Category Archives: religious nationalism

Decline in Tourism and the Blame Game: Where Sinhala Buddhist Extremism is a Major Ingredient?

Hilal Suhail in Facebook

If you have invested in Sri Lanka’s tourism and hospitality industry, then it would serve you well to keep up with the international media coverage of Sri Lanka in recent weeks. The island nation’s reputation has taken a massive beating and it’s unlikely tourism will pick up any time soon. There is no point blaming the foreign media and claiming there is some conspiracy against Sri Lanka, and puff pieces promoting tourism by the Ministry of Tourism and other social media campaigns are pointless and won’t convince many outsiders to take the risk in visiting.

The international media is highlighting the terrible actions of some in the Sinhalese majority, and the violence and discrimination unleashed by Buddhist extremists for decades. The Easter bombings aren’t being solely blamed on Muslim extremists by the international media, they are focusing on the incompetent Sri Lankan police and military who failed to prevent the attacks, despite possessing intelligence beforehand to do so, and also for having caused a situation in Sri Lanka where religious and ethnic minorities are not protected.

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Challenging Hannah Beech: The Strangulation of the Rohingyas, 1948-2019

Gerald Peiris, … responding to https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2019/07/16/buddhist-zealots-in-sri-lanka-and-myanmar-stir-the-cauldron/See Note at head of References

The section of the Bangladesh frontier in the south-east runs adjacent to the northern Arakan states of Myanmar (formerly, Burma) —a politically turbulent area which has, at least from the late 1940s, been featured by spells of high intensity conflict between the government of Myanmar and the Arakanese Muslims, the ‘Rohingya.’ The length of time over which the Rohingya have coexisted in this hilly area with the numerically larger ‘Rakhine’ — a predominantly Buddhist ethnic group— is not known with certainty. The Rohingya claim in this regard is that their roots could be traced back to the 10th century Muslim migrations into Burma, and that, in the northern Arakan, they constituted an independent principality for more than three centuries from 1430 to 1784.[i]  This has been disputed.  The official stand of the government of Myanmar (which has, in fact, been corroborated in certain scholarly writings) is that the Rohingya community consists largely of Bengali Muslims who migrated into this area after the annexation of Arakan by the British in 1843.

Pics from 2017 selected by Thuppahi from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/rohingya-crisis-photos_n_5a3bc302e4b025f99e150f1d

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Buddhist Zealots in Sri Lanka and Myanmar stir the Cauldron

Hannah Beech, in New York Times, 8 July 2019, where the title runs “Buddhists Go to Battle: When Nationalism Overrides Pacifism” …. A call to arms for Sri Lankan monks. Ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Myanmar. A Buddhist faith known for pacifism is taking its place in a new age of nationalism

GINTOTA, Sri Lanka — The Buddhist abbot was sitting cross-legged in his monastery, fulminating against the evils of Islam, when the petrol bomb exploded within earshot. But the abbot, the Venerable Ambalangoda Sumedhananda Thero, barely registered the blast. Waving away the mosquitoes swarming the night air in the southern Sri Lankan town of Gintota, he continued his tirade: Muslims were violent, he said, Muslims were rapacious. The aim of Muslims is to take over all our land and everything we value,” he said. “Think of what used to be Buddhist lands: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, Indonesia. They have all been destroyed by Islam.”

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Anti-Muslim Violence Present and Past

Shamara Wettimuny, in Sunday Observer, 14 July 2019, where the title is “A brief history of anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka”

The recent Easter attacks targeting a number of churches and hotels devastated Sri Lanka. Over 250 people were killed, and many more injured. Within days of the attack, it emerged that the perpetrators of the attack were affiliated to radical Islamist groups in Sri Lanka. However, the identification of the perpetrators as ostensibly adherents of the Islamic faith opened the floodgates of discrimination and violence against the broader Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

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Dynamite! 9/11 as Dynamite. Friends at War

Michael Roberts

When Islamic zealots within Sri Lanka reaped havoc on people going about their normal practices on Easter Sunday this year 2019 via coordinated suicide attacks that generated carnage and death, I sent A NOTE (see below) around as part of a wider corpus of material on the event.  To my amazement, three friends from disparate backgrounds, French, Canadian and Sri Lankan Australian respectively, expressed strong dissent about the Islamic hand behind the 9//11 carnage in USA — firmly asserting that it was an US government plot.

All four Pics from https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/9-11-iconic-images-idUSRTS20CLO

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Jihad on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka: The Killers and Their Pathways

Amarnath Amarasingam: “Terrorism on the Teardrop Island: Understanding the Easter 2019 Attacks in Sri Lanka,” Sentinal  May/June 2019, Volume 12, Issue 5 …. Combating Terrorism Center at West Point …..https://ctc.usma.edu/terrorism-teardrop-island-understanding-easter-2019-attacks-sri-lanka/…. with highlighting empasis added by the Editor. Thuppahi

Abstract: Over the course of Easter Sunday 2019, eight bombs went off in popular hotels and historical churches across Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka; other coastal cities in the west; and towns in the east of the country, killing hundreds. The Islamic State-claimed attack stunned terrorism analysts because there had been no known history of jihadi violence in the country. Several of the attackers were well educated, and two were the scions of a very wealthy family, providing the cell with advantages in its plotting. There were indications, however, from as early as January 2017 that individuals associated with the National Tawheed Jamaat were becoming increasingly supportive of the Islamic State and mobilizing to violence that was missed by local law enforcement. The Sri Lanka attacks may be early evidence that the Islamic State is taking an important and renewed interest in South Asia, following losses in Syria and Iraq.

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Muslim Suicide Killers had visited Kashmir, Kerala and Bengalaru

News Item in The Hindu, 5 May 2019, with this title “Suicide bombers visited Kashmir, Kerala, Bengaluru: Sri Lankan Army chief”

Sri Lanka Army’s chief has said some of the suicide bombers who carried out the country’s worst terror attack on Easter Sunday last month had visited Kashmir and Kerala for “some sorts of training” or to “make some more links” with other foreign outfits. It is the first time a top security official has confirmed the militants’ visit to India, which had shared intelligence inputs with Sri Lanka ahead of the attacks.

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