By Emil van der Poorten –
One can but hope that when the reader reaches the end of this piece it will not leave them wringing their hands in helplessness but provide at least a modicum of hope for the future of a land which promised so much when we first became independent in 1948.
The church-bombings and subsequent security force responses have been widely enough covered to make any lengthy reference to them redundant. However, the simple question that all those in authority have to answer to the people of this country is, “Why after the fact, when there is ample evidence that the information about what was going on in a country where no one can keep a secret was pretty much in the public domain? Were all those who bore the responsibility for safeguarding our security too busy stuffing their pockets – and I don’t seek to draw any political separation lines in that regard – to deal with a nation’s security? Or was it the firm establishment of a culture of indifference to the public good that was to blame? Either explanation is totally and absolutely unacceptable.
A knee-jerk response to the current situation that is on the horizon is the elevation of one who makes no pretence to democratic practice, promising only a removal of the “menace of violence and mayhem and the restoration of order,” whatever that ‘order’ ultimately proves to be, whether or not they include white-van disappearances, executions in broad daylight in high security zones in sight of check points, mass graves with 300+ bodies in the Central Province and other atrocities too numerous to mention.
The preceding scenario is the single most dangerous response from a nation, understandably, desperate for a means of dealing with what was seen to be a clear and imminent danger that descended upon it.
While it might seem like an attempt to drain the swamp when one is up to one’s (….) in alligators, it is essential that we do not fall into the trap of not seeing the wood for the trees, if I might mix my metaphors. To do so would only bring upon ourselves an even worse fate than the one that faces us right now, if that is possible.
Analyzing what confronts us in the way of politicians on the current scene would constitute an appropriate start.
There are people in the current government who do appear to have unsullied personal reputations, many of them with the intelligence to deliver to this nation a modicum of decent and principled governance. They need to be recognized by every possible means and that is not an impossible task given the number of people with widely accepted credentials who write on a regular basis for publication. Promote these individuals, irrespective of formal political affiliation because the traditional lines of “left” and “right” in the matter of political philosophy don’t appear to exist any longer in any event.
Organize peaceful public demonstrations in support of amity among all groups not espousing racial or religious superiority. Seek and celebrate commonalities among all sectors of the larger Sri Lankan community, something that will take a degree of organizational skill but will not fail for lack of support because, without the shadow of a doubt, the vast majority of Sri Lankans support the philosophy of communal and religious amity.
While the people of conscience and concern are there, what it is going to take is a dedicated effort to harness their energies in the single most important task that has ever faced this nation. I do not say this lightly because the ugly monster of racial/communal/religious superiority has never raised its head so high in our history since independence. I daresay, not even at the height of the JR Jayewardene-generated anti- Tamil pogrom of the eighties or the equally vicious, Prabhakaran-driven response that followed.
Incidentally, if any reader decides that Mr.P provoked Mr. JRJ, it still does not make the events any less evil or unacceptable, then or now.
Thiru / April 28, 2019
Dear Emil van der Poorten,
“Organize peaceful public demonstrations in support of amity among all groups not espousing racial or religious superiority.” it is tall order to organize such demonstrations when the majority community has entrenched beliefs of themselves and “others”.
Governments since independence are puppets in a way to the higher-ups of the Buddhist hierarchy, who are the puppeteers. Sinhalese-Buddhist supremacy reinforced by their numerical majority is a near impossible obstacle to surmount. They belief that democracy means the rule of the majority, no matter how fair the views of the minorities are.
Politicians are limited in their ability to take bold, but just actions without attracting the wrath of the widely respected and vociferous Buddhist hierarchy.
At every turn a Sinhalese political leader tried to accommodate Tamils’ rights these viscous Buddhist monks put an end to it. They want their hegemony all over the island trampling on the rights of the minorities.
While a tiny country like Singapore with hardly any resources, gathered the human resources of the majority Chinese and minority Malays and Tamils to make the country peaceful and prosperous – on par with first world countries.
A house divided will fall they say; that’s what we are seeing for the last seventy years.
Sri Lanka can’t even provide enough water or electricity to its citizens.
Can the Sinhalese majority learn from Switzerland and Singapore to make the county peaceful and prosperous? I doubt it.
The main growth Sri Lanka can flaunt about is the growth of its armed forces, killing, destruction ,misery and despair among Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims.
Thappu / April 28, 2019
Thiru, Correction: Sinhalese-Buddhists believe that democracy means the rule of the majority, no matter how unfair the views of the majority is.
Naman / May 2, 2019
I totally agree with Thiru and Thappu. Buddhist Monks are manipulated by the power and money hungry Greedy Sinhala Politicians in order to take over the Government.
Sinhalese created the Home Guards especially Muslims during civil war to rape torture and kill Tamils. This plus Saudi Money and Wahabbism had created another monster that we saw recently during Easter.
When two police men were killed the SMART security services put the blame on ex LTTE cadres and DID NOT investigate thoroughly. If they had done so they could have prevented the current situation. We the civil society want Sirisena/Ranil and Mahinda to go away from politics immediately.
Amarasiri / April 28, 2019
Emil van der Poorten,
RE: Dealing With The Despair & Despondency Facing Sri Lanka Today?
“However, the simple question that all those in authority have to answer to the people of this country is, “Why after the fact, when there is ample evidence that the information about what was going on in a country where no one can keep a secret was pretty much in the public domain? “
Thanks for the article. One wonders, whether the medium IQ of 79, had something to do with it?
Were there Warnings About Sunday’s Massacre on Christians in Sri Lanka?
Even the Muslims have been warning about the Devil , Satan, Iblis Tauheed Jamat as far back as 2012, and much earlier they have attacked the peaceful Sufi Muslims, who introduced Islam to Sri Lanka. The authorities got ample warning from multiple sources. In the meantime Sirisena was asking for blessings from the Monkey God, Hanuman, in India, who was, according to Ramayana, responsible for burning Lanka with his tail, and the Tauheed Jamat Terrorists, were busy preparing to burn Lanka with terrorist bombs.
People inform the authorities and the information on their faces, and they do nothing.
Radical Buddhists attack Churches and Mosques, and the authorities do nothing,.
Authorities were warned about radical Muslims attacking the Churches and Hotels, and the authorities do nothing. From where dis terrorist Ideology originate from? Wahhabi-Salafi Saudi Arabia. Google Hadith of Najd. But they are protected by the Great Satan and the minor Satans
Are the United States and Israel Entrapping Iran to Close the Strait of Hormuz?
JD / April 28, 2019
I am thinking whether there are 200 dutch and euroasians who likes a Homeland here in Srilanka and why don’t they blow up. Now about 2t people blew up, may be 175 wants NAshirishthan. who wanted this. I am sure not the Vatican – Catholics. It is good time Cassock wearing Priests can go in the front and show solidarity for the Zionist church in Batti..
Nathan / April 28, 2019
I thought they were planning to make Dhamma Deepa another “ Singapore” long long time ago. Even when bombs were going off our president was in the original Singapore while ignoring synthetic Singha- Para. Some even claimed Dhamma Deepa soon be a miracle of Asiyawa! It is indeed a miracle and even a mystery how they have such a divided country in every aspects and so frequent violence. Parliament too is a miracle as to how it is managed. If one looks carefully he or she will find there is simply no reason for this country to progress and we are already back to zero. Tourism only hope next to Nannies to earn some money and that is gone now. But at least this is god sent for some to come back to power and rescue themselves and serve themselves what was missing for a few years. So there is hope at least for some. Unless all of us cone together forgetting our bogus beliefs there is simply no hope. There is an urgent need to rediscover our history and religions.
JD / April 28, 2019
NATHAN: Dhammadeepa would have been another former YUGOSlovia if Dhammadeepa were not the country that it was. Just think about how muslims and christianskilled eachother just like savages in former Yugoslovia and how did the word BAlkanization come into the vocabulary. Why Sudan and Yeman are like the ones that they are now. why Libyans, afghans, IRaqians are killing each other. Remember, mostly buddhist vietnam killed their own.
Jay Chambers / April 28, 2019
Emil, I have been warning about this for the last three years on CT and YOU have berated me for doing so. You had no idea this was coming, but someone like me who visits the country and see within 20 years Moslems going totally radical can easily envision what will follow. Terror follows radical Islam, like night follows the day. You should apologize to me for your naivete. And you should refrain from sentimental mumbo jumbo and call what is at stake. Radical, Jihadi Islam has completely devoured the psyche of the Moslems, and above all else the more educated, rich Moslems. They will strike again and again, and only a brutal stamp out including incarceration of all those aged 14-65 with the slightest suspicion of radicalism followed by total detoxification and de-Islamization can help Lanka. If you are not ready for that the country will see much worse terror than anything you have seen with Tamil Tigers, who had little sympathy outside Lanka, whereas Moslems have billions all over the world ready to be used to unleash terror on hapless countries like Lanka with inept leaders, and little naïve natives with defeating interpretations of Buddhism, Christianity and Hindoism.
Emil van der Poorten / April 28, 2019
Your comments speak most eloquently for themselves and the person making them.
Jay Chambers / April 29, 2019
All my comments and all my efforts are for the benefit of the poor people of Lanka, for the poor smiling, happy children of this wonderful country. The politicians, and men of stature in the country are using these people in a diabolical manner and they are failing to provide them the minimal protection they deserve from the worst terror on earth, Islamic terror. Writers like Emil only care to report on the ineptitude of Lanka’s politicians, their obvious nepotism and corruption and he cannot even bring himself to call Islamic terror for what it is. I notice often that Lankan people can live on very little and demand little back from their leaders. They are still rather subservient and bow to anything that even remotes resembles authority and sophistry, as long as it comes from people who are in some position of power. Perhaps this is why the Marxist are able to instigate bloody revolts every few decades. And people like Emil have an axe to grind with those in authority but are lily livered to the point where they cannot even use the words radical Islamic terror. One wonders what Moslem businessman must have and powerful Moslems have they silences such men like Emil.
A.N. Other / April 29, 2019
“All my comments and all my efforts are for the benefit of the poor people of Lanka, for the poor smiling, happy children of this wonderful country”
How jolly nice of you! Yes the wolf always says somethin like that to the chicken.
What unmentionable Islamic terror are you blabbering about? Do tell me, how many people have these Muslim terrorists killed ? Compare that to George Bush killing MILLIONS in Iraq, or Christians killing 500000 other Christians in Rwanda. Or even Christians killing 6 million Jews? Lets not talk about 100000 heathen Japanese in one day, shall we?
Please do stuff your racist droolings where the sun don’t shine.
Jay Chambers / April 30, 2019
What on earth has Lankan people got to do with killing, if any, in Iraq or wherever? Because so desert rats in Iraq were eliminated in Iraq or some unknown Africans killing other, Lankan Moslem terror has to be accepted!! What wolfs clothes am I wearing and which race am I racist about?? If I detest the Moslem Jihadi bloodthirsty terror in Lanka, even then are Moslems a racist for me to be called a racist? What type of village idiot and terrorist sympathizer is masquerading as A.N. Other here?
Lanka must set siege to every Moslems village, incarcerate en masse all Moslems aged 14-65 and thoroughly check them out and pick out the terrorist AND all the sympathizers. Then the hard core terrorists must be put in jail under the most stringent conditions and never allowed parole. The next category of terrorist sympathizers should be put into de-Islamization, detoxification camps and also kept in them for at least 10-15 years and forced to do manual labor. Let them earn every meal they eat. No halal nonsense should be allowed, let them eat two basic meals and not allowed more than a 1500 calorie diet. Hi tech methods must be used to monitor and detect any attempts to escape and such high tech can be imported from China where they crushed Uighur Moslem terror with an iron fist.
A.N. Other / April 30, 2019
In parallel with your hi-tech suggestions for control of Muslims, I would suggest that you be permitted to walk in your “tourist” get- up into the female concentration camp . The sight of your skinny legs should put the fear of Allah into any prospective suicide bomber.
Emil van der Poorten / April 29, 2019
I would suggest that my political history over six decades would speak for itself, both here in Sri Lanka and in other places.
Have you ever heard of the expression, “Actions speak louder than words” particularly when they are not hidden under some pseudonym?
Posturing as some defender of democracy while hiding one’s identity and place of residence is, obviously, something about which you can speak knowledgeably from personal experience.
Jay Chambers / April 29, 2019
here are many ways to contribute to a discussion, a pseudonym being one, specially when you are critical of Islam. Just look at Salman Rushdie. The global Moslem terror mafia can get a “fatwa” against anyone who is even slightly critical of Islam and anything Islamic. Of course, if like you, I don’t even mention the words, Islam and terrorism and be a nice pooch barking at the Lankan political caravan, they I don’t need a pseudonym either.
Its not that I do not appreciate what you do contribute to the country and to this forum. But you should see your own blind spots. If you go back and read what I wrote I spoke about the menacing looks the majority of the Moslems cast on people who are not Moslem and especially tourists dressed for summer, the head to toe horrible dress of women, and general air of disdain with borderline hostility towards all things non-Islamic. This anger and disgust manifests eventually in terrorism, murder and mayhem because Islam allows it and rewards it against the Kaffir non-believers. No other religion does this, but Islam is clear about that.
When the Lankan Moslem community is doing everything it can to grow in numbers, by having larger and larger families and maintain through unethical means a grip on commerce, build mosques all over the country and that too as if they are building fortresses, it only takes a little extrapolation to see the coming danger. I exhorted everyone to be on the look out. I was attacked for my words. If I were to reveal my identity and were to write an open open letter in CT then I would probably be jailed in the 2 star democracy in Lanka where they are quick to follow the wishes of Moslem master with the dough.
Lankan is sick to the core, and the virus is Islam.
Emil van der Poorten / April 30, 2019
In all fairness, one accusation that can never be leveled against you is that of of modesty, particularly when you compare yourself to Salman Rushdie!
Jay Chambers / April 30, 2019
And one thing that accurately describes you is that you have gone totally native, despite whatever Western heritage you may possess. Just like them you have massive blind spots and inability to spot terror and deception of Moslems.
Emil van der Poorten / May 1, 2019
What on earth would this world, particularly Sri Lankans, do without your wisdom and bravery (even if hidden under a pseudonym)
Amarasiri / April 29, 2019
“Emil, I have been warning about this for the last three years on CT and YOU have berated me for doing so. You had no idea this was coming, but someone like me who visits the country and see within 20 years Moslems going totally radical can easily envision what will follow. Terror follows radical Islam, like night follows the day”
The Sufi , Shia and Ahmedia Muslims have been warning for 20 years or more, and the authorities did nothing, because the victims were Sufi, Shia and Ahmadi Muslims.
The Sinhala Buddhists were going after Tamils.
The authorities did nothing. The Tamils started the separatist war.
The Sinhala Buddhists were going after Muslims
The Sinhala Buddhists were going after Christians.
The authorities did nothing.
Some Jihadist “Muslims” embraced and joined ISIS.
The authorities did nothing, even with ample information.
Jihadist “Muslims” attacked Christians and Tourists.
The sleeping authorities wake up to the Wahhabi-Jihadi Tauhedi terrorist threat ONLY when they came for the Christians and the tourists.
Better late than never!
Jay Chambers / April 29, 2019
Amarasiri, if you tell me and you can assure me that the “authorities” are woke to the Islamic terror, they I can at least feel a bit better. I honestly do not think they are woke though. The current effort to confront the symptoms of the Jihadi terror is probably driven by the global condemnation Lanka is receiving. If Lanka really wants to confront Islamic barbarism they have to detoxify the Moslems of radical Islam, control the birth rates of Moslems, encourage non-Moslem commerce and ensure that Moslem grip on commerce id dramatically diminished. I rather feel like the Lankan “authorities” are in the pay of Moslem terrorist sympathizers and any kind of rape of this wonderful land can be done by the terrorists and their cohorts as long as the “authorities” get their bribes and perks.
Lankan people should have the moral courage to vote in a much different government next time, otherwise they have only themselves to blame. I understand that the Rajpaksa period was not the best, but why not try the Gotaby guy for a change? Actually do the Lankans have a better choice?
Amarasiri / April 29, 2019
Jay Chambers ,
How do you detoxify an ideology? The Wahhabi Salafi toxic ideology that follows Satan? Theologically, Intellectually, and using Reason. You have to use the same Islamic Sources, to counter Wahhabism. That is why Amarasiri frequently cited, the Hadith of Najd. Search under Google and u tube.
Of course, BBS is no different. BBS was pooped up by the Rajapaksas, to promote the Sinhala Buddhist Racism.
Did you wonder why the Wahhabis hate the Sufi, Shia and Ahmedia Muslims?
The best candidate now is Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka, when the BBS sponsor Gota incarcerated with his brother Mahinda, and wanted to hang him.
K.Pillai / April 28, 2019
May Emil van der Poorten be reminded that some of us spent a lifetime ‘Dealing With The Despair & Despondency’.
We thought we are near rock bottom.
Not so. Are the recent events ‘Facing Sri Lanka Today’, lateral or down some rungs?
Plato. / April 28, 2019
Doric de Souza ,that illustrious figure @ Peradeniya once remarked, at the height of student revolts, even though he himself was anti establishment figure……..
Coming colours not good!
Mind you this was by no means his style to describe a situation, but he would have thought it was a mouthful.
I never did English let alone being his student, but the current scenario unfolding in this country, I am afraid, could be the start for me too to echo that celebrated remark…. Coming colours not good>>>>>>
Thappu / April 28, 2019
Is the phrase, ‘Coming colours not good!’ or ‘Coming colours no good!’. I believe, it’s the latter.
Manel Fonseka / April 29, 2019
Hmm, so you were there when Doric was. That narrows it down a bit….to about 50,000.
nimal fernando / April 29, 2019
Sri Lanka as a country is well and truly buggered.
In any worthwhile democratic country…….. there’s always Ying and Yang.
For better or for worse …..one side of politics has a great champion in Mahinda Rjapakse and on the other side the leader cannot contest for the highest office in the land – has to put in substitutes ……. and cant even say he is contesting this time until the last minute!
Lanka political establishment/shindig is hobbling on one leg ……. the leg that has dictatorial-tendencies …….. the other leg is gone missing.
It’s a very funny state of affairs ……….. that many Lankans have become accustomed to and take in their stride ……
Rajash / April 29, 2019
The President and Prime Minister are so busy blaming each other for not acting on the intelligence ….
they have again miserably failed to unite the country…..
is sri Lanka bankrupt of genuine leaders?…leaders who can rise from the phoenix?
we had JVP uprising and we had LTTE both local to Sri Lanka now we have ISIS setting its foot in Sri Lanka….but the corrupt politicians are laughing and joking at the press coference….
None of the Sinhala politicians have come forward with a message of unity….the Maha Sangha is sitting under the umbrella …..cut off from what is going on …
what a pathetic lot
Nathan / April 29, 2019
Were you there at peradeniya uni in the late sixties? Another I recall is Thattil? Also he (you) had some interest at Wariyapola?
Cousin George / April 29, 2019
You are dreaming. This bugger hasn’t seen the colour of Peradeniya or any other university.
You are talking of me, Cousin George.
T. Devendra / April 29, 2019
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CaliphateCyst / April 29, 2019
Sad. Really Sad. Nothing much to add, except to say wish more people unequivocally condemned these foreign ideology based Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorism acts without obfuscating issues.
Thank you again for a lovely opinion column written FROM within Sri Lanka and using your own name. I am sure the abuse and insults by half-wits will follow you again.
BBS thugs were used to demonize all Sinhalese by people like Jehan Perera and Latif Farouk the racist and most other writers here.. But now we know that is wrong. We cannot demonize a patriotic group of a certain religion again for the acts of a few very well trained brilliantly planned terrorist acts by millionaires and others in the name of their version of a global religion. What is frightening is them saying Sri Lanka is their land where only their brand of Islam should thrive. They attacked other muslims many times before they started desecrating Buddha Statues in Mawanella and hid explosives in Wanathavillu. CT shamelessly played a game by blaming 2 opposition MPS for the statue desecration without facts. Now we know; the murder of 2 cops last year was islamic terrorists; the statue desecration was islamic terrorists. Everyone was caught napping.
Gosh but how dare you insult the greatest Royalist of them all JRJ the dharmishta mahasona mate? his nephew RW will batalandafy you ! The biggest arsehole of them all indeed was JR; that he sure was. Prabakaran is #2 on the arsehole list.
cow / May 2, 2019
you are third on the list
kali / May 2, 2019
Dealing With The Despair & Despondency Facing Sri Lanka Today?
1)One can but hope that when the reader reaches the end of this piece it will not leave them wringing their hands in helplessness but provide at least a modicum of hope for the future of a land which promised so much when we first became independent in 1948.
*** Emil with all due respect I have read trough your piece and I am sorry to say that I am not wringing my hands but clutching it not knowing what the future holds. Look at those (MS) who are instead of assuring the nation that there will be a new dawn drawing on the waring given by a Monk from jail. Such is the depraved mind of the mainstream Sinhalese. There is nothing you can do to protect civilians ( especeially vulnerable and easy targets such as shopping precincts) from a radicalised detemined fanatic when the Monk and BBS provide a fertile ground.
2) Organize peaceful public demonstrations in support of amity among all groups not espousing racial or religious superiority. Seek and celebrate commonalities among all sectors of the larger Sri Lankan community, something that will take a degree of organizational skill but will not fail for lack of support because, without the shadow of a doubt, the vast majority of Sri Lankans support the philosophy of communal and religious amity.
*** There is no apetite for this from the mainstream Buddhists . How are you going to hold public demonstarions in the rural heartland of the Majority such as Andhrapura , Kurunagella . You will be stoned to death especially when those who join the demonstrations will be from the Minority.
In my view situation is hopeless as the Sinhalese motto is we are the ” sons of the soil ” and more of the same. but the danger is they are up against a formidabe enemy headed by ” Bagfadi”.