Posts Categorized: Military

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 »

External Development cannot Substitute the Settling of the Basic Unresolved Issues

by the Commission of Justice and Peace of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna, October 18, 2013, courtesy, October 21, 2013 Fr_Mangalam_JPC_131018 To: His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Spiteri, Apostolic Nuncio Apostolic Nunciature 220 Bauddhaloka Mawatha Colombo 7 Your Excellency, Greetings to your Excellency from the Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic… Read more »

Tamil Voters Hope Provincial Election is Step toward Autonomy

by Associated Press in ‘The Washington Post’ Asia/Pacific section, September 20, 2013 JAFFNA, Sri Lanka — The ethnic Tamils of Sri Lanka tried to gain autonomy in their northern heartland first through three decades of protests and strikes, then through three decades of civil war. Northern cities were reduced to rubble and at least 80,000… Read more »

The Northern Election And Historical Stumbling Blocks

“Why,” the monitor asked the crowd, “wouldn’t you rather vote for the party that gave you new roads and buildings, the party that could continue to develop this region?” The answer from a Tamil resident of the North was succinct. “What is the point of new roads without dignity?”

A Visual History of Guerrilla Warfare From 1775 to 2012

The Invisible Armies Insurgency Tracker presents a database of insurgencies from 1775 to 2012. It supplements the comprehensive historical narrative in Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present, by CFR Senior Fellow Max Boot. ‘Invisible Armies’ Insurgencies Tracker map & graphic         —————————————  … Read more »

UN May Intercede as Sri Lanka Regime Strong-arms Elections Opponents

As de-militarization was a prerequisite for elections, two resolutions — in 2012 and 2013 — moved by the United States at the UN Human Rights Council included such measures… The need for the military to occupy private land is partly explained by a more fundamental problem: There are “150,000 soldiers encamped in the Northern Province,” claims Premachandran. “That makes it one soldier for every four or five civilians.”

Land Issues in Northern and Eastern Provinces

Mr. Deputy Speaker, my Adjournment Motion that I have proposed to move today deals with nine situations pertaining to land both in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces. Land issues are a matter of grave concern to the Tamil-speaking people, both the Tamil people and the Muslim people in the North and the East. We… Read more »

When Public Relations Meets Militarisation

The recent events in Weliweriya and Grandpass reveal more clearly than ever that what Sri Lanka needs is not more commissions, or even arrests. The country needs legal and institutional changes to the system of policing and justice designed to reverse the militarisation and concentration of power that has deepened so dangerously under the Rajapaksas.

Demographic Change in the Tamil Homeland

Sources for the situation, now and in the past — 1.) TamilNet Almost daily reports on enroachment, such as “Border Division of Mannar Sinhalicized” at and “Amparai GA, DS Officials Step Up Sinhalicization of Batticalow” at 2.) International Crisis Group “Sri Lanka’ North II: Rebuilding Under the Military,” 16 March, 2012 at 3.) TNA MP R…. Read more »

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…

Taking Stock at the Afghan Milestones

Diplomacy usually shapes final outcomes. Most armed conflicts, including civil wars, end with some negotiated coming to terms. That is true even of most one-sided outcomes. The surrender Grant accepted at Appomattox was not unconditional; it was a negotiated surrender, which let Confederates keep their horses and the officers among them keep their sidearms. Again, there are exceptions; the Sri Lankan government’s final eradication of the Tamil Tigers in 2009 did not involve a coming to terms. The conditions for any similar outcome have never been present in Afghanistan.

The Sri Lankan Army is Seizing Land that Could be Worth $2bn

If you own land in the north of Sri Lanka, or know anybody that does, please take a moment to look at this map and forward it on, the more people who are aware of what is taking place the better.

If you think you might be affected by any of these land seizures, or if you have any more precise information about the location of the land, photographs of the land, or who might own the land then please get in touch.

More land notices are being issued all the time and we will update the map as we get them. If you know of any more land seizures please do get in touch and pass on the details. If you can send us a copy of the notice (in any language) so much the better.

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.

Four Years On, Genocide Continues Off the Battlefield

On the anniversary of the 26-year civil war, the Sri Lankan state celebrates its 2009 victory while Tamils mark the bloody nadir of the campaign to systematically dismantle the Tamil nation – one which continues today. In May 2009 as the armed conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the government of… Read more »

Genocide in Guatemala

In further contrast to its neighbors, Guatemalan society was (and remains) profoundly racist, fearful of the indigenous majority that it has continually dehumanized. That racism let the elite-military alliance use anticommunist counterinsurgency principles to justify the extermination of Mayan peoples and communities.

“Why do you ask why Indians were killed?’’ a member of the oligarchy once asked me. “A better question is why didn’t we kill more Indians?”

Close to Home, but Not Close Enough

However, as many as 5,000 families are about to begin a legal battle for their land rights, said S. Sugirthan, chairman of the Valli North Pradeshiya Sabha — the local body — in Kankesanthurai, Jaffna…

According to official sources, as many as 83, 618 persons from 23,351 families in Jaffna were displaced in 1990. Most of them are in IDP camps, while a few stay with host families. A few others have migrated abroad and some are in Rameswaram.