Ilankai Tamil Sangam

28th Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Learning Politics from Sivaram

The Life and Death of a Revolutionary Tamil Journalist in Sri Lanka

by Mark P. Whitaker, University of South Carolina, Aiken

The Sangam welcomes book reviews of this new book at .

From the publisher --

Cover Image for Learning Politics From Sivaram This is the story of the life and impact of the political activist, journalist, and freedom fighter Sivaram Dharmeratnam. Sivaram dedicated his life to helping the Tamil people. He started out as an active participant in the war against the Sri Lankan government—in the eyes of some, a "terrorist." Yet he eventually renounced the violence it involved. Instead, he became a journalist and used his position to fearlessly critique the government—despite repeated threats on his life and the murders of other journalists. Finally, in 2005, Sivaram himself was assassinated.

This remarkable book is both an intimate portrait of the man and a fascinating account of the political dilemmas that he faced—and that still face us today. It explains how an educated man adopts a position of supporting violence. And while his position softens, Sivaram remains critical of the liberal principles that govern Western policy. Written by a close friend, this unique account highlights some of the most difficult political questions facing us today.

Pluto Press, UK, January, 2007

Distributed in the US by the University of Michigan Press




Table of Contents

Note on Transliteration, Translation, Names and Neutrality

Three Prologues

1. Introduction: Why an Intellectual Biography of Sivaram Dharmeratnam?

2. Learning Politics from Sivaram

3. The Family Elephant

4. Ananthan and the Readers Circle

5. From SR to Taraki - a 'serious unserious' journey

6. From Taraki to TamilNet: Sivaram as journalist, military analyst and Internet pioneer

7. States, Nations and Nationalism

8. Return to Batticaloa




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