Category Archives: Al Qaeda

Addressing the 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists: Where Fervour Trumps ‘Deep Throats’

Michael Roberts

When one of my articles on the jihadist network that perpetrated the 21/4 attacks in Sri Lanka referred to the inspirations behind the 9/11 attacks in USA, I was surprised to receive vehement rejections of the latter contention from two good friends and one distant  ‘aide’ in Canada – challenges sent independently of each other.

These challenges have been rejected by other friends – at times quite bluntly. But Jeremy Liyanage,[1] Jean-Pierre Page[2] and Chris Black[3] are individuals with whom I have interacted fruitfully and whose commitment to the pursuit of truth and reform in this world are not in doubt. So, this revisiting of 9/11 and its perpetrators on my part is a personal journey that addresses my three friends, while yet seeking to raise significant issues in today’s world – especially embracing the ramifications of the ideological currents known as “Wahhabism” and “Salafism” (terms that seem to be deployed interchangeably).[4] Continue reading

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An Incisive Summary of Factors that enabled the Easter Bloodbath

General HMHA Herath, in Island, 15 May 2019, where the title is Who was behind the Easter terrorist attacks?”

While the Islamic State has claimed responsibility, the real story is a bit more complicated than that. To millions of Sri Lankans the Easter Sunday tragedy must have seemed a nightmare come true, a frightening déjà vu of the rampant violence this island nation has known for thirty years of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terror. The horrific attacks in which an estimated 253 lost their lives and many hundreds were wounded, signaled that the decade’s calm that prevailed after LTTE’s 2009 destruction by Sri Lanka’s Army is over.

1 What went wrong?

At the time, victory over the LTTE inspired confidence and heady optimism. A 2012 defense seminar in Colombo heralded “Peace and Stability” as its core theme and the five ‘Rs’ (Reconstruction, Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Reconciliation) as the imperative agenda for Sri Lanka. The mood at the time was upbeat and the country’s future seemed bright. The safety of the post-war period brought to the country millions of tourists (2.1 million in 2017 alone), and the reconstruction of Sri Lankan economy and infrastructure commenced apace. With the horrific Easter disaster, this process has come to a grinding halt. And the troubling question is what developments allowed it to happen. Continue reading

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The Clash of Civilisations and Hate at the Heart of 21/4 in Sri Lanka

Michael Roberts

My thoughts are organised in point-form in order to assist succincttness.

A = I recall seeing a news item a day or so back which indicated that Sri Lanka was in the process of acquiring sophisticated cyber-technology from China in order to pursue its intelligence work the better. Quite logical that — though late in the day.

Mecca at Hajj Pilgrims at St Peter’s Basilica

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The Demons within Sri Lanka: Long-Term Methods of Abatement?

Michael Roberts

Here I reproduce the second half of a longer article presented in October 2018 where I pinpointed the hidden dangers to Sri Lanka resting within the implications of Mark Field’s visit to the island then — a conveying a message that was one part of the continuing Western nation-cum-UNHCR project to punish Sri Lanka and foist a devolutionary political system on the island. Obviously, this essay was coined before the explosive manifestation of another divisive time-bomb within the Sri Lankan body politic: that of Islamic extremists motivated by the Wahhabi ideology hostile to specific ‘pinnacles’ in any Westernized body politic – such as (a) the Papacy and (b) high-rise hotels marking wealth and ‘debauchery’.**

This traumatic moment on Easter Sunday 21st April 2019 reminds us of two earth shattering moments: the LTTE attack on the Central Bank in Colombo on 31st January 1996 and the Al-Qaida attack on the World Trade Centre in New York on 9th September 2001 (9/11 in shorthand).***

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Gamage reveals USA’s Strategic Goals in the Indian Ocean and Sri Lanka’s Place via 2007 Robert Blake Cables

Daya Gamage in Asian Tribune, 12 February 2019, where the title is

The Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) signed between the Governments of Sri Lanka and the United States in March 2007 which allowed both countries to transfer and exchange logistics supplies, support, and re-fueling services clearly benefitted the United States in its military operation in the Asia-Pacific region – specifically US Pacific Command (USPACOM) which is now US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) – but left Sri Lanka with absolutely no benefit from the U.S. at a time Sri Lanka was in an intense military battle with the separatist Tamil Tigers.

 Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (2005-2015) and U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka (2006-2009) Robert Blake in a conversation in Colombo during the time the 2007 military agreement was signed Continue reading

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Tamil Tigers: Dead Body Politics and Sacrificial Devotion

Michael Roberts, reproducing here an article  entitled “Tamil Tigers:  Sacrificial symbolism and ‘dead body politics’,” that was first presented in  Anthropology Today, June 2008,  vol.  24/3: 22-23. The re-working of this article was seen to by Ms Nadeeka Paththuwaarachchi of Battaramulla.

Scholars and journalists often mistakenly treat the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, or Tamil Tigers) as a ‘secular organization’ at a time when stereotypes of the Islamic ‘terrorist’ or ‘Hindu fundamentalist’ dominate popular thinking about political extremism. Political scientists devote space to the Tamil Tigers in their global surveys of what they term ‘suicide terrorism’.[1] Recently, Roland Buerk of the BBC presented a similar view: ‘They are not religious and believe that there is nothing after death. Their fanaticism is born of indoctrination from childhood.[2]

Tiger fighters relax in camp but retain their kuppi with cyanide in chainsaround neck-Pic by Shyam Tekwani c.1989 whne embedded among the LTTE

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Remembering 9/11: Two Australian Tales in 2017

ONE = Mary Lloyd: “The Australian artist who captured the horror of 9/11 on film,” 11 September 2017

Chris Hopewell heard the sound of the first plane collide with the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, but it was his cats running in circles that tipped him off that something disastrous had happened. After the Australian artist opened his curtains and went onto the balcony of his Williamsburg apartment, he saw the damage that had been done to the tower, but had no idea what had caused it.

Pic by Reuters- Sara K Schwittek

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