will face UN inquiry'

Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC says Sri Lanka will face an inquiry from the UN Human Rights Committee. [TC]

Video: Prabhakaran wanted the whole country – President Rajapakse[TC]

India’s role in Sri Lanka: Three immediate priorities

by B. Raman

Many Sri Lankan Tamils were killed during the anti-Tamil riots in Colombo in 1983. In their anxiety to suppress details of the exact number of fatalities from being known to the international community, the Sri Lankan authorities allegedly decided to secretly burn the dead bodies of the Tamils killed in mass cremations without informing the relatives. [TC]

Being Captain,No 3 Batsman and Wicket-keeper Is Too Much For Sangakkara

By Nirgunan Tiruchelvam

The Sri Lankan team have misled the board and the public. Last year, the squad campaigned for the England tour to be scrapped in favour of the IPL. [TC]

UK Guardian report on Tamil children interned in Ambepusse

Guardian UK has published a report by Gethin Chamberlain, about Tamil children interned "after escaping from the rebels" at the Ambepusse "rehabilitation centre" [TC]

How the LTTE was destroyed and power grab for the international network

by Shanaka Jayasekara

Consider for a moment if it was possible to defeat the Hezbollah or Hamas. The achievements of the Sri Lankan security forces are of a comparable scale. [TC]

Then and now: President Mahinda Rajapakse on "terrorists and insurgents"

by Phil Rees

"Language has changed..this is what the difference is...they called them insurgents...they never called them terrorists.[TC]

Poem: Sufferings in the Lionland

by Dr. A.R.M. Imtiyaz

Let’s celebrate suffering of others,
Let’s rejoice slaughter of others,
from street to street,
from village to village [TC]

May 24, 2009

May 24-30:

Prabhakaran: Powerful symbol of Tamil armed struggle

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The evolution and growth of the armed struggle for the goal of Tamil Eelam saw many Tamil militant groups emerge across the politico-military horizon. There was a time when nearly 34 outfits-big and small-existed. [dbsj]

UNHRC Member States Ignore Need for Inquiry Into Wartime Violations in Sri Lanka [TC]

Observations on the LTTE from a Kurdish Nationalist Comrade

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

As readers would have noticed the piece “last days of Thiruvengadam Velupillai Prabhakaran” has attracted many readers and comments. Among these comments was one by A kurdish nationalist , Shexmus Amed. It was a detailed in depth comment and obviously heartfelt but well thought-out. [dbsj]

NYT Editorial: No victory in Sri Lanka

Even after declaring victory in Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war, the country’s leaders seem unable to distinguish between the enemy — the brutal but apparently vanquished Tamil Tiger separatists — and innocent bystanders. Despite appeals from Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, and from others, the government has not given international aid organizations full access to government-run camps, where an estimated 280,000 civilians are said to be in desperate need of food, water and medical care. [TC]

Tamils Wait to Be Released From Camps, Where Resentment Festers and Government Tries to Win Hearts and Minds

More Pictures: Wall Street Journal [wsj]

India will pay heavily for Sri Lanka "policy" of revenge against LTTE

K.P. Nayar 

The death of Velupillai Prabhakaran brought back a flood of memories. If history is to determine the day when India’s pre-eminence in all of South Asia began its decline, it would be November 17, 1986. Prabhakaran, the founder of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, would be one of the characters who set in motion a process that brought about this decline. [TC]

"Race" Colours Media Coverage of Tamil Protests in Canada

by Ashifa Kassam

Sunday morning. 10 a.m. While the rest of the world might be up and at it, I'm fast asleep. That is, until the church bells down the street start their fierce ringing. [TC]

Urgent measures Needed for human rights protection in Sri Lanka - Amnesty International

Amnesty International welcomes the Human Rights Council’s attention to the serious crisis unfolding in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Road Map to National Unity and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

By Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

The opportunity to re-orient Sri Lanka as a modern state, where every citizen has the same status and has equal rights and opportunities, has become possible with the end of the three decade old and brutal civil war. [TC]

Govt conduct on IDPs will determine future Sinhala-Tamil relationship

by Udara Soysa

Sri Lankan government won a decisive battle against the Tamil Tigers. The thirty years of Tiger terror campaign came to a clear end. However, the next real war for the government is resettlement of internally displaced people, or IDPs, in Sri Lanka. [TC]

India, Pakistan back Lanka in 'rights battle' [TC]

In Pictures: “I am blessed to be a deminer” [TC]

I have a dream: A holiday in Jaffna!

by Jayatissa Perera

All eyes were glued to the TV watching the humanitarian operation of the Sri Lanka Army when thousands of fleeing Tamil hostages were rescued from the jaws of Prabhakaran. [TC]

Some good news from Mississippi to reflect on ...and thoughts on transformation

by P. Ravindra

Arvalan, speaking from the diaspora, has made a call for "Tamils to Transcend and Transform." I want to share some good news - don't we all need some? - and reflect on how that is relevant to the goal of transformation that Arvalan and others seek. [TC]

The fate of civilians and minorities in Sri Lanka

By Kshama Ranawana

Jubilation over the military defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the death of its leader, Vellupillai Prabhakaran, has gripped a majority of Sri Lankans both in that country and around the world.

The Distinction Between the LTTE and the Just claims of the Tamil People

by Karu Jayasuriya

On this historic occasion, when terrorism has been completely defeated, I would like to take this opportunity to thank, first and foremost, all our brave soldiers, whose steadfast commitment freed the Sri Lankan nation from the scourge of terrorism. [TC]

Special HRC Session on Sri Lanka Should Focus on Aid and Rights

Statement by HRW:

The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) should use its special session on May 26, 2009, to seek commitments from the Sri Lankan government to address the country’s disastrous humanitarian situation, Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

Death of Prabhakaran and the pathology of Tamil ultra-nationalism

by Dayan Jayatilleka

The degree of denial of Prabhakaran’s death within the expatriate Tamil consciousness is the best evidence of the pathology of Tamil ultra-nationalism. Rohana Wijeweera’s followers were fanatics, but when their leader was gone, they did not go into mass denial. [TC]

Imagine if Serbia had re-taken Kosovo, and invited the UN Secretary General to the retaken Pristina where it made Kosovar children save the Serbian flag [TC]

Mark of Respect for Our Supreme Leader, The Indestructible Flame of Freedom

Statement by Selvarasa Pathmanathan, Head of International Relations-LTTE:

We announce today, with inexpressible sadness and heavy hearts that our incomparable leader and supreme commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam attained martyrdom fighting the military oppression of the Sri Lankan Government on the 17th of May 2009. We share the sorrow and despair of all the Tamils in Sri Lanka, The Diaspora and the Tamil speaking people of the world. [TC]

LTTE made desperate plea to UK Sunday Times correspondent to help stave off annihilation

by Marie Colvin

IT was a desperate last phone call but it did not sound like a man who would be dead within hours. Balasingham Nadesan, political leader of the Tamil Tigers, had nowhere to turn, it seemed. [TC]

May 17, 2009

May 17-23:

The last days of Thiruvenkadam Veluppillai Prabhakaran

Thiruvenkadam Veluppillai Prabhakaran is no more!

The body of the 54 year old supreme leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) was found on Tuesday May 19th near the Mullaitheevu lagoon known as “Nanthikkadal” (sea of conches). He had gunshot wounds in the head and forehead. [dbsj]

Time for  Tamils  to Transcend and  Transform

by Arvalan

“Opportunity often comes in disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” - Napoleon Hill

The armed liberation struggled waged by the Tamils have come to a “bitter end”. The defeat at the hands of the Sinhalese regime has shaken the Tamil community all over the world. Tamils all over world, irrespective of their political affiliations, feel the pain of defeat and their pride has been hurt. However this is not the time to mourn the defeat and acknowledge “condolence messages” from the international community. [TC]

Remarks by Ambassador Robert O. Blake at his Final Press Conference as U.S. Ambassador in Colombo [TC]

Protecting Tamil people is my responsibility says President Rajapakse [TC]

Death of Prabhakaran and other Tamils: India has blood on its hands

by M K Bhadrakumar

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran's death circa May 19, 2009, in circumstances we would never quite get to know, concludes a morality play. [TC]

Whither the Sri Lankan Tamils in a post-war scenario?

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The Sri Lankan armed forces have registered a significant military triumph over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). It seems clear that the LTTE’s capacity to wage a full-fledged conventional war against the state has been critically undermined. [DBSJ]

Prabhakaran made “meek and mild” Tamils stand up and fight for their rights

by B.Raman

As I watched TV visuals of the death of V.Prabakaran, the head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and read and heard accounts of the way his dead body was disfigured and rolled in dirt by the Sri Lankan Army , my mind went back to the years 1951-55 when I was a student of the Loyola College of Chennai, run by the Society of Jesus. [TC]

Dead or Alive, Prabhakaran Lingers on

By Col R Hariharan

With the death of V Prabhkakaran curtains came down on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a viable military entity in the Eelam War IV on Sunday May 17, 2009.[TC]

Winning the peace in Sri Lanka

By Anbarasan Ethirajan

"Any long delay in resettling these war-ravaged Tamil people will further alienate them," says Sri Lankan analyst DBS Jeyaraj.

"It will also attract international criticism over the government's motive in keeping these refugees in these camps beyond a reasonable period of time." [TC]

Appeal by a Group of Concerned Tamil Citizens of Sri Lanka

We are a group of Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka, deeply troubled by the unprecedented suffering that the war has brought upon the entire Tamil population of the North and East as well as many others including Muslims and Sinhalese. The nature and scale of the recent violence has exceeded that experienced in recent decades in our once peaceful island. [TC]

Neither side has any reason to celebrate

by Farah Mihlar

Today is a momentous day. I should be celebrating, like most Sri Lankans. I grew up as a Muslim in Colombo in fear of the deafening blasts of the Tamil Tiger suicide bombings. The Tigers ethnically cleansed 60,000 Muslims from their territory. Their campaign was horrific. [TC]

KP, Soosai and Nadesan try for "ceasefire" while Praba and Pottu Amman become "silent"

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The beleaguered Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) embarked on a frantic last-ditch effort to hold off the anticipated “final” operation by the Sri Lankan Armed forces that seemed to have ended in failure by the evening of Sunday May 17th 2009. [dbsj]

Army wants to end "stand-off" and finish off Tigers

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

There exists a “stand-off” situation between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Karaithuraipatru AGA division of Northern Mullaitheevu district. [dbsj]

Fears grow for safety of doctors who reported civilian slaughter

by Gethin Chamberlain

Fears are growing for the safety of the doctors who acted as the eyes and ears of the world during the Sri Lankan army's final assault on the Tamil Tigers's last stronghold in the north-east of the country. [TC]

History shows us that there is always the need for a witness to war

by Don McCullin

Pictures of the beach near Mullaitivu, the last outpost of Tamil Tiger resistance in Sri Lanka, would have been among the greatest visual images of what war does to people. They would have been, if anybody had been there to take them. [TC]

Sri Lanka's conduct could be storing trouble for the future

by Mark Tran

Taming of Tamil Tigers threatens to breed fiercer creatures [TC]

Has LTTE leader Prabhakaran embraced death?

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj


Speculation is rife among knowledgeable circles in Colombo that Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is no more among the living. [dbsj]

May 10, 2009

May 10-16:

A race against time in Sri Lanka's camps

by Melanie Brooks

I didn't notice anything different about her, at first; 10-year-old Priyana is a beautiful, perfect little girl, and her face lit up as she smiled at me. [TC]

Winning The Peace In Sri Lanka

By Ravi Nair

This weekend or early next week will see the Sri Lankan army hoping to deliver the knockout punch to the remnants of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). But President Obama’s timely intervention is a signal to Colombo that its brazen disregard of international humanitarian law – even as it still claims to be mopping up the tenacious LTTE cadres – can no longer be ignored in diplomatic corridors. [TC]

Tamils should consider course correction

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj


Toronto is home to the largest concentration of Sri Lankan Tamils (250,000 plus) outside that Island. [dbsj]

How much is too much? The world must act to halt ethnic cleansing in Sri Lanka

by Indira Ravindran

At least 400 civilians (100 children included) were killed, and thousands were wounded in the bloodiest weekend since the renewal of the Sri Lankan civil war. Particularly gruesome was the fact that on May 11th, mortar was fired into a government-designated “safe zone”, where civilians had been urged to take shelter. [TC]

Voting on Vaddukkoddai resolution and LTTE's political bankruptcy

by T. Constantine - London

Most of us have the experience of building sand castle while we were young. It is a fantasy and gives mental satisfaction by fulfilling our wishful thoughts and unachievable desires within our means. It could be described as a wishful-pleasure. [TC]

Obama on Sri Lanka: Very welcome but is it too little too late?

PEARL and HELP Advocates Sri Lanka applaud President Obama for making a statement regarding the ongoing bloodbath in Northern Sri Lanka, but appeal for further action to stop the ongoing bloodbath. [TC]

Focus on Tamil protests by CBC "As It Happens" [dbsj]

Video: President Barack Obama calls for peace between Sri Lanka's rebels and government [TC]

The international community is dithering over the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka because of its need to condemn rebel fighters

by Cynthia Shanmugalingam

A month ago my boyfriend's English mother asked me – in all innocence – if I'd been to the "Tamil Tiger march" in Westminster. She was referring to one of the many protests organised by the tenacious and active British Tamil Forum, camped 24 hours a day at Westminster for over a month now. [TC]

Video ~ Jaffna Library: "The burning was a cultural genocide"

Australia's Dateline reports on Jaffna Library: [TC]

At least 378 killed and 1,122 injured in shelling and bombing

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in Northern Wanni reached tragically high levels today May 10th 2009 as a result of intensive artillery shelling and aerial bombardment by the Sri Lankan Armed forces.

According to medical sources at least 378 people were killed and 1122 injured as at 4.00 pm , Sri Lankan time today Sunday. [dbsj]

Seven lessons on how to fight the globalized Tiger

by Dayan Jayatilleka

These closing climactic weeks of the conventional war have been accompanied by tremendous external pressure on the Sri Lankan state. [TC]

"Man made crisis" in the IDP camps of Vavuniya

By Nick Paton Walsh

"We saw, and in our case filmed, pictures of the hungry displaced, freshly arrived in the camps from the far worse hell of the no-fire zone. It looks like another war-related crisis, where internatonal aid must flood in to help. But this is different, many aid workers told me: it's man made, a crisis born of the decision to detain much of the population of the country's northern Vanni area indefinitely," writes Channel 4 News's Nick Paton Walsh after his deportation from Sri Lanka [TC]

Tears on the ‘Teardrop Isle’!

by M.G.Devasahayam

As the ‘end game’ to the quarter-century old war in the ‘Teardrop Isle’ is being trumpeted, there is a savage premonition from STRATFOR, the US based strategic security organization: “Due to the long history of conflict in Sri Lanka , we do not share the assessment by some in the Sri Lankan government that the Tigers are all but dead. [TC]

May 02, 2009

May 3-May 9:

Tigers, Tamil Diaspora and the Tamil civilian plight

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

IN 1989, this writer attended a conference organised by the pro-Tiger publication Tamil Voice International in London. Among the participants were politicians,journalists and bureaucrats from India such as P. Upendra, S. Unnikrishnan, Aladi Aruna, N.V.N. Somu, K. Veeramani, A.P. Venkateswaran and Samantha Datta Ray. [dbsj]

‘Boat People’ Recount Horrors of No-Fire Zone


Horrific accounts from refugees fleeing the fighting in Sri Lanka by boat show the wanton disregard for civilians of both Sri Lankan government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

Grim scenes at Sri Lankan camps

By Nick Paton Walsh

Channel 4 News reports from a camp in the northern Sri Lankan city of Vavuniya, where Tamil refugees have been taken. [TC]

Some thoughts on  Reconciliation and Nation-building in Sri Lanka

by Somapala Gunadheera

It is heartening to hear the assertion of President Mahinda Rajapaksa that he would not pass on the present war to future generations. [TC]

Nation-building: Sri Lanka’s untouched task

By Lynn Ockersz

On the face of it, the challenge should not prove daunting. The subject of ‘nation-building’ is currently shared by at least two ministers and a marshalling of their capabilities and the resources at their command could help in putting the hitherto untouched enterprise of nation-building in Sri Lankan into motion. [TC]

Will Prabhakaran, Pottu Amman and Soosai negotiate surrender through ICRC?

by Shamindra Ferdinando

Would LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, his intelligence chief Pottu Amman, Sea Tiger leader Soosai and their families surrender to the government through the ICRC [TC]

The U.N. Security Council's shameful failures in Sri Lanka.

By Gareth Evans

As the whole world watches the continuing calamity in Sri Lanka, with thousands of civilians dead and tens of thousands more at risk as government forces try to quash the last of the insurgent Tamil Tigers, the United Nations Security Council remains mired in debates over whether or not to even discuss the issue, with a minority of member-states obstructing any collective action in response to the crisis, or even an official review. [TC]

Lasantha Wickrematunge and his contribution to Journalism in Sri Lanka

by Sunanda Deshapriya [TC]

War is Violation of "Mahinda Chintanaya" and Mandate  from the People

by Kusal Perera

The issue of a legitimate government was on the cards when two high profile Ministers from the UK and France were here in Colombo for just one day, trying to persuade the Rajapaksa government to consider a pause in its military operations in the Wanni so that Tamil civilians caught in the conflict could leave for safety and receive aid. [TC]

Sri Lankan Tamils  And India ’s ‘Responsibility to Protect’

by M.G.Devasahayam

ADMK supremo, J. Jayalalithaa has set the cat amongst the pigeons when she declared the other day: “If a government that listens to me is formed at the Centre, I will take action for the dispatch of the Indian army to the island nation and create a separate Tamil Eelam.”[TC]

Journalist J.S. Tissainayagam, "Guilty of nothing more than a passion for truth" - President Obama

In a statement issued by the White House in honor of World Press Freedom Day, President Barack Obama expressed his concern for Sunday Times Journalist J.S Tissainayagam and said his case was "emblematic of the hundreds of journalists who face intimidation, censorship, and arbitrary arrest." Tissainayagam and journalists like him are "guilty of nothing more than a passion for truth and a tenacious belief that a free society depends on an informed citizenry," said President Obama in his statement. [TC]

Ranil Wickremesinghe and the future of the U.N.P.

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

“Sacrum Romanum Imperium” (Holy Roman Empire) was a misnomer according to some historians. Even at it’s zenith the so-called Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman. It was not even an empire.

Likewise the United National Party in Sri Lanka too has neither been United nor truly national in recent times. Given the internal turmoil and external unpopularity some feel it may soon cease to be even a party. [dbsj]