21 July, 2024


How We Came To This Pass: Rise Of Militant Islam

By Sachithanandam Sathananthan

Dr. Sachithanandam Sathananthan

April 21

It is now customary to find Sinhalese, Tamil and (a few) Muslim co-Liberals perched around watering holes in Colombo and Kandy, with head in hand, drowning their sorrows while mumbling, How Did We Come To This Pass? They wonder, whatever happened to the glorious Peace Dividend politicians promised us, and we believed? And didn’t we lustily cheer LTTE’s slaughter, fantasising that after the organisation’s demise Sinhalese chauvinism will run out of excuses for dodging “peace”?

A professor (ethnically Sinhalese) at a Lankan university captured the angst of Liberals in two key questions: “How did we end up here? How do we find a way out?”[1]

Several political tributaries merged over the past many decades and swelled into the roaring torrent in which Lankans are floundering. We begin with the most recent one – the emergence and explosive arrival of Militant Islam.

The 21 April 2019 Easter Sunday’s well-coordinated bombings on the western and eastern flanks of the island shook the nation. Within about 48 hours officialdom, security forces and the press almost unanimously concluded that (a) radical Islamists carried out the attacks, (b) the attacks are suicide operations, (c) the Islamists are members of NTJ (National Thowheed Jamath) or its offshoot and an alleged ally, Jamathei Millath Ibrahim (JMI) and (d) that the Sunni IS (Islamic State) remote-controlled the attack using local NTJ/JMI proxies.

Of course there is more to life than what meets the eye or, rather, what is allowed to meet the eye!

Early news reports peddled hackneyed Islamaphobia. The report filed by three journalists – including a Sinhalese – inaleading U.S. newspaper on 23 April sweepingly alleged the NTJ, led by Mohammed Zahran, and JMI together carried out the attacks, although the organizations are not on record claiming responsibility.But the reporters contradicted themselves almost in the next breath. “Many counterterrorism experts”, the report sheepishly admitted, “found it hard to believe that Mr. Zaharan’s [sic] group carried out a half-dozen coordinated bombings with such deadly precision.[2]

That’s not surprising. The virtually unknown NTJ is less than ten years old and it has no track record of armed actions – assassinations, bombings, etc. The JMI was reportedly formed barely a year ago. So, their cadres are still wet behind the ears; the organisations simply cannot have acquired the skill and experience to single-handedly launch the countrywide synchronized attacks on eight locations within a short time between8.30 and 9.45 in the morning.

In fact, the LTTE even at the height of its power never achieved anything comparable!

One of two alleged attackers who booked into the Shangri-La Hotel is reported [3]to have helpfully recorded his true address, which security forces claim led them to his residence in Dematagoda, northern Colombo.

Further evidence of their clumsiness was laid bare in Sainthamaruthu on 26 April. If news reports are accurate, NTJ’s cadres ineptly attracted attention to their “safe house” by rudely shooing away inquisitive villagers. When “the villagers went back to the house a second time…with a government official,” instead of politely inviting them to tea and biscuits and then waving them goodbye, “the suspects opened fire.”[4]

The NTJ cadres in effect gratuitously invited their own destruction.

The subsequent gun battle with the armed forces sealed their fate and the government predictably banned both organisations.

It beggars belief that these rank amateurs could have on their own meticulously planned in secret and almost flawlessly executed the April 21 precisionbombings.

The IS factor

Other observers too came to the same conclusion, that the “theory” NTJ and JMI’s masterminded April 21 is leaking like a sieve. So, the IS (Islamic State) bogey was trotted out. That too fell flat.

The same U.S. newspaper report cheerfully asserted IS “claimed responsibility” but diluted to IS “boasting of the suicide attacks” and fizzled out to there is “no proof that the extremist group did more than provide encouragement”. All this within the space of three paragraphs; President Trump would in all probability have raised a glass to this Fake News!

Undeterred by the paucity of evidence, a former Sri Lankan journalist, now ensconced in Canada, joined the chorus linking NTJ to the IS.[5]

“After its…military reversals” in Iraq and Syria, he argued, “the IS began to intensify and accelerate terrorist attacks elsewhere” in order “to demonstrate that the movement…possessed a lethal, global reach…by outsourcing deadly missions of violence” to Islamic militant organisations in other countries. And he asserted: “This is what seems to have happened in the case of Sri Lanka too.”

That may be interesting as far as it goes. But why didn’t the IS demonstrate its “global reach” by outsourcing to its South Asian allies – tried and tested, and far more lethal – in Pakistan and Bangladesh? Why speculate it “seems to have happened”in Sri Lanka?

To buttress his claim the journalist rolled out further speculations without a shred of evidence: “the blueprint for the well-coordinated attacks…seems to have been devised by IS strategic planners too. It is believed that Zahran Hashim was the linchpin.”

Those dodgy words, “seems” and “believed”!

The so-called link between the IS and NTJ frayed further. An 18-minute clip with audio and videosurfaced on 24 April. It featured the IS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “speaking about…Baghouz, Syria, while praising terrorist bombings in Sri Lanka.” It was repeatedly held out as proof of IS’s involvement. But – and this is crucial – “the statement about Sri Lanka appeared in an audio portion of the video that did not show Baghdadi.” The clip was obviously doctored; for the audio portion “may have been tacked on after he was filmed following the fall of Baghouz.”[6]

While various “theories” of IS – NTJ links were bandied about, the Cabinet Spokesmanand Health Minister, in a 30 April press conference, dropped a bombshell. “Quoting from a confidential intelligence report, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that both Islamist and Buddhist extremist groups were initially bankrolled by the former government led by Mahinda Rajapaksa” and that “”Thowheed Jamath Secretary Abdul Razik Rafiqudeen was an army intelligence member”.[7]

He added: “26 National Thowheed Jamath Members Were on Defence Ministry Payroll”.[8]

Clearly the Health Minister’s allegation must be investigated as a matter of urgency. But so far the government has maintained a stony silence!

If the Minister is correct, the hapless NTJ was well and truly penetrated by Sri Lankan intelligence!

The suspended IGP (Inspector General of Police, ethnically Sinhalese) added fuel to the NTJ fire.[9]In a 20-page Fundamental Rights petition he submitted to Supreme Court last week, he stated “by letter dated 08th April 2018, the State Intelligence Service [which reports directly to the President] expressly requested the Petitioner to instruct the DIG, Terrorism Investigation Department to suspend all investigations into extremist Muslim factions associated with known international terrorist organizations operating within the country since such investigations caused prejudice to the secret investigations that were being carried out by the State Intelligence Service” (Clause 48).[10]

If the IGP is to be believed, who then are the actual handlers of NTJ’s alleged suicide bombers? Does this point to April 21 possibly being a “false flag” operation?

If the supposed IS – NTJ link is dubious at best, why have so many reporters bent over backwards to impute credibility to the “theory”? One reason could be their universal predilection to sensationalism, promote moral panic and to boost their flagging reputation.

But there could be a more insidious tendency that resembles Bangladesh’s recent experience. Following the 2016 siege of the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka, western powers through their mercenary media hacks whipped up a so-called “link” between the local attackers and the IS.

The politically savvy Prime MinisterSheikh Hasina maneuvered astutely. “Hasina resisted the temptation to go along with the Western view that the Holey Artisan Bakery attack was the handiwork of the international lslamic State and not a local group. She sensed that attempts were being made to link up the massacre with the IS so that the Western agencies could enter the investigation process and infiltrate the Bangladeshi security set up. She therefore doggedly held on to the view that the massacre was a local job.”[11]

Although18 foreigners, including 9 Italians and 7 Japanese perished in the siege, Hasina refused to yield to western pressure.

The story in Colombo is very different. The political class parroted the alleged IS link. Not surprisingly, “US intelligence personnel, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) team” and “Britain’s MI-5 (intelligence) personnel” are reportedly in Sri Lanka to investigate IS involvement in April 21.The president is on record admitting: “We did not invite them. They came on their own.”[12]

Was the IS – NTJ link then magnified beyond all proportions to stampede the country (not its supine Sinhalese political class) into opening doors to further western intelligence penetration?

Is it Muslims vs Christians?

The attacks on churches allegedly by Muslims raised further unsettling questions.

Extremist Sinhalese-Buddhists have accused Christians of unethical conversions and repeatedly attacked them. The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) “mapped 320 cases between January 2013 and June 2016, including mob attacks on churches, state-sanctioned church closures, personal attacks, arson, vandalism, intimidation and discrimination,” such asinMinneriya (2009),[13]Meegoda (2013), [14]Hikkaduwa (2014)[15]and Kithu Sevana (2017).[16]

A week before the Easter Sunday bombings, extremist Sinhalese-Buddhists reportedly attacked a Methodist Church in Anuradhapura.[17]

But on 21 April Christians sensibly did not retaliate against Buddhist institutions, which were untouched.

Extremist Sinhalese-Buddhists have unleashed [18]anti-Muslim Pogroms – a publicly sanctionedpurgative attacks against an ethnic or religious group at times leading to or culminating in massacres [19]–for more than a decade, often with the participation of Buddhist monks. More recently, the attacks have apparently been coordinated bythe BBS (Bodu Bala Sena). They ranged from ordering the removal of the Dambulla Mosque (2012),[20]attacks on Muslims in Aluthgama and Beruwela (2014),[21]in Kurunegala (2017),[22]the Amparai ‘Wanda Pethi’ controversy (2018),[23]Digana (2018)[24]and in Kandy (2018).[25]

But on 21 April Muslims sensibly did not retaliate against Buddhist sites!

What’s more, Muslims in the country have no history of conflicts with Christians. So why, as alleged, would the NTJ and JMI suddenly and inexplicably target Christian institutions?

Perhaps pushed to cough up a credible explanation, the State Minister for Defence speculated the co-ordinated blasts against churches were “in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch,”[26]New Zealand on 15 March 2019.

But that country’s Prime Minister refuted the link[27]; and its Deputy Prime Minister rejected it out of hand as a “cheap shot” and “reiterated his government had seen no evidence of a link” and asserted, “expert advice suggested the Sri Lankan bombings would have been planned well before the Christchurch terror attack.” He added contemptuously, “sometimes it pays to … get the facts first before you beat your lips with an opinion…We’re not going to stand here and have our country misused”.[28]

Reporters who gushed about IS’s involvement in April 21 OBSCURED AN IMPORTANT FACT. The churches in Batticaloa and Colombo were attacked during Mass in the Tamil language; so Tamil Christians are the majority of victims.

Why would NTJ target predominantly Tamil Christians? A few colleagues in Colombo speculated weakly the Muslim-Tamil competition over land in some Eastern Province villages could be a reason.

That raised further questions. Why were churches bombed on the opposite side of the island, in the Western Province?

And if, as alleged above, “the blueprint” for 21 April attacks “seems to have been devised by IS strategic planners”, did those Sunni-Arab fundamentalists graciously minimise casualties among Sinhalese Christians – a point underlined by a Catholic priest in Tamil Nadu?[29]

If not, who are the actual schemers?

Suicide warriors do not fall from the sky

Initially there were doubts about suicide operations. At about 10 pm on April 21, and since a forensic examination had not been done,a Senior Supt. of Police announced cautiously, “we suspectthat the bomb in Negombo was a suicide attack”, adding: “We cannot confirmit at this moment whether the others too were suicide attacks.”[30]

The leading U.S. newspaper’s report referred above further revealed the lack of clarity. The report quoted the Prime Minister: that the leader of the NTJ “’[Mohammed] Zaharan (sic) is suspected to be one of the bombers,’ but that forensic identification had not been verified.”

The Online site of a UK newspaper [31]similarly fudged the narrative. On 24 April it suggested “detectives believe” that suicide bombers blew themselves up in hotels; that “it is believed” the bombers blew up explosives-laden backpacks; that “it is believed” they influenced their extended family.

There is a surfeit of beliefs and an agonizing deficit of facts.

During gun battles both in Dematagoda and Sainthamaruthu, police reports alleged the occupants blew themselves up, to be corroborated by forensic analysts.

On 10 May, the Colombo Fort Magistrate called for “a DNA report using a blood sample obtained from Zahran Hashim’s daughter” to confirm whether Zahran is the Shangri-La Hotel suicide bomber.[32]

On 21 May the police announced [33]that DNA tests done by the Government Analyst confirmed the identity of the eight suicide bombers: Muhammad Zahra and Mohammad Ibrahim Ilham (Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo),Mohammad Ibrahim Inshaf (Cinnamon Grand hotel, Colombo), Mohamed Hasthun (St Sebastian Church, Negombo), Ahmed Muaz (St Anthony’s Church, Colombo), Abdul Latif Jameel Mohammed (Guest House, Dehiwala), Mohamed Nasser Mohamed Asad (Christian Zion church, Batticaloa), Mohamed Azzam Mubarak Mohamed (Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo).

The findings are noted.

However, while naturally awaiting the reactions of their immediate families, we have been informed the DNA tests are to be repeated for Mohammed Zahran’s two brothers who blew themselves up in Sainthamarathu, because “four samples [from their bodies] had been spoilt.”[34]

The search for evidence of the Muslim suicide operatives could be interesting. But they, though tragic developments, did not fall from the sky!

Throughout the 1990s and up to the late-2000s, the Sinhalese armed forces trained and armed many Muslim youth who loyally served them as Home Guards to combat the LTTE in the east; and several “Muslims worked in the intelligence arm of the forces and worked mostly under cover”,[35]using their proficiency in the Tamil language to help defeat the LTTE. Simultaneously the Muslim leadership generally cozied up to the Sinhala-Buddhist establishment.

But, after the LTTE was crushed in 2009, extremist Sinhalese-Buddhists reduced large sections of Muslims to little more than political punching bags during the anti-Muslim Pogroms they unleashed in several parts of the countrywith increasing ferocity.

A Muslim politician had poured out his community’s anguish when he wrote to the former President lamenting the 2012 attack on the Dambulla Mosque, and pleaded: “You will agree that Buddhist–Muslim relationship is…built on…sincere understanding and goodwill, time tested by centuries of coexistence. This is the reason why we stood as a buffer against the division of the country in spite of the bulk of us being Tamil speaking. That is why [we] got battered and butchered by the LTTE”.[36]

It was blindingly clear to any intelligent observer that these repeated anti-Muslim Pogroms would very likely – sooner than later – compel Muslim youth to defend themselves, if necessary with arms. This was especially likely given the historical precedence of armed actions set first by the JVP, later by the LTTE.

An obvious historical parallel is the series of anti-Tamil Pogroms – from 1956 and Emergency ’58 to July ’83 Holocaust – that nurtured Tamil militancy and shoved most young militants into the grasping hands of Indian intelligence. Extremist Sinhalese-Buddhists thus invited the three-decade war with the LTTE and opened doors for Indian intervention.

History is repeating itself.

Muslim radicalism was in its infancy in the 1990s. The Wahabi influence seeped through Saudi scholarships to a few Muslim youth. Some Muslim migrant workers returning from West Asia were conduits of Wahabi influences.

But Muslim militancy had remained at best a fringe, non-violent phenomenon.

In fact the ex-DIG (Deputy Inspector General, ethnically Sinhalese) confirmed our assessment during his testimony under oath before the PSC (Parliamentary Select Committee) probing the Easter Attacks. He said investigations of his TID (Terrorist Investigation Division) revealed the NTJ “were not violent extremists at their inception”, He added: “Zahran’s preaching and attitudes took a sharp turn towards violent extremism following Digana attacks against Muslims in 2018 by extremist Sinhala Buddhist mobs” led by a prominent extremist.[37]

Since the NTJ took a “sharp turn towards violent extremism…in 2018” only ONE YEAR before April 21, the organization cannot have the experience and capability to mount the coordinated, cross-island attacks.

Did larger forces within the country, then, plan April 21 and manipulate the amateurish NTJ cadres as basically cannon fodder?

So the NTJ members’ armed but irrational reactions in Dematagoda and Sainthamaruthu are in many ways inescapable consequences.

Extremist Sinhalese-Buddhists are evidently working overtime to breed more Zahrans. They launched further anti-Muslim Pogroms mainly in the western regions of Puttalam, Kurunegala and Gampaha on May 12th, 13thand 14th, TWENTY DAYS AFTER April 21 – clearly not a spontaneous retaliation – while curfew was in force and in full view of security personnel.[38]Video footage, unavailable during the earlier anti-Tamil Pogroms, showed Sinhalese mobs apparently lubricated by Spirits of Life attacking Muslim-owned businesses and mosques[39]

In short, the BBS and its cohorts have nourished Muslim militancy, driven the militants to fall back on Wahabi-inspired armed resistance and pushed open gates for Saudi intervention and IS involvement.

The Payoff Matrix

A very significant fact here is that the Sinhala-Buddhist elite has successfully generated THREE armed challenges to its State – from 1971 to 2019 – by the Sinhalese JVP, Tamil LTTE and now the incipient Muslim NTJ.

 Then, is so-called “governance” a pathetic euphemism for that almost terminally dysfunctional Sinhalese elite hopelessly fumbling with a dilapidated State?

 We may safely ignore flat-footed assertions of so-called ethnic studies “experts” about April 21 and May Pogrom. Their shallow theories about “identity conflicts” are incapable of fathoming the complexities of Pogroms, in which class contradictions intersect ethnic interests mediated by the State. Their pedestrian exhortations of “love” and “tolerance” towards the “Other” merely mask intellectual vacuity.

We may also dismiss those who desperately explain the recent violence by borrowing [40]the punnakuClash of Civilisation “theory”, which was comprehensively trashed as “The Clash of Ignorance” [41]long ago.[42]

The final question: if, as evident, the NTJ cadres were little more than mere pawns, who planned and made the decisive moves for April 21?

Rather, who stands to gain or, as our long-standing friend from New Delhi’s Indian Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) often quips, “what’s the payoff matrix”?

One may never know. However, there are a few tantalising straws in the wind.

In the New Cold War between the United States and China, is Western powers’ desperation to contain China’s growing influence in Sri Lanka a geo-strategic context for intervention by exploiting the April 21 and IS bogey? [43]

Is it a mere coincidence that the U.S. administration is pushing to finalise the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA)on the heels of the infamous but well known Shock and Awe effect of April 21?[44]

Within Sri Lanka, calls appear to come from different quarters for a stabilising, “strong” leader in this election year.

Some Liberals are mouthing self-serving gobbledygook – that politics-is-the-art-of-the-possible – and positioning to mine the anticipated authoritariandispensation.

One policy alternative “activist”, for instance, mused:“whilst authoritative leadership may be desired we must make sure that it does not lead to authoritarian leadership and a race back to the future.”[45]Have the semantic jugglery – “authoritative” vs “authoritarian” – and seeming naiveté to don a human mask on authoritarianism been crafted to conceal an unfortunate inclination to collaborate with authoritarian rule?

Fortunately there are many demanding a principled opposition to the slide towards authoritarianism. A reputed sociologist underlined the importance of resisting “autocratic authoritarianism”[46]three weeks before April 21. Another analyst feared, “in the aftermath the Rajapaksa monolith is firmly on a comeback trail…The aftermath promises bleak days ahead.” [47]

*To be continued …..

End notes

[1]Siri Hettige, “Sri Lanka’s unprecedented Socio-Political crisis”. The Island, Colombo, 30/may/19.


[2]JeffreyGettleman, Dharisha Bastians and Mujib Mashal“ISIS Claims Sri Lanka Attacks, and President Vows Shakeup”. New York Times, 23/apr/19


[3]“Chilling footage of Shangri-La terror attack”, Mail Online,UK, 24/apr/19.


[4]Dinuka Liyanawatte, Shihar Aneez,“Children killed during Sri Lanka gunbattle between troops and Islamist militants”. Reuters, 27/apr/19


[5]D.B.S.Jeyaraj,“Leader of Nation of Tawheed Jamaat Zahran Hashim alias ‘Abu Ubaida’.Daily Mirror, Colombo, 27/apr/19.


[6]Political Editor, “Embattled President fighting on all fronts”. Sunday Times, Colombo, 5/may/19.


[7]“Sri Lanka military “linked to Easter Sunday bombers” (VIDEO)JDSLanka.org, 2/may19.


[8]D.B.S.Jeyaraj, “Dr Rajitha Senaratne alleges…” dbsjeyaraj.com, 30/apr/19.


[9]“Sirisena’s SIS Issued Orders To Stop Police Investigations Into Extremist Muslim Groups – IGP Pujith Jayasundara”. Daily Mirror, Colombo, 2/jun19.


[10]“SC (FR) Application No: 216/2019”. Colombo Telegraph, 4/jun/19.


[11]P.K.Balachandran, “How Bangladesh kept Islamic Radicals under check”. Daily Mirror, Colombo, 14/may/19.


[12]Political Editor, “Embattled President fighting on all fronts”. Sunday Times, Colombo, 5/may/19.


[13]“Sinhala goons destroy Jesus statue in Minneriya.” TamilNet, 11/jun/09.


[14]“Buddhist Monk Led Mob Attacked Pentecostal Church”. Colombo Telegraph,9/sep/13


[15]“SRI LANKA: Two churches attacked by mobs during Sunday services”. 15/jan/14.


[16]“SRI LANKA: Church building destroyed by Buddhist mob”. 9/jan/17


[17]Kishali Pinto Jayawardene, “The Palm Sunday attack and a government’s duty”.  Sunday Times, Colombo, 21/apr19.


[18]Ahamed Sarjoon Razick, Nagoor Gafoordeen & Seyed Mohamed Mohamed Mazahir. “Hate Campaigns and Attacks Against the Muslims in Recent Sri Lanka”. European Journal of Social Sciences, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2018.


[19]“Pogrom”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pogrom

[20]“Sri Lanka government orders removal of Dambulla mosque”. BBC, 22/apr/12.


[21]Dharisha Bastians, “Striking The Match”. Colombo Telegraph, 26/jun/14


[22]“Gnanasara Shows Police He Is Above The Law, As Muslim Owned Shops And A Mosque Attacked In Kurunegala”. Colombo Telegraph, 21/may/17


[23]“’Wanda Pethi’ Sample Just A Lump Of Flour, Government Analyst Rules”. Colombo Telegraph, 8/mar/18.


[24]“Govt’s Response To Digana Anti-Muslim Assaults Lukewarm And Vague”.  Colombo Telegraph,6/mar/18.


[25]“Anti-Muslim Assaults: Sinhalese Mobs Ignite Kandy For Second Night”. Colombo Telegraph, 6/mar/18.


[26]Chilling footage of Shangri-La terror attack”, Mail Online,UK, 12/may/19.


[27]“NZ says no intelligence linking SL attacks to Christchurch”. Daily Mirror, Colombo,24/apr/19.


[28]“’Cheap shot’: NZ slams SL-Christchurch link terror claim”. Daily Mirror, Colombo, 30/apr/19.


[29]Jagath Gaspar, Interview. IBC, 13/may/19.

[29]“Sri Lanka government orders removal of Dambulla mosque”.  BBC, 22/apr/19.


[30]“Intelligence failures, soft-peddling envelopes deadliest suicide attacks in SL”. Daily Mirror, Colombo, 22 April 2019


[31]“Chilling footage of Shangri-La terror attack”, Mail Online,UK, 12/may/19.


[32]“Court wants DNA report of Zahran’s daughter.” Daily Mirror, Colombo, 10/may/19.


[33]“Zahran confirmed dead”.  The Island, Colombo, 21/may/19.


[34]“Bodies of Zaharan’s brothers to be exhumed today”. Daily Mirror, Colombo 7/jun/19.


[35]Hilmy Ahmed, “Who Is Creating Zaharans?” Colombo Telegraph,4/jun/19.


[36]Azath Salley ,“Letter To The President On Demolishing 65 Year Old Dambulla Mosque”. Colombo Telegraph, 7/may/14.


[37]“Zaharan’s Attitudes, Preaching Turned Towards Violent Extremism After Digana Attacks: Ex-DIG Nalaka Silva”. Colombo Telegraph,5/jun/19.


[38]“Video: Communal Unrest Simmers In North West; Minuwangoda Also Affected”.Reported incidents from Kurunegala District. Colombo Telegraph, 13/may/19.


[39]“Anti-Muslim Violence: New Disturbing Video Emerges”. Reported incident in Nikewaratiya on 13/5/2019. Colombo Telegraph, 15/may/19.


[40]Michael Roberts“The Clash Of Civilisations And Hate At The Heart Of 21/4 In Sri Lanka.” Sri Lanka Guardian, /may/19


[41]Edward Said, “The Clash of Ignorance”. The Nation, 4/oct/01.


[42]Noam Chomsky, “Clash of civilizations?”. Lecture at Delhi School of Economics, 5/nov/01


[43]Liyanage Amarakeerthi, “An Open Letter To The US Ambassador In Sri Lanka”. Colombo Telegraph, 25/apr/19.


[44]“SL renounces legal immunity to US military”.  Daily Mirror, Colombo, 24/may19.


[45]Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu,“Easter Sunday Savagery: The Unanswered Questions”. Groundviews, 28/apr/19


[46]Jayadeva Uyangoda,“To Defend Democracy, A Broad Conversation Among All Democrats Needed”. Colombo Telegraph,31/mar/19.


[47]Sarath de Alwis,“Pondering The Aftermath”. Colombo Telegraph, 19/may/19


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Latest comments

  • 2

    I think, they learend from Tamils they got their Oil money from Arabs and British Bit coins and money so they follow Tamils but better. Started with blowing up. they did not kill any of their Muslims politicians because politicians helped them.

  • 2

    You have written some very important points. I heard one theory that is Sinhala Catholics were attacked because they did not help Tamil Catholics/christians in their fight for a homeland. Tamils Hindus stayed a side. It is Tamil christians/Catholics who set up block votes overseas.
    ISIS, AL QAEDA names are all given by the west. IF you read enough, there were so many groups fighting against ASSAD they had different names and most publicised names are the ISIS, ISL, LEVANT etc., I heard they all were MERCENARY soldiers recruited from all over the world. I read some western countries changed their rules and they want to prosecute ISIS soldiers who came back.
    ISIS or JiHADIS all over made attacks for different purposes.
    You can understand how stupid is ZAHARAN to be a Terrorist leader. He, just by studying the way he has acted, does not seem that Animal like.. He has acted very like an Idiot. SO, even his business acumen seems very questionable. How did he made billions while he was doing Terrorist training, and all those.

    • 5

      Thanks Mr. Sathananthan:


      As Tony Cartalucci writes: The US deliberately created ISIS to serve as a pretext for illegally occupying Syrian territory remain there indefinitely – it has and will continue to use ISIS’ convenient expansion worldwide to justify a continued, global US military presence worldwide as well.

      Its time for the next generation to take over and to ban all the corrupt politicians over 60 years contesting. This generation of politicians – Bondscam Ranil, Ma Ra and US citizen Gota and Sira all must share the same prison cell.

      • 1

        Dear Suriya,

        Thank you for the reference,

  • 5

    Global village concept and disparity is directly related. Each country has become a village through Business, Banks and Politics.
    Fastest way to increase disparity is terrorism. Have you ever seen the rich countries getting poor due to war? They’re are many examples to prove the rich getting poor due peace.

  • 7

    The root cause for the chaos is that law and order is left in the hands of uneducated police personnel, untrained forces who are just bystanders while crimes are committed on minorities, while politicians are not carrying out their duties. In short, law and order is not effectively implemented.
    How to solve? We need a new constitution where human rights are inter twined with responsibilities, failure of which carries heavy penalties and loss or suspension of civic rights and losing the job. If strict measures of this nature is not included in the constitution, the misery will continue.

  • 9

    What does the writer find so hard to believe?

    A racist stone age warlord came up with an ideology that promised 72 virgins for going Allah Allah Rabadallah and blowing up innocent Kafirs. 1,400 years down the line 200+ lunatic racist cult members fell for this fairytale promise hook line and sinker. They started with desecrating buddhist statues but Christchurch led to a strategically early ejaculation of the Thakkiya. Walking into churches and checking into hotels does not require any sophisticaton, all it requires is brainwashed hatred and lunacy. Which the racist Mohommedan cult provides in bucket loads. Just read some of the appologist articles written on CT and the recent comments by the Kattankudy terrorist. This writer is also peddling the same nonsense conspiracy theories

    The LTTE not being able to carry out multiple bombings at once shows the limitations of their crazy ideology. If the tamil warlord also had promised virgins in heaven he also may have got 9 bombers at once…..however goat curry, hoppers and the chance to pat his fat stomache only produced one brainwashed lunatic at a time.

    The country can finally see the clear and present danger from this crazy stone age racist cult. The time for half measures is over. The normal people in this country can finally vote in a strong leader and support a clear national agenda. Phase 1 to come in July, phase 2 in November.

  • 3

    Is this writer the filmmaker of the same name, formerly in ICES and TAGOT?
    I cant wait for the rest of his article.

    • 1

      Was he married to an American girl who lived here and went to the USA to further his studies

    • 0


  • 5

    Sir, I did some reading on you and it is worth waiting for your conclusion. There has been so many mouth pieces here (Rajeewa, Laksiri, Mahindapala —etc ) who have written their twisted made up stories. I think it is fair to give a chance so that you can complete your writing with conclusions. You seem to have a vast knowledge, experience and understanding of our past, which the fake conveniently avoid. Let me wait ????

  • 5

    It is now customary to find Sinhalese, Tamil and (a few) Muslim co-Liberals perched around watering holes in Colombo and Kandy, with head in hand, drowning their sorrows while mumbling, How Did We Come To This Pass? They wonder, whatever happened to the glorious Peace Dividend politicians promised us, and we believed? And didn’t we lustily cheer LTTE’s slaughter, fantasising that after the organisation’s demise Sinhalese chauvinism will run out of excuses for dodging “peace”?

    A professor (ethnically Sinhalese) at a Lankan university captured the angst of Liberals in two key questions: “How did we end up here? How do we find a way out?”[1]

    *** Looking at your picture I thought you were a Bhuddist Monk. Who are these Tamil Co Liberals and who promised you Glorious Peace Dividend.
    All I have seen is PROMISES IN PIECES and more of the same

  • 3

    Ha Ha!! The irrepressible Satha.
    We wondered if this great companion of watering holes had lapsed into silence arising from
    a) absolute hopelessness of the chaos in the land of his birth;
    b) lack of watering holes in the land of his adoption;
    c) ‘knowledge’ arising from deep contemplation / meditation on matters ethereal rather than matters most mundane, ‘most mundane’ being the acts of commission and omission by politicians National (Sri Lanka) and International.
    d) good to hear your views after a long lapse.

    • 0

      Young Mithra,

      Where are you? A few months ago I looked for you in the usual haunts in Colombo. You seem to have crawled into a hole and pulled it in behind you!!

      Great to hear from you.

    • 3

      The older ones know quite well about the past, present & probably the future being perennial students of human nature as sub-set nature’s nature & nurture. He has drawn quite extensively from about a half a century of bibliographic references of URLs.

      I am also waiting with baited breath to hear of his great solutions; when in the late 90’s and early turn of this millennium when he was in Melbourne expecting an imminent Elam for us to land directly at the NP Pallahley to be international airport from all international destinations was going to be the panacea. Had VP succeeded he may have become the Finance Minister for his Economic-academics & other juggernautics.

    • 0

      Young Mithra,

      Great to hear from you.

      Where are you? You seem to have crawled into a hole and pulled it in behind you.


  • 2

    Very well researched and analysed article by the author.
    In this modern world with the hegemony of Western nations, India and Israel on the Asian countries the first casualty of such terrorist attack is the TRUTH. Thanks to the author for separating the truth from the falsehood.
    If we analyse the beneficiaries of the Easter attacks such as USA to sign a strong defence pact with Sri Lanka, Gota and his group to launch his presidential contest, Mossad and other Western intelligence to closely monitor India one can come to a conclusion of who are the people behind this carnage in Sri Lanka at the expense of few misguided Islamic youths.
    Please note that India at its best tried to prevent such terrorist attack from happening but Sri Lankan Intelligence and defence establishment continued to ignore their warning and recent visit by Modi to inform Sri Lankan Government against harbouring the foreign intelligence agencies in Sri Lanka.

  • 1

    The question which immediately came to my mind “is there any country which has intentionally allowed a planned attack” as such in past. From the information we have now it is obvious the people at the top mainly President, Intelligence, security, armed services and most of our security apparatus knew about it and still allowed it to take place. I believe this is where the investigation should begin, if at all to get any answers and that makes PSC vital, to continue with its hearings. This also gives some idea, why certain politicians are vehement in blocking it. To do so they are using there henchman in diverting, creating riots and spreading hatred. We are well aware how our previous governments have exploited world events (9/11, Islamophobia) and manipulated for their domestic gains. It is a fact that 9/11 was a predecessor for “humanitarian mission with zero casualty”, where other countries and international bodies were forced into a powerless state. Now ISIS is being manipulated against Muslims for same reasons.

    • 1

      Mahulchandran or Mal C Spencer

      • 0

        Waiting for you to come out.

    • 1


      It is widely believed that the then American President knew in advance that the Japanese air force was on its way to bomb Pearl Harbour but allowed it to take place so that it could be used whip up justification for the US to enter WWII.

  • 1

    As you rightly mentioned the coordination, precision, number of perpetrators involved, magnitude of damage, religious sacrifice (self, family, comfort), financial backing (billions in money) are all against a the “flash in a pan” theory. The politicians may want us to believe in such theory which dosent make any sense. We are now aware that most of the perpetrators were well known to our politicians. Also past history reveals close nexus and financial dealings between LTTE and governments where LTTE was overly confident of buying out politicians but ended up being exploited to their own destruction. With 30 years of fighting a war our governments not only gained experience in strategies but how to manipulate, distort , deceive, lie, exploit ___-etc—etc.

  • 0

    Spencer, in this age and time it is not easy to shut one from telling his/her opinion. When people like Rajeewa is writing about reports which do not exist and Mahindapala compiling all his hatred and vitriol into an article, why not allow this author to complete his opinion and conclusion. Though it may be from news papers and other media sources, he has given extensive references to back his opinion. In fact , Lanka is blessed where there is no reliable and credible source of information. If and when journalist tried to do so, “they simply disappeared into thin air”. If you wish, you can read to know his credentials, which are worthy to give an opinion.

    • 2

      You have apparently misperceived as few or none are able to shut anyone down in this digital age. Satha and I have been classmates and on and off friends since Jan 56 from our days at Wesley College Colombo. In later years I have even connected overseas calls from SL to his better-half in the US, acquired from his Otter’s swimming pool and club days whilst he was doing his econ degree studies in the UK being helped by her as well. Whether he likes me now or would not like to call me a friend makes the least difference to me as I am more interested in the play than the player or, to put it another way the song is as important as the singer to me. The main purpose of my comments was for him to take into cognizance when he deals with his next part as to the “way-out” solutions that he is going to propound or deal with. The following is what I posted on FB regarding this matter on 03rd May.”
      Mahulchandran Chelvaraj Spencer
      May 3 ·
      Re: The recent ISIS &/or Gotha instigated suicide bombings in SL
      How many think what the Govt’s of SL since so-called independence; have done and/or failed to do is going to be any different? Many have and recent times cautioned of the most recent attacks as an impending threat for quite a while but the Govt not only failed but aided and abetted but has it not also used them to their advantage especially the Mahinda-Gota Rajapaksa clan that is trying hard as its birth-right, duty & entitlement to become the next dynasty even through a scorched country having pawned &/or sold the country to China, India, USA & Wahhabis Saudi Arabia.

      • 0

        Gotha instigated!! ? What nonsense is this? Tamils are SICK. And none of this makes sense either – govt on one side and Gotha on the other and a whole lot of totally dumb claims which contradict each other too.
        Tamils after executing more than 600 suicide bombings killing thousands of innocent Sinhalese and Muslims are now pretending to be babies. The reason for inaction or inability act is totally due to the breakdown of our security system and routines due to the harassment and demands from the UN and UNHRC. Less than a week prior to Easter Sunday, the UNHRC demanded that the anti-terrorism act be repealed totally and all surveillance be stopped! And now you say this!!!???
        The Tamil woman Pulasthini Rajendran was one of you Tamils. She was the wife of the suicide bomber who bombed St. Sebastian church in Katuwapitiya. She had wanted to bomb Buddhist temples. After the easter bombings she had bought some 9 white clothings to prepare for more suicide bombings. How do you explain that?

        • 2

          Gota’s first reaction to 21st April caranage was make me president and these won”t happen. He has been the official pay-master for the 28 muslim activists or jihadists under any other label as border guards to help errdicate his LTTE menance.

  • 1

    Spencer, I am not in FB, so pardon my ignorance. Totally agree with your FB comment.

    • 1

      Here is the balnce or better the the full from FB on 03 May 2019.
      May 3 ·
      Re: The recent ISIS &/or Gotha instigated suicide bombings in SL
      How many think what the Govt’s of SL since so-called independence; have done and/or failed to do is going to be any different? Many have and recent times cautioned of the most recent attacks as an impending threat for quite a while but the Govt not only failed but aided and abetted but has it not also used them to their advantage especially the Mahinda-Gota Rajapaksa clan that is trying hard as its birth-right, duty & entitlement to become the next dynasty even through a scorched country having pawned &/or sold the country to China, India, USA & Wahhabis Saudi Arabia.
      In as much as the colonial powers used some of the more educated Tamils to rule & control the majority Singhalese, through so-called lines hereditary lineage to serve them better likewise the so-called post-independence majority Sinhala Buddhist ruling elite is using the next major minority of some Muslims to do likewise to the Tamils & other minorities. SL is constitutionally first and foremost a Singhala Buddhist state. Hence there is no hope even if SL enshrines it to be a secular state in the constitution it will only be a nominal eye-wash.
      Almost 12 centuries ago there were the Christian knights led holy wars & crusades at the time of the Islamist leader or war-lord Salaldeen then Gordon Pasha & Mahdi and recently Bush recommenced it with Bin Laden for economic benefits as almost all wars are with different facades. These will continue as long as mankind exists on this planet unless all people are able to relearn and change their memetic and cultural dispositions to treat all religions as a private and personal matter.

      • 1

        continued from above due number og words limitation by CT.
        …………..Akin to the food labels cautionings as the “best before”, “use by” and “expiry dates” for all religions are long past their expiry dates.

        The whole religious education systems in all scholls all over the earth should be changed to teach about at least the 6 or 7 major religions and not brainwash in any one particular religion which inevitably leads violence & death of countless innocents right through the history & geography of all living kind in addition to the past 4 or 5 mass extinctions wrought by geological & climatological factors with yet another on the way long before Earth’s sun gobbles it.

  • 2

    The key question to ask is: Who benefited from the atrocity?
    It is certainly not the muslims and this fact must have been considered by the perpetrators.

    Who are the handlers of these so-called Muslims?

    I believe that they are State actors who stand to win from destabilization of Sri Lankan communal harmony and development. WHO are they?

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