Category Archives: terrorism

Lapses, Holes and Bumbling Officers in Sri Lanka’s Security Organisations

Officers from the Attorney General’s Department appeared before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) investigating the Easter Sunday attacks this week to defend the department’s position. They said they came to clear a wrong impression created in society over the department’s role with regard to a file related to the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ). The documents in the file had been forwarded to the AG’s Department by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) in 2017 and 2018.

Giving evidence on behalf of the AG’s Department were Deputy Solicitors General (DSG) Dileepa Peiris and Azad Navavi.Army Commander Lt. General Mahesh Senanayake also testified this week, appearing before the commission for the second time. Others who gave evidence this week were former Defence Secretary Kapila Waidyaratne and Acting TID Director Superintendent of Police Jagath Vishantha. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, disparagement, governance, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, legal issues, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people

Machinations and Incompetence that assisted Zahran and His Killers

Editorial in The Island, 3 August 2019 = “Who prevented Zahran’s Arrest”

The UNP may have thought that it would be able to mount a political blitzkrieg, by way of a parliamentary probe into the Easter Sunday carnage, and lay the blame for the tragedy entirely at the feet of President Maithripala Sirisena, who is the Minister of Defence. Its plan to discredit him and absolve itself of the blame for the government’s failure to prevent the terror attacks has gone awry to all intents and purposes.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, communal relations, conspiracies, disparagement, governance, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, sri lankan society, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, violence of language, world events & processes

Lanka’s National Security Apparatus: Its Tempestuous and Unholy History

Edward Gunawardena, in Island, 22 July 2019 where the title is  “The National Security Council and police intelligence”

Since the happenings on Easter Sunday 2019, much discussion has been focused on the National Security Council – the premier decision making body on matters concerning National Security. With obscure beginnings, commencing in the early years of the Sirimavo Bandaranaike regime in the sixties, the NSC has a history of over six decades. Concerned persons in governance, particularly the political stakeholders, appear to be clueless as to the composition, responsibilities, functions and the manner of operation of this organization.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, governance, historical interpretation, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, terrorism, unusual people

Addressing the 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists: Where Fervour Trumps ‘Deep Throats’

Michael Roberts

When one of my articles on the jihadist network that perpetrated the 21/4 attacks in Sri Lanka referred to the inspirations behind the 9/11 attacks in USA, I was surprised to receive vehement rejections of the latter contention from two good friends and one distant  ‘aide’ in Canada – challenges sent independently of each other.

These challenges have been rejected by other friends – at times quite bluntly. But Jeremy Liyanage,[1] Jean-Pierre Page[2] and Chris Black[3] are individuals with whom I have interacted fruitfully and whose commitment to the pursuit of truth and reform in this world are not in doubt. So, this revisiting of 9/11 and its perpetrators on my part is a personal journey that addresses my three friends, while yet seeking to raise significant issues in today’s world – especially embracing the ramifications of the ideological currents known as “Wahhabism” and “Salafism” (terms that seem to be deployed interchangeably).[4] Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, arab regimes, architects & architecture, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, landscape wondrous, life stories, martyrdom, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, Taliban, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes

Sri Lanka in 1988: Experiencing ‘Ordinary Living’ in A Conflict Zone

John Richardson, whose title in this article conveying diary notes runs thus:  “Ordinary Living” in the Midst of Civil War Notes to Family and Friends“[1]  … with highlighting and pics inserted by The Editor, Thuppahi

February 1988: After getting settled in our home at number 5 Bagatelle Terrace, within walking distance of Colombo University, we have begun to fit into our neighborhood and the city.   Already we have made a number of Sri Lankan acquaintances.  Emily knows the city better because she is an inveterate walker.  She covers three to five miles each day on foot; more than any expatriates and most Sri Lankans, except the very poor.  She feels quite safe walking about during the day. We walk about at night, too, but are more careful as the streets are poorly lighted.  “Homeless” people do live on the streets here.  They are about as visible as they are in Washington, D.C., but I think the culture here is more accepting; the gap between rich and poor is much less than in America.  In fact, what strikes me about the majority of Sri Lankans, both rich and poor, is their unfailing honesty, courtesy and decency.  (The principal exception appears to be some of those who deal regularly with foreigners).  They are a considerate, friendly people – and for many, life is arduous.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under atrocities, authoritarian regimes, communal relations, governance, historical interpretation, island economy, JVP, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, terrorism, tolerance, transport and communications, travelogue, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage

Terrorism in Modern Times: Twelve Insights

 Brian Victoria

Michael, ……  In addressing your previous requests for my insights,[1] [let me present] twelve hypotheses relating to terrorism.[2] I call them “hypotheses” because they are insights garnered from only a handful of Zen-related terrorist incidents in 1930s Japan, and I therefore wished to be careful about drawing overly broad conclusions.

Parents and their children sit on steps near Manchester Arena following an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert. (Supplied: Goodman/LNP/Rex/Shutterstock/australscope)

nine+ 11 oneCarnage after 9/11 -New York

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, Afghanistan, american imperialism, insurrections, Islamic fundamentalism, law of armed conflict, life stories, martyrdom, meditations, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, self-reflexivity, suicide bombing, terrorism, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes

Our Well of Tears for Kieran de Zoysa: Killed on Easter Sunday, 21st April

Kieran Alexander Shafritz de Zoysa, August 7, 2007-April 21, 2019

Kieran was born in New York City, raised in Washington, D.C., and spent summers in Southern California. He schooled at Sidwell Friends, a Quaker school from age five to 10 and looked forward to returning to Sidwell Friends School in September 2019, following 18 months of living in Colombo and attending Elizabeth Moir School.Kieran was a gifted student with a photographic memory, the diligence to natural grasp of maths and science. Teachers in Washington and Colombo loved his enthusiasm for learning and his drive to do his best always.

Continue reading


Filed under accountability, atrocities, cultural transmission, education, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, patriotism, politIcal discourse, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, terrorism, trauma, unusual people, world events & processes