Feature Article

Sivaram's world contribution is holistic exposure of ‘counterinsurgency’: Bashana

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 April 2016, 11:34 GMT]
The political, geo-political, sociological and anthropological dimensions of the counterinsurgency (COIN) warfare have gained more significance than its military dimension, especially in the post-2009 context. To grasp this, one has to understand the enormous wealth of knowledge that was left behind by the late Sivaram Dharmeratnam alias Taraki, who was a popular political and military analyst and a senior editor of TamilNet. Exiled Sinhala journalist Bashana Abeywardane, explains the significance of Sivaram’s knowledge system, not only in the context of post-2009 Tamil struggle, but also in a wider perspective to all resisting peoples and nations. It is extremely important to understand how the COIN techniques of pacification, containment and the engineering of ‘false polarizations’ operate in the current context, as part of the ‘political COIN’, Bashana says.



Mr Abeywardane, who has been studying Sivaram’s writings since 1991 and who was very close to Sivaram since 2001 to the fateful day of his assassination in 2005, illustrates with examples on the modus operandi of the ‘political COIN’ applying the fundamentals of Sivaram’s knowledge system, from the 2002 peace process to the Geneva-centric discourse between 2009 and 2016.

Sivaram had identified the wider political implications of the militarily conceived COIN technique of ‘pacification’ as the ‘closure of political space’, Bashana says.

The exiled journalist explains how the real polarizations were concealed through engineering false polarizations such as the LLRC-based Geneva discourse, where victims had no influence on the outcome compared to the recognition accorded to the oppressor State.

It is important to understand how these false binaries are created in order to close political spaces of the resisting people and their genuine sympathizers. Eventually they are forced into a situation to take sides even though they perfectly know that these ‘polarizations’ do not reflect the reality.

Bashana Abeywardane coordinates the Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) from exile.


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