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Unmaking the Nation: The Politics of Identity and History in Modern Sri Lanka (1995 | 2009).

Pradeep Jeganathan & Qadri Ismail (eds.)

Now in a 2nd Edition, with a new preface, and a comprehensive index.

"Stimulating... Excellent..." -- Journal of Asian Studies. 

"Will be of great value to all those concerned with... nationalism [and] violence..." -- Arjun Appadurai.

"...[F]orces us to think about Sri Lankan symbolic and social formations in an entirely novel fashion." -- Gananath Obeyesekere


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Entries in Killing Fields (1)


Killing Fields 2: Unpunished War Crimes

The much touted C4 show, Killing Fields 2: Unpunished War Crimes is out. I’m calling the first one C4KF and the second C4CU. Indi Samarajeewa has a great review of it; where he re-frames the whole thing; another review in the UK Telegraph just repeats the C4 stuff, and I will get to that at the end of this short post.

As for my own take; I just wrote one from a completely different angle for my Sunday column in the Nation; until that comes out, I have only two highlights from the show I want to note and a question to ask.

Highlights: I thought the best part of flick was the clip of Rajpal screaming at the C4 guys in the media room of the Commonwealth Conference over C4KF. It made me smile; Rajpal didn’t know where to start with them! Do not miss it. The next best clip was CBK almost in tears over C4KF at some talk she gave. I found it interesting they had her cameoing in C4CU; I guess it anchors the politics of it a little better since she is in the running after the 18th amendment. Nice one; getting right ahead of the curve there.

Finally, I am just so confused as always, and I will close with my question. As the review in the Telegraph put it, “… there seemed no doubt that the government had indeed set up special no-fire zones for Tamil civilians — and then fired on them with heavy weaponry. According to a secret UN report, the ‘probability’ that the government had done the shelling was ‘100 per cent.’”

What the review is saying here is, and it’s worth underlining it, because this is indeed not the voice of C4 here, but supposedly, a sane, independent voice speaking, that it is the GoSL who herded the people into a No Fire Zone, and then started shelling them in there. On purpose, as we say in good Sri Lankan English. Neither the review or the movie does not really tell you why they did this, I do not think, but it’s made ‘obvious’ in the context of the whole thing. They are bad Sinhalese, and they just wanted to kill the Tamils. And according to the movie they did. They killed Prabakaran and they killed his son. Then they stopped.

Hey, wait a moment, I got confused now. Why did they stop? Would it not have been more logical to just keep shelling and shelling and kill every one there? All the Tamils in one fell swoop. I mean, there were they right? Why even bother with camps and that whole fuss and bother?

You see in the horror flicks I’ve seen, the killer never stops. And this is a horror flick, right? But some how it they stop pretty quick, and I just wanted to say, I am confused.