Posts Categorized: History

13 Years Ago Today – A Massacre in Mullivaikkal

by Tamil Guardian, London, May 18, 2022 Photograph: A scene of devastation in Mullivaikkal pictured days after the Sri Lankan military had overrun the area. Marking 13 years since the Sri Lankan military onslaught that massacred tens of thousands of Tamils, we revisit the final days leading up to the 18th of May 2009 – a date remembered… Read more »

What are Thermobaric and Cluster Bombs?

A look at their use by the Sri Lankan army by Tamil Guardian, London, March 2, 2022 Russian manufactured cluster bombs used by the Sri Lankan military, photographed in Vanni, 2008. As Russia continues its offensive in Ukraine, it has been accused of launching deadly types of weaponry during its assault – thermobaric and cluster… Read more »

Sex, Repression & Sanskritization in Sri Lanka 1987

The 1987 Stirling Award Essay by Dennis McGilvray, Ethos, American Anthropological Association, Vol. 16, No. 2 (June 1988), pp. 99-127 The_1987_Stirling_Award_Essay_Sex_Repres Since 1952, when the concept of Sanskritization was first utilized by M. N. Srinivas in his study of the Coorgs of western India, the idea has been a useful, if at times ambiguous, tool… Read more »

Decoding Don Stephen Senanayake (1884 -1952)

On his 70th death anniversary by Prof. Alfred Jayaratnam Wilson, Lanka Guardian, a 4 part series starting January 1, 1992   Front Note by Sachi Sri Kantha Don Stephen Senanayake (popularly abbreviated by his initials D.S.), the first prime minister of independent Ceylon, died on March 22, 1952. While he has been touted as the… Read more »

How Britain Stole $45 Trillion from India

And lied about it by Jason Hickel, Al Jazeera, Dubai, December 19, 2018 There is a story that is commonly told in Britain that the colonisation of India – as horrible as it may have been – was not of any major economic benefit to Britain itself. If anything, the administration of India was a cost to… Read more »

The Year of Darkness

by Sumi Moonesinghe, The Island, Colombo, February 6, 2022 narrated to Savitri Rodrigo July 1983 was one of the darkest months this country has ever experienced. It was then that I saw my countrymen turn on each other and where barbarism outweighed every Buddhist precept upon which the country had built its foundations. Black July… Read more »

A Multispecies History of the Ceylon Pearl Fishery 1800–1925

Seeing like the sea by Tamara Fernando,  Past & Present, Volume 254, Issue 1, February 2022, Pages 127–160, https://doi.org/10.1093/pastj/gtab002 Published: 21 September 2021 PDF Abstract The pearl fishery of Ceylon was a lucrative source of pearls as well as a theatre of colonial power. But instead of narrating a story of abstracted governmentality, this paper dives below… Read more »

Mystery of the Murder of an American Priest in Batticaloa

The truth that came out 30 years later! [translated from the Tamil by Google Translate with some edits] by Niraj David, TamilWin, ~December 15, 2021 His name was Rev Fr. Eugene John Hebert. The locals affectionately call him Father Haybier. He belonged to Congregation of Jesus Christ of America and was a famous human rights… Read more »

The Tamils are the Original Inhabitants of Sri Lanka

by CV. Wigneswaran, Colombo Telegraph, December 16, 2021 C. V. Wigneswaran Someone asked me; We read in the press your response to a question recently. You seem to be making sweeping statements about the Sinhalese. As far as we know the Sinhalese were the original inhabitants of this Island and the Tamils came in the… Read more »

How the Tigers Got Their Stripes

A Case Study of the LTTE’s Rise to Power by Kate Cronin-Furman & Mario Arulthas, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism (Special Issue on Consolidation of Nonstate Armed Actors in Fragmented Conflicts), Washington, DC, December 27, 2021 Abstract Over the course of six months in 1986, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) eliminated their rival… Read more »

An Ancient Rice Bowl Complicates the Story of Civilisation

in India by The Economist, London, December 4, 2021 In Tamil Nadu, archaeology is part of a contest over history and identity CHENNAI Rarely can a spoonful of rice have caused such a stir. When M.K. Stalin, chief minister of Tamil Nadu, addressed the south Indian state’s legislature on September 9th, he celebrated a musty… Read more »

Explainer: What the Most Recent Archaeological Findings

in Tamil Nadu’s Sivakalai Mean by Kavitha Muralidharan, The Wire India, September 10, 2021 Discoveries at sites in Tamil Nadu are expected to highlight, or even recast, a part of Indian history that has thus far languished in the shadows of the Indus Valley civilisation. Chennai: On September 9, Tamil Nadu chief minister M.K. Stalin declared… Read more »

The Archeology of Buddhism

by Jason D. Hawkes, University of Leiden, February-May 2021 13 lecture series at The Archaeology of Buddhism – Leiden University MediaSpace™ video portal Colonial origins of South Asian archeology, Lecture 1.3 at The Archaeology of Buddhism, Lecture 1.3 – Leiden University MediaSpace™ video portal

Remembering the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact of 1957

by Tamil Guardian, London, July 26, 2020 Bandaranaike and Chelvanayakam in 1957. On 26th July 1957, Sri Lankan Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike and the leader of the Federal Party SJV Chelvanayakam signed a deal, that contained provisions for the recognition of Tamil as the language of administration for the Northern and Eastern provinces, which came to be… Read more »

An Ancient Harappan Genome

Lacks Ancestry from Steppe Pastoralists or Iranian Farmers by Vasant Shinde, Vagheesh M. Narasimhan, Nadin Rohland, Swapan Mallick, Matthew Mah, Mark Lipson, Nathan Nakatsuka,  Nicole Adamski, Nasreen Broomandkhoshbacht, Matthew Ferry, Ann Marie Lawson, Megan Michel, Jonas Oppenheimer, Kristin Stewardson, Nilesh Jadhav, Yong Jun Kim, Malavika Chatterjee, Avradeep Munshi, Amrithavalli Panyam, Pranjali Waghmare, Yogesh Yadav, Himani… Read more »

‘Early Indians’ Review

Who we are and where do we come from by Sujatha Byravan, ‘TheHindu,’ Chennai, January 19, 2019 A compelling story of new DNA findings, tracing the people of India from prehistory to near history Between 45,000 and 20,000 years ago, most of humanity lived in South Asia, reflecting the unmatched population expansion of people living… Read more »

Interview by an IDP in 2009

Interview of an IDP by MANISATNEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM (originally on YouTube) in Tamil in 2009  Figurative translation into English by Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam, Ph.D. (Cornell) in November 2021 The host warned the young people who are not strong enough to see tragic scenes not to watch.  She said that what you are about to see is what the… Read more »

TG: Obituary – Mangala Samaraweera

by Tamil Guardian View, London, August 26, 2021 Mangala Samaraweera, a formidable figure in Sri Lankan politics who previously held several ministerial posts, passed away from COVID-19 at a private hospital in Colombo this week. News of his death was met with international tributes from senior political figures worldwide, including the United States, UK, Europe and… Read more »

Postscript on Mullaitivu Falls to Tamil Forces in 1803

by By V P Lingajothy Esq, August 25, 2021 Mullaitivu Falls to the Tamil Forces 210 Years Ago Today Postscript: After writing the above historical essay on Vanni on the 25th of August 2013 in order to commemorate the 210th year anniversary of the capture of Mullaitivu fort by Pandaravanniyan and allied forces led by… Read more »