Posts Categorized: History

How English Ruined Indian Literature

India, if it is to speak to itself, will always need a lingua franca. But English, which re-enacts the colonial relationship, placing certain Indians in a position the British once occupied, does more than that. It has created a linguistic line as unbreachable as the color line once was in the United States.

Letter to PM Rajiv Gandhi from TULF on 13th Amendment Our Disappointment With Proposals Contained In The Two Bills 28th Oct 1987 Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, New Delhi. Dear Prime Minister, We thank you once again for all your efforts on behalf of the Tamil people. We repeat our deep anguish at the tragic turn of events in Jaffna. We feel it is… Read more »

Pirapaharan at Sixty

by Karthik RM, November 21, 2014 Is Pirapaharan dead? Ten years back, TamilNet senior editor and military analyst Taraki Sivaram wrote a brilliant piece on the political legacy of Pirapaharan at fifty.  Come 26 November this year, the founder-leader of the LTTE and one of the most brilliant military minds of South Asia will turn… Read more »

Rev. Dr Emmanuel on Collapse of CBK-Prabhakaran talks

Rev. Dr. Emmanuel, who had occasionally provided to the writer valuable perception, as regards significant conflict-related events, made available to The Island his presentation at a conference organized by the International Alert, way back in July, 1997. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel dealt extensively with the Kumaratunga-Prabhakaran talks during 1994-1995 period…

“The government did not understand the LTTE as representatives of an aggrieved and oppressed people. Nor did they recognize the LTTE’s demands as the demands of the people.”

Remember to Remember Part 2

In the Vanni, through the unceasing waves, LTTE created areas of full control. And invested heavily in projects of statebuilding that gave people a sense of dignity, safety, limited freedom of movement. Before that meeting, Sivaram saw those projects as waste of precious resources during the time of war. He was of the opinion that, as a direct consequence of state building, LTTE focused too much on expanding conventional capabilities and on protecting territory at the expense of its guerrilla roots. But the witnessing of statebuilding exercise has left an everlasting impression on the Vanni people as well as on the visiting diaspora. That investment paid off in the form of willing participation and in unflinching loyalty to the LTTE even in its dying days.

Beyond the Beach

 by Marcelle Hopkins, AlJazeera, May 17, 2014  Five years after one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history, Sri Lanka hovers between war and peace, as a profoundly traumatised population grapples with creeping militarisation, continuing ethnic divisions and a crackdown on dissent.       Interactive website at 

Thamils Should Not Lose Heart, But Fight Back Peacefully

Independence for the Thamils have meant slow liquidation of their identity as a Nation that lived in well defined territory with their own language, arts, culture, customs and heritage. They have been living in the Northeast historically for several centuries…

In 1946 the Thamils (both Ceylon and Thamils of Indian origin) constituted 22.75 (1,514,300) and Sinhalese 69.41 (4,620,500), but in 2011 the Thamil population declined to 15.37 (3,113,247) while the Sinhalese population rose to 74.88 (15,173,820). This decline is reflected in the dilution of their parliamentary representation

Tamil Nadu Government Decides to Release 7 in Rajiv Assassination Case

The Tamil Nadu Government, in a suo motu statement to the State Assembly on Wednesday said it has decided to release the 7 prisoners, now imprisoned to lifetime in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The decision comes as the Indian Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to commute the death sentence on Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan to… Read more »

Channel 4’s ‘No Fire Zone’   ABOUT THE PROGRAMME The team behind the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields tell the story of the 138-day-long final offensive in Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war Available for a limited time only at Channel 4 site. —————— Channel 4 Nov. 9 blog on interview with Isaipriya’s mother and sisters

Sri Lanka: COIN or Civil War?

Ambassador (Ret.) Edward Marks, a veteran of 40 years in the Foreign Service and currently a Distinguished Senior Fellow at George Mason University, contacted Joint Force Quarterly with comments about “Understanding Sri Lanka’s Defeat of the Tamil Tigers” by Niel A. Smith, which appeared in issue 59 (4th Quarter, 2010). Ambassador Marks believes that MAJ Smith misreads the context… Read more »

A Violent Non-State Actors Reading List

About Daveed Gartenstein-Ross Visiting research fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT)–The Hague; senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Ph.D. candidate in world politics at the Catholic University of America; etc. In the introduction to her edited volume Violent Non-State Actors in World Politics, Klejda Mulaj notes that, while political science scholarship has… Read more »

Understanding Sri Lanka’s Defeat of the Tamil Tigers

After three decades of conflict, Sri Lanka’s government defeated the ethnic separatist insurgent group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), popularly known as the Tamil Tigers, in May 2009. The violence and brutality employed by both sides in the final years of the conflict drew significant interest from the global civilian and military communities, especially… Read more »

Compilation of Material on IPKF

“The Satanic Force” on the Indian Peace-Keeping Force in Sri Lanka 1987-1990 Vol. 1, Part 1   Vol. 1, Part 2 Vol. 1, Part 3

Mullaitivu Falls to the Tamil Forces 210 Years Ago Today

At least as far as the records and anecdotal history go, there was no war of independence following Kaadu Rajah Vinnasythamby’s 1878 defeat anywhere in Vanni. According to the known history, Pariyari Velar was never captured alive but his son Kaadu Rajah Vinnayar was pardoned by the British authorities and he remained in obscurity following his defeat until his death. A century later his great-great-grandson took up arms and joined a liberation organisation which defeated the enemy and once again took over Mullaitivu in July 1996. The great-great-grandson of Kaadu Rajah was known by the nom de guerre ‘Major Curdles’ and was affectionately known as Kerdy to his fellow freedom fighters. The great martyr (Maveeran in Tamil) Mahalingam Thileepan, otherwise known as Major Curdles, is a cousin of the most illustrious freedom fighter Brigadier Theepan.

Mr. Martin Collacott is Appalled…

The reader who sent this article in remembrance of Black July noted “Satyendra’s response to an article by a former Canadian High Commissioner is a timely reminder to the TNA especially Justice Wigneswaran. Justice Wigneswaran and the TNA to on reflect Satyendra’s thoughts that eloquently summarises the thoughts of the Tamil voters that the present government is moving forward with the plans of colonization developed by former Pres. JR Jayawardene.”

Birds of Freedom?

While some scholars argue that recent wars have thrust women into new roles, enabling them to transform their social situations, identities and destinies, others question whether females achieve ‘emancipation’ through active participation in warfare…

Archaeological Sites Plundered

The North-Central and Wayamba Provinces are the worst affected. Since the war ended, archaeological and historical sites in the North and East are subjected to relentless pillaging.

Spot Fixing Sri Lanka Style

There are numerous reasons to be concerned about this survey. The timing of the survey – and the military’s heavy involvement – suggests that this was (and remains) an obvious effort to deflect international pressure at the HRC and other international fora. When and why did the DCS begin to work so closely with the Defence Ministry?

Misplaced Honor

[The US is still trying to get over our Civil War. Can you imagine Sri Lankan army bases named after Tiger officers? – Ed/]

The practice of decorating the graves arose in many towns, north and south, some even before the war had ended. This humble idea quickly spread throughout the country, and the recognition of common loss helped reconcile North and South….

Equivalence of experience was stretched to impute an equivalence of legitimacy. The idea that “now, we are all Americans” served to whitewash the actions of the rebels. The most egregious example of this was the naming of United States Army bases after Confederate generals.