Category Archives: vengeance

Vengeance! How Personal Vendettas BLINDED Sri Lanka’s Security Bulwarks

Stephen Long, in Asian Tribune, May 2019, where the title is

My relationship with the island nation of Sri Lanka began over twenty years ago. At that time, it was engaged in a bloody 30-year civil war that eventually claimed the lives of an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 people. A deadly tsunami had devastated the country on Dec. 26, 2004, and on November 19, 2005, Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected to the first term of his presidency. From his predecessor, Chandrika Kumaratunga, a lady of questionable ethics, Mr. Rajapaksa inherited a country in chaos; it was rife with political corruption, racial, cultural, and religious conflicts, as well as poverty and social turmoil. The beleaguered natives were weary of hardship and death, of the seemingly endless war, of being left behind by economic development, and of living in constant fear that a suicide bomber might suddenly appear and blow them to bits.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, communal relations, ethnicity, foreign policy, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes

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.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, atrocities, Buddhism, cultural transmission, education policy, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Left politics, life stories, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, racist thinking, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry

An Incisive Summary of Factors that enabled the Easter Bloodbath

General HMHA Herath, in Island, 15 May 2019, where the title is Who was behind the Easter terrorist attacks?”

While the Islamic State has claimed responsibility, the real story is a bit more complicated than that. To millions of Sri Lankans the Easter Sunday tragedy must have seemed a nightmare come true, a frightening déjà vu of the rampant violence this island nation has known for thirty years of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terror. The horrific attacks in which an estimated 253 lost their lives and many hundreds were wounded, signaled that the decade’s calm that prevailed after LTTE’s 2009 destruction by Sri Lanka’s Army is over.

1 What went wrong?

At the time, victory over the LTTE inspired confidence and heady optimism. A 2012 defense seminar in Colombo heralded “Peace and Stability” as its core theme and the five ‘Rs’ (Reconstruction, Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Reconciliation) as the imperative agenda for Sri Lanka. The mood at the time was upbeat and the country’s future seemed bright. The safety of the post-war period brought to the country millions of tourists (2.1 million in 2017 alone), and the reconstruction of Sri Lankan economy and infrastructure commenced apace. With the horrific Easter disaster, this process has come to a grinding halt. And the troubling question is what developments allowed it to happen. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, Al Qaeda, arab regimes, communal relations, cultural transmission, electoral structures, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, Rajapaksa regime, religiosity, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, tourism, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes

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

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, Al Qaeda, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, economic processes, ethnicity, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian traditions, Islamic fundamentalism, legal issues, life stories, meditations, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, racist thinking, riots and pogroms, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, terrorism, trauma, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry

The Thinking and Operational Capacity of the 21/4 Jihadists

Asiri Fernando, in Sunday Times, 12 May 2019, “Easter Sunday bombers used high-tech communication: Army Chief”

The terrorists who carried out the Easter Sunday bombings used a Swiss developed, highly encrypted mobile communication App named “Threema”, Army Chief  Lt. General Mahesh Senanaayake told the Sunday Times. The mobile phone App boasts ‘best in the class’ end-to-end encryption and allows a user to generate a random Threema ID, thereby giving anonymity to the user, the product website claimed. The level of encryption used by the said App makes intercepting or decrypting such communications very difficult for Sri Lankan authorities with available technologies.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, arab regimes, atrocities, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, religiosity, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes

Sharpening Politico-Religious Divisions in Sri Lanka

Dear Rohan,

Your thoughtful note has provoked this set of comments — comments that range far and wide. I will. of course, welcome your reactions and hope that others will chip in with both comments and data.  Michael

One:  Note this segment in Ameer Ali’s important essay: ” The Islamist creep was manifested in several ways. For example, the cry Allahu Akbar announced the opening and close of every public gathering organised under the banner of SLMC. Quotations from the Holy Quran and the Prophet’s Hadiths added a tone of religiosity to political speeches. Even hand clapping in some instances was substituted by shouting Allahu Akbar to appreciate a speaker’s oratory.”  One can speculate that Ameer Ali is writing as a Sri Lankan Australian first and a Muslim second ….. But the point is the inside information conveyed by that observation — data which our Muslim MPs and others have not conveyed to their non-Muslim colleagues — perhaps not having grasped the implications of Wahhabism for inter-communal life in Sri Lanka.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, communal relations, cultural transmission, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, martyrdom, Muslims in Lanka, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, vengeance, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes, zealotry

Ultimate Loyalties: Sri Lankan Muslims in Lanka but beyond the Nation

Rajeewa Jayaweera in a Comment that responds toa QUERY from Michael O’Leary addressed to Ameer Ali

Michael, If one contributes to the absurd theory, [that] only those who returned from Saudi Arabia make up the radicalized elements in the Muslim community in SL; there is no sensible and meaningful answer to O” Leary’s question.

If however, one can look beyond the theory of “Peace-loving Muslim Community,” it would be easier to understand. Those who went to Saudi Arabia were mostly from the impoverished segment of Muslim society. They worked as housemaids, laborers, etc. and had nil to minimal educational qualifications. Many returned radicalized in a manner of speaking. Women who covered their heads when they left returned covering their faces. Those who did not adhere strictly to praying five times a day earlier would not dream of missing a single prayer session after their return. Watching movies, even musicals became taboo after their return. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under accountability, arab regimes, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, economic processes, education, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, jihad, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, patriotism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, terrorism, unusual people, vengeance, working class conditions, world events & processes, zealotry