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The Rise and and Fall of the Tamil Tigers – Why the book was written

July 15, 2019

The Rise and and Fall of the Tamil Tigers – Why the book was written.

The Rise and Fall of the Tamil Tigers

Why write a book about Sri Lanka and its ethnic civil war when others are doing the same thing?

After I wrote my original foreword for “The Rise and Fall of the Tamil Tigers” I deleted it. I do remember what I wrote, why I wrote it and also why I deleted it. Basically the orginal foreword was about why this book is not like the other being printed at that time. This is fine if the reader’s are familiar with the other books that had come out but no very helpful if they have no idea what you are referring to. From a marketing point of view this is finding a point of difference but from the readers point of view becomes a mish-mash of assumed reference points that they may not know about.

I started putting together the materials for this book soon after the war had concluded in May 2009. I had spent a good deal of time and energy reporting the the final stages of the war on a blog site that I previously ran. Back then, much of the material I publish was based upon the current news reports and direct information that I was receiving from my contacts in Sri Lanka. In fact many people were thanking me for objectively clarifying the details of conflict as it happened. The mainstream news was all over the place when it came to reporting the events of the Sri Lankan Civil War. Some were star struck by the Tamil Tiger claims of genocide, whilst others acted like PR agents for the terrorist organisation. Even worse, were a number of terrorist members who fronted the media with fictional accounts of the bloody conflict and why the LTTE terrorist organization deserved to win. None of this stopped after the war finished. Seperating fact from fiction it hard. Seperating partisan reporting from objective reporting is even harder. Perticularly if you do not know who the partisans are and what agenda they are trying to push. But letting destructive myths stand in place of what actually happen…? Who does that benefit?

Other writings purport to be the authoritative version of what happened in the war. There are some that have been written by Sri Lankan millitary officers, soldiers, diplomats, government agents, that can vary between being a personal story to self promotional boasting, to even down right partisan propaganda. Even the winning side of a conflict can be populated with people who have axes to grind. The losing side? Some people who should know better are still trying to win a war that is lost. Some people are still pumping out hardcore propaganda with the hope that they can do as much damage as possible. Others seem to think that they just have to raise enough money for weapons, recruit enough cadres, rage loudly and the war can be restarted. This is a recipe for death.

It may surprise the reader that in 2006 I was invited to participate in Sri Lankan Government sponsored peace meetings in Australia. This was due my knowledge and connections with both the Sri Lankan and Australian communities. The initial meeting included: a very well know academic at Deakin University; members of the various Sri Lankan communities; including representatives of the Tamil communities; retired UN officials and even LTTE representatives. Believe it not, I was the one who wrote the minutes for the meeting. Whether people wish to believe this is true or not is immaterial as I still have all the email correspondence stored for future reference. Saddly, future meetings were abandoned after someone (an attending journalist) decided to use the opportunity to attack the academic as being an LTTE mouthpiece.

A close friend, now deceased, had written about the treatment of IDPs (Internal Displaced Persons) ie: war refugees for those who find the term too vague. He was critical of the how the government was managing the situation and suggested solutions. For his efforts he was falsely accused of being a Tamil Tiger. Rightly, the Sri Lankan Government held him in such high esteem that he was invited to inspect the IDP camps. It is his testimony that I trust more than those of partisan media operatives. What I should also mention is that this man was a Tamil who grew up in Jaffna.

There are several people who have dominated the media narrative since the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War. One of these people is Gordon Weiss who strayed from his UN mission to become and active player in Sri Lankan politics. Why he did this is anyone’s guess. Yet his habit of making wild claims about the war situation was one of the most unhelpful things that ever did. So much so that the UN mission in Sri Lanka had to publish retraction on several occassions. When he left the UN his reputation was so damaged that they put out a press release to distance themselves from his statements. It was after this that he decided to write a book about the war and use the accusation that 40,000 civilians had been massacred by the Sri Lankan forces to promote the book. When his polemic called “The Cage” was printed the figure of 40,000 magically dropped to 10,000. Yet some people in the media still use this man and his discredited figures as an authority on the conflict.

There is no shortage of controversial editorials from people who want the LTTE to absolved of any wrong doing. The problem is that many whitewash over things like suicide bombers and child soldiers.

“The Rise and Fall of the Tamil Tigers” does not pull its punches in the examination of the Sri Lankan Civil War. It is not a polemic of how wonderful and glorious the Sri Lankan Government is. In fact it explains out a good many mistakes and cost decision that both sides made during in the war. There is more to this conflict than who wins the propaganda war.

For people who want to believe that the LTTE were some kind of downtrodden protector of the Tamil population this book will make hard reading. For those that think that the narrative should claim that the Sri Lankan Government were a bunch of saintly souls will also be disappoint. What really matters is what actually happened and how the war was ended. This is the intent of “The Rise and Fall of the Tamil Tigers”. To explain what happened in the war and how it came to pass.

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Warped Logic – Infanticide Good, ProLife Bad

July 13, 2019

Warped Logic – Infanticide Good, ProLife Bad

Extreme Ideologues are often the worst people that ever managed to fall on to the Earth.  The spend time convincing themselves that they are all wise and knowing because they happen to have chosen a side in a controversial battle.  Then as if by some ordained power, their entire world view is beyond reproach and as a result, they are also beyond reproach.  They become the new religious fanatics when deeming that membership of guarantees salvation.  Not tradition religious salvation mind you, where you are spirited off to heaven as soon as you expire, but secular salvation where you are considered to be an enlightened one.  By merely subscribing to the ideology you have achieved the Nirvana of “wokeness” and “allyship”.

Who created this?  The keepers of the ideology did so many years ago when they shifted from espousing a list of grievances to promoting a whole world view of what they believe. So far so good, as long as your ideology is benign.  But many, far too many, suffer from the premise that their ideology is the one true ideology and anything that counters it is pure heresy.  And what do these ideologues do with their heretics? What part of their plan allows people to agree to disagree? Do they have a list of enemies that must be vanquished at all costs?  Do they believe that subscription to the ideology requires any kind of free will and consent? Or do they think that every mind must accept their manifesto by force if necessary?  Are we even able to question the dangers that the ideology poses?

Here we have the ideological questions that should have been put to the so-called “pro-choice” ideologues.  The questions about danger being the most significant.  What are they being pro-choice about?

An unchallenged ideological push into a culture will never stop until it` either fulfils its dreams or implodes under the gravity of its own contradictions.  As consoling that it may be to realise that many evil ideologies will destroy themselves, they can do enormous damage before this happens. 100 million people who died as a result of communism is just a sample of what can happen.  Why did it end up at this point?  Because the killing of some innocent human beings became excusable. Once that starts, the death lists are inevitable. The ideologically possessed become the footsoldiers who unquestioningly carry out the death sentences.  Sometimes because were following the orders or wishes of their masters. Sometimes they jump the gun and kill innocents in order to prove their worthiness.  Sometimes they harbour deep desires to kill another human that they find the ideology that gives them permission to do so.

When someone goes on public record to promote infanticide do they know that most people would recoil in horror at it?  Chances are they do but feel secure enough in their station in life go ahead.  They may be fully aware that the vast majority of people see their “great proposal” as some kind of horror that no sane person should ever entertain.  They may know, but they just don’t care.  Their ideological core, which is the modern replacement of conscience, leaves them with feelings of purity and superiority.  They can hide reality in euphemisms and drown out uncomfortable questions with a barrage of ideological talking points to filibuster the time.  More comforting to the ideologue is the support that they will receive from their fellow ideologues and allies for the cause of infanticide.

“Rise and Fall of the Tamil Tigers” – Survives another lame attack by Sam Varghese

July 12, 2019

“Rise and Fall of the Tamil Tigers” Book – Survives another lame attack by Sam Varghese

The Rise and Fall of the Tamil Tigers

By Damian TangramPaperback,

The Rise and Fall of the Tamil Tigers

Lulu Publications has deleted Sam Varghese’s inaccurate and defamatory review from their website for breaking the “guidelines” of their platform.

Here is a quote from an email that sent to me this morning:

“…We have determined that the review in question is in violation of our review posting guidelines, and it has been removed…”

It seems that Lulu takes a dim view of unprofessional journalists like Sam Varghes blatant attempt to make false statements.

Special thanks to Lulu and their associated publishers for their professionalism in dealing with a blatant attempt to have my censored out of existence.

Editorial Comment:

“Read the Book that they tried to ban.”
(Is that a bit much?)

Update 13 July 2019:

For the record:

Sam Varghese
Sam Varghese is a journalist of Indian origin who has been resident in Australia for the last 18 years.

Dr. Rohan Gunaratna – The Terrorist Mindset : What Ideas Drive Terrorism & Extremism

July 11, 2019

Dr. Rohan Gunaratna – The Terrorist Mindset : What Ideas Drive Terrorism & Extremism

Editorial Comment:

A balance view of the terrorist mindset.

Thanks for the attempted censorship Sam Varghese – but the “Rise and Fall of the Tamil Tigers” stands.

July 10, 2019

Thanks for the rant Sam Varghese and the attempted censorship.

Few people like getting a bad review , my self included. However, I am a big boy, and having faced the fire and brimstone of professional life I have come to realise that you just can’t please everybody.

If someone dislikes what I have written it is their prerogative. If someone dislike me for what I have written, I could not care less. I am used to critics in that too. Often they come to blast my opinion, then linger to criticise how it is written (as if they some kind of self appointed school teacher). After failing to destroy me, or my message, they go off to some authority figure to have me censored or banned. It doesn’t matter who they go to, they just don’t want anyone reading what I wrote. This is what emotional children do. They go tell the teacher, the blog owner, the publisher, a policeman or ever their mum to do something about this nasty person who does not agree with them.

This is where the honourable Mr Sam Varghese drops in to tell everyone that he is in fact the true guru of Sri Lankan history and English grammar. Thanks Sam, but do you really think that telling lies about a book will make it disappear? What made Sam think that his desperate attempt to censor my book would ever work?

On June 30th Sam expressed his displeasure on his private blog site called “IRREGULAR EXPRESSION“. His opinion piece was called : “The Rise and Fall of the Tamil Tigers is a third-rate book. Don’t waste your money buying it” (Ouch!)

Lets get down to Sam’s factual errors first before dealing with his questionable reasoning.

Factual error 1: “The book is published by the author himself, an Australian named Damian Tangram, who appears to have no connection to Sri Lanka apart from the fact that he is married to a Sri Lankan woman.”

Correction: This is a deliberate misrepresentation. I do state many of trips, connections and long term stays in Sri Lanka. Many are listed in the footnotes and text.

Factual Error 2: “Capital letters are spewed all over the pages and even an eighth-grade student would not write rubbish of this kind.”

Correction: No they are not. Sam just made this up in a sloppy attempt at personal abuse. Unprofessional, to say the least. The only places where capital letter are used is for proper nouns, initials such as JVP or LTTE, and where I am directly quoting from a text.

Factual Error 3: “In many parts of the book, government propaganda is republished verbatim and it all looks like a cheap attempt to make some money by taking up a subject that would be of interest, and then producing a low-grade tome.

Correction: Untrue – Both government and LTTE sources are directly quoted in this book. “…and it all looks like a cheap attempt to …blah blah blah…” You get the picture. Sam attributes sinister motive to why the book was written. It is all about those great piles of author money arriving at my doorstep. This just another attempt at personal abuse.

Factual Error 4: “Some of the sources it quotes are highly dubious,”

Correction: The sources are referenced. That is what the footnotes are for. A proper academic and even a half competent journalist would be able to check these references and point out the ones that are false. It is very telling that he did not do this.

Error 5: “…one of them being a Singapore-based so-called terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratne who has been unmasked as a fraud on many occasions.

Correction: Here Sam links to a hatchet job in the The Age newspaper written by Gary Hughes, who has no known expertise on Sri Lanka, Terrorism or even Prof. Rohan Gunaratne. The hatchet job on Rohan appears to be the only time that Gary has written anything on terrorism (Classy).

Rohan is referenced only once in my book, because he wrote a book called “Inside al-Qaeda: Global Network of Terror” before the attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11. Calling the Professor of Security Studies at the Nantang Technological University of Singapore a fraud by low rent critics goes with the turf.

Sam’s attempt at Censorship: “When the abysmal quality of the book was brought to their notice, both thought I wanted my money back. I wanted them to remove it from sale so that nobody else would get cheated the way I was.”

My response: Censorship Sam? How dare a book be published without his approval?

If you want to be a fan boy for a dubious character like Gordon Weiss, then good for you.

The book “The Rise and Fall of the Tamil Tigers” does take issue with many of Gordon’s errors, exaggerations and unethical tactics that he and his publisher used to promote his book called “The Cage”. I also exposed many of the blunders that destroyed his reputation with the UN Office in Sri Lanka. I am happy to criticise Gordon but at no stage have I ever asked for his views to be censored.

Censorship Failure: “After some back and forth, and both companies refusing to understand that the book is a fraud, I gave up”

My Response: I cannot help but laugh at this. What did Sam expect? It is a book, not Facebook, you clown. My publisher understands this better than you do. You called it a fraud and they did not agree. You did not like the message so you wanted to censor the book. This is tin foil hat levels of craziness that you delivered to their doorstep and they politely told you take a hike.

Editorial Comment:

Quote of the Day: “After some back and forth, and both companies refusing to understand that the book is a fraud, I gave up”

My response: Hahahaha! No one likes a quitter. Tomorrow is a new day and there are many more books out there that Sam Varghese can try to censor. After all, nothing beats a good book burning.

Obviously Sam Varghese has an agenda. Maybe he should stick to writing about sport. History, Sri Lanka, Terrorism and even English grammar are not his forte.

Update: 13 July 2019:

This kind of sad. The only reason that I wrote about Sam Varghese is because he claims to be a journalist and he tried to have my book censored.

It seems that poor old Sam Varghese is having a hard time adjusting to his failed attempt at having “The Rise and Fall of the Tamil Tigers” censored. As a result, he has exploded in rage all over his blog site with another rant about why my book should be pulled from publication.

His post, which filled with rage and banal points, not to forget personal attacks, is almost incomprehensible. He wanders all over the place without any clear point or idea of what he is angry about.

It is a rare treat to have someone threaten to go through every page and line of what I have writen and dispute each point but not unheard of. However, when disputing a referenced text it might be worth while providing references as evidence. Nar, Sam doesn’t need to do that because being pompous and self important is enough. Evidence is not required when you are sports journalist. All this from a man who claims to be some guru of grammar and English.

I do feel sorry for Sam. Rather than write his own book on Sri Lanka he wants to stop others from writing on the subject. Why?

Suck it up Sam, you tried to censor a book and failed. Everything else is just hot air.

Or as my father used to say: “No one is forcing you to read it.”

ScoMo Wins Government in Australia

May 19, 2019

It was close to midnight Eastern Time in Australia when the opposition leader Bill Shorted took to the stage to concede defeat in the federal election. What was expected to be the unlosable election was lost. They was no swing to the opposition Labour Party across the country, despite opinion poll after opinion poll claim some kind of groundswell. Early in the night it was obvious that all the campaigning was producing zero traction across the nation. Suburban working class seats that were tradionally the heart land of Labour voters in New South Wales were falling to LNP Coalition government. Queensland was a disaster for Labour. By 8.30pm, just two and half hours after polls closed, it was obvious that the Labour Part were not receiving any major swing in their direction.

Jubalent expectation died quickly in the opposition and was transformed into a somber mood of defeat. They knew what was coming and only held out hope that as counting in the western states came there might be a few gain to flip the result or at best create a hung parliament. No such hope came as the people of Australia decided that the status quo of the current government was far better than the risk of change. The election that was reputed to in the bag for Labour was over.

The Liberal National Part Coalition did have one significant loss with the defeat for the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott to a new commer independant. His defeat was most likely due the carpet bombing campain run by a whole range of cashed up activist. Mob like Getup poured millions of dollars and thousand of voluteers with the objective of taking Tony Abbott down. The campaign against Tony Abbott was ugly, dishoest and even violent. Obscene posters were erected, his posters were torn down, feases was sent to his office, Getup had to pull one of its ads that portrayed Tony letting a person drown and finally, one of his election staff being stabbed. Ironically, it is likely that the intense campaign against Tony Abbott drew so many resources from Getup that they little left to campaign in any other seat. Thus enuring that the effort to defeat Tony Abbott cotributed to the LNP victory. National Party member, Barnaby Joyce, went so far as to thank Gettup for wasting their resources in this way.

The counting of vote was going through the night as the official number of seats are yet to be known. If Scott Morrison gains 76 seats then he will have a majority government and won’t have to make grubby deals with a gaggle of greedy inderpendants.

Sri Lankan Easter Attack Update:Bio attack-next phase of terrorist attack?

April 29, 2019
Watch this video

Sri Lankan Easter Attack Update:Bio attack-next phase of terrorist attack?

Media in Sri Lanka report that the next planned phase of terrorist attacks might have been chemical weapons.

Editorial Comment:

The report claims to have seen quantities of sulphuric acid but all I saw in the video were large containers of Nitric Acid.

Since I have worked in explosive manufacturing I think that should point out that Nitric Acid is one of the raw components in the manufacture of high explosives. Explosive manufacture is often referred to as Nitration because of the use of Nitric Acid. eg: Nitro Glycerine, Nitro Cellulose etc.

This make me a little skeptical about claims of chemical attacks.

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