“…There are victims, there are executioners, and there are bystanders… Unless we wrench free from being what we like to call ‘objective’, we are closer psychologically, whether we like to admit it or not, to the executioner than to the victim…” Howard Zimm quoted by David Edwards in ‘The Difficult Art of Telling the Truth’, 2001
|Alagappan, M.V.M. Tears in Teardrop Island, Sterling Publishers Private Limited, New Delhi, 1985Anderson, Jon Lee and Scott Anderson:* War Zones, (Dodd, Mead & Co, New York, 1988), pp.173-233.
Book Note by Sachi Sri Kantha – Journalist brothers had covered the Sri Lankan civil war (in the form of oral histories) and between the covers provide a comparison with four other civil wars which raged simultaneously in mid 1980s in Northern Ireland, El Salvador, Uganda and Israel. The unusual format of oral interviews to tell the story provide a fresh perspective to the extant literature on Eelam Tamils. Andersons had stated why they adopted this format, as follows: “There is always war. It is not a strange thing; in much of the world, war is commonplace and people learn to live with it…Our experiences gave us a desire to show how people cope when living in the midst of conflict, and we felt that the best way to do this was to let people tell their own stories in the form of an oral history.” Only one chapter of the book covers Sri Lanka. But within the 60 pages allocated to this chapter, voices of quite a number of prominent Tamils – circa mid 1980s – have been recorded for posterity. These include, TULF leader Amirthalingam, academic Radhika Coomarasamy, journalist S.Sivanayagam, LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham, EROS-LTTE commander Balraj, government official Marianpillai Anthonimuthu, Batticaloa Citizen Committee leader Sam Tambimuttu, Catholic priest Father Chandra, LTTE commander Kumarappa and EPRLF spokesman Loganathan Ketheeswaran. It is rather ironic that quite a number among these met with untimely deaths subsequently.
Annaraj, M.S. & Fr Paul Caspersz Ed – Literature as Social Text: Dreamboats: Short Stories from the Sri Lankan Plantations, Satyodaya Centre, Kandy, Sri Lanka, 2004.
Arulanantham, Karunyan: Victims of War in Sri Lanka – A Quest for Health Consensus, Tamil Information Centre, London, 1995
Arumugam, Sanmugam – Dictionary of Biography of the Tamils of Ceylon
…This compilation portrays the profiles of over 775 Ceylon Tamils, who have contributed some good to the community. They range from the eminent to the not so eminent and span centuries, from the era of the Tamil Kings of Jaffna to the present time… more
Balasingham, Anton: Politics of Duplicity, Published by Fairmax Publishing Ltd, 2000
The author of this study, Anton Balasingham, is the political advisor and theoretician of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the politico-military organisation of the Tamil people inhabiting the North-eastern region of Sri Lanka… more
Balasingham, Anton: War and Peace: Armed Struggle and Peace Efforts of Liberation Tigers, 2004
Balasingham, Adele: Will to Freedom, The: An Inside View of Tamil Resistance (Fairmax Publishing Ltd., Mitcham, 2001), 380 pp.
Balasingham, Ann Adele. Women Fighters of Liberation Tigers, LTTE International Secretariat, London, 1993
*Blodgett, Brian : Sri Lanka’s military: The Search For A Mission, July 2004
“This book explores the change of Sri Lanka’s military’s mission from protecting the country from external threats to countering insurgencies. From 1947 to 2004, Sri Lanka’s military has searched for a mission. When its initial worry of an invasion by India did not materialize, the military turned its focus on internal insurrection. With an expected end to the 20-year conflict between the Jaffna Tamils and the Sinhalese government, the military’s mission will return to external defense. However, without significant external or internal threats, the government will neglect the military and it will again become incapable of defending against any threat. This book exams all aspects of the three services (army, navy, and air force). Each chapter covers a decade of history and includes each service’s mission, operations, doctrine and tactics, command and organization, weapon procurement and existing weapons, personnel, retention, recruitment, training, and summaries of each decade.”
Bose, Sumantra: States, Nations, Sovereignty- Sri Lanka, India and the Tamil Eelam Movement, Sage Publications, London, 1994
“Demands for ‘national self determination’ are, in one sense, therefore also a struggle for a higher form of democracy. It must then be recognised that ‘post-colonial liberation movements’ far from being inherently ‘undemocratic’, ‘subversive’, ‘terrorist’ ad infinitum, are often the most effective medium for democratic assertion by social groups who have been deprived of equal citizenship rights, who have been subjected to state oppression. This is something that is true from Palestine to Kashmir, from Kurdistan to Tamil Ceylon…
The political and philosophical vision that is required today has been eloquently articulated, ironically enough, by radical Tamil nationalists (‘chauvinists’ and ‘separatist terrorists’, according to the official wisdom), in 1985: “We know that in the end, national freedom can only be secured by a voluntary pooling of sovereignties, in a regional and ultimately in a world context. And we recognise that our future lies with the peoples of the Indian region, and that the path of a greater and larger union is the (eventual) direction of that future. It is a union that will reflect the compelling and inevitable need for a common market and a common defence and foreign policy, and which will be rooted in the common heritage that we share with our brothers and sisters not only of Tamil Nadu but also of India as a whole. It is a shared heritage that we freely acknowledge and it is shared heritage from which we derive strength – and we know, that we too, as a people, can contribute to that strength.” more
Bright, Jagat Singh. Ceylon Kicks India, Streamlines Publishers Pvt.Ltd, Cochin, India, 1983
*Bullion, Alan J. India, Sri Lanka and the Tamil crisis, 1976-94 London ; New York : Pinter, 1995.
*Burrow S.M. – Buried Cities of Ceylon, 1999
*Chattopadhyaya H.P. –Ethnic Unrest in Modern Sri Lanka : An Account of Tamil-Sinhalese Race Relations 1994
Committee for Rational Development. Sri Lanka – the Ethnic Conflict- Myths, Realities & Perspectives, Navrang, New Delhi, 1984
*Depinder Singh – The IPKF in Sri Lanka Hardcover, Published 1992
Neil Devotta – From ethnic outbidding to ethnic conflict: the institutional bases for Sri Lanka’s separatist war – Journal of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism Vol. 11(1), 2005, 141-159
*Dixit, J N : Assignment Colombo, Konarak Publishers, 1998, Rs 400. 393pp Copies of the book may be obtained from Mr K P R Nair, Konarak Publishers, A-149, Main Vikas Marg, New Delhi 110 001. [see also J.N. Dixit on India’s Role in the Struggle for Tamil Eelam]
Book Note by Sachi Sri Kantha – Jyotindra Nath Dixit served as India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, from April 1985 to April 1989, a critically tumultous period of recent times. This book is Dixit’s version of history, in the events he played a prominent role, which include the ill-fated Rajiv Gandhi-Jayewardene Accord (1987) and induction of Indian army in Eelam. Undoubtedly the book presents a slanted view promoting the ‘India knows best on what’s good for Eelam Tamils’; but, the bias is mildly counter-balanced by Dixit’s frank appraisals on the duplicity of Sinhalese politicians and perceptions on Pirabhakaran’s tenacity and valor to defend the rights of Tamils.
*Dubey, Ravi Kant – Indo-Sri Lankan Relations : With Special Reference to the Tamil Problem Deep & Deep Publications, New Delhi, 1989
Emmanuel, S.J:. Church, Politics & War in Shri Lanka, Centre for Society & Religion, Colombo, 1994
Emmanuel, S.J.: Let My People Go – Published by the Tamil Catholic Chaplaincy, Germany, 1997
Enriquez C.M – Ceylon: Past and Present
Tennet J. Emerson – Ceylon in 2 Vols
Farmer, Bertram H: Ceylon – A Divided Nation (Oxford University Press, 1963), 74 pp.
Book Note by Sachi Sri Kantha – Rather than a book, this is a booklet, as indicated by the author in his Introduction. Lucidly written, this is the first work by a ‘foreigner’ [a Fellow of Cambridge University] to prophesy the disintegration of a ‘contraption’ called ‘unified Ceylon’, which was created by the British colonial policies in 1833. The title says it all. The booklet’s another plus point is it’s foreword, written by Viscount Soulbury, where the architect of the island’s second major constitutional reform in the 20th century provides a belated mea culpa for his short-sightedness. To quote Soulbury, “Unhappily and for reasons indicated by Mr.Farmer, the death of Mr.D.S.Senanayake led to the eventual adoption of a different policy which he would never have countenanced. Needless to say the consequences have been a bitter disappointment to myself and my fellow Commissioners.”
Fonseka, Carlo: Towards a peaceful Sri Lanka : six introductory seminars for university students, Helsinki : World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University, c1990, Series title: Research for action
*Fries, Yvonne – The Undesirables : The Expatriation of the Tamil People of Recent Indian Origin from the Plantations in Sri Lanka to India / Hardcover / Published1985
* Gnanaprakasar, Nalloor Swamy Critical History of Jaffna: The Tamil Era 2003 Reprint Edition,172pp
Goodhart, Lord William et al. Judicial Independence in Sri Lanka – Report of a Mission to Sri Lanka (14-23 September 1977) by the Centre for the Independence of Judges and lawyers, Geneva Switzerland, 1998
Gunaratna, Malinga H. The Plantation Raj, H.W.Cave & Co.Ltd,Colombo, Sri Lanka, 1980
Gunaratna, Rohan. Indian intervention in Sri Lanka : the role of India’s intelligence agencies 1961-Colombo : South Asian Network on Conflict Research, 1993.
Gunaratna, Rohan. Sri Lanka, a lost revolution? : the inside story of the JVP 1961- Kandy, Sri Lanka : Institute of Fundamental Studies, 1990.
Gunaratna, Rohan. War & Peace in Sri Lanka, with a post-accord report from Jaffna, introduction by Ralph Buultjens.1961-Colombo : Institute of Fundamental Studies, Sri Lanka, 1987.
Gunasingham, Murugesar : Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism – A Study of its Origins, MV Publications, P.O.Box 271, Kingswood, Sydney, NSW 2747, Australia
Gunasingham , M – Primary Sources for History of the Sri Lankan Tamils – World Wide Search
Major General Harkirat Singh (Retd.) – Intervention in Sri Lanka: The IPKF Experience Retold, 2007
Hellmann-Rajanayagam, Dagmar. The Tamil Tigers : Armed Struggle for Identity Stuttgart : F. Steiner, 1994, Series title: Beitrage zur Sudasienforschung ; Bd. 157.
Holmes, Robert W.: Jaffna (Sri Lanka) 1980 (The Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society, Jaffna College, Jaffna, 1980), 542 pp.
Book Note by Sachi Sri Kantha – A sound and clean ethnological portrayal of Jaffna society – the city and the peninsula – in the 20th century, before the emergence of Velupillai Pirabhakaran and LTTE, by an American historian. Sadly, the Jaffna described by Robert Holmes in 1980 is no more now. Still, the book is worth for reading, for author’s insight as a non-Tamil who had lived in Jaffna for more than a decade, from 1948 to 1960 and taught at Jaffna College, Vaddukoddai.
Hoole, Rajan et al. The Broken Palmyra – The Tamil Crisis in Sri Lanka ,The Sri Lanka Studies Institute, Claremont, CA 1988, Revised 1990, 464pp
Book Note by Sachi Sri Kantha – This book provides a good chronological synopsis of events which happened in the Jaffna peninsula from 1983 to 1989. The demerits of the book are, the sociological and psychological interpretations relating to the birth and growth of LTTE, which are biased and filled with half-baked criticism. In search for their ‘truth in all its nakedness’, the four authors pointed accusing fingers on Tamil society as a whole. Thus, the book took an easy route to popularity among the anti-LTTE pundits in Colombo and Chennai. [see also review]
* Hoole, Rajan – Sri Lanka: The Arrogance of Power: Myths, Decadence & Murder
* Hyndman, Patricia. Sri Lanka – Serendipity under Siege, Spokesman, Bertrand Russel House, Gamble Street, Nottingham, England
K. Indrapala –Evolution Of An Ethnic Identity – The Tamils in Sri Lanka C. 300 BCE to C. 1200 CE
Ivan, Victor – Road to Conflict – Sri Lanka in Crisis
J.R. Jayawardene – Men and Memories: Autobiographical Recollections and Reflections
Karthigasoo Jeganathan – Memories are Forever, 2005
*Kadian, Rajesh. India’s Sri Lanka Fiasco, Vision Books, NewDelhi, 1990
*Kapferer, Bruce – Legends of People, Myths of State : Violence, Intolerance and Political Culture in Sri Lanka and Australia (Smithsonian Series in Ethnographic inquiry / Paperback / Published 1998
Kaarthikeyan, D.R. and Radhavinod Raju: Triumph of Truth – The Rajiv Gandhi Assassination – The Investigation, New Dawn Press Inc, New Delhi, 2004, 261 plus xxv pp
* Leary, Virginia. Ethnic Conflict and Violence in Sri Lanka, International Commission of Jurists,Geneva, 1983
*Little, David – Sri Lanka : The Invention of Enmity (Series on Religion, Nationalism, and Intolerance) Us Institute for Peace, Paperback / Published 1994
Livingstone, Samuel. The Sinhalese of Ceylon and the Aryan Theory, Published by M.S.Seevaratnam, Kodavil, 1987
Makenthiran, Suppiramaniam – Tamils in Independent Ceylon, 2003
*Manogaran,Chelvadurai and Pfaffenberger, Bryan. – The Sri Lankan Tamils : Ethnicity and Identity, Westview softcover ed. Boulder : Westview Press, 1994.
*Manogaran, Chelvadurai – Ethnic Conflict and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka, University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 1987, 232 pp.
Book Note by Sachi Sri Kantha – The author states in his preface, why he wrote this book; “There has been no comprehensive study by geographers of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka which has been partially caused by the inability of a community to preserve and develop a well-defined geographical region considered to be its traditional homeland. My aim has been to analyze among other factors the geographical determinants of the conflict, especially those dealing with the allocation of water on a spatial basis for agricultural development and land settlement.” Of the five chapters which makes the book, the third chapter entitled, ‘Tamil Districts: Conflict over Traditional Homelands, Colonization and Agricultural Development’ is a valuable one.
Manogaran, Chelvadurai – The untold story of ancient Tamils in Sri Lanka:Kumaran Publishers, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 2000
*Manor, James. Ed.Sri Lanka in Change and Crisis , Croom Helm,London & Sydney, 1984
*Matakal Mayilvakanap Pulavar – Yalpana Vaipava Malai or the History of Kingdom of Jaffna
*McGowan,William. Only Man is Vile – the Tragedy of Sri Lanka, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1992
* Mendis G.C. – Early History of Ceylon
*Misra, S.S. Ethnic conflict and security crisis in Sri Lanka, Delhi : Kalinga Publications, 1995.
* Muttuttampippillai, A: Jaffna History 2nd Edition pp 170
Nadesan, Somasunderam.: The JVP Insurgency of 1971, The Nadesan Centre for Human Rights through Law, Colombo, 1988
*Narayan Swamy, M.R. – Tigers of Lanka From Boys to Guerrillas / Hardcover / Published: January 1994, 2nd Edition with Epilogue, 1996, 358pp
“….Velupillai Pirabaharan was born in Jaffna hospital on November 26, 1954 when Tamil-Sinhalese relations were inching towards a flash point. He was the youngest of four children of Vallipuram Parvathi and Thiruvenkatam Velupillai. Theirs was a typical middle class family where the youngest was the darling of all…The Tiger was the insignia of the ancient Tamil Chola kingdom, and Pirabaharan was visibly enthusiastic when the logo was first shown to him… His motto was talk little and hear more…” [see also excerpts]
Book Note by Sachi Sri Kantha – An Indian journalist’s version of the origin and growth of LTTE, from late 1970s to 1991. An epilogue, inserted in the 2nd edition, provides author’s impressions on the ‘Fall of Jaffna in December 1995’. Though sympathetic to the Indian interests, the book provides a readable account on the strengths of LTTE and its leader. The last three sentences in the epilogue are prophetic; “If the LTTE’s posturings were not enough, Kumaratunga has vowed not to talk to the Tigers until they lay down their weapons, obviously aware that it is one demand which Prabhakaran would never, never agree to. Even if the two sides agree one day to talk through a mediator, one cannot be very optimistic. And whether you like the LTTE or not, whether the other Tamil groups whole-heartedly back a devolution package or not, no peace process can succeed in the
Narayan Swamy, M.R. – Inside an Elusive Mind – Prabhakaran Published by Literate World, Inc, USA, 2003
Navaratnam, V – The Fall and Rise of the Tamil Nationpublished by the Tamilian Library, Montreal and Toronto – 1995 (purchase inquiries to P.O.Box 70, La Prairie, Quebec, J5R3Y1, Canada)
Nissan, Elizabeth et al.- Accord: An International Review of Peace Initiatives – Special Edition on Sri Lanka, August 1998
Nyrop, Richard et al: Area Handbook for Ceylon (Foreign Area Studies [FAS], U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1971), 523 pp.
Book Note by Sachi Sri Kantha – This multi-authored comprehensive handbook was prepared by the American University, Washington DC, in four sections and 25 chapters “to be useful to military and other personnel who need a convenient compilation of basic facts…”. Though the information presented in three sections (political, economic and national security) consisting of 13 chapters are dated now and only of interest for historical purposes, the information provided in the first 12 chapters, pages 1 to 224 – ethnological and anthropological facets – are still of value for students of Sri Lankan history.
*O’Ballance, Edgar.The Cyanide War : Tamil Insurrection in Sri Lanka, 1973-88 , Brassey’s (UK), Maxwell Pergamon Publishing Corporation, London,1989
Oette, Lutz. The International Crime of Genocide – The Case of the Tamil People in Sri Lanka, Published by the Tamil Information Centre, London, 1997
Ostrovsky, Victor and Hoy, Claire. By Way of Deception; The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer,St.Martin’sPress, New York, 1990
*Palanithurai.G, Mohanasundaram, Dynamics of Tamil Nadu politics in Sri Lankan ethnicity New Delhi : Northern Book Centre, 1993
Parameswaran, N – Early Tamils of Lanka – Ilankai (purchase inquiries to K.Rajendra, 75 Walpole Road, London E17 6PS
* Parker H – Ancient Ceylon
* Pieris P.E. – Ceylon and the Hollanders (1658 – 1790)
* Pieris P.E. – Ceylon and the Portuguese (1505 – 1658)
* Pieris P.E – Tri Sinhala – the Last Phase (1796-1815)
Percival R – Account of the island of Ceylon
* Pettigrew, Joyce ed. Martyrdom and Political Resistance : Essays from Asia and Europe (Comparative Asian Studies, 18) published by VU University Press for Centre Asian Studies, Amsterdam and is essential reading for those seeking to further their understanding of the continuing struggles for freedom in many parts of the world.
From the Preface: “New nations are formed within post-colonial states and old nations gain their freedom from recent empires. At a time like that, it seems pertinent to consider the role of traditions of martyrdom in shaping and sustaining political resistance. This collection of essays, dealing among others with Sikhs in the Punjab. Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka and the IRA in Northern Ireland. explores the social variables that allow the martyr’s sacrifice to be effectively utilized by a political movement. The essays consider how various forms of social association as well as religious and historical tradition influence the place of the martyr in a resistance struggle and describe the differing social and political processes that affect martyr authentication.”
Piyadasa, L. Sri Lanka – The Unfinished Quest for Peace, Marram Books, London, 1988
*Piyadasa, L. Sri Lanka: The Holocaust and After, Marram Books,London, 1984
*Piyasena, S & R. Y. Senadheera – India, “We Tamils”, and Sri Lanka, Hardcover / Date Published: January 1987
Ponnamblam, Satchi. Sri Lanka: The National Question and the Tamil Liberation Struggle, Tamil Information Centre, London and Zed Books Ltd, London – 1983
Ponniah, S – Satyagraha and the Freedom Movements of the Tamils 1956 to 1961
Prabhakaran – A Leader for All Seasons – Glimpses of the Man behind the Leader – Published by the International Federation of Tamils, 2004
“இத்தலைவனின் சொற்களில் ஆவேசமும் உண்டு அன்பும் உண்டு. நிதானமும் உண்டு தீர்க்கதரிசனமும் உண்டு. ‘உள்ளத்தில் உண்மையொளி உண்டாயின் வாக்கினிலே ஒளியுண்டாம்” என்று அன்று பாரதி பாடிய கவிதைக்கு இத்தலைவன் இலக்கணமாக விளங்குகிறான்…” more
Rasanayagam, Mudaliar C. :Yalppanac carittiram – History of Jaffna – August 1999
* Richardson, John: Paradise Poisoned: Learning About Conflict, Terrorism and Development from Sri Lanka’s Civil Wars, 2005
Roberts, Michael. Ed. Collective Identities, Nationalisms and Protest in Modern Sri Lanka, Marga Institute, Colombo, 1979
Rupesinghe, Kumar & Verstappen, Berth.Ed. Ethnic Conflict and Human Rights in Sri Lanka: An Annotated Bibiliography, Hans Zell Publishers,London, 1989
Russel, Jane.: Communal Politics under the Donoughmore Constitution 1931-1947 (1982), 358 pp.
This is a 1976 doctoral degree thesis of British political scientist (born 1950) on the late British period of the island history. It provides a good focus on the origin of Sinhala-Tamil crisis in the 1930s, with S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike and G.G.Ponnambalam at opposite ends. Between 1973-1976, Russell had interviewed and corresponded with leading political players and the then ‘budding talents’ of the 1930s decade, such as S.Handy Perinbanayagam, C.Suntheralingam, Sir John Kotelawala, P.de S.Kularatne, G.G.Ponnambalam, A.Ratnayake, Colvin R.de Silva, M.Vythilingam, J.R.Jayewardene and Dr.S.A.Wickremasinghe.
Sahadevan, P. : India and overseas Indians : the Case of Sri Lanka, Delhi : Kalinga Publications, 1995.; Series title: International studies (Delhi, India)
Samarasinghe, S.W.R. de A. and Samarasinghe Vidyamali.: Historical Dictionary of Sri Lanka (Scarecrow Press, Lanham, MD, 1998), 214 pp.
Book Note by Sachi Sri Kantha – A handy reference book, providing a chronology of important events which had occurred in Ceylon since 10,000 BC to the end of 1995. The main text consists of brief sketches of notable personalities, parties and events in 269 entries from A to Z. Majority of the entries related to only the 20th century. Among the 23 personalities who receive individual recognition, Tamils are represented by only three individuals; alphabetically, Amirthalingam, Chelvanayakam and Pirabhakaran. Authors being Sinhalese, subtle anti-Tamil bias is revealed in the interpretation of the events described.
Satyendra, Nadesan – Thirteenth Amendment to Sri Lanka Constitution, London Tamil Forum, 1988
Sardeshpande, S.C. – Assignment Jaffna – IPKF in Sri Lanka, Published 1992
“….Used as we are to wars of a fortnight or three weeks, the CI Ops against the LTTE in Sri Lanka, which went on for nearly two and a half years, proved indeed tough – and to many, too much. Careerists suffered a great deal. Calculations of many went awry and many were `found out’ if not found wanting. Large numbers felt uncomfortable, dissipated, disheartened. Some were dispirited, on the verge of tears. The contagion spread to the families of not only officers but jawans also. One common question most earnestly asked was: ‘When will our husbands return?’ People, village elders, old veterans, friends back home asked: `What are you doing in Sri Lanka’? We quietly asked ourselves: `What are we achieving?’
*Seevaratnam, N. Ed., The Tamil National Question and the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord, Konark Publishers Pvt.Ltd., Delhi, India, 1989
*Senaratne, Jagath P : Political violence in Sri Lanka, 1977-1990 : riots, insurrections,
Sieghart, Paul. Sri Lanka – A Mounting Tragedy of Errors, International Commission of Jurists and Justice, London, 1984
+Marshall R. Singer – Tamil – Sinhalese Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka: A Case Study in Efforts to Negotiate a Settlement, 1983-1988 Paperback, Published 1994
Marshall R. Singer: * The Emerging Elite : A Study of Political Leadership in Ceylon,1964
Sivanandan, Ambalavaner. Ed. Sri Lanka Racism and the Authoritarian State, Institute of Race Relations, London, 1984
Sivanandan, Ambalavaner: * When Memory Dies, 1998
* Sivathamby, Karthigesu (Civattampi, Kåarttikåecu) – Sri Lankan Tamil society and politics
Spencer, Jonathan. Ed. Sri Lanka, History and Roots of Conflict, Routledge, London and New York
**Somasundaram, Daya: Scarred Minds : The Psychological Impact of War on Sri Lankan Tamils
Sachi Sri Kantha – Pirabhakaran Phenomenon, 2005
+Suryanarayan, V. Sri Lankan Crisis and India’s Response. New Delhi : Patriot Publishers, 1991.
*Tambiah, Stanley Jeyaraja.: Sri Lanka – Ethnic Fratricide and the Dismantling of Democracy (Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1986), 198 pp.
Book Note by Sachi Sri Kantha – In author’s words, “This is an ‘engaged political tract’ rather than a ‘distanced academic treatise’…This essay was completed more or less in its present form by July 1984…” Thus, this tract of Harvard University anthropologist Tambiah provides a solid ethnographic and political background to the origin of LTTE. Tambiah has analyzed the July 1983 anti-Tamil riots perceptively. This is one work where I found the nefarious deeds of race baiter Caluwadewage Cyril Mathew (of UNP) has been briefly exposed. However, the name of SLFP’s Badiuddin Mahmud (whose deeds preceded that of Cyril Mathew, in antagonizing the young Tamils from the Sinhalese and also created friction between Tamils and Muslims) has been left out.
Professor Tambiah’s summary of the strong Tamil influence in contemporary Sinhalese culture, since the 13th century, is of merit. For this summary, Tambiah had relied on the research findings of historians G.C.Mendis, Lorna Dewaraja and anthropologists Gananath Obeyesekere and H.L.Seneviratne. Nearly two centuries of acculturation among the settlers from Tamil Nadu and Kerala who resided in the coastal belt of Puttalam, Negombo and Colombo districts and thus have switched their ethnic identities as Sinhalese is also touched upon.
Tambiah, Stanley Jeyaraja – Buddhism Betrayed? – Religion, Politics & Violence in Sri Lanka,University of Chicago Press, 1992, 203pp
A controversial book by one of the leading anthropologists of our generation. It stirred the proverbial hornet’s nest in Sri Lanka. The book tells the story of how Sinhala Buddhist priests (known as bhikkus in local lingo) belonging to the three sects – namely Siam Nikaya, Amarapura Nikaya and Ramana Nikaya – influenced the Sinhalese politics in the island from 1880s to 1980s. Anti-Tamil riots of 1958 and 1983 are chronicled, but the 1977 anti-Tamil riots have been overlooked. The raw material for the book was based on the published literature of Sinhalese academics such as K.N..Dharmadasa, K.M.de Silva, Gananath Obeyesekere and Kumari Jayewardene. [see also Back Cover of Book & short excerpt]
Thornton, E.M. & Niththyananthan, R. Sri Lanka, Island of Terror – An Indictment, Eelam Research Organisation, (ISBN 0 9510073 0 0), 1984
Thirunavukarasu, M – Broken Promises – An Historical Record of How Sinhala Leaders Make and Break Pledges, Published by the International Federation of Tamils, 1995
“Enemy Lines captures the extraordinary story of boys and girls coming of age during a civil war. Margaret Trawick lived and worked in Batticaloa in eastern Sri Lanka, where thousands of youths have been recruited into the Sri Lankan armed resistance movement known as the Tamil Tigers. This compelling account of her experiences is a powerful exploration of how children respond to the presence of war and how adults have responded to the presence of children in this conflict. Her beautifully written account, which includes voices of the teenagers and young adults who have joined the Tamil Tigers, brings alive a region where childhood, warfare, and play have become commingled in a world of continuous uncertainty.”
**Vanniasingham, Somasundaram. Sri Lanka: The Conflict Within, Sangam Books Ltd., London, 1989
*Venkatachalam, M.S. Genocide in Sri Lanka, forewords by M. Sivasithamparam, A. Amirthalingam Delhi, India : Gian Pub. House, c1987.
விழுதாகி வேருமாகி …..போரியல் பதிவுகள் –
Vittachi, Tarzie. Emergency ’58 – The Story of the Ceylon Race Riots, (also in Word format) Andre Deutsch, 1958
from the Preface – “The people of Ceylon have seen how the mutual respect and good will which existed between two races for several hundred years was destroyed within the relatively brief period of thirty months. This book, most of which was written during those long, tense curfew nights of May and June 1958, is a record of the events, passions and under-currents which led to the recent communal crisis, and of the more remarkable instances of man’s inhumanity to man in those hate-filled days. It is also an account of the rapid disintegration of the old-established order of social and economic relationships in so far as it contributed towards the disaster which overtook the country… Many Ceylonese-Sinhalese and Tamils-lost their lives in the riots of May and June. Many of them lost their children, their property, their means of livelihood and some even their reason. In Colombo, Jaffna, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa, Eravur, Kurunegala and many other places where the two communities clashed the ugly scars will remain tender long after time has buried the physical signs of chaos. There is no sense in putting the blame on one community or the other. A race cannot be held responsible for the bestiality of some of its members… Emergency ’58 ends with a question: ‘Have we come to the parting of the ways?’ Many thoughtful people believe that we have. Others, more hopeful, feel that the bloodbath we have emerged from has purified the national spirit and given people a costly lesson in humility… The story of the race riots of 1958 is a story of violence, unreason, anger, jealousy, fear, cynicism, vengeance and many other states of heart and mind which the people of Ceylon experienced. I have presented it like that and, therefore, I will freely admit that Emergency ’58 is opinionated. But I make one claim for the book: it has been written with the old journalistic saw in mind :facts are sacred, comment is free…”
*Watson, Ian Bruce (Editor), Sri Gamage (Editor) Conflict and Community in Contemporary Sri Lanka : ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ or ‘the Island of Tears (Studies on Contemporary South Asia, 3) / Paperback / Published 1999
Bradman Weerakoon – Rendering Unto Caesar: Memoirs of a Sinhalese Bureaucrat, Vijitha Publications, Colombo, 2004, 396 pp.
Whall, Helena J. The Right to Self-Determination – The Sri Lankan Tamil National Question, Tamil Information Centre, London, 1995
Wickremasinghe, Surya. Ed. An Untimely Death – A Commemmoration of K.Kanthasamy, Published by Maheswary Velautham for the Kanthasamy Commemoration Committee, Colombo, 1989
* Wijemanne, Adrian – War and Peace in Post Colonial Ceylon1948-1991, Orient Longman, 1996
*Wijesinha, Rajiva. Current Crisis in Sri Lanka , New Delhi : Navrang, 1986.
* Wijesinha, Rajiva, Civil strife in Sri Lanka : the United National Party government, 1989-94 Colombo : McCallum Books, c1995
* Wijesinha, Rajiva – Sri Lanka in crisis, 1977-88: J.R. Jayawardene and the erosion of democracy
Book Note by Sachi Sri Kantha – If one wants to learn how the Jaffna society looked like 100 years ago, this is the book to read. The author Leonard Woolf (1880-1969), the husband of equally famous Virginia Woolf nee Stephen landed in Jaffna, at a tender age of 24, as a rookie civil servant of the then British Empire. Woolf had reminisced about his stay in Jaffna (1905-1907) tenderly as an ‘innocent imperialist’. On the pitfalls of describing from memory the events which occurred more than five decades earlier, Woolf had disarmed the reader with a charming caveat;
“I have tried in the following pages to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, but of course I have not succeeded. I do not think that I have anywhere deliberately manipulated or distorted the truth into untruth, but I am sure that one sometimes does this unconsciously. In autobiography – or at any rate in my autobiography – distortion of truth comes frequently from the difficulty of remembering accurately the sequence of events, the temporal perspective.”
After serving in Jaffna, Woolf was posted to Kandy and then promoted as Assistant Government Agent to Hambantota. While serving in Kandy, Woolf was privileged to view the so-called ‘sacred tooth relic’ of Lord Buddha. His verdict is blasphemous to Sinhalese Buddhists. To quote, “I have seen it, as I said, at close quarters three times and I should say that, whatever else it may be, it has never been a human tooth. If my memory is correct, it is a canine tooth, about three inches long and curved.” (p.144).
* Wright, Amold – Ceylon – Twentieth Century Impressions
* Wriggins, Howard W: Ceylon – Dilemmas of a New Nation (Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1960), 506 pp.
Book Note by Sachi Sri Kantha – A worthy analysis covering the political development of Ceylon from 1931 to the end of 1958, just before the assassination of the then prime minister S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike. Wriggins subsequently served as the American ambassador to Sri Lanka, during President Jimmy Carter’s period. What Wriggins inferred in his concluding chapter on the political institutions is remarkably true, even now. To quote, “Political parties are loose, personal associations rather than organized parties. They lack orderly and accepted ways of changing or confirming leaders, for sounding out memership opinion, or for resolving internal differences.”