Posts Categorized: Military

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 http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=79&artid=36552 and “Amparai GA, DS Officials Step Up Sinhalicization of Batticalow” at http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=36567 2.) International Crisis Group “Sri Lanka’ North II: Rebuilding Under the Military,” 16 March, 2012 at http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-asia/sri-lanka/220-sri-lankas-north-ii-rebuilding-under-the-military.pdf 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.

Military has Displaced Northern People

In Jaffna District in a place called Valikamam North, more than 10,000 acres of land which belong to people are now controlled by the Army. They are not allowing the people to go back to their land. Now the Government is trying to acquire the land for the purpose of putting up new military camps. These are fertile lands. People who own these lands want their land back. This is only one example. Likewise, there are several hundreds and thousands of people in Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya and Mannar whose land has been forcibly occupied by the military. We feel that the military is going to permanently keep these lands for themselves…

In Sri Lanka there are 200,000 Army personnel and 150,000 are stationed in the Northern Province. That is unnecessary.

Field Report: Jaffna and Killinochchi Districts

This visit demonstrated yet again the persistence of land problems, recently compounded by policy directives that may lead to the dispossession of land of thousands. CPA calls upon the Government to take urgent steps to address this situation and to institute processes that are transparent, participatory and just. CPA also calls upon Government and military officials to adhere to promises and pledges made including the release of private lands and to ensure people’s fundamental freedoms are respected.

In the North, the Govt. is Setting a Vicious Cycle in Motion Again

The most likely rationale for the government’s takeover of the land in the North and East is to ensure national security. But there is a lack of clarity with regard to the need for such a large extent of land at such great cost to the affected population. The government’s actions create the very problem it is meant to address.

Militarization as a Way of Life

It is TSA’s contention that the recent problems in Kanthi Kiramam are directly related to the fact that community members raised concerns about the building of the checkpoint. …

Whether these recent developments portend a new era of mystery men – a return of the Grease Yaka – remains to be seen. Nevertheless, it looks like these acts of violence are now being used to justify the checkpoint, as the military now seems to be citing security concerns as justification for continued state surveillance.

COIN & Sri Lanka

While state police forces and right-wing media in India, the local partner in the genocide, keep hailing the ‘Sri Lanka solution’ as appropriate to deal with the Maoist insurgency, influential military thinkers in the US appear to be doing a professional, scientific study of the Sri Lankan model and its applicability to other contexts….

He argues that Sri Lanka’s victory “has led some people in the counterinsurgency community to question the basic precepts of classical counterinsurgency as understood in the West which advocates protecting the population and focusing on political primacy as a means to win over the population and isolate the insurgent and forge a lasting peace.”

Further, “Sri Lanka in this case shows a different path, somewhat in contradiction to these prescriptions and produced both quick and decisive results. Firstly, counterinsurgency is at its heart – a counter adaptation level – a struggle to develop and apply new techniques in a fast moving high threat environment against an enemy that’s continually updating and developing. Counterinsurgency isn’t defined by a single, specific set of techniques rather a combination of techniques used for a particular insurgency under particular circumstances. Sri Lanka’s approach embodied that principle.”

Most ironically, in his book ‘Counterinsurgency’ published in 2010, Dr. Kilcullen had advocated that “Scrupulously moral conduct, alongside political legitimacy and respect for the rule of law, are thus operational imperatives: they enable victory, and in their absence no amount of killing—not even genocidal brutality, as in the case of Nazi antipartisan warfare, described below—can avert defeat.”…

But yet, when influential COIN and military experts in the establishments like Kilcullen and Hashim praise the successes of Sri Lanka’s war on the Tamil people, overlooking the genocide and the concomitant political fallout in Tamil Nadu and the diaspora, and while the various HR reports produced by those NGOs and State Departments in the same establishments only engage in counting the trees without addressing the question of genocide, nationhood, and sovereignty of the Eezham Tamil nation, it is hard not to think that they are two sides of the same coin.

Land Grabs In The North And East

Recent weeks have seen a steep rise in the number of land grabs in the North and East…

These land grabs by the military, together with activities relating to colonization of the North and East are part of the attacks on the democratic rights of the Tamil People in the North and East. These attacks are clearly carried out with the active support, sanction and collusion of the Sri Lankan government. They are part of the many vain and counterproductive attempts to suppress and persecute Tamils for their political aspirations. The Tamil National Alliance has called on the Sri Lankan government to immediately cease these acts of violence directed against the Tamil People. In order to prevent a non-recurrence of the past, Sri Lanka must expeditiously commence a meaningful and genuine process of reconciliation.

What Is the Narrative?

A fundamental question is: Why do terrorists attack the U.S.? The Narrative implies, rather overtly, that terrorists attack America because Allah told them to. (If this reminds you of Flip Wilson’s “The Devil Made Me Do It” you’re on target.) …

As far back as 2005, Scott Horton, writing on Antiwar.com, noted, “for his book [Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism], Pape started with the bombings themselves – every documented case between 1980 and 2004 – and noticed some suggestive common threads. Foreign occupation, it seems – not religion – is the core motivating factor behind suicide terrorism. From Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank to Sikhs in India, from the jihadists of 9/11 to the secular Marxist Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka – for all of these, it is ‘a nationalistic response.’”

Leahy Amendment Stronger on Paper Than in Practice in Pakistan

The law is sound in theory, but in practice the real impact on curbing human rights abuses is often tempered by the desire of the United States to advance its own security interests, even if at times it requires overlooking questionable human rights records.

The War May Be Over But The Idea Lives On

Former Tamil MP Ponnambalam puts it simply: “I think it’s dangerous for us to think about what is possible. If we start thinking about that, it only means assimilation. We must stop talking Tamil, we must give up our religion. We must be Sinhalese and Buddhist.”

OVER AND above the geopolitics and domestic Tamil politics that directly affects India, the Sri Lankan Tamils’ story raises a disturbing question. Can the desperate and continuing plight of a people be explained away by terrorism alone? For now, more than 22 lakh Tamils within Sri Lanka and an estimated 10 lakh in the diaspora, are asking this universally perplexing question. As their story also serves as a warning to other displaced people without a nation — while the world and the UN plays a double game, your idea of nationhood could be the next to disappear.

But even in the aftermath of the terror and genocide, the Tamil idea of nationhood has not disappeared. If India does not want another cycle of violence at its doorstep, it cannot afford to be indifferent to the voices of the Lankan Tamils.

Gunmen Attack Tamil Newspaper in Northern Sri Lanka

The newspaper owner, who is also an opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA) legislator, said it was the second strike on the publication this month and added the assailants had to be from “either the government or para-militaries.

“Who else can carry firearms freely in Jaffna?” he asked.

Sri Lanka lifted emergency rule in 2011 after the military crushed Tamil separatists two years earlier following a decades-long ethnic civil war in the island nation of 20 million people.

But troops are still deployed in Jaffna, 400 kilometres (250 miles) north of Colombo, and other parts of the country to support the police…

Uthayan’s owner said five of his employees had died in attacks on the paper in the last eight years.