18 November, 2019

Blog

And They Blasted Themselves

By M.M. Janapriya

Dr. M.M. Janapriya

In a democracy government is a contractual agreement between the elected rulers and the voters who elected them, unfortunately enough, not written in blood though. The unwritten expectation of the nation is for the government to provide national security, maintain law and order and usher national prosperity. In our country the rulers have failed the nation in that they have personal prosperity at the expense of the nation as a flagship policy of all governments elected after 1977 and when compared to some of the most lawless countries in the world we can indeed boast about high levels of our indigenous law and order. No politician in the country no matter the colour has no moral right to even mention the two words national security let alone talk about it. I have already written about this and do not endeavor to delve in to or dwell in it any further. The intention of this article is to understand the mindset of suicide bombers, Islam fundamentalism and radicalism, the individuals and organizations that nurtured their growth and propagation and the reasons why successive governments failed to stop the rot.

Psychology of Suicides in the General Population

Why do people commit suicide? I remember as a school boy a young and pretty school girl hanging herself to death in my village in the outskirts of Galle in the early sixties due to a complicated love affair. When I was surgeon in Kegalle all those long years ago a young handsome dashing lawyer charred himself to death by locking himself up, in, and setting fire to, his own car. My neighbour in Kalidasa Road Matara jumped in front of the train in 1986 or so when audits were at his cooperative store where he was the manager. One thing common to all these people is extreme sadness or profound grief arising from a major setback in life which most people would have come to terms with, with the passage of time. However these people found life more painful than death at the points of time they were struck down by common day occurrences.

Suicide Bombers and Suicidal Insurrections

There are others who are well educated financially very well off and seemingly happy resorting to blast themselves in order to kill beings perceived as their enemies. These people have no such life changing or life ending so to speak, personal setbacks that drive them to take their own lives. It seems to be a case of extreme anger and an intense need to avenge generated as a result of perceived unendurable injustice perpetrated against them by the society there are living in. This was the story in the case of those 8 bombers of extremist Islam faith who recently blasted the churches and the hotels killing hundreds and maiming close to a thousand. The LTTE suicide cadres were less well educated but were equally well indoctrinated to do the job. Why do these young physically healthy people kill themselves in order to kill others? Why did the young boys and girls get killed by the armed forces choosing to stage an ill planned insanely timed and  a badly executed insurrection by the JVP in 1971 and then in 1989? 

Common Triggers of Extreme Response  

All of the above showdowns have one thing in common and that is disenfranchisement. The oldest of these is the JVP insurrection. A Lumumba university outcast Rohana Wijeweera with his oratorical and persuasive prowess managed to move large numbers of disgruntled youth against the government to wage the insurrection in 1971. This was a time when disgruntled youth were singing the song ‘colombata kiri, apata kekiri’ meaning the government was looking after the interest of the rich and the urban population at the expense of the periphery. This was not that far away from the truth. Though the time was ripe as per the recruitment of cadres because of large numbers of unemployed graduates and the Advanced Level school children following an educational path that did not guarantee any jobs at the end of it all who were virtually staring down the barrel, it was insanely disastrous as per the timing because the government was young strong and popular. So the cadres who confronted the forces got it in the neck, others were rounded up and those who were lucky enough to escape death were rehabilitated thanks to the compassionate and motherly Mrs. Bandaranaike the then Prime Minister. Most of them were incarcerated till 1977 when the JR administration freed them. This marked the birth of mainstream JVP politics. One thing blindingly obvious was the deafening silence observed by the so called right thinking people of the west when about 15-20,000 misguided Singhalese youth were presumed killed both in battle and in custody. This was because JVP was a leftist insurrection in the line of Argentinian liberation fighter Ernesto Che Guevara. It was also being murmured that westerners even helped the government curb the rebellion.  

The LTTE too is the result of a sense of being marginalized. Tamil youth in the periphery must have felt just like the JVP kids who felt step motherly treatment was meted out to them by successive administrations, which feeling is understandable. Additionally they may also have felt that this treatment they received was essentially because they were an ethnic minority. I am not getting in to merits and demerits of this perception but this led to upheavals by Tamil people that ended in communal violence. Being the minority the Tamils suffered more than the Singhalese. Emboldened by their ‘victories’ Singhalese people unleashed violence against Tamils almost once every decade since the 1958 riots till purported ‘state sponsored violence’ was perpetrated in July 1983 following the killing of 10 soldiers by the LTTE in Jaffna. Up until this event Tamils firmly believed that the riots were a spontaneous reaction of the nationalist sect of the ordinary Singhala population with occasional help from a nationalist element in the police, were prepared to come to terms with it and move on but their discernment of the said riots being one of overt blatant and shameless state involvement in shepherding the rioters in July 83 pushed the neutral Tamil to become at least a sympathizer of the LTTE. Large numbers left the country and formed a diaspora which would later nurture and fund the LTTE. A similar number returned to Sri Lanka to join the cadres to fight the Sri Lanka government in earnest and the LTTE proper was born.

History of Singhala Muslim Riots

Muslims have been living in Sri Lanka scattered amongst the Singhalese for the better part of 1200 years. Hence they are proper indigenous Sri Lankans and no one can deny that. By nature Muslims have been nonviolent and friendly traders who coexisted peacefully till 1915 when the first Sinhala Muslim riots erupted. The people who started the troubles was a sect of south Indian Muslims called Indian Moors, who initially came to Ceylon for trade. By 1915 the Indian Moors have pushed aside the Ceylonese moors and come to the forefront of internal and external trade. Even though their numbers were only about 1/8th of the former they have now spread all over Ceylon. They objected to the Kandy Perahera proceeding in front of the mosque in Gampola. Police diverted the Perahera before the mosque but the jubilant Muslims hooted and jeered at the Perahera leading to riots which lasted for nearly a month in which some Singhalese and a much greater number of Muslims died. The colonial masters brutally suppressed the riots in which they summarily executed a large number of Sinhalese including the famous Eddie Pedris. This naturally left some bitterness in the mouths of the Singhalese. I do not blame the Singhala people for the 1915 riots because British were ruling the country at that time and their inaction contributed to the violence getting out of hand to a great extent. 

Thereafter except for infrequent sporadic and short lived upheavals, Moors and Singhalese co-existed cordially and peacefully for decades till riots again erupted in Aluthgama, Kalutara and Darga Town allegedly after a monk and his driver were assaulted by Muslims in 2014. This blew out of proportion apparently because of police inaction and turned in to a major catastrophic ethnic showdown where several people died hundreds injured and thousands displaced. 

M. H. M. Ashraff founded Muslim congress in 1981 to address the problems of the eastern province Muslims whom he felt had been left behind by main stream politics. Pari passu with this, Muslims were becoming more aware of their rights as citizens of Sri Lanka. May be as a result of constant threat of suffering as a consequence to ethnicity based upheavals Muslims were becoming more sectarian. It is being alleged by the somnolent administrators that this transformation was effected by an external force but I feel it is most unlikely. What is nearer the truth is that they are likely to have received help from external sources. Ashraff’s nationalism must have played a part in no small measure. This started in the mid-eighties if I remember right. Sectarianism helped Muslims to bond together and this may well be the objective that drove them to be very religious. All in all their reaction was comparable to spore formation amongst bacterial colonies to guard against adverse conditions. 

Singhala reaction to Ashraff’s nationalism was trying to pressurize the government to thwart attempts by the Muslims to erode Buddhist sacred land at least initially. I remember Ashraf debating with Gangodawila Soma thero live on TV, the topic being, whether or not it was right to settle people of Islamic faith in 12000 acres of land carved out as sacred Deegawapi of Buddihist worship. Later Singhalese too became more organized to the extent that the political parties championing Singhala nationalism like the Jathika Hela Urumaya were born. As a consequence to the government slumbering over alleged desecration of sacred places of Buddhist worship and repeated cries for help falling on deaf ears, a faction breaking off JHU formed Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) in 2012. Tit for tat by the Muslims and Singhalese created a vicious cycle that led to Singhalese becoming more militant and Muslims seeking refuge in ‘imbibed militancy’ from the middle east. 

Sri Lanka Tawheed Jamaath appeared on the scene championing monotheism i.e. believing in only one god. Together with this polemical belief the Muslim youth so indoctrinated seemed to work towards achieving the goal of creating an Islam world. This was going to be a slow process and some of these SLTJ people were in a hurry. They broke away and formed the ultra-radical National Tawheed Jamaath which was held responsible for the Easter Sunday bombings.    

By the time trouble erupted in Aluthgama in 2014 as mentioned earlier Muslims seemed prepared as a result of the above. This is why the casualty levels were high. I will not blame the BBS and other Sinhala organizations for perpetration of the riots which like ‘Arabization’ of Moors was a response to perceived inaction by the police and as such the buck stops with the government of the time itself. It was even alleged that the riots had the then  blessings of the powers that be. Spontaneous clashes as a spur of the moment reaction would be tolerated by both warring parties but when violence is perpetrated against ethnic minorities ostensibly with the auspices of the powers that be then the recipients of the wrath are not prepared to take it lying down. In 2018 violence erupted in Kandy and Ampara following the death of a lorry driver assaulted by Muslim youth. Both communities suffered casualties but being a minority the Moors suffered more. This episode and perceived partisan nature of the peace keepers must have driven already somewhat indoctrinated youth even more towards militancy.

Radicalisation of Muslim Youth and Reaction of Singhala Nationalists

Constant fear of being harmed and the dire need to be able lead respectable lives could be the force that drove Muslim youth to be militant. In this day and age all youth, be it Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist look as if they are waiting for a chance to get in to a fight. This may be because they grew up learning about the JVP, seeing the LTTE at work and watching action movies on the big screen, laptop or even smart phone.

A group like this can be easily proselytized to take up arms against perpetrators of violence on them. Sectarianism came about to create the need for togetherness of the Muslims to stand against the threat of riots. In order for the youth to get indoctrinated under shelter the main stream Muslims politicians seemed have already become king makers. No matter which government was in power Muslims always held cabinet Portfolios. These ministers are being alleged to have ushered a kind of `diplomatic immunity to the militant youth from the police and hence from the long arm of the law. Because of power hunger both major parties have been bending backwards to appease Muslims. From 1994 onwards Muslims have been the king makers and seemingly shielded by these politicians the radicalization not only got a firm foothold but also started spreading their tentacles all over the island. Peace loving Muslims themselves, the local police investigators and the  BBS have complained bitterly  many times to the governments about the existence of radical elements amongst the Moors but the responsible authority  was either in pretense that this was not real or waited till ‘the wicked folk was really at their own doorstep’. 

Analysis

It looks as though the Indian moors genetically were more assertive and even more combative in nature. By 1915 they have virtually overrun the Ceylon Moors in every aspect of Moor life and present day Moors are probably a hybrid of the laid back Ceylonese and trigger happy Indian Moors. It is in this milieu Moors may have felt left behind by the governments of Ceylon but the calm and tranquil Ceylonese Muslim gene in them augmented by the social status and British education perhaps stood in the way of launching anything more than a democratic demand for better lives. Dr.M.C.M. Kaleel a medical doctor by profession who used to be returned to parliament from the Colombo Central seat on the UNP ticket and Sir Razick Fareed who shuttled between UNP and SLFP the Muslim leaders of yester year, were happy to toe the line, press ahead and try to accomplish what Muslims wanted under either the UNP or the SLFP banner. They were conformists than confrontationists.

The first semblance of confrontation arose with die hard SLFPer Dr Badiudin Mahmud (interestingly his doctorates were conferred on him by the up and coming universities of Vidyodaya and Vidyalankara which were directly under his purview and were yearning for social and academic recognition around this period) who became the first ever Muslim to get the cabinet portfolio of Education. A historian called De Silva writes “this cabinet post became at once a political base and a fountain of patronage, to be used to strengthen the ties between his community and the party to which he belonged…” Dr. Mahmud rejected the age old time tested contention that Muslims were too small in number to play a decisive role at Parliamentary elections. He was of the view that however small the numbers were if he could garner their support and get them under one umbrella he could make that little difference needed to use this power as a bargaining chip. With this in mind he did exactly that by forming his Islamic Socialist Front (ISF) not as a party but as a banner under which all Muslims could and he felt should unite.

The real confrontational Muslim politics started in the Ashraf era. Ashraff a youngish lawyer from Sammanthurai formed the very communalistic Muslim Congress in 1981 with the sacrosanct motive of helping the eastern Muslims who did not seem to have much of a voice. By then Sri Lankan politics in general has been turned on its head by the old fox JR Jayewardene by opening the economy wide, changing the constitution to give power to a single individual over Parliament and apparently wanting to usher 5 star democracy. Even so journalists who criticized the government met with untimely ends. Even judges who gave judgments against the establishments had JR goons shouting derogatory slogans in front of their residences. 

While JR concentrated mainly on his high position and the economy as a sideline Ashraff was counting the chickens. His ‘King Maker’ position attained in 1994 with the Chandrika Bandaranaike government remained strongly so till his demise. He used this more than as a bargaining chip. People might remember his alleged encroachment of Deegawapi, a sacred land of the Buddhists to provide housing the poor. ‘He came, he saw and he conquered’ while the successive governments had to look on ‘helplessly’ because of their hunger to cling on to power at any cost.

The Muslim sectarianism extremism and expansionism that flourished under successive governments engendered amongst the Sinahalese activists a feeling of betrayal and anger towards the administration on the one hand and bitterness and hatred towards the Muslim nationalists, their sponsors et.al. on the other. From 1994 to date practically every government looked pathetically ineffective to have curbed Islam fundamentalism and as such seemed to have depended on Sinhala nationalists to keep their Muslim counterparts under check. This cat’s paw approach of tackling self-created byzantine situations in governance has been the trademark of hung Sri Lankan Parliaments propped up by opportunistic Muslim leaders. The ping pong between the nationalists of the two communities went on unabated. The minority extremists, indoctrinated, programmed, brainwashed, proselytized or propagandized, call what you may, trained by the Isis were waiting in the wings and they blasted themselves causing the 21st April carnage. These people lodged the strongest protest of it all and it is illogical to believe that they will keep repeating this as, unlike the LTTE who could flee to South India, these people have nowhere to hide after such attacks. It is the bounden duty of the incumbent government to swear before the nation that it will leave no stone unturned to rid this country of Islam terrorism and it’s nurturing bed of fundamentalism to usher safety and security to the nation. All the same it also mandates that the government takes all the necessary measures to ensure that the misguided Islam youth are brought back to the mainstream by, exemplary governance. 

*Dr. M.M. Janapriya FRCS, FRCSEd., Retired Consultant Surgeon, The National Hospital of Sri Lanka, Colombo  

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  • 5
    1

    This is the curse with our country, every conceivable expert puts the cart in front of the horse!

    • 0
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      Hello Thappu,
      Regular readers expect a structured response not just a sentence. Please provide a well argued response to support your view.

  • 1
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    Dr Janapria

    A well analyzed and written article, except for some errors especially on Muslims becoming more religious and Sinhalese reacting to Muslim nationalism

    With the advent of information technology, knowledge was freely available unlike in the past generations, and Sri Lankan Muslims who had some wrong religious practices such as saint worship and kanduri similar to church feast for the patron saint was burrowed and not part of Islam as per real teaching of islam so they started changing some of this

    Secondly, the Sinhalese were not reacting to Muslims nationalism but rather getting envious of their trade successes and monopolies so they started creating different issues to break this, of this the first one was to break the tannery business, thus started the campaign against the cow slaughtering which today has turned in to a different story, but this was the origin of breaking the trade and economic advantages of the Muslims, which I believe is the the fundamental reasons for all the current issues faced by the community and now different agendas are coming to strengthen this

    Thirdly, for the Muslims as you correctly said there is nowhere else to go, it’s like the bridges are already burned, so the only option left is to fight back in whatever possible way

    Since Sri Lanka has become a full blown racist country with no light at the end of the tunnel, the coming years will become only worse as the Muslims will start looking at different options available to them to overcome the challenges and one of them could be a global anti Sinhalese Buddhist campaign on the people and the produce, which ones full traction is gained will hurt the Sri Lankan economy very badly for a long time

    We only wish saner council will prevail and Sri Lanka can once again become the beautiful country with the warmest people what it was in the bygone days

    • 2
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      You stupid Islamic racist. If you are a concerned citizen, fall in line with Sinhalese and behave in a rational manner. Are you trying to blackmail by saying that you will start a global campaign to boycott Sinhala Buddhists and their produce which will hurt the economy. Are you ignorant that before petrol boom in middle east, Sinhalese never depended on any Muslim country for their survival. Gulf countries cannot only expel Sinhalese and not Muslims, so Muslims will also suffer. Secondly trade between Muslim countries is minute compared to USA, Europe, China, India and Japan Very soon Iran which is in doldrums due to US sanction, will beg Sri Lanka to buy their oil at cheap price. If exports are stopped even Muslims will suffer as they have the bigger share in exports to Muslim countries. Halal certification business will come to an end. Are you threatening about Muslims fighting back. Do you know what happened to JVP and LTTE who also tried the same trick. For your information, Muslims are mortally scared of Sinhalese, and it is the restraint shown by them being the reason for Muslims not being attacked despite grave provocation.

    • 1
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      Concerned citizen,
      “so the only option left is to fight back in whatever possible way”
      Haha, what a joke! Muslims fighting back?
      You mean like how they went to get blessings and and got themselves pirith nool from buddhist monks, soon after the recent episode of anti-muslim violence?
      All these years, they earned the title as patriotic minority by opposing Tamils in their struggle. That is why after each episode of anti-Muslim violence, they would try to assert their allegiance to Sinhalese, despite majority of them being Tamil speakers, by stating their contribution to the war. Now, their sucking up to majoritarian politics is paying back with interest. Muslim leaders will once again be back to negotiating their ministerial posts. It’ll all be back to business as usual.
      /
      “Muslims will start looking at different options available to them to overcome the challenges and one of them could be a global anti Sinhalese Buddhist campaign on the people and the produce, which ones full traction is gained will hurt the Sri Lankan economy very badly for a long time:”
      Another joke.
      Actually, the converse is true. Sri Lankan Muslim commercial activity/economic survival is heavily dependent on the Sinhala south. They are mostly small traders. Unlike the Tamils, they will dare not antagonize the Sinhalese.
      /
      “Sri Lankan Muslims who had some wrong religious practices such as saint worship”
      Sri Lankan Muslims had tolerant forms of religious practices until Saudi money started flowing in and Wahabbi influence reigned in, which is precisely the problem.
      /
      My advice – before going global, first correct your servile Muslim politics that sucks up to Sinhala majoritarianism and adopt tolerant forms of religious practices, such as Sufism, that is compatible with the local landscape, instead of alienating yourselves.

  • 1
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    what is puzzling me is if zahran was angry about the aluthgama and kandy riots why did he target catholics.2 plus 2 does not add up to 4 here.Something smells.catholics had nothing to do with the riots.Why target them.And also why not christians.Why did he not attack bhuddists during vesak instead of catholics at easter.It all points to strong buddhist involment in the attacks.Why did zahran choose to die?normally leadrrs of such things want to continue to live to achieve their objectives.Zahran decided to die because he considered that he had achieved his objective,which was what?So what objective had the easter sunday attack achieved for zahran?Let us not complicate this too much by only looking at it as a muslim attack on sri lanka.It isn’t in my opinion.
    Did zahran feels that with this attck the government was finished and would fall.Is this why the normally quiet as a mouse PM comes out and talks such things as per CT article.

    AS for Ashraf if anyone tries to be too smart with the sinhalese by taking their holy lands using their political clout,then the sinhalese will not play the game by their rules and revert back to their age ole customs of violent means to solve the problemThey just arrange an ‘accident’same way prince phillip arranged one for diana and rajapakshes arrnged for sripathi sooriyarachi.

  • 3
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    Dr.Janapriya,

    Your article fairly accurately traced events in SL history that gave rise to ‘suicide mentality’ among the youth – who joined JVP, LTTE and ISIS (SL chapter).

    BUT – your concluding statement “….It is the bounden duty of the incumbent government to swear before the nation that it will leave no stone unturned to rid this country of Islam terrorism and it’s nurturing bed of fundamentalism to usher safety and security to the nation..” misses the point.

    You are treating the symptom and NOT the cause!!

    Since independence, not a single leader governed the country who promulgated laws, rules and regulations promoting national unity and communal harmony. Instead they played one community against the other and the present state of the country is as a result of the cumulative effect of such misguided policies and governance.

    Unless and until that happens, ISIS (SL) will be alive and well..
    More than that, LTTE or similar outfit will rise again in the north
    JVP or similar group will rise up in the south
    BBS will become militarized and will go against all those groups above.

    That is how – I see this picture evolving.

  • 2
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    Dr Janapriya

    Good narration of historical events, but you have missed a point on how arms were introduced to Muslims.

    It was State armed forces recruited Muslim youths as volunter forces and home guards, trained and armed them, used as informers and gave freehand to kill Tamils in the eastern province. Several Tamil villages were torched and destroyed by both jointly. The taste of using arms, viewing Tamil villagers as enemies and killing them with no inhibition, all these were taught by state armed forces. There was a cry of jihad against Tamils during Ashrof’s time but IS was not there. I belief it followed naturally and the politicians were nurturing them without realising the drastic consequences. The successive governments intention to destroy Tamils by using Muslim youths backfired now.

    • 3
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      Correct! What most Sinhala columnists/experts miss out is the direct and indirect role of the Sri Lankan state/political class in creating/nurturing Islamic fundamentalism and militancy in their divide and rule policy of Tamil speaking peoples in the East, as a counter-insurgency tactic against Tamil insurgency by arming Muslims (most probably a lot of the weapons discovered/abandoned in the North and East recently may have been those supplied to Muslims by the state) , and for their own political gains. Anti-muslim violence may have added more fuel and played a role in radicalising the youth but they ignore the historical shift in Muslim identity politics, at least partly owing to flow of funds from Saudi Arabia, which provided the necessary background for radicalization. Targets of these Wahabbi influenced Islamic groups were initially Sufi Muslims, whose complaints the state conveniently ignored, but when they started spreading to Sinhala south, they have become ever so concerned about Muslim radicalization.

  • 1
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    Sir, Thank You for speaking out the truth. Among so many frauds and fakes who write here in CT we still have few like you, who are our ray of hope. Only time can tell , people like you will be marginalized or not , by the rest, as in past.

  • 1
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    Bottom line is our governments created LTTE and now this. To explain this in medical analogy, most of our patients when asked about diabetes on their initial visit , will right away answer “NO”, but after testing some of them are found to have uncontrolled Diabetes. We as doctors know the condition could have developed in months or many years and ignorant (in some case now it all) patient blindly believes being disease free, without testing (in some denial) .The irony is if we didnt test him now , he/she will realize the fact, only after developing complications after few years, some of which are irreversible by then ie, amputation of toe/kidney /eye damage. (retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy).

  • 3
    2

    Dr.Janapriya!
    You seem to have used your surgical skills to analyse the history of the violent happenings in Srilanaka . If people like you had analysed and given preventive medicines against the development of Majority Communal ism from 1948 on words Srilanka would been a real Pearl of the Indian Ocean. Unfortunately your postmortem will not bring back to life the dead.. Even if you had done the operation in time, operation may have been successful but the patient would not have survived, as they fail to take post operative care.

    • 1
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      K.anaga

      unfortunately the black sheeps in the family only went into politics.Lot of lowyers are in politics cos they did not have a worthwile practice.The cream among us never went into politics,that was the trouble.They went into the professions.Hope in the future we can attract the required quality including women into politics.We have also paid peanuts and got monkeys.So honest people too don’t enter politics because they can earn much higher incomes elsewhere.They don’t want to take commissions.

      • 1
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        Shanker!”
        Politics in Srilanka to-day is an ‘investment’ funded by fools like us with no returns. Once an MP is elected he gets more than enough returns to use it for his/her return to parliament at the next elections.
        He helps his immediate supporters so that they will help him to gain entry into parliament continuously. All promises made at the elections are forgotten until close to the next elections where similar promises are made once again and explains why he could not do it this time.. And life goes on…..
        I recollect, What Churchill said about being a successful politician.
        ” You must convincingly promise the sun and the moon and the earth to your voters and once elected you must more convincingly say why you couldn’t keep to your promise” ( something to this effect) Our politicians are indeed capable of convincing as to why they “steal.”

  • 3
    2

    Dr Janapriya knows the full reasons why SL failed. He understands the situation based on facts rather than on fiction. From the time of independence Sinhala majority government embarked on a racial Sinhala only country concept. They thought owing to their numerical strength that could be easily achieved. But the situation changed, world outlook changed and they were not prepared to accept the changing reality. All these due to our archaic thinking and traditional, non productive sentiments. SL is a majority Sinhala Buddhist country and no sensible person can dispute this truth. Then why make a fuss and noise about “a Sinhala Buddhist country”. This is where we go wrong and create chaos. Pure sentiment and dominance and nothing to do with race or religion. All this due to total ignorance. But how can we educate the people or change the mind set. This concept is totally against Buddha’s wisdom but who cares. As someone said they are protecting Buddhism but not practicing Buddhism. If so what is the use of Buddhism. Sinhales and Tamils and Buddhists and Hindus can co-exist very well if we know our religions, culture, traditions, values and history. But modakama don’t allow us to do so.

    • 1
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      Nathan!
      I am agnostic. On a cursory knowledge I posses of religions, I believe that Buddha never preached any New religion, he never looked down on any religion. He was born to Hindu parents without asking for it. s. He merely preached what he thought was practical. For some reason he was elevated as God, much against his wishes it appears. That is one of the reason why Buddhist continue to have Hindu Gods in their pansalas. Of course Buddhism is identified with Sinhalese in Srilanka and without Buddhism they will be like “babes in the woods.”
      Despite their giving dominant place to the Hindu gods in Pansalas and Buses over the head of drivers, their sense of equilibrium sometimes fail and they begin to destroy Hindu Gods especially Pillayar( Ganadeiyo) in Mullaiteevu and Kanniya in Trnicomalee. Similar to looking up and spitting. I am inclined to believe, this is because Hinduism in Srilanka is associated with Tamils as much as Buddhism is associated with Sinhalese.
      I do not know whether lord Buddha will like to be positioned beside gods as a human and vise versa .
      Oh! god if you are somewhere attending to your legitimate duties ‘Padaithal-Kaththal- Alithal’ meaning Create-Safeguard, Destroy, please forgive them as they do not know what they do.
      Amen.

  • 1
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    Marginalization alone cannot explain the need for suicide bombing. All over the world, there are so-called marginalized minority communities. They do not strap bombs and blow themselves up in public places. Furthermore, the Sinhalese were not the first to “marginalize” Tamils. The caste system in Jaffna was extremely restrictive. Before 1983, Prabhakaran assassinated leaders of the TULF, such as Alfred Duraiappah. So he was already keen on seizing power for himself. 1983 (Black July) was highly beneficial for the LTTE, as this is what triggered the mass exodus of Tamils from the country. The Diaspora then became the prime funding mechanism for Tiger terror. Prabhakaran did not trust India. He fought the IPKF, then killed Rajiv Gandhi, as well as Amirthalingam, who backed the IPKF Accord. Of course, Prabhakaran trusted Sinhalese politicians even less. That is why he killed those like Premadasa who helped him fight India. It is clear that Prabhakaran was a psychopath who had no sense of diplomacy. Within this context, the use of suicide bombs (an idea borrowed from Palestinians) becomes clear. Prabhakaran considered himself to be the sole leader of the Sri Lankan Tamils, with only one goal: the creation of a Marxist, apartheid Tamil entity compromising the entire North and East of Sri Lanka. Moreover, Prabhakaran was always detached from mainstream society, so his fantasies of a utopian state were constantly reinforced.

    • 1
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      Lester,
      Suicide bombing is a tactic used by the weak. In the case of LTTE, it was mainly used as tactic in the asymmetric warfare. In the case of Islamic militants, it was used against infidels.
      The reason LTTE managed to wage a 30 year war was because there was justness in the Tamil struggle, hence the populist support the movement enjoyed among Eelam Tamils. Black July may have been a catalyst but it was only one manifestation of the oppressive state.
      Truth is diplomacy doesn’t win anything. It is those with monopoly over violence who has the power and Prabhakaran understood it very well. That is why his name will be remembered in history. Did you think the Tamil people would simply accept the status quo and not fight back?

      • 1
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        Thamizh,

        Are you saying the Japanese used kamikaze because they were weak? Suicide bombing is used by those who have been fully brainwashed for their narrow cause. The opposite of suicide bombing is diplomacy. The Indo-Lanka accord was India’s attempt at diplomacy with LTTE. Taking out Rajiv G. was Prabhakaran’s response. Only a true psychopath like VP could pursue this route. Rational-minded people will pursue other avenues or give up. There is no justness in assassinating the head of state of the world’s 2nd largest democracy. Or the other LTTE’s other activities: drug smuggling, child conscription, bribery, extortion, and illegal weapons trafficking. This is what LTTE will be remembered for. If you don’t believe me, you can consult an attorney, he will explain the punishment for these crimes in detail.

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          Indo-Lanka accord was not attempt at diplomacy with the LTTE. It was rather an agreement between SL and India, not inclusive of the Tamil party to my understanding. It was an attempt by India to gain foothold in Sri Lanka, in particular, control over Trinco harbour in the context of geopolitical interests between US, USSR, and India. As soon as Indians achieved their target and signed the pact, they wanted to disarm LTTE but became difficult as they grew to be independent. It was the foolish Sinhalese who compromised on their sovereignty, while LTTE fought to defend it from IPKF.

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            Thamizh,

            The Sri Lankan government never agreed with Indo-Lanka Accord. JR was ready to storm Jaffna before parippu drop and other nonsense. India thought it could negotiate with a megalomaniac psychopath terrorist like Prabhakaran. India paid the ultimate price. Because of India’s mistake, the war lasted an extra 20 years.

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          lester
          ” Taking out Rajiv G. was Prabhakaran’s response. “

          It was rajiv who first tried to assasinate prabhaharanHe asked the indian commander in sri lanka to invite him or talks and kill him.The army officer refused because it would have been a terrible blot on the indian army forever.Rajiv had a low IQ,but a lot of brawn.In the UK he was supposed to be studying,but because his brainpower was weak was just idling and met sonia in a restaurant whre she was a waitress.So this is the duo due to tragic circumstances of indira’s death,took over india.Prabha had no option but to kill him because when rajiv becomes the primeminister again he will go all out to kill parbhaharan whom he seemed to hate on a personal level,probably because his ego was affected by a man standing up to him.Prabhaharan made the mistake of doing that instead of playing the game and giving rajiv a ego massage as foxy JRJ did.Prbha was a frank and forthright uneducated thug,another low IQ like rajiv.If prabhaharan had worked for the tamil peopl’s interest instead of his own interst,then he would have avoided the clash with rajiv when the indo lanka accord was brought in.He could have pretended to lie low and keep his cadres safe,instead he allowed pulendran and mob to openly sail the seas and get caught and then asked them to commit suicide and then used it as a excuse to wage a war against india,which was absolutely detrimental to the tamil people.

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            Shankar,

            Rajiv was a head of state. Only a total idiot will try to kill the head of state of the world’s second largest democracy. Once VP did this, the whole Eelam cause was lost. I don’t know why Eelamists think you can kill random people without consequences. There are certain people you don’t go after. The US invaded two countries after their city was attacked.

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    Lanka S perera
    What do you know about economics and trade man, you and your lot knows only to lie and to be cunning, read Robert Knox’s books written about ancestors 400 years ago, and he is spot on.
    Trade to the US, Europe and the other countries you mentioned are only garment and textiles exports, which is less than $5 b, to export 5 b, Sri Lanka has to import 3 b worth of raw material and also machinery, so the net amount is very small I.e 25-30%
    Trade with China and Japan is mainly imports and then loans
    Where as for all the tea they export, they benefit to the country is 90%, 80% of the tea is exported to Muslim countries, secondly of the migrant income of 7 b the country gets 100%, from the 1970s, the back bone of country’ economy is mainly these two.
    Thirdly the oil, Sri Lanka gets oil from the Middle East countries at a concessional rate compared to the market price and secondly they get a 6 months credit period, if these countries remove these concessions the fuel price will triple
    Sri Lanka had to depend almost 70% on the OIC countries to manage their balance of payment, now tourism has taken 20% of the BOP management
    Then you stupid idiot talks about halal; what do you know about halal, halal is a certification that non-Muslims producers needs to sell their products to the Muslims, so the Sinhalese don’t want to sell their products to Muslims, they don’t need this, you can start with the Sri Lankan air lines, you will only be left with cattle to transport when the food you serve is not halal, and tea you can only export to your villages because without halal certificate no one will buy tea

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    Thamiz, generally the Tamils are very educated, how come only you are so stupid

    The current situation faced by Muslims is beyond politics and politicians. I think its beyond your understanding, in Sri Lanka Muslims maybe 10% but they hold 40% of the buying power, that means if the buy from each other they can survive. They don’t need the Sinhalese or the Tamils to survive, the current situation will only pave for Muslim centric businesses for Muslims

    The problem with you tamiz is that you all are inherently evil, and Ill treat your own kind, this is the reason why Tamils being highly educated and dedicated are beaten by the Sinhalese for the last 100 years

    Unless you change, you will disintegrate as an ethnicity in the island

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      You are proving to be a joker. Where did you pull this statistic? Are you suggesting Muslims are economically independent? For some reason, Muslim behaviours and actions after each episode of anti-Muslim don’t quite add up to support your claim.
      Tamils maybe evil as you say but nobody can beat the Sri Lankan muslims in bending over.

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      Stupid Islamic fellow, what a silly statement that Muslims hold 40% of buying power and therefore they can survive if they buy from each other. If so why are you begging the government to control Sinhala mobs from destroying your houses and shops. Very soon Muslims will have to buy grass and punnakku from fellow Muslims.

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    The proof of the pudding is in the eating

    Even after 25 years mob violence, constant hate mongering and lies by saffron clads, Unfair trade oppression by organizations such Sinhala veera vidana and other traders who are openly funding to boycott Muslims and their establishment, how do you think the Muslims keep getting better and better without any state help or funding

    If the buying power is insignificant, why do you think every one is getting their product halal certified, the majority can simply ignore it, but they don’t, use your peanut brains think why is this?

    Since lying and cunningness is a virtue for the majority of you, you think it’s benefiting you, but by now people should realize that the end result is the other way around

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating

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    Anaga, being agnostic is like sitting on the fence. Like political opportunism, wondering which side to jump. Atheism is a firm and brave stand having searched and understood the truth and not being carried away by “beliefs” that are ingrained into our heads long before we could start thinking on our own. A Buddhist child or a Hindu child is a good example. How can it be. If at all a child born to Buddhist or Hindu parents. The child becomes a Buddhist or a Hindu only when it becomes matured and could think for itself. Otherwise it is simple indoctrination. We can lead a good, productive, moral, humane existence by pure thinking without the assistance of a god or religion. By looking around do you think that god or religion had done anything good to us except hatred and violence and sufferings. Yes, there are religious philosophies, sometime tell us of humane, compassionate, tolerant, understanding behaviour but there also evil preachings to hate each other, kill each other. Islam says non believers have to be killed and that was told by Allah, they claim. If you kill in the name of religion you will go to heaven with virgins waiting for you. If there is such a god, let us then keep away from god. What and what Buddha said. But, alas, a mahanayaka talking of killing and even passing sentence before any hearing. Is that of any use. Hindus are controlled by Brahmanical manipulations and getting exploited. How many of these guys have the courage to question. Blind following is better for them than thinking. An atheist will have the ability to think, question, learn, understand, and thus not bound or shackled by gods, or religions or ignorance. An intelligent mind is a thinking mind and it will know what is right and what is wrong.

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    Nathan ! Thank you’ Yes I may be on the fence until some one can prove beyond reasonable doubts the existence of god or non existence of God. Either way it does not matter. Even if god’s existence is proved the need to pray and give offerings does not arise.

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