Category Archives: fundamentalism

Intolerance. The Deep Currents within Sri Lanka

This last week  i received two emails, one from a friend in Canada and another from a well-placed senior person in Colombo, which, quite independently, touched on Ahmaddiya, Christian and Rohingya refugees brought to the island as transit refugees by UNHCR and parked in the western coastal areas. Bishop Dhiloraj Canagasabey’s recent public address confirmed the thrust of these two emails. The implications are disheartening and should fore all of us Lankans to review our recent history and its shortcomings.

ONE: Email Note from Canada, 15 May 2019

Hello Michael,  The following might be of interest to you as a social scientist. (A) I read the story (in the link below) at Google News – which sends me stories on SL to my inbox, This is interesting as I was unaware that SL had “foreign” refugees. There were rumours that Rishad Badudeen (Minister – Puttalam) was settling some Bangladeshis in Wilpattu. Continue reading

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From Frying Pan into Fire. Pakistani Refugees in Peril in Sri Lanka

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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Secular Bulwarks against Religious Fanaticism — Our Urgent Need

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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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 Easter Sunday Killings: Profound Protests

ONE: From the Patriarchs of Jerusalem, dated 24th April 2010, https://hcef.org/790814456-a-statement-from-the-patriarchs-and-heads-of-church-in-jerusalem-on-the-terrorist-attacks-in-sri-lanka-on-easter-day

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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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Where End Goal and Zeal produce a Deadly Cocktail

  Chandre Dharmawardena, in Colombo Telegraph, 6 April 2019, where the title is “Why Do “Educated” Youth Join Extremist Terrorist Movements?”

It is often asked  why educated youth “coming from good homes” join extremist organizations. Simple  references to “brain washing”, or the stupidity of the young are no explanations. There is no scientifically recognized   process called “brain washing”. It is also  naive to assume that  educated youth  join the IS (Islamic state)  to go to heaven and get their 21 virgins! Many youth radicalized in British Universities ended up fighting for the ISIS. At least one of the Sri Lankan Muslim Kamikazi had a British training, had four children, a flourishing business and lived in a million dollar home in Colombo. A British education in a narrow subject like “information technology” not touching any  broad scientific or cultural subjects, given in a British “red Brick” university can have no effect on already acquired belief systems. Don’t our “most educated” ministers go to Tirupathi, India,at the drop of a pin?

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