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.
Filed under accountability, arab regimes, atrocities, chauvinism, communal relations, conspiracies, cultural transmission, ethnicity, fundamentalism, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian religions, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, martyrdom, politIcal discourse, power politics, religious nationalism, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, Sri Lankan scoiety, terrorism, tolerance, tourism, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes
I was in error (albeit an inaccuracy regarding the date) when I said in my earlier message to you that there was no attack on the Muslims in Gintota on 12 November 2017. There was, in fact, a riot which began several days later.
Initial unrest was triggered off by a traffic accident along the Galle-Colombo highway on 12 November involving a motorcyclist (Sinhalese) and two pedestrians (a Muslim woman and her daughter) which ended with police mediation and the motorcyclist made to pay Rs. 25,000 as compensation to the victims (treated for minor injuries as ‘OPD patients’ at Galle).
Filed under accountability, communal relations, conspiracies, disparagement, doctoring evidence, economic processes, ethnicity, fundamentalism, heritage, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, legal issues, life stories, politIcal discourse, religiosity, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, vengeance, working class conditions, zealotry
ACL Ameer Ali, in Sunday Observer, 14 July 2019, where the title runs ‘Moulding Muslim Culture’ echoes Chinese Uyghur experiment’
The hidden agenda of the far-right and extremist groups like Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Mahoson Balakaya, Sinha Le and so on, in respect of the Muslim community needs be understood in light of what was announced in that rally by BBS secretary, Gnanasara. From the beginning, and at least since the Alutgama riots of 2015, the BBS and its obstreperous secretary, were vociferous in demanding the expulsion of all Muslims to Saudi Arabia or any other Arab country, reinventing a 19th century argument advanced by Anagarika Dharmapala and Co. in a different context, that Muslims were ‘aliens’ in Sri Lanka. The fact that this community, like the Sinhalese and the Tamils before, were also foreigners but arrived last and that they were indigenised over one thousand years ago did not matter in the BBS’ twisted [readings of] history. Its ultimate goal is to make this island one hundred percent Sinhala Buddhist. It was this aspiration that was once again reinforced in Kandy, when Gnanasara announced that, “every home must have an owner and Sinhalese are the owners of Sri Lanka.” When saying that he quite naively expected the Tamils also to accept their status as tenants and live until they too would be ejected one day.
Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, China and Chinese influences, communal relations, economic processes, heritage, historical interpretation, human rights, Islamic fundamentalism, legal issues, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, religiosity, riots and pogroms, security, self-reflexivity, trauma, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry
BBC News Item, 31 May 2019, entitled “The man who might have stopped Sri Lanka’s Easter bombings”
When bombs planted in churches and hotels killed more than 200 people in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, few had realised that the nation had a problem with Islamist militancy. One man who did, reports the BBC’s Secunder Kermani, was Mohammad Razak Taslim. Lying on a hospital bed, Mohammad Razak Taslim’s face contorts with pain. The left side of his body is completely paralysed, but he reaches out with his right hand, trying to clutch at his wife and brother-in-law who stand anxiously over him. His wife, Fatima, presses a handkerchief to his head. One side of his skull has caved in. It’s where he was shot in the head in March. Ever since, he’s been unable to speak, unable to walk.
Filed under accountability, atrocities, communal relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, legal issues, life stories, martyrdom, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, racist thinking, riots and pogroms, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, terrorism, trauma, unusual people, violence of language, world events & processes, zealotry
Jayadeva Uyangoda, in Sunday Observer, 26 May 2019, where the title runs thus “Fight Terrorism. Avoid Islamophobia”
Islamophobia is a term that gained currency in the 1980s in British English. It referred to prejudices against Islam and Muslim people that had begun to spread in the UK since the 1970s. As a cultural, intellectual and political phenomenon, Islamophobia also began to spread throughout the Western world after the 9/11 attacks in the US. The Christian Right in America has been the leading force that promoted Islamophobia as a new strand of political ideology in the world. It spread to the Hindu and Buddhist worlds as well amidst the rapid rise of ethnic identity politics and conflict.
Filed under atrocities, communal relations, disparagement, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, racist thinking, reconciliation, riots and pogroms, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, terrorism, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry