Category Archives: authoritarian regimes

The AUSTRALIAN ‘Umpire’ bats for Sajith and depicts Gota as Anti-Democratic Ogre

 Amanda Hodge in The Weekend Australian, 16 November 2019, where the title runs Sri Lanka election dilemma: democracy or the dread of dynasty”

Ahead of Sri Lanka’s polarising presidential elections on Saturday, an editorial tinged with desperation in the Sunday Observer newspaper urged voters “to keep the lights on in Asia’s oldest democracy. Vote to keep the journalists in this newsroom and newsrooms across the country, who are trying to be truth-tellers, safe from harm,” it said. “There are 35 candidates on the November 16 ballot paper, but a presidential election is ultim­ately a choice between two candidates. One of them terrifies us.”

Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the Sinhalese-Buddhist nationalist party on Wednesday during the last political rally before heading to the polls on Saturday. Picture: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.

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Media Blitzkrieg from Keenan, Al-Jazeera et al: Fear Gota

THUPPAHI NOTE: A fear psychosis is being spread through the airwaves and web-routes by powerful players  who present a picture of Gotabaya as a potential dictator …. and even deploy the fallacious readings of the death-toll in Eelam War IV perpetrated by the drawing room boffins[1] who constituted the UN Panel of Experts (Darusman, Sooka et al) as one pillar in this campaign  (see https://www.srilankacampaign.org/a-decade-of-impunity-unlocking-accountability-for-the-victims-of-sri-lankas-killing-fields/ ………… for this dimension). Note that Alan Keenan’s essay is sponsored by the Lowy Institute.[2] Do read these items with a discerning eye and form your own conclusions.

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USA’s Political Programme in Sri Lanka and the Peace Corps Initiative

Daya Gamage, in response to the Thuppahi Invitation to Address Shenali Waduge’s Memorandum

This Pic  does not relate to a Sri Lankan issue; but it captures the tone in which Hillary Clinton pilloried Sri Lanka on 22nd April 2009 when the GoSL government did not abide by USA’s direct orders and proceeded to penetrate the LTTE’s last redoubt beyond Nandhikadal Lagoon — see https://frontline.thehindu.com/static/html/fl2610/stories/20090522261001600.htm

ONE: US Support for Tamil Separatism

In 1984, the CIA and the State Department produced a joint document – a highly classified one – solely on US foreign policy towards Sri Lanka after the LTTE started its terror campaign to bifurcate Sri Lanka followed by the JR Jayewardene administration seeking Washington’s help for military assistance.

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USA’s Imperialist Advances by Stealth? Goodness Gracious Me!

Michael Roberts

In my readings of her past work, Shenali Waduge tended to go overboard in several of her claims, while also displaying one-sided Sinhala chauvinistic leanings in her assessments. But her recent article in Lankaweb, entitled “US in Sri Lanka since 2015 – turning Sri Lanka into a Neo-Colonial Military Base,” addresses a wide range of issues, including some that are looming over Sri Lanka today. It is also marked by considerable industry and embraces an extended sweep of time.

COMSTOCK 3

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Baghdadi Assassination will spur ISIS Reinvention

David Kilcullen, in The Australian, 29 October 2019, where the title is  “ISIS on a road to revenge after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death”

The death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a symbolic blow to the organisation he led since April 2010. In practical terms, it may help the group regenerate as it adapts to the loss of its territorial “caliphate”. Baghdadi had been on the run since Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces captured his capital, the city of Raqqa in northern Syria, in October 2017. Islamic State’s last stronghold, near Baghouz on the Syrian-Iraqi border, fell to SDF fighters, coalition advisers and US and allied airstrikes in March this year. These losses followed the fall of Mosul in northern Iraq, the largest and most important city controlled by Islamic State, from which Baghdadi declared the “caliphate” in mid-2014.

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Sinhala Buddhist Storm Clouds in the Present Presidential Race

ACL Ameer Ali, in Colombo Telegraph, 25 October 2019, … and Financial Times, 26 October 2019, with this title, “Political Buddhism, Presidential Race & Minorities”

Although the origins of political Buddhism in Sri Lanka goes back to the 19thcentury, it was harnessed as an election winning tool in the 1950s by the founder of SLFP, SWRD Bandaranaike. It was from him that even the CIA is said to have learned to politicise Buddhism to entrench American power in Southeast Asia (Eugene Ford, Cold War Monks, Yale University Press, 2017). From the 1950s onwards, political Buddhism has become a permanent feature of in Sri Lanka’s ethno-democracy. In a sense, political Buddhism adopted a military face during the Rajapakse regime between 2005 and 2009 when it confronted an armed nationalist Tamil militia, and the absolute victory in that confrontation added an element of pride to politicised Buddhists. 

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USA’s Delta Force and the Baghdadi Killing

Jon Lockett, in SUN, 28 October 2019, with this title

THE special forces unit which hunted down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is so secretive even the Pentagon doesn’t admit it exists. Delta Force — set up by a US commander who served with the SAS- – only recruits the best of the best and plays by its own combat rules.

 Delta Force - known for its state-of-the-art equipment - was set up by a US commander who served with the SAS
Delta Force – known for its state-of-the-art equipment – was set up by a US commander who served with the SAS
In military circles it is known simply as ‘The Unit’ and is tasked with handling the most dangerous and specialised missions in the world.

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