Stephen Long is clearly an adventurous American who has travelled widely and ventured into the paths of Buddhist meditation as a central facet within this journey – so much so that he adopted a brahmacharya philosophy of life leading to his ordination in Los Angeles. He does not seem to be a mere dabbler in the Buddhist dispensation: he has published a book entitled Karmic Ties: A Novel of Modern Asia (1999). He also got to know Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In my conjecture this could have been in Los Angeles; but he also refers to a meeting with Gotabaya when the latter was effectively overseeing Defence (with his brother President Mahinda as formal Minister).
His recent article “Sri Lanka: A Tragic Lesson in Revenge Politics” betrays a distinct bias: it overblows the weight of Gotabaya’s hand in Sri Lanka’s victory in Eelam War IV just a tad. However, when Long asserts that Gotabaya Rajapaksa “literally had the country ‘wired’ for real-time information-collecting and feedback to authorities,” he pinpoints a vital pillar in the war campaign. As we know from a wide variety of sources and as Long claims, this security pillar was systematically dismantled by the Yahapālana government, thereby opening the door for the Zahran Hashim network to implement its carnage on Easter Sunday despite intel-reports from abroad with concrete data on their intent (see below). Continue reading
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Political Editor, Sunday Times, 19 May 2019, where the title runs “Sri Lanka caught in the big power conflicts”
When elephants fight, an African proverb says, it is the ants that get crushed. In essence that encapsulates how the small and weak become dangerously vulnerable when big powers fight for dominance and even hegemony. That is Sri Lanka now.
President Maithripala Sirisena returned from China on Thursday after adding another explosive chapter to this big nation power play. His Media Office head-lined a statement saying, “three significant agreements with China on national security and development were signed.” However, there was no mention of what these agreements were or the different titles.
Bilateral talks on security between China and Sri Lanka under way Continue reading
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Kate Shellnutt, in Christianity Today, 3 May 2019, where the title is “Sri Lanka’s Christian Refugees Displaced by Retaliation Threats”
Pakistani asylum seekers in Negombo fled terrorist attacks in their home country, only to fear retribution for more deadly violence in their place of refuge.
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Tisaranee Gunasekara, whose choice of title has been “Secularism or Faith” — in an article which appeared in Groundviews as well as Sri Lanka Guardian
“And even here
Lies the other shore
Waiting to be reached.”
Tagore (My Reminiscences)
The blue, red, yellow, orange and white lights are on, as are the makeshift stalls selling lanterns. Yet few pause to see, haggle, buy. Vesak, so near chronologically, had never seemed so far away spiritually. After the Easter Sunday Massacre, fears were raised about Vesak too being turned into a bloody spectacle by the IS, working through its local adherents. As it turned out, neither the IS nor its local adherents were necessary to turn Vesak into a season of violence. The Sinhalese managed the task on their own.
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