Monthly Archives: May 2019

A born-again Sri Lanka

A born-again Sri Lanka

As with other occasions in contemporary Sri Lanka, as elsewhere, busy-bodies are already naming names for the nation’s presidency. The latest name to do the rounds is that of Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo the theological leader of the Catholic laity. The last …

When Religious Terrorism Hits

When Religious Terrorism Hits

Sri Lanka, the small island nation of South Asia, faces a new form of terrorism. With an aim to establish relevance, Islamists have chosen the country, which witnessed ethnic terrorism a decade back. The government in Colombo has taken strong measures to counter the terror …

Who Was behind Easter Terrorist Attacks?

Who Was behind 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 …

Attacks bring Tamil leadership together

Attacks bring Tamil leadership together

Two prominent political groups representing Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority, in the north-east and the hill country, have decided to work together in the wake of the Easter terror attacks. The decision was taken following a meeting between leaders of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and …

Uneasy calm

Uneasy calm

No significant anti-Muslim incidents have taken place since April 21, when two local Islamic State (IS) affiliates, the National Tawheed Jamaath (NRJ) and the Jamaathei Millathu Ibraheemi (JMI), carried out nine suicide attacks killing over 250 people, mostly local Christians and foreigners. Life has returned …

Cooperation Restored

Cooperation Restored

Robert Blake, who was US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia in the Obama Administration, has said that it was wrong on the part of the Obama Administration to have snapped military ties with Sri Lanka after …

Intelligence: how to fix it

Intelligence: how to fix it

Sri Lanka’s battle against Islamic extremism would involve two integral parts: (a) an intelligence driven kinetic approach to flush out, arrest or neutralize violent extremists; and (b) a State facilitated and community- led approach to combat non-violent extremism, reverse the spread of Wahhabism and Arabization …

Suicide bombers visited India in 2012

Suicide bombers visited India in 2012

Just days after Sri Lanka’s army chief Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake made a startling revelation that some of the suicide bombers involved in the Easter terror attack had travelled to Kashmir, Kerala and Bengaluru “for some sort of training”, Indian investigating agencies have confirmed that …

Muslims in Sri Lanka are self-alienating themselves

Muslims in Sri Lanka are self-alienating themselves

Dr. Ameer Ali, a prominent Islamic scholar and a former adviser of Muslim Affairs of Australian Prime Minister, John Howard’s Government, said Muslims in Sri Lanka are self-alienating themselves from the mainstream community. He is an academic at the Faculty of Management and Governance of …

Sri Lanka, ISIL and Religious Tribalism

Sri Lanka, ISIL and Religious Tribalism

Sri Lanka has been a primarily Buddhist land since King Ashoka’s son Mahinda preached there in the third century BCE. At present 70% of the population is Buddhist, 13% Hindu, 10% Muslim and 7% Christian. (Surely there are secular people, atheists, Marxists, etc. but these …