Category Archives: Islamic fundamentalism

Violence in Sri Lanka: Slipshod Scholarship

Michael Roberts

I recently circulated a whole set of articles by some Muslim scholars (located in the Eastern Province and abroad) as well as a few others in Western universities — mostly written in the 2011-19 period. I am beginning to go through them slowly when I can carve out time for this set of tasks. A few have focused on the incidence of crime and communal violence in the post 2009 period.

What strikes me on reading these ventures is the limited degree of reading of past works that has been pursued and the appalling gaps in their background – lapses which also impinge on their comments on the death toll in the last stages of Eelam War IV.

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Filed under accountability, chauvinism, communal relations, conspiracies, cultural transmission, doctoring evidence, economic processes, electoral structures, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, NGOs, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, racist thinking, Rajapaksa regime, religiosity, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes

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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Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, chauvinism, communal relations, electoral structures, ethnicity, fundamentalism, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, language policies, legal issues, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Bathiudeen and Hakeem Arm-in-Arm

Rajeewa Jayaweera, in Island, 27 October 2019, with this title “Hakeem-Bathiudeen United Front”

That the Rajapaksas were responsible for the political advent of Rishad Bathiudeen (RB) and his All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) is a widely believed theory. It was supposed to counter the political monopolization of the Muslim community by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and its leader and Rauff Hakeem (RH). Nevertheless, recent events indicate that may not be the case. When push comes to shove, they seem to be operating in unison, protecting and defending each other.

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Filed under communal relations, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, landscape wondrous, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, performance, politIcal discourse, sri lankan society, taking the piss

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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Essays on Sinhala Buddhist Extremism towards the Muslims in Sri Lanka

 Iselin Frydenlund** presenting a review article in the Journal of Religion and Violence, Vol. 6, No. 2, 201830 … reviewing Buddhist Extremists and Muslim Minorities: Religious Conflict in Contemporary Sri Lanka. Edited by John Clifford Holt. Oxford University Press, 2016. 254 pp. Hardcover $105.00 /ISBN: 9780190624378. Paperback $35.00 / ISBN: 9780190624385.

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That Nightmare Moment: Farbrace and Bayliss give BBC A Detailed Account of the Lahore Assault, 3rd March 2009

On the 3rd March 2019 the BBC took the heady step of interviewing the longstanding management team of Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace about their nightmare-experiences at the roundabout approaching Gaddafi Stadium in Karachi from 8.39 am on 3rd March 2009.

On 3 March 2009, the Sri Lanka cricket team were in Lahore, Pakistan. It was the third morning of another Test match. Shortly before 09:00 local time, just outside the Gaddafi Stadium, 12 gunmen ambushed them. Six policemen and a driver escorting match officials were killed. The attackers were armed with assault rifles, grenades and rocket launchers. England coach Trevor Bayliss and his assistant Paul Farbrace, both then working with Sri Lanka, were on the team bus. Here, 10 years on, they explain how they survived.

03 Mar 2009, LAHORE, Pakistan — epa01653633 Pakistani Police commandoes guard Gadaffi Cricket Stadium, where Sri Lankan cricketers were taken following an attack in Lahore Pakistan on 03 March 2009. Unidentified gunmen attacked Sri Lanka’s cricket team 03 March when it was being escorted to a local stadium in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore, leaving six policemen and two civilians dead and four Sri Lankan players injured, media reports and officials said. EPA/STRINGER — Image by © STRINGER/epa/Corbis

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Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, life stories, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan cricket, trauma, unusual people, world events & processes

Bewildering Facts and Gaps: The Lahore Assault on the Cricket Entourage in March 2009

 Michael Roberts

 The perpetrators of the attack on the cricket entourage heading for Gaddafi Stadium on 3rd March 2009 have never been identified in a sure-fire manner. Nor have any Pakistani analysts clarified the motivations and politics behind this horrendous assault on a sport that meant so much to Pakistanis themselves. Were the personnel who mounted the assault jihadists who did not wish the cricket bat to sustain more appeal than the scimitar that stands as a symbol for a Islamic resurgence?

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