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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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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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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