By Jehan Perera –
Sri Lanka is still trying to emerge out of its three decade long ethnic war that ended in 2009. Unfortunately, the Easter Sunday bombings linked to the Islamic State (IS), and the damaging reaction to it by those who ought to be responsible political leaders, are taking our country once again in the direction of another ethnic conflict. The bombing has been used to create a great rift in Sri Lankan society. The new ethnic polarization that has set in has led to the first post-independence government in which there is no Muslim representation at the ministerial level.
In this context the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) into the Easter Sunday bombing has become a matter of political controversy. President Maithripala Sirisena and several opposition leaders have been voicing their strong opposition to the inquiry. They have expressed their objections as being due to their concern for national security and the exposure of those who are engaged in intelligence operations on behalf of the state. President Sirisena has gone to the extent of asserting that he will not give his consent to serving personnel of the security forces to give evidence before the PSC.
The controversy over the PSC is that it has brought the focus back to the bombings that occurred on Easter Sunday and to the issues of accountability that must necessarily accompany it. This bombing signified the end of the illusion that Sri Lanka had transited from being a country at war to one in which peace was assured. On that fateful day 250 persons died, the country’s economy received a massive set back and relations between the ethnic and religious communities got sundered. But what followed the bombing was also so serious that the bombings themselves were taken away from the public attention.
Among the serious issues that followed the Easter Sunday bombing was the eruption of anti-Muslim violence by organized groups, which led to the destruction of places of religious worship, factories and homes. Attention got also focused on the cordon and search operations that targeted members of the Muslim community and the death fast of Ven Athureliya Ratana thero, which threatened to bring in its wake further polarization in the country.
Although more than seven weeks have passed since the Easter Sunday bombings its antecedents remain shrouded in mystery. Those bombings came as a total surprise to nearly the whole country, to the general public and to those who run the government it seems. But it was not a surprise to all. The PSC investigation is disclosing that President Sirisena played a major role in the failure to act. This is what the evidence given by police chief Pujith Jayasuriya who has been suspended from his job, and defense secretary Hemasiri Fernando who resigned from his job seem to be saying.
The police chief in particular has made damning allegations. One of these is that he was ordered to stop investigating extremist Muslim organisations in April 2018. The president further excluded him from attending National Security Council meetings from early October 2018. This was another fateful period in which the government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was suddenly and unconstitutionally sacked by President Sirisena to the astonishment of the general public who believed that such an act was not possible. The sacked prime minister was replaced by the current opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa who formed the new government.
The question is why was the order to stop the investigations into extremist Muslim organisations a year before the attacks took place. According to the police chief’s submissions to the Supreme Court, he was asked to stop the investigations so that the State Intelligence Service whose chief directly reported to the president could take charge. President Sirisena is the best person to answer this as he is the head of the security forces, the intelligence services and the police. However, due to the immunity provisions in the constitution, at present he cannot be summoned before the PSC to answer those questions. That opportunity will only arise after he relinquishes his presidential office in January next year.
The importance of ascertaining the truth behind the Easter Sunday bombings sooner rather than later is that it can help to prevent a recurrence of such a terrible possibility. The public apprehension about a second wave of bombings was very high in the immediate aftermath of the Easter Sunday bombings. As those bombings were totally unexpected and inexplicable there was countrywide panic about the likelihood of follow up attacks. The arrest of a large number of suspects and the assurances of the security forces that the terror network has been disabled has allayed fears to a great extent. But the threat remains.
The Easter Sunday bombings done in the name of religion has brought into focus the problem of religious extremism in the country. This problem has generally been focused on the Buddhist majority, sections of which have engaged openly in violence against selected minority targets. But in the case of the Easter Sunday bombings the attack came from the Muslim religious minority against the Christian religious minority. In the longer term coping with this problem will require the management of space in society so that extremists will not have that free space.
During the three decades that Sri Lanka spent combatting the Tamil separatist movement, there was a recognition that political rights of aggrieved communities need to be respected and that human rights violations can push more people into taking militant positions. There was recognition that political solutions that meet the needs and interests of the different ethnic and religious communities are hard to come by, but need to be strived for. There is today recognition of the need to mininise the push factors of human rights violations and treating others with disrespect that drives more and more people into militancy.
In the shorter term, regaining confidence in Sri Lanka’s institutions, such as the police, and strengthening their independence to act with integrity, will play an important role in ensuring national security. The PSC process will hopefully reveal how the country’s national security system, which stood firmly and fast against the threat of the LTTE, succumbed in this instance despite being in possession of top grade intelligence material provided by the government of India. Was it foreign money, geopolitics or simply venal politics that set the stage for the Easter Sunday bombings, and more to come?
In the case of the Easter Sunday bombings however there is an additional determinant at work. This is the pull factor of global Islam with its religious ideology that is buttressed by enormous economic resources. Since the end of the war in 2009 the space has opened up in Sri Lanka for different philosophical and religious ideologies to enter and for leaders with their own agendas to champion them. These need to be studied. There is a need to probe not only the public officials but also the political leaders who have had connections with the extremists and who have been photographed along with them prior to the Easter Sunday attacks. The PSC process needs to be expanded not stopped and hushed up.
Steve / June 10, 2019
Sri Lanka should not become a police state. However, with extremist elements in its society from many segments, intelligence gathering should be a priority utilizing latest technology and the State needs to act fast to safeguard all its citizens and maintain peace in the country.
D.P. / June 11, 2019
Intelligence gathering can be done without hurting HR & democratic system of the Gvt. America is the best example.
Thiru / June 10, 2019
Sri Lankan regimes have not enforced the rule of law against the periodic rioting by Sinhalese mobs since 1956.
So long as that is the norm even today, forget about peace and prosperity for the island.
Nothing works like the rule of law and justice for all.
K.Anaga / June 10, 2019
It is not only the Global Islam which is responsible for the Easter Sunday Bombing. It appears that the bomb has been detonated with the Connivance of some powerful political personalities, who are in power, out of power and seeking power.
No body seem to explain as to why the Tamil Catholics were targeted.
Taraki / June 11, 2019
Anaga, contrary to popular belief among posters, Negombo is not a predominantly Tamil area. See Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negombo Most victims were Sinhalese Catholics.
K.Anaga / June 11, 2019
I am not referring to Negombo alone, but as a whole. Even in Negombo over 50% are Tamils or Sinhalese speaking Tamils. Please refer your link once again.
Taraki / June 11, 2019
Anaga, I am referring to Negombo alone. Native Vedda also thought it was a Tamil area. Scroll down the link to Demographics – Sinhalese 75.63% Sri Lankan Tamil 8.89% Indian Tamil 0.64%
Native Vedda / June 12, 2019
You are missing the point.
Those Tamils who settled along the western coast gradually converted to Christianity under most difficult circumstances and were subjected to language replacement process over hundreds of years, speak Sinhala. Their parents and grandparents still speak Tamil at home are mostly fluent in both languages.
Some of them now call themselves Sinhala/Buddhists.
Mallaiyuran / June 11, 2019
Double meaning writer Jehan PhD’s distractions was an important factor the Genocide on Tamils investigation failed, not just at local level even at International level. This Sinhala Buddhist racist many times took bald heads to Jaffna forcing that people to be preached and converted, but he never took any bald head to Kattankudy. In Jaffna University he used Rapist Army to make sure students will be sitting and listening the brain Washing. Later, he wrote in CT that if they had dodged the conversion session, they might have seen the consequences. He insisted Nathasuram should not have been the reception instrument in Jaffa University while in all government organized functions the Kandyan Dance staged with Dhovil . For centuries Paratha Nadiyam and Carnatic Music Academies and Universities are existing all are over South India, but nothing in Lankawe.
LTTE is Tamils, but ISIS NJT was not Muslims. Those who hate Tamils hate LTTE. But unlike Jehan PhD trying to do, there is no comparison between LTTE and ISIS. Tamils were oppressed and genocide was carried on Tamils by haters. If they don’t like Tamils race and face, we cannot vanish from the earth or lent them to slave us. Muslims have their democratic governments & Monarch states in ME. OIC is unifying them beyond the Ottoman Empire. OPEC is unifying Middle Eastern countries with few others. There is no reason to establish a Caliphate. When there is no reason to establish a caliphate in Muslims territories certainly, then there is no reason for one in Lankawe. There is no reason ISIS to attack Lankawe. Further, Muslims are doing well in Lankawe. Muslims are only 9% but they are holding 20% of the cabinet and non-cabinet ministerial posts. Muslims are the richest community in Lankawe. Muslims have OIC support on all the aspects of their life. Muslims are controlling basically all aspects of Lankawe Trade, i.e. especially the foreign exchange earning ones
Mallaiyuran / June 11, 2019
Then, why would they attack Lankawe?
If Muslims have to stop enforcing Arabic they are telling that Tamils and Sinhalese will have to drop out Pali and Sanskrit. There is no legal or religious enforcement to use Pali or Sanskrit with Sinhala and Tamil; it all voluntary. In Hinduism’s case, Thevaram is in Tamil and Veda in Sanskrit. They have the freedom to use Veda or Thevaram. Villages use Thevaram heavily and rich temples employ Sanskrit educated Brahmins. But neither of them are translated into other language and used. That is the same case with Buddhists too. They don’t translate Pali Pirith to be used in Sinhala. Pali Prayers used as they are. This is not the case with Christians and Muslims. Bible and Koran are number one and two books translated in highest number of Languages. Their prayers are said mainly in the native languages, using the authentic translation. A.R. Rahman is treated as the only person ever spoke in Tamil in Grammy. When he was accepting the Grammy award, he said “Ellapugazhum Iraivanukke” . All these fame go to God)
In the North East, one time, Tamil and English and in South Sinhala and English were used. Solomon West Ridgeway Dias removed Tamil and English and introduced the 1956 Riots and 1958 Pogrom. Now Kattankudy Arabians want to remove Tamil in East & and bring Arabic. It is really arrogant they demand first Pali and Sanskrit be removed for them to remove the Arabic signs. The Kattankudy Arabians are now speaking mainly Tamil and few Sinhalese. Sinhala, & Tamil are two languages, Pali and Sanskrit mixed languages.
Mallaiyuran / June 11, 2019
Tamil and Sinhala inter connected with the ancient Languages Pali and Sanskrit. Unless they too become Arabic, there is no way they stop using Sanskrit and Pali. In TN for long time many pundits attempted to bring pure Tamil but failed and now they have relaxed their campaign. One time LTTE tried convert all Sanskrit words into Tamil but didn’t succeed to convince the Tamils to use translation. The case is much worse for Sinhala; if Pali and Sanskrit which are 70% and if they are gone out Sinhala then Sinhala is gone; that language will face immediate death. Practically the Arabic pundits are saying they have to convert Kattankudy Province into Arabic Caliphate or Tamil & Sinhala languages have to die or OIC will place sanctions. This is the balancing action they are proposing to give up Arabic.
There is no reason to establish a sharia university which can turn out 1,000 Sharia Lawyers, when there is no one single court in Ceylon is using that law. That Building is in Tamil area. It should be converted to Tamil Studies and Scientific studies. Tamil are not asking to build a university to issue PhD in Thesawalamai. They don’t want Rich countries’ agents strip all their land and make ten refugees without land. This is not really Arabic and Sharia, it is about Hezbollah letting Tamils blood river flow in East and North.
“The controversy over the PSC is that it has brought the focus back to the bombings that occurred on Easter Sunday and to the issues of accountability that must necessarily accompany it. This bombing signified the end of the illusion that Sri Lanka had transited from being a country at war to one in which peace was assured. On that fateful day 250 persons died, the country’s economy received a massive set back and relations between the ethnic and religious communities got sundered. “
Mallaiyuran / June 11, 2019
As we see from above quotation, Jehan PhD is trying to sell one incident, Easter bombing at high price but him blocking the 70 years on Incidents’ where more than 500,000 died, responsibility being accounted. As we said earlier, Appe Aanduwa used Thermobaric Bombs, Poisonous Gas Bombs, Cluster Bombs and Chemical Bombs. For most of these, America has evidences. Jehan PhD had his responsibility of distracting IC making an Investigation into that. He wants Aanduwa to use Lord Naseby For 70 Years more than 1,000 times Tamil faced worse attacks than this. The 150,000 in Mullivaaikkaal alone is a not small issue. I really stress here, there are thousands and thousand Easter attacks have been carried out on Tamils and Tamils are waiting for an international investigation to bring them all out. Old King agreed with UN SG to take responsibility to that Mullivaaikkaal Genocide. Jehan is crying for his exchange rate falling by the Tourists’ boycott After Easter Sunday. But this petty PhD is actively blocking the Mothers seeking justice for their fallen loved ones.
Though there is no comparison between LTTE and ISIS, There are some similarities and important differences in the way Aanduwa handled them both. The differences is their duration and the years they happened and the fact Aanduwa first created ISIS to beat Muslims, in 2014, but LTTE was born itself after the 40 years torturing Pogroms of Aanduwa. In other words, essentially, Muslim were attacked by Aanduwa only after creating ISIS to take the blame. From 1948, the Sinhala Muslim government has been hacking, cutting, beating, torturing, arson-ing, looting, raping, killing marginalizing, violating FR, bombing &deporting Tamils to carry out its Genocide on Tamils.
Mallaiyuran / June 11, 2019
When LTTE was started because of Aanduwas’ atrocities, Ranil created additional Para Militaries like Razick Kuzhu, Muslim Home guards, EPDP, PLOT, Karuna and Pillaiyan troops……to destroy Tamils by Tamils, no damage to Rapist Army. While using these murderer groups, Muslim-Sinhala Government has been directly also was engaged in its terrorist activities, like Tamil Research conference, Chavakachcheri Carnival, Navali Church, Chemani, Kumudini boat, Chencholai murders………..Appe Aanduwa yet to take any responsibility for these 70 years of Incidents or punish one Sinhala Rapist army or rowdy or give people any justice or compensation.
Now Jehan PhD is white washing all others as angles other than the 2015, unknown angel New King. NJT -ISIS preparation has been going to 6 years. Ranil’s election pledge in 2015 was “No Leader, No Commander, No Soldier will be prosecuted”. He went to Temple Tree House on the early Morning of Jan, 9th 2015 and promised to Old King that the King and his royal family will be saved from internal or external investigation. In 2011, he went to New York and had fight with UNSG to destroy the Expert Panel report of the War- Genocide. Ranil blocked CBK singing Rome Treaty to save the Rapist Army from UNHRC, UN, ICC. Ranil struggled to hand over government to Old King during October coup ….. As the second in command of the country for already 4 1/2 years, Ranil didn’t know that NJT was there and it has to be annihilated. Now Jehan PhD is white washing Ranil as baby because he didn’t go to last three months Security committee meeting He didn’t know anything from 2014. Doesn’t Jehan PhD have a shame to blame only New King while Colombo Media is constantly blowing that NJT-ISIS was created in 2014?
Taraki / June 11, 2019
Mallaiyuran, your ravings only prove that you don’t have to be on cocaine to be off your head.
PS Jehan J.D. Harvard, (not PhD Jaffna)
JD / June 11, 2019
This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2
Hela / June 11, 2019
Jehan PhD now relying on Pujith the bender of law……!! PSC is a political drama which will not find anything………Bugger still thinks we are fools……..
Native Vedda / June 11, 2019
Pujitha is only a bender of law however we have had and still have those who completely discarded/discard law of the land. I think it was since the early 1960s racist crooks first started bending the law.
The peaked between 2005 and 2015.
kali / June 11, 2019
Safeguarding Country From Recurrence Of Easter Sunday Bombing
*** You can only safeguard the Country if you remove the causes of civil srtife which is the result of 70 years of Brutality. At last it appeas that dawn has broken with eelectin of Modi and the prospect o MR coming back to power which is a DEAD CERT. Sadly the CRIMINAL and the Mater Tactician is not coming back as he is both Mentlly and Physically Sick. .
Modis vist to Maldives and Sri Lanka is a powerful reminder that thser two countries are vital to her security.
The news after Modi met TNA leaders is the best piece of news I have heard for a long time. With the advent of Mahinthas resurrection India has no choice but to fire a salvo and remind MR that India can do anthing she wants at will. He has invited TNA leaders to Delhi for talks to solve the Tamil Issue ( which in my view can include the Muslims) and has directed the High Commissioner to make their travel arrangements. India can bring a settlement by Unting North and East and introduce a Federal System and devolve power to an elected body with Police and Land Powers to look after our affairs and thus avoid the horrors of “Krishanthi” . India can guarantee that the arrangement sticks. I will take the first plane available and retun to my birth place.
CHRISTOPHER ANANDAPPA / June 11, 2019
To safegjurad Sri Lanka from the reoccurence of the Easter Bombings we should not deceive your selves with foolish ideas like extremism or radical Islam. It is all about islam. In the wake of what has happened in Sri Lanka, any sensible person seeking support for armed jihad in the name of Allah will find ample support in the passages in the Quran and Hadith that relate to Mohammed’s Medina period. For example, Q4:95 states, “Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home).” Q8:60 advises all Muslims “to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know.” Finally, Q9:29 instructs Muslims: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” For millions of Muslims these are words engraved in their hearts. So just consider what is happening today all around the world with the growing spread of violence. When will it all end will be a mystery. I hope and pray that the love of Jesus may enter their hearts and bring about a profound transformation in their lives. Only then can we have true peace in Sri Lankia.
Taraki / June 11, 2019
‘I hope and pray that the love of Jesus may enter their hearts’
No chance of that mate. Haven’t you read the Bible? The Old Testament is even more violent than the Quran and most of the violence, cruelty, revenge and hatred is committed by God. Here are links to both of these works of fiction. http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/ http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/index.htm
Native Vedda / June 12, 2019
“I hope and pray that the love of Jesus may enter their hearts and bring about a profound transformation in their lives. “
I do not understand nor care about religious nutters, for you are one of them.
Does not love of jesus enter their hearts without your hope and prayers?
Being the son of god, he should enter everyone’s heart and mind without being prayed by intermediary like you.
The victims would be happy to receive support from others, a few hundred dollars will do nicely.
Taraki waits until a full scale riots is over then she goes out to help the victims. So does wannihami. Although Taraki is a bigot she helps victims, however she refuses act prior to the beginning of riots.
K.Pillai / June 11, 2019
Literal “Recurrence Of Easter Sunday Bombing”, i.e. the ‘tragedy’ that was 2019 Lankan Easter Sunday, may not happen. We may have hope because the Lankan Muslim Radicals have lost. Moderate Muslims appear to be more than willing to open a new leaf. This, if exploited evenly, will benefit Lankans.
Alas, there are those who like to keep the state of confrontation going. Political leaders have started to use the ‘tragedy’ in their jockeying for power.
Those who live off commissions from arms imports?
SLPP stalwarts have already started campaigning that ‘Terrorism’ that has emerged from within the Muslim community must be crushed, Muslim individuals will have to be arrested, Muslim homes and mosques will have to be searched.
Ranjith(SPRRW) / June 12, 2019
Ban all the NGOs & jail its activists. Then no terror in this country.