By K. Ganesh –
1. Is and was the endgame of the Easter Sunday attacks the setting up of a US base in Trincomallee on the east coast of Sri Lanka with an oil refinery in Hambantota to choke China in the Indian Ocean, also now that Diego Garcia Military base (the biggest base outside the US mainland), is in question with the ICJ ruling? The U-UK justification for forced displacement of Chagos islanders and occupation/colonization and maintaining the base in the Indian Ocean is that it is there to provide global security against terrorists.
2. What is the nature of the relationship between IS, which the US claims was broken but not defeated in Iraq and Syria, and the US deep state and its various intelligence agencies? Do they now own and operate some ‘rogue” (to use a favorite expression), parts of the IS network to brainwash Muslim youth and do their dirty work?
3. If these propositions are correct, what is Sri Lanka to do about this?
4. Most important for multi-ethnic and multi-religious co-existence and amity in Sri Lanka: The “ethnic and religious conflict NARRATIVE/S on and of Sri Lanka have been too often crafted by external parties with vested interests and their so called ‘experts’ who often seek to portray the country as a site of perpetual ethnic and religious violence – often to further other interests. It is time that Sri Lankan academics and civil society started challenging the narrative that Lankan is a land of PERPETURAL (endemic, chronic, entrenched are some adjectives), “ethnic and religious conflict and violence” to explain and hence suggest further violence that often comes from external parties, even as Sri Lanka is presented as a land of, ethnic and religious violence and hatred which is what is currently being sought to do. Initially, the narrative crafted by various international ‘expert’ commentators was to present the Easter Sunday Violence apparently Muslim attack on Christians, as “internal and local violence’ a continuum with and following logically on from the Tamil-Sinhala ethnic violence narrative, which is patently not the case.
5. Finally, should the FBI and American secret intelligence agencies like FBI be allowed to lead the investigations on the Easter Sunday violence in Sri Lanka given that some arms may also be considered as prime suspects or master-minds behind the bombings and be behind the “IS narrative” at this time?
The US has been exporting right-wing terror as the anti-Muslim attacks in New Zealand show.
Full sanctions on Iranian Oil have just been effected this week by Trump. China is heavily dependent on Iranian Oil and not happy, while the US stock market is soaring. (Sri Lanka is also dependent on Iranian oil but GOSL meekly follows US sanctions). With violence escalating in the recently invented “Indo-Pacific” here may be an attempt to twat and ‘choke’ China’s BRI and indeed the Rise of Asia by a faultering superpower that is fast losing global hegemony: Both an economic war and a military war and certainly a Cold War on going from a doomed empire against Asia Rising, while as usual India plays a shadowy role, seemingly squeezed between China and US at this time. (pl. see Norm Chomsky).
Finally, critical thinking or what philosopher, Paul Ricoeur, termed the “hermeneutics of suspicion” or “brushing history against the grain” as Jewish Frankfurt school social theorist, Walter Benjamin, termed it, are called for at this time of crisis in Sri Lanka: Careful analysis and de-coding of global and local ‘expert narratives’ and security analysis is needed to critic an increasingly popular narrative of a so-called ‘Clash of Civilizations’ that renders Christian-Muslim and other forms of religious violence a self-fulfilling prophesy everywhere in the world.
Such narratives often are intended to further the strategic security and business interests, including massive sales of arms, hyper-security and surveillance systems, as well as, the setting up and/or continued existence of military bases such as Diego Garcia in Chagos islands in the Indian Ocean after the International Court of Justice ruled against it in February 2019. Today, Fisheries harbours are being locked down.
Careful study of deep local histories, structures and patterns of ethno-religious co-existence, conflict local knowledge and context coupled with, attention to global geopolitical currents enables critical thinking that may get us nearer the truth of a matter – so that informed action may be taken to avert future violence, both locally and globally.