Category Archives: Afghanistan

Terrorism in Sri Lanka: Some Threads in Social Media …. with Analytic Reflections

Sanjana Hattotuwa, in Sunday Island, 28 April 2019, where the title is “It doesn’t make sense”
-Naren Hattotuwa – Easter Sunday.” … with highlighting emphasis being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

A Scene from Christchurch and Sri Lanka

On Monday, my 12-year-old son learnt his classmate had passed away at the Intensive Care Unit, a victim of one of the blasts in Colombo. My son’s mother and I grew up in the long shadow of the Black July anti-Tamil pogrom and the UNP-JVP violence in the late 80s. For many in our generation and older, there is a normalization of violence. This is often confused with getting used to or accepting violence.

After the Christchurch massacre in March, many Kiwis trying to get to grips with the scale of the violence unthinkingly said that since I came from Sri Lanka, I was far more used to dealing with terrorism. I suppose that’s in a way true. Mundane things done every day have their own logic and reason that no one from outside cycles of violence would understand. In Kabul, a city where so much is wrong and getting worse, I feel completely at home amidst the detours, convoys, checkpoints, occasional explosion, news of imminent attacks and sporadic gunfire – or the sound of an engine back-firing shrugged off as gunfire, obviously the lesser evil there. The assumption that the more time one spends with it, the greater the ease in dealing with terrorism is, however, untrue. Continue reading

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Imran Khan is Ultimate Hope for Indo-Pak Amity — says Gavaskar

S.  Venkat Narayan, in Island, 21 August 2018 where the title is “Sunil Gavaskar: If “Immy” Khan’t usher in a new eram of friendship between India and Pakistan, nobody can”

Sunil Gavaskar, the Indian cricket legend, friend and rival of Imran Khan during their cricketing years, has expressed the hope that Khan will succeed in improving the strained relations between their nuclear-armed countries.  “Not just Pakistanis but the Indians also want him to take care of the problems between the two countries and bring a new zest to the relationship, for if Imran ‘Khan’t then nobody can!” Gavaskar declared in a special article published in The Times of India today.

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Filed under Afghanistan, authoritarian regimes, charitable outreach, communal relations, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian traditions, life stories, unusual people, world events & processes

Kumar as an Imran Khan? No, No, My Friend

Rip Van Winkle, in The Sunday Times, August 2018, where the title is “The corridor of uncertainty” .… with emphasis added by  The Editor, Thuppahi

I thought of writing to you when I heard you saying that you will not be running for the top job when the contest is held in little over a year. Hearing that, I was very disappointed – and quite surprised too because I always thought you would have been the ideal candidate to run the race next time around.

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Filed under accountability, Afghanistan, cricket for amity, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, taking the piss, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, world events & processes

Aussie Troops in Afghanistan deploy Nazi Emblem and generate Furore

Naaman Zhou, in The Guardian, 14 June 2018, where the title runs Nazi flag on Australian army vehicle ‘utterly unacceptable’, Turnbull says”

Malcolm Turnbull and the Department of Defence have condemned Australian soldiers who flew a Nazi flag above an Australian army vehicle in Afghanistan. Leaked photos taken in August 2007, obtained by the ABC, show the vehicle flying a flag emblazoned with a swastika during operations. Defence confirmed that the photos were genuine, and said they “rejected everything the flag represents”.

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Filed under accountability, Afghanistan, art & allure bewitching, disparagement, foreign policy, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, pulling the leg, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, war reportage

Choice of Death or Degradation for Afghan Refugees in Pakistan

AFP Item in DAWN, 10 February 2018, where the title runs For refugees, it’s a choice between death in Afghanistan or bitter life in Pakistan

Death awaits you in Afghanistan, says refugee Mohammad Wali, insisting he prefers to endure a grim existence in a Pakistani camp than return home and be killed. Islamabad has increasingly put Afghan refugees in the crosshairs in recent weeks, saying that militants hide in Pakistani camps and calling for refugees to be repatriated as part of a campaign to eliminate extremism.

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Wahhabi Ideology is the Root of Islamic Extremism

Nur Yalman, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, where the title runs Islam, Extremism & Hypocrisy” … highlighting emphasis is that of th Editor, Thuppahi

Suicide attacks in beloved Barcelona. We are once again left aghast at the cruelty of an entire group of malevolent people. These evil acts should have no place in civilized existence. Where do they come from? What is their purpose? What is to be done? First of all we must note that these murders are part of a “Death Cult” associated with the profound radicalism deriving from an unusual Wahhabi version of Islam.


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Accidental SAS Kills and the Remorse of Andrew Hastie

Ellen Whinnett, in The Weekend Advertiser, 10 December 2016, …see & listen to

The then 30-year-old was a captain with the SAS and, as troop commander, had called the Apache helicopters to take out two Taliban members loitering with a pair of donkeys about 1200m away. The Australians had intercepted communications from the pair organising an attack on the Black Hawk helicopters due to pick up this group of seven Aussie soldiers, who were visiting a remote police post in Taliban territory.Across the valley, two other figures with donkeys were gathering firewood, but Hastie didn’t pay them much attention. They were clearly civilians, and were hundreds of metres away from both the police post and the Taliban pair.


Liberal MP and former SAS captain Andrew Hastie has spoken out about his experiences in Afghanistan

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