2 December, 2020

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Near & Explosive Danger: The Sinha-Lē Campaign & Those Crusading Righteous

By Michael Roberts

Dr. Michael Roberts

Dr. Michael Roberts

I recently received (unsolicited) a series of images presenting striking scenes of the Sinha-Lē protests against the denigration of Sri Lanka and the threats (imagined and real) looming over the island from the pressures of the (so-called) “international community.” These demonstrations intertwine with the emergence of a front dedicated to “the defence of the motherland,” namely the mawbima suräkīmu organization, which has its very own web site where an evocative line from a poem by Pastor Martin Niemoller is deployed to back this clarion call: “it does not matter as to what race, creed, color or religion you belong to — it is your bounden duty to protect our Motherland with all the sinews in your body.”

These lines of activity and the proliferation of Sinha-Lē stickers on tuk-tuks and sites in the urban arena signal the further eruption of Sinhalese chauvinist extremism associated with the Bodu Bala Sena’s campaign against the Islamic people (e. g. at Alutgama in mid-2014). Where such politically-loaded signals are pasted on the walls of houses where Muslims or other minorities reside (as in Nugegoda recently), the implications are explosive.

Sinha LeIn a context where Tamil extremists at home and abroad have insisted that Sri Lanka has committed ‘genocide” against its people, this type of movement consolidates a political situation where Sinhalese and Tamil extremists at each pole of the divide feed off each other. Albeit in different ways, this circumstance today rekindles the picture of “near and explosive danger” arising from extremisms at the poles which Sinnappah Arasaratnam painted for us in the 1960s and 1970s.

With the benefit of hindsight, we know that Arasaratnam’s warnings were justified. Given this reading, do we have the acumen NOW to address and nullify the Tamil and Sinhalese extremisms that are at loggerheads today? … with each polar force being complicated by the presence of extremist factions competing with each other and rendering compromise and appeasement doubly difficult.

Sinha-Lē and the Mawbima Patriots

Let me introduce today’s Sinhala extremists through a couple of pictures and selections from the clarion call of the Mawbima collective

“Due to the extremely critical time fast approaching in our contemporary history, a website is being launched today to remind all communities to pressurize those scoundrels who have taken refuge in the portals of parliament not to carry on with games that are being played by some of them against our beloved Motherland, …. Already a steady scenario is developing where posters and car stickers bearing the words SINHALE have started to appear without any fear.
https://youtu.be/OTGWLWZScJw

The traitors along with a number of pro-western media, enjoying the freedom of the wild ass, are hurriedly accusing the Sinhales of being racially motivated. …. These are the yakoes that call themselves Sinhalese. Unfortunately the Motherland is unaware of the mutations that have occurred recently but one cannot fool everybody all the time. Genuine patriots will be protected by the power of the Triple Gem as happened in 1971, 1989 and 2009.
…. It does not matter as to what race, creed, color or religion you belong to—it is your bounden duty to protect our Motherland with all the sinews in your body,”
http://mawbimasurakimu.org/

The reference to 1971 and 1989 in the Mawbima Circular suggests a strong current of JVP ideology of the Pol Pot kind. There are other signs today, quite numerous signs both at home and among the diaspora, of Sinhala Buddhist chauvinist thinking located at the polar extreme. The public expressions of alarm are also threaded by allusions to the historical past that mark the extent to which the justificatory politics of the present rely on readings of the past – sometimes readings that transpose the present into the past in order to re-affirm present-day dispositions.

That stressed, a sweeping denunciation of all the motifs in this corpus of protest should be avoided. There are multi-faceted dimensions within the agitation of concerned Sinhala Lankan citizens — with some threads generating support among Sinhalese Lankans and other Lankans (including Thuppahi Lankans) who are not necessarily chauvinist. I seek, here, to identify several facets within the protest that demand consideration and debate.

There are reasonable grounds for all concerned citizens to investigate the implications of the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement identified by the acronym ISLFTA together with the proposed relationships known as the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or CEPA (Kiringoda 2015). Likewise, the proposal to build a bridge between India and Sri Lanka has to be reviewed dispassionately in ways that strip thinking of the heightened fears of Sri Lankans enmeshed in hoary fears rooted in the past of the Rajarata civilization.

Again, it would be naïve for readers to dismiss the dangers associated with the R2P ideology in the Western world and the manner in which liberal/radicals and HR advocates have become instruments of world power politics. That USA and the West were displeased with the degree to which the Mahinda Rajapaksa Regime leaned on China and Pakistan for weapons and relied on China in the economic realm in the period 2007-09 is no secret.

The degree to which this displeasure directed their response to the progress of Eelam War IV in 2008/09 is an issue that demands analysis from specialists in this arcane field. Significantly, in his Address to the Press in Chennai on 24 October 2008 Robert Blake (Ambassador in Lanka) affirmed USA’s desire for the “fighting [to] stop] so that “a political solution [could] be agreed on that satisfie[d] Tamil, Sinhalese and Muslim aspirations” (Blake 2008). At that moment — in fact from circa April 2008 — some 320-330,000 citizens of Thamililam had been encouraged to retreat ahead of the back-peddling LTTE forces so that they were eventually corralled in declining space and served as a defensive formation and labour pool at the same time that such an operation served as a raison d’etre for the “spectre of an impending humanitarian catastrophe.”

The LTTE’s international networks went into overdrive in presenting such a picture and were assisted by many other Tamil migrants agitated by the danger facing their relatives and friends (a danger that was largely of the LTTE’s making). USA and its allies, as well as the several human rights agencies, accepted the LTTE’s grand strategy hook, line and sinker. Their principal goal from late 2008 was directed towards persuading both parties to agree to a ceasefire so as to obviate civilian casualties. Simon Jenkins was one of the few reporter-observers from afar who twigged that a ceasefire would materially assist the party on a slippery slope of defeat (Jenkins 2011). Moreover, the Indian General Elections were due in May 2009 and the LTTE had this event in view as yet another potential lifeline.

USA was alive to the LTTE strategy: “the LTTE [has] refused to allow civilians to leave because the LTTE needs the civilians as human shields, as a pool for forced conscription, and as a means to try to persuade the international community to force a cease-fire upon the government, since that is the LTTE’s only hope” (Blake, Secret Despatch 133 of 5 Feb. 2009). The several efforts from the Norwegians, USA and other international players in 2009 to persuade the Tigers to accept a ceasefire got nowhere. Blake’s despatches and a report from an UN special envoy named Samuel who visited Colombo in February 2009 indicated “resignation” and “helplessness” about this prospect within the Western cabal embroiled in the Lankan scenario.

Although he discerned the LTTE’s strategy, the American ambassador proceeded to support it. That is, in effect, he became a Tiger instrument. At a meeting with Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister on the 18th March 2009, Blake told him “that the deaths of thousands or even tens of thousands of civilians from [any attack on the safe zone by GSL forces to inflict a final defeat on the Tigers] would cause an international outcry, likely subject the GSL to war crime charges, and almost certainly undermine public support in the U.S. and other donor countries for future reconstruction efforts in the north” (emphasis added).

So, here then we see an imperialist ‘satrap’ wielding his might in no uncertain terms in the face of a ‘pygmy’ Asian state. The little Asian state, however, stood its ground and went on to eliminate the LTTE as a military entity through some remarkable military operations in April and May 2009. (Roberts, “Winning the War,” 2014 & Holmes 2015).

In consequence, USA and its international cabal have sought to punish Sri Lanka. They have pursued Sri Lanka persistently since mid-2009 with weighted and partisan UN reports and severe UNHCR resolutions. It is no secret that the UN Department of Political Affairs centred in Geneva is staffed by US Foreign Service personnel seconded to that organization and is therefore under American ‘ownership’.

This campaign has been backed up by powerful media chains such as the New York Times. A recent illustration in January 2016 is provided by an editorial in the NYT which praised the new Sirisena government for some of its measures, including the correction of “the Rajapaksa government’s tilt towards China,” but then rapped the government on its knuckles for several shortcomings before delivering the punchline: Sri Lanka had to “move quickly to fulfill his government’s obligation to the United Nations and its moral duty to Sri Lankans” by instituting war crime trials against military personnel who went beyond the pale in 2009. In perfect timing, a couple of days later, Ambassador Samantha Power (US Permanent Representative to the UN) went public with a position statement that indicated that she was “irked by the lack of a probe” into disappearances in Sri Lanka – a statement that retailed a sob story of one (Tamil) mother she had met in the island during a recent visit (Ceylon Today, 30 January 2016). One could not ask for a better example of the background marriage between the US Department of State, the United Nations bureaucracy and American media moghuls.

One step in this direction was the UNPoE Report – also called the Darusman Report – presented by three lawyers who masqueraded as “experts.” Proceeding explicitly as prosecutors rather than assessors, one of their findings claimed that “a number of credible sources have estimated that there could have been as many as 40,000 civilian deaths” (para 137 on page 41, emphasis added).

Remarkably – indeed astonishingly – this allegation is now presented consistently in media reportage and eminent chambers as a definitive fact. “Forty thousand civilians were killed during the last phase of the war” is their assertion (with the implication being that most of the deaths were due to GSL shellfire and weaponry). The process through which this LIE has been accepted so widely in the West is an illustration of the sweeping power of the so called “international community” centred around USA and its adjunct media chains. It is not merely a “community.” It is a power cabal.
Significantly, this statistic and the line of condemnation is articulated vociferously by liberal/radical parties and agencies who are often critics of the governing regimes of USA and its allies on other issues – whether domestic or international. One example is the Australian Greens Party.

The unity of the liberal/radicals and the conservatives on the specific issue of Sri Lanka, I stress, stems from the widespread conviction that the SL Tamils had been victimized in that land from the 1950s, with the pogrom of July 1983 providing conclusive evidence in support of this verdict on their part. The fact that the Sinhala-majority and Sri Lanka have contributed to this contemporary alliance by virtue of its past misdeeds does not mean that this contemporary alliance has its present facts right. My point is that some of these so-called facts are quite erroneous or exaggerated. Nay, more: I accuse some of the righteous activists of intellectual dishonesty.

One-eyed Perspectives & Intellectual Dishonesty. An Achilles Heel?

The consistency with which intellectuals and reporters in the West who stand forth as seekers after “truth” have refused to read or cite any of the studies (on internet as well as print) which undermine several of the claims presented in such reports as the UNPoE and the Channel 4 videos is truly astonishing. This must, now in 2016, be regarded as a deliberate strategy.

Studies with both data and arguments that challenge and even eviscerate some of the principal arguments pressed by the international cabal are simply by-passed. They are blanked out of consideration. When powerful nations and agencies (like sections of the United Nations) in their pocket pursue such a Machiavellian policy, we can conclude that their contemporary political interests are the guiding motive.

When globe-trotting intellectuals (e. g. Kenan Malik from UK) glibly trot out these alleged “facts,” that is par for the course in dilettante presentations of self. When an Australian reporter with a prolonged experience in South Asia, namely Amanda Hodge, ignores the lessons of war enshrined in Australian Anzac history which demonstrate that even at Gallipoli the number of injured soldiers (WIA) among the Allied forces invariably outnumbered those killed (KIA) – at ratios varying from 2.18 to 2.23, one is left to wonder whether political interest and media pitch submerges intelligence (Roberts, “Drama,” 2015c).

However, when such august bodies as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch act like the proverbial three monkeys and bury the evidence provided by, say, by Dr. V. Shanmugarajah and the considerable body of data marshalled by IDAG, the Marga team and assorted researchers, only one conclusion can be drawn: they have deemed Sri Lanka and the government of the Rajapaksas to be abhorrent “baddies” and would only countenance data that enabled them to excoriate the regime and its agencies.

I take the Australian Greens Party and an earnest body of civil activists in Sydney incorporated as the Public Interest Advocacy Centre Ltd as my prime example of this species of chicanery. The PIAC deployed a committee of five to compile a report entitled Island of Impunity? Investigation into International Crimes in the Final Stages of the Sri Lankan Civil War in early 2014. This instrument was the foundation for an address in the Senate by Christine Milne, Leader of the Australian Greens Party, on 11th February 2014.

In her address Milne initially stated that “[d]uring the armed conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, human rights abuses and violations of international law were widespread. It is alleged that in the final years of the conflict war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed by both government forces and the LTTE….” She then went on to conclude that “overwhelmingly the evidence gathered suggests the vast majority of crimes were committed by the Sri Lankan security forces. This includes allegations of attacks in and around civilian areas; restriction of civilian movement; denial of humanitarian assistance; killing, conscripting and enlisting of children; rape and sexual violence; torture and cruel treatment and enforced disappearances.”

There is a mix of partial fact, distortion and outrageous concoction in this array of accusations, with some of the distortion arising from a blatant neglect of context. The civilians were restricted because they had been encouraged by the LTTE to retreat in 2008 till they were eventually penned within a Tiger corral as a defensive formation and strategic ploy in early 2009 (Roberts “Realities,” 2015. The SL armed services’ operations enabled some 295, 873 civilians and Tiger deserters to survive. One of the serious errors within this set of assertions however is the allusion to the government’s “conscription” of children. The armed services of Sri Lanka were staffed throughout by volunteers and one of the surprising aspects of the long conflict was the manner in which the governments in the period 2005-09 managed to mobilise so many despite the mauling which the SL Army had received in Eelam War III (1995-2001).

Again, the charge that there was “a denial of humanitarian assistance” is an astounding error. The Greens should trawl through the despatches of the US Embassy in 2009 made public by Wikilelaks. They will find that the “Coordinating Chairs” of Western ambassadors were often urging government officials to expand the aid being sent to the trapped civilians and haranguing the government about the specifics in the IDP detention centres that were being set up. GSL had established a Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance chaired by a Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe, in October 2006. This body included leading ambassadors, the Chairman of the NGOs Committee, the Director, of the World Food Programme and a government official in charge of essential services among others. It met regularly in 2008 and 2009. These deliberations were geared towards streamlining the humanitarian relief operations in which international agencies (WFP, ICRC, IOM, et cetera) as well as local NGOs (for e.g. Sewalanka, Caritas, SEED, Sarvodaya) were active participants. Government officials were central to the operations. Indeed, well ahead in 2008 the Medical Superintendent in Kilinochchi and other Tamil officials in Tiger territory who were on GSL books showed commendable foresight in stockpiling medical supplies for an anticipated emergency down the track (Shanmugarajah 2014 and Roberts, “Medical Administration,” 2014b).

When land convoys conveying supplies (e. g. basic foods and medicines) to the war theatre were not feasible after January 2009, the ICRC chartered commercial ships that were escorted to the coastal front by the SL Navy. There, on what was in fact a land-and-water war front, the ICRC ships also evacuated injured and old persons (selected by the LTTE): at least 13,794 men, women and children were evacuated in the period extending from early February to 9th May 2009 and transferred to Pulmoddai (where the Indian government had set up a field hospital) or Trincomalee.

Milne’s stark errors on the charges of humanitarian aid and child conscription and are clues to the combination of error and prejudice in the thinking of some radicals and liberals who had decided that the Rajapaksa administration was an ogre (Roberts 2009). But note that the five-person team that forged Island of Impunity? included one Gordon Weiss, an Australian of Jewish lineage who had been Media Officer with the UN organization in Colombo in 2008/09 and had risen to media fame after he resigned (in anger) from his post and penned The Cage under the imprint of the prestigious Allen & Unwin publishing firm (see Padraig Colman 2013c). He would have been aware that GSL did not resort to child conscription and would have been cognizant of the humanitarian supply and medivac operations involving international and GSL cooperation.. So, how is it that the ICEP Report led Milne to indulge in such outrageous blunders?

By 2011 Weiss was on a high-flying media conveyer belt: appearing as a guest speaker at the Edinburgh Festival and consulted live on occasions by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. His book The Cage was striking a chord in many hearts. He was also part of a loose network of Australian radicals and liberals in the Sydney/Canberra area who were vociferous in slamming the Sri Lanka for its evil ways and undemocratic practices. This network included Antony Lowenstein, Jake Lynch, Bruce Haigh and Trevor Grant. Grant was a former journalist in Melbourne who was an active participant in Tamil protest demonstrations at cricket matches that involved the Sri Lankan cricket team in the 2010s. He has recently (2014) brought out an illustrated vilification of the Sri Lankan government of that day entitled Sri Lanka’s Secrets. How the Rajapaksa Regime gets away with Murder.

Let me pinpoint one instance of the clever dissimulation by graphic picture that Grant indulges in. On page 95 readers are presented with a full-page image of a smoke blackened and devastated landscape which is entitled “A safe zone in Mullivaikal is reduced to a scene from Apocalypse Now.” The suggestion is that this was a common scenario in the anvil of war and that the Tamil people and fighters were subject to relentless bombardment. But how many readers will be aware that this image is taken from a SL Defence Ministry web site? This site retailed a series of images presenting the scenario circa 13-16th May 2009 – a point at which the remaining LTTE had heard that the Indian General Elections had produced a clear government majority, an event that meant that there would be no miraculous lifeline. The LTTE then proceeded to blow up its munitions and stock. When the SL Army moved into this locality in the next few days, the grim smoke-blacked scenario was immediately snapped and presented to the world. These snaps include some ‘feel good’ images of a soldier carrying a Tamil child to safety and a well-built Tamil man with white flag walking through the smoke with a (relieved?) smile on his face. Grant, however, is counting on his readership’s total ignorantce of such specific circumstances when he presents one scene from this particular locality at a particular moment. Such tweaking of ‘evaluations’, it seems, is permissible in propaganda warfare in a ‘good cause’. Cheating, in this view, does not trump a righteous campaign!

This Australian combination is just one illustration. It is probable that similar loose networks of liberals and radicals aligned with the cause of the Tamils on grounds they deem “righteous” exist in USA, Britain and other European countries as well. The issue for students of protest activity is whether their campaigns are overzealous to the point of distortion and blindness.

My argument here is simple. The continuous work of this international juggernaut since 2009 has been one factor that has aroused the Sinhala extremists to a frenzy of the sort seen in the Sinha-Lē campaign. The eruption of Sinhala extremist agitation and violence within Sri Lanka during the last two/three years is major concern. Such a broad movement must invariably be due to a multiplicity of factors. I would argue that it is in certain ways a rejuvenation of the “1956 ideology” of Sinhala Buddhist revivalism as shaped subsequently by Jātika Chinthanaya and Mahinda Chinthanaya. The targeting of the local Muslim peoples from circa 2014 has been a surprising dimension which seems to have influenced the recent Sinha-Le campaign in powerful manner. The degree to which the American-inspired war crimes process has inspired this reaction is, therefore, a debatable issue; but there are several indications that it is a contributory factor.

I have not studied the burgeoning literature on the Sinha-Le forces in the Sinhala and English languages in ways that enable me to disentangle the several factors, inclusive of class, caste and diasporic interests, that have moulded the movement. It is a complex topic that demands a book-length study. I can only stress that this current of political activity is quite abhorrent and can seriously impair the country’s future by serving up fodder that supports the fears and claims of Tamils moderate as well as extreme. In other words, these hyper-patriot fools are responding to the international combine and Tamil extremists in just the manner desired by the Tamil lobby at home and abroad.

A Catch 22 Situation for Sri Lanka

So, in this field, we enter a complex realm in any effort to dissect the issues facing Sri Lanka now. There are many Sri Lankans of liberal disposition who are fully alive to the machinations of the Western powers as well as those of the Tamil extremists, while detesting the ultra Sinhalayo-thinking that is embodied in such engines as the Mawbima Surakeemay Viyaapaaraya and displayed in the political demonstrations pictured in this item as well as other sites.

They are squeezed in the uncomfortable middle.

The Buddha’s “Middle Path’ is of limited value here – the more so because there are so many militant Buddhists waving a Sinha-Lē symbol and a Lankan flag shorn of its symbolic encompassment of Muslim and Tamils as “we Lankans.” When a Muttiah Muralitharan, a Russel Arnold, an Angelo Matthews, a Tuan Dilshan, and a Mohamed Suraj Randiv cannot be embraced as Sri Lankan what hope have we people in the middle, … and what hope do we have as Lankans all.

The circumstances today seem bloody hopeless.

** I have been materially assisted in writing this article by comments from Arun Dias Bandaranaike in Sri Lanka and by references sent by others in the island.

Editor’s note – The footnotes and citations cannot be inserted due to technical reasons

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Roberts, Michael 1978 “Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka and Sinhalese Perspectives: Barriers to Accommodation,” Modern Asian Studies, 12: 353-376.

Roberts, Michael 1994 “Mentalities: Ideologues, Assailants, Historians and the Pogrom against the Moors in 1915,” in Roberts, Exploring Confrontation: Politics, Culture and History Reading,

Harwood Academic Publishing, 1994, pp. 183-212 [reprinted under an altered title as chapter 5 in Roberts, Confrontations, Colombo, Vijtha Yapa, 2009].

Roberts, Michael 1994 “The Agony and the Ecstasy of a Pogrom: Southern Lanka, July 1983,” in Roberts, Exploring Confrontation: Politics, Culture and History Reading, Harwood Academic Publishing, 1994, pp. 317-30 [also reprinted in Nēthra, April-Sept. 2003, vol. 6, pp. 199-213].

Roberts, Michael 2009 “The Rajapakse Regime and the Fourth Estate,” 12 August 2009, http://groundviews.org/2009/12/08/the-rajapakse-regime-and-the-fourth-estate/

Roberts, Michael 2011a “People of Righteousness march on Sri Lanka,” The Island, 22 June 2011 and http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/people-of-righteousness-target-sri-lanka/

Roberts, Michael 2011b “Amnesty International reveals its Flawed Tunnel-Vision in Sri Lanka in 2009,” 10 Aug. 2011, http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/amnesty-international-reveals-its-flawed-tunnel-vision-on-sri-lanka-in-2009/

Roberts, Michael 2012 “Blackmail during the Endgame in Eelam War IV,” 12 April 2012, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/blackmail-during-the-endgame-in-eelam-war-iv/

Roberts Michael 2013 “Sinhalaness and its Reproduction, 1232-1818,″ 9 February 2013. http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/sinhalaness-and-its-reproduction-1232-1818/#more-8479

Roberts, Michael 2014 “Generating Calamity, 2008-2014: An Overview of Tamil Nationalist Operations and Their Marvels,” 10 April 2014, http://groundviews.org/2014/04/10/generating-calamity-2008-2014-an-overview-of-tamil-nationalist-operations-and-their-marvels/

Roberts, Michael 2014 “Medical Administration and Relief within the Vanni Pocket, January to mid-May 2009,” 1 July 2014, http://groundviews.org/2014/01/07/medical-administration-and-relief-within-the-vanni-pocket-january-to-mid-may-2009/

Roberts, Michael 2014 “Winning the War: Evaluating the Impact of API WENUWEN API,” 14 September 2014, http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/winning-the-war-evaluating-the-impact-of-api-wenuwen-ap/

Roberts Michael 2014 “Primordialist Strands in Contemporary Sinhalese Nationalism: Urumaya as Ur,” 24 December 2014, http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/primordialist-strands-in-contemporary-sinhalese-nationalism-urumaya-as-ur/

Roberts, Michael 2014 Tamil Person and State. Essays, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publishers.

Roberts, Michael 2014 Tamil Person and State. Pictorial, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publishers.

Roberts, Michael 2014 “Towards Citizenship in Thamilīlam: The Tamil People of the North, 1983-2010,” in Roberts, TPS. Essays, 2014, pp. 132-83 and https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/towards-citizenship-in-thamililam-the-tamil-people-of-the-north-1983-2010/

Roberts, Michael 2015a “Targeting Sri Lanka by playing Ball with Tamil Extremism,” 24 July 2015, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/wpadmin/post.php?post=17127&action=edit&postpost=v2

Roberts, Michael 2015b “Ambassador Blake in Never-Never-Land: Misreading LTTE Capacity in Early 2009,” 26 August 2015, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2015/08/26/ambassador-blake-in-never-never-land-misreading-ltte-capacity-in-early-2009/

Roberts, Michael 2015c “A Drama in Four Acts: Dishonest Reportage by Amnesty International and Aussie Journalists remains Unmasked,” 2 September 2015, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=17560&action=edit&postpost=v2

Roberts, Michael 2015d “American Action and Inaction on Sri Lanka, 2008/09: A Critical Evaluation,” 5 September 2015, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/robert-blake-on-u-s-perspectives-on-sri-lanka-at-chennai-24-october-2008/#more-17684

Roberts, Michael 2015 “Diannah Paramour arouses an Australian Tamil Tiger Nest, Mid-2015,” 18 September 2015, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/diannah-paramour-arouses-an-australian-tamil-tiger-nest-mid-2015/#more-17797

Roberts, Michael 2015d “The Realities of Eelam War IV,” 27 October 2015, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/the-realities-of-eelam-war-iv/

Roberts, Michael 2015 “Lilliputs in a World of Giants: Marga and CHA bat for Lanka in the Propaganda War, 2009-14,” 18 November 2015, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/lilliputs-in-a-world-of-giants-marga-and-cha-bat-for-lanka-in-the-propaganda-war-2009-14/#more-18467

Roberts, Michael 2015 “Sturdy Advocacy: Marga’s Questioning of the UNPoE’s Assassination Job,” 25 November 2015, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=18544&action=edit&postpost=v2

Sathiya Moorthy, N. 2015 “A Bridge across Palk Strait,” The Hindu, December 2015, http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/a-bridge-across-the-palk-strait/article6827094.ece?homepage=true

Serasinghe, Sharmini 2016 “The Tragi-comic Sinha-Le Tribe,” 28 January 2016, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-tragicomic-sinha-le-tribe/comment-page-2/#comment-1928646

Shanmugarajah, V. 2014 “Dr. Veerakanthipillai Shanmugarajah’s Affidavit Description of Conditions in the Vanni Pocket in Refutation of Channel Four,” 5 January 2014, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/drveerakanthipillai-shanmugarajahs-affidavit-description-of-conditionsin-the-vanni-pocket-in-refutation-of-channel-four/

Sharma, B. C. 2015 “Bridge over the Palk Strait,” Sunday Observer, 9 August 2015, http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2015/08/09/fea10.asp.

Sunday Times 2015 “Marga/CHA confront the OISL Investigation in Geneva, September 2014: Godfrey Gunatilleke in Q and A with Lasanda Kurukulasuriya,” 19 November 2015, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/margacha-confront-the-oisl-investigation-in-geneva-september-2014-godfrey-gunatilleke-in-q-and-a-with-lasanda-kurukulasuriya/#more-18492

Thiagarajah, Jeevan 2015 “Confronting the OCHR Investigation in Geneva, September 2014: Memorandum from Jeevan Thiagarajah,” 19 November 2015, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/confronting-the-ochr-investigation-in-geneva-september-2014-memorandum-from-jeevan-thiagarajah/#more-18481

Weiss, Gordon 2011 “Sri Lanka faces its ‘Srebrenica Moment’,” 23 April 2011, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/sri-lanka-faces-its-srebrenica-moment/story-e6frg6ux-1226043466322

Weiss, Gordon 2011 The Cage, Sydney: Picador.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    14

    this con-dosthora is trying to whitewash muslim terrorists….write something about muslim extremists roaming the streets with covered trash bags

    • 12
      4

      Helo DR. Roberts and Balu-Le

      There is nothing called Sinha-Le what I can comment is that 70% of Sri Lankans are used to chew betel and spit out red spit which is red in color, so why not we call ourselves Bulath Sinha-Le

  • 9
    6

    SWRD started the bandwagon of Sinhala only and now the Present generation of Sinhalas are calling for Sinha-Le only the true heirs to the island.

    Our author friend Talks about Tamil extremism in calling Tamil genocide happened in Vani. It is an occurrence proved by UN investigations, now kept under wraps because of Geo-politics.

    The author is only one step away from the Sinha-Le fascists.

  • 10
    5

    I wasted my time reading this nonsense. Bensen

  • 4
    1

    What the author seems to refuse to acknowledge, is that the ‘hyper-patriots’ of Sri Lanka are not a new phenomenon. The only difference this time round is with the coalition government they have power to block reforms in Parliament and so they are doing it on the streets.

    The real issue is the hold the Buddhist chapters have on a large section of the population and their inherently theocratic or illiberal ideas.

    Defending this type of Sinhala Chauvinism that has existed since independence, by blaming the Tamil Diaspora or the International Community is beyond simplistic – it is being intentionally obtuse.

  • 0
    3

    These details of how the war was conducted don’t mean much now, may be good as historical reference. Boring and never ending on and on… yak, yak, yak. Ultimately what is the final outcome, is Sinha-ley campaign good or bad for the country?

  • 3
    2

    Dr. Michael Roberts

    RE: Near & Explosive Danger: The Sinha-Lē Campaign & Those Crusading Righteous

    “I recently received (unsolicited) a series of images presenting striking scenes of the Sinha-Lē protests against the denigration of Sri Lanka and the threats (imagined and real) looming over the island from the pressures of the (so-called) “international community.” These demonstrations intertwine with the emergence of a front dedicated to “the defence of the motherland,” namely the mawbima suräkīmu organization, which has its very own web site where an evocative line from a poem by Pastor Martin Niemoller is deployed to back this clarion call: “it does not matter as to what race, creed, color or religion you belong to — it is your bounden duty to protect our Motherland with all the sinews in your body.””

    In Chinese, a Crisis, has Two meanings, Danger and Opportunity.

    Yes, the Danger here is that the Idiots, who consider Stupidity is a Virtue, goes berserk, and run amok with the monks.

    The opportunity is that can educated those with common sense, that Sinhal-Le is Para-Le from India, and not Sinha-Le, jyst like other Para-Les.

    If it was Sinha Le, they would have 42 Chromosomes, because Lions have 38 Chrimosoimes. Does it explain the Stupidoty of sinhala Buddhists?

    Humans have 46 chromosomes including the Para, Para-Le from India.

    Mitochondrial DNA history of Sri Lankan ethnic people: their relations within the island and with the Indian subcontinental populations

    Journal of Human Genetics (2014) 59, 28–36; doi:10.1038/jhg.2013.112; published online 7 November 2013

    http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v59/n1/full/jhg2013112a.html#aff2

    “Through a comparison with the mtDNA HVS-1 and part of HVS-2 of Indian database, both Tamils and Sinhalese clusters were affiliated with Indian subcontinent populations than Vedda people who are believed to be the native population of the island of Sri Lanka.”

    • 1
      1

      Amarasiri:

      Don’t write like a Donkey.

      Genetics, inheritance, DNA, RNA are only part of the human.

      there are many more.

      You just write stupid as the resident commentator of CT.

      • 0
        0

        [Edited out]

  • 9
    2

    This as adroit a piece of special pleading that I have read issuing from the pen of Michael Roberts. After an opening series of sentences seeming to condemn the resurgence of Sinhala chauvinism Roberts goes on to provide the justifications for the Sinhala people to promote such attitudes: The UN is against the Sinhalese; the New York Times and other media institutions are against the Sinhalese; the International Community is against the Singhalese; international journalists are against the Singhalese. I wonder why he did not mention the Srisena Government? And the Indian government?
    In the long run, and on the short run too, it is not what appears on tuktuks that will carry the day but what is published in newspapers, magazines and blogs– not to speak of “history” books. It has been said that history is written by the victors but one should add that “histories” are also propagated by writers who have a standing army to support their blogs and books!
    Bravo, Michael!Keep on fighting and unfortunately I cannot say that yours is a lost cause.

    • 8
      0

      I should have added that Roberts’s work –here and elsewhere– is much more skillful with seemingly authenticating citations than the more crude rantings of the internet tigers!

      • 0
        3

        r s perinbanayagam [Edited out]

      • 0
        1

        Well said R S P

        And the road scholar takes the trouble to garnish further his brief anti-Sinhala-extremism-gesture by dragging in the name of a dead Tamil to credit him with some rare prescience about a polarisation that was coming – himself only a poor historian who would otherwise not have known it or seen it either in the 60s or the seventies! Not to mention the 50s, he not having heard of Colvin either.

        yes, bravo road scholar, now do the rest of the piece as usual on tamil wickedness which alone is the cause of all Sinhalese extremism and now of the misguided softness of foreign journos and even of the UN too.

  • 0
    1

    Dr. Roberts is [Edited out]

  • 0
    0

    Professor Michael Roberts tells us, as a complete non sequitor, that Gordon Weiss is of Jewish ancestry. What are we to make of this when it comes now from someone who was once regarded as a serious academic? I cannot think of any relevance whatever that this racially tinged factoid can have in the context of his article. But I do now have some grave thoughts about the balance and health of his mind.

    • 2
      0

      Don’t you think that there are similarities between the Zionist Jews and Eelamist Tamils? That may be the relevance. In any case it is not the main point.

      I have yet to see anyone putting forward a balanced rebuttal of Michael Roberts’ contention.

      Most comments, presumably from Eelamists, are exactly like those of Zionist Jews. Whenever there is any criticism of Israel’s policies and actions against the Palestinians, these Zionist Jews come down like a pack of wolves tearing down the writer, calling him or her an anti-semite but never putting forward a valid counter argument.

      Judge for yourself by reading the comments.

  • 1
    0

    None of the LTTE rump does not like this article.

    • 1
      0

      Jim Softy; So many Negatives, it is impossible to Decipher what you Really Mean!

  • 6
    0

    “In other words, these hyper-patriot fools are responding to the international combine and Tamil extremists in just the manner desired by the Tamil lobby at home and abroad.”

    This is a sentiment I fully agree with. And this echoes with what Prof Jayratnum Wilson forewarned in 1978 as the machinations of Tamil extremists:

    “needling the base tribal sensitivities of the Sinhalese so that a backlash on Tamil people could be demonstrated to the world as the common plight of Tamil people in Sri Lanka”.

    These are not his exact words, but very much the substance. And this is exactly what the Sinhalese goons, the predecessors of Sinha-Le, did in 1983, presided over by JR and spearheaded by Cyril Mathew.

    The attack on Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura and on Dalanda Maligawa in Kandy was also precisely to effect backlashes on the Tamil population. Fortunately, the Sinhalese didn’t fall to that trap.

    This begs the question as to who is behind the current Sinha-Le movement. Is the leadership of the movement lurking in the shadows, a fifth column? Is there a hand here of Tamil diaspora’s masterminds, in London, Sydney and Toronto? Do foreign interests and intelligent services have a hand here?

    Premadasa harboured his assassinator for five long years as his cook – little realizing that one day he is going to blow himself up along with the president. Like Premadasa, the leadership of Sinha-Le Movement, both overt and covert, may not really know who their puppet masters are.

    In this unholy scheme, there lies Wigneswaran and others. They are forcing the Sirisena/Wickramasinghe Government to do things which they know would make them unpopular even among the liberal minded Sinhalese and thereby undermine the government. Toppling the current shaky government and allowing a return of Rajapakse is at the core of their strategy. Return of Rajapakse is the best chance for achieving Eelam.

    Prabhakaran thought so too in 2005 and paid dearly for it. But Wigneswaran is smarter and far more cunning. He will outsmart Rajapakse if he returns to the helm and carve out Eelam.

    I am no conspiracy theorist. But mark my words.

  • 1
    2

    Ridiculous article
    The essence of it being to justify Sinhala racist violence by blaming the minorities
    The idea that the ‘west is against the Sinhalese’ is laughable
    Since it was the British who HANDED over the north and east tamil kingdom of Sri Lanka to the Sinhalese.

  • 0
    0

    Oh well, I am Sinhala (and Buddhist too) but like all these people blindly doing this new fashion Sinha-Le stuff, we can’t live without so many items that were never invented with the Sinha-le brains but by the brains of the Suddhas: We want Facebook and YouTube, and the Internet and email. We want American iPhones, we want other cell phones (all phones are western inventions), and Japanese bikes or cars and Indian three-wheelers, and the sudda’s kalisam (preferably American jeans), baseball caps, Russian vodka, Indian parippu, Hindi movies, and that national mania – cricket, that game invented by the Englishman. Yes, we all want those non-Sinha-le stuff…the whole gamut. But all day long we mouth “Sinha-Le”. No brains, or more aptly, Na-ne Mo-Le

  • 0
    1

    The Tamil_Le that was spilled in Nanthi Kadal is flowing in to the rivers and lagoon and Indian Ocean and sethu ram.
    The agriculture , vegetation and fishery all are nourished by the Tamil_Le and consumed by all Sri Lankans
    So there we go future Sri Lankans are made up of sinha_Le and Tiger_Le

    • 0
      0

      Rajash

      I gotch you.

      How about the mad and rabid Rajash_Le in these columns? Such a menacing madness.

      You must correct yourself as advised by the Lion King’s daughter.

  • 0
    0

    Why should you bother about some thing like this.This is just a inoscent propaganda that some patriotic idols of the country are campaigning for their rights.No one should take this as an issue that it is not hurting any one.The sinhalese people has a FULL right to talk about their motherland.SINHALE is their mother lands name not Sri Lanka.The only difference is that Sinha and Le are spaced.It has given just an attraction.

    It is very pathetic to note that ‘some’ people of this country does not like to give due place for the sinhalese people who are the ancestors of this country.Any one with an open mind would realize that we did not heAR this type of propaganda earlier by the sinhalese people.BUT WHEREAS THERE ARE LOTS OF HATRED AGAINST THE SINHALA COMMUNITY FROM CIVIL-RELIGIOUS-POLITICAL-LOCAL AND FOREIGN SOURCES THE SIHALESE PEOPLE SHOULD SAFE GUARD THEIR RIGHTS AND WE DO NOT SEE ANY WRONG WITH THIS………….

  • 0
    0

    Mr. Roberts, do compare the JVP to Pol Pot, who killed over 60,000 youth, is it the JVP, “NO” its the dirty Capitalist system. 1971 and 1989 there was no threat to the country, it was the the Capitalist governments that started taking their leaders and killing them, they had to fight for their freedom, also in 1989 thy tried to protect the country from Indian expansion. if the JVP was not there the LTTE would not be defeated and MR. don’t be a agent of the capitalist as in this world there is only 1% capitalist and the poor is 99%. IS this democracy for 1% enjoy the 99% to suffer and out of this over 40% starve. For Capitalism to survive they must have a divide and rule system, they inform the Tamil Racist leader to rouse the Tamils, Muslim racist leader to do same and the Sinhalese racist leader to the same, so that each race will clash against each other, if the unite they will not be able to rule as all are having the same problem.

    Don’t write for the sake of writing.

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