Security and Governance Failures Everywhere: A Concise Review by Gus Mathews

EMAIL NOTE  from Gus Mathews in London, 25 March 2019 commending the Article by Rajeewa Jayaweera (see below)

Rajeewa,

Thank you for this incisive analysis. Irrespective of the atrocities committed on Easter Sunday I am afraid the blame lies entirely with the government of the day. This government is slipshod, non-functional and above all complacent. While many will indicate the toxic relationship between the President and PM as the main fault it is much more than this simple issue. The security apparatus has been run down deliberately since the end of the Eelam war to appease the minorities and the West. Is it any wonder that it took the horrific murder of 359 innocents and the wounding of over 500 for this government to come to its senses. When it came down to security the last regime was on the ball and the security services would have heeded not only the International warnings but acted on it swiftly.

in Feb 2019- AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena

The issue of indoctrination is an aspect that this government has also shoved down to the bottom of the security queue. In order to please the Muslim minorities and their UNP Muslim supporters the necessary security actions have been delayed or in some cases abandoned. The construction of 500 illegal mosques is a good case in point.
I reserve my opprobrium for RW in this respect. RW could never be president so he engineered with the help of the West to elevate a inexperienced My3 to President so that he could manipulate him and run the country by himself. Unfortunately after a while ‘the worm turned’ and imbroglio is now Sri Lankan political history.
In the meantime the economy that was growing at 7 percent is now at 3 percent and the rupee is on a hiding to nothing. The security apparatus has been wound down or given less prominence to please the minorities. The Americans are now engineering a military base in the east of the country by stealth and RW is navel gazing and bidding the time for the next election. RW yearns to be the cynosure of Sri Lanka – it is self aggrandisement by any stretch of the imagination.  My3 in the meanwhile is plotting for the next phase of the Presidential election – the very post he wanted to abolish and promised that he would be a one term President. Such are the abominations of this government. Is it any surprise that 359 deaths and 500 injured in coordinated attacks happened during this government’s watch?
  **** ****

Rajeewa Jayaweera: “Let not History repeat Itself,” Island, 25 April 2019, http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=203138

In the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings, the Peace-Loving Moderate Muslims in Sri Lanka (PLMM) has supposedly urged the government to ban the religious movement National Thawheed Jamat.

In a letter addressed to President Sirisena and other politicians, the PLMM has stated; “This movement has fast become a cancer within the Muslim community in Sri Lanka, preaching and practicing religious intolerance, exerting pressure on other Islamic movements, making it compulsory to attend mosques, making it compulsory to learn the Arabic language, making the implementation of Sharia law above the civil laws of Sri Lanka, forcing females to wear the burka and the construction of mosques and madrassas in many parts of the country are some of these activities. This movement which started in the Eastern Province has now spread to many different parts of Sri Lanka.”

The PLMM must understand Peace Loving Moderate Muslims have a vital role to play in neutralizing extremist groups such as Thawheed Jamat. Mere letter writing will not do. PLMM and other similar organizations must actively join the government, openly and unreservedly, in the fight to defeat extremists within its community. Muslims need to involve themselves in policing their own community, besides actively monitoring activities of extremist elements and sharing such information with the authorities, and besides placing such information before Parliament. It will serve the twin purpose of inducing an inept government into action from its slumber (hopefully), besides establishing the genuine intentions of the moderates within the community.

M.R.M. Malik, Director of the Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs, recently disclosed [that there were] more than 500 unregistered mosques in the country. Is it the PLMM’s contention 500 illegal mosques have been constructed by a handful of extremist Muslims? Or is it with the assistance and connivance of those among the Peace-Loving Moderate Muslims? It would be pertinent to raise the question, how many of these 500 mosques are involved in “preaching and practicing religious intolerance” as stated in PLMM’s letter? Does the government have the political will and the PLMM the commitment to shut down these 500 illegal mosques?

It is a known fact some mosques and madrassas are used by extremists for their destructive activities the world over. While religious freedom is guaranteed in our constitution, it is the state’s prerogative to monitor what goes on inside Buddhist Temples, Christian Churches, Hindu Kovils and Muslim Mosques/Madrassas. All religious organizations espousing peace, love, and harmony must open their places of worship for government inspection and oversight.

According to the PLMM, 99% of Sri Lankan Muslims are Sunnis. A majority, nearly 75% belong to Jableeq Jamaat, the moderate faction and belongs to the PLMM. By mobilizing its membership in actively supporting government efforts to contain and prevent further extremist activities, can the moderates make a worthwhile contribution.

Minister Kabir Hashim, General Secretary of UNP, a senior cabinet minister and a Muslim, during a media briefing early this week referred to a person arrested during a raid in Puttalam of a cache of explosives. The suspect had been released due to the intervention of a powerful politician. The detained and released person was one of the suicide bombers on Easter Sunday. Why does Hashim hide the identity of this powerful politician? Is he defending a member of his own community and a cabinet colleague? Should the culprit not be named, shamed and his connections with the Easter Sunday bomber thoroughly investigated?

Governments are not blameless. The anti-Muslim riots in 2014 were five years ago, and in 2018 over one year ago. The main culprit of [behind the] 2014 attacks Ven. Galagoda Gnanasara is in jail for an unrelated offense. Rioters arrested in 2018 are now out on bail. Judicial process related to both episodes is non-existent.

The lack of judicial process is a repetition of the July 1983 pogroms.

Time was in the early 1980s when LTTE and other Tamil terrorist groups began raising its head. The Tamil community in the North and East consisted of two groups, i.e. those who sympathized with the terrorist groups and those who actively supported such groups. Sizable numbers of both categories were also present in Colombo and other metropolitan cities. This was before LTTE emerged as the most powerful group. The sympathizers had elders who even affectionately referred to the terrorists as ‘the boys.’ That was before LTTE Supremo Prabhakaran started forced conscription of their own ‘boys.’

It would be safe to state that Sri Lankan forces in the North and East received little or no help worth mentioning from the Tamil community.

Let not history repeat itself.

*** ***

HOT PRESS: Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando has resigned  = https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/sri-lankas-defence-secretary-resigns-following-suicide-bomb-attacks/article26944923.ece?utm_source=pushnotifications&utm_campaign=pushnotifications&utm_medium=ALL_USER

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, atrocities, disparagement, governance, historical interpretation, jihad, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, unusual people, world events & processes

One response to “Security and Governance Failures Everywhere: A Concise Review by Gus Mathews

  1. Janaka

    Finally The Bloody Truth said without fear. Lets also name some of the Int Human Rights groups specially the zealots like Alan Keenan, Yasmin Zooka etc who equally share the bloody hands with the terrorist.

    PS – There were some Int Western Journalist doing the rounds on the well known echo chambers citing that the USA gave early warning to the GOSL. Until A Clever Lankan Journalist pointed out if that was so, then why didn’t the state dep issue their customary Travel Advisory. A red faced USA Ambassador to SL killed the story saying we did not inform as we did not know.

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