15 December, 2019

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Terrorism 3.0

By Charitha Herath

Dr Charitha Herath

The discussion of the town has changed overnight. High hopes (rather high talks) of the proposed constitutional change by the so-called yahapalana government have been thrown to the back seat. The sophisticated lives of Colombo elites seem to have changed back to the zero level of square and the members of the clubs might have started finding a guy like Premadasa or Rajapaksa to manage the filed. (As always the way that it happened, upper stage elitists of our society would not put their buddy to engage in a mess like this and would try to find a guy from the non-elite political domain). All these things are to happen (or rather are happening) due to the barbaric act of terrorism by the ISIS driven Sri Lankan group of terrorist who belonged to the Thawhid Jammal. I like to make some observations on the new situation and on the new ‘political space’ yet to be created since the 21st of April 2019.

First of all, what I like to discuss as a keyword is ‘terrorism’. Unfortunately we are going to be engaging with it in coming days, weeks, months or sometime years!

Though it was said that the last set of artilleries of the Eelam war were fired on 9 of May 2009 at the coastal strip of the Pudumathan in Mulathiv District, I think that the Easter Sunday attack might turn us into the same route that we have come across as a country. The modern meaning of the concept of terrorism, as the Key Words for Today: A 21st Century Vocabulary defines, has double functions, one as the meaning of ‘use violence explosive force against an existing state’ and the other as ‘part of a military struggle for national liberation’. Since the new form of terrorism which emerged in 1980’s as a result of the ‘failure of Arab Nationalism which claimed its authority not from a political but from divine authority’. “This new form of terrorism”, is according to the key words, who’s “appearance of the divine was one of the conditions of emergence of the suicide bomber”.

The second point that I would like to address in here is that the nature of developments of the Sri Lankan practices of terrorism.

As many of us know, the first experience of terrorism that we had in Sri Lanka was related with JVP insurrections in 1971 and in 1989. I called it as the terrorism 1.0. The second phrase of terrorism in our land was brought in by the Tamil militants from 1983 onwards which ended in 2009. I called that as the terrorism 2.0. The third phrase of the terrorism that we are heading to engage with started with the Easter Sunday attack, which I called as the terrorism 3.0.

Secondly, I could differentiate these three different practices of terrorism on three conceptual bases. It is correct to argue that the JVP led two insurrections (terrorism 1.0) emerged due to economic + societal disparities where the Tamil militant driven attacks took place due to the ethno + societal disparities. It is interesting to note that the terrorism, which has emerged from the Easter Sunday attacks (which I call as the terrorism 3.0), is based neither on Economic reason NOR on ethnic reasons, but on the divine reason! As the key words suggests, “Its authority not from a political but from divine”.

As the third point I would like to bring in a very interesting historical memory on the matter and to see how we could re-conceptualize the new form of terrorism. In 1983, after the anti-communal crisis took place in Colombo (with the help of the then UNP government), Social Anthropologist the late Newton Gunasinghe argued that the politics of this country would change from the point of anti-Tamil activities that emerged in July 1983. He conceptualized that the first phrase of the post-colonial political process which was called as Class-Politics would be over in 1983 and the second phase of the process will emerge. Following the theoretical interpretation of a French Marxist, Louis Aulthusser, Dr Gunasinghe argued that the ethnic politics will ‘over-determine’ the society in this new phase and the politics based on leftist movements will move into a marginal ground. Though we don’t have Newton Gunasinghe today to access the assumption that he made, the political process of the country moved in the same way as he anticipated. It was shown to us that the ethno nationalistic politics made into the central stage of the country in the last three decades.

The way I look at the gravity of this new terrorist attack that emerged on Easter Sunday, I think that a new phase has begun to influence into the country’s politics. That new phase would definitely over determine (as Newton suggested in 1983) the ethno nationalistic political platform and would take us to a new space of ‘anti-terrorist political domain’ which might have uncontrollable engagements of internationalized partners.

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Latest comments

  • 3
    0

    Charitha, dude Your Divine reason/ intervention in Lanka is entirely man-made. Was it not Marx who said that Religion is the opium of the masses?!

    Your divide reason is the reason of the dying US Empire and its militarized capitalism that has lost all legitimacy and is in attack mode against Asia Rising and an emerging Asian super power.

    There is a new Cold War in the Indian Ocean – get with the plot dude and by the way please use the spell checker!

  • 5
    3

    The writer ignores the most original variety, State Terrorism.
    This commenced soon after independence – intensified from 1958 to 2001 during which period around 115 instances of brutal murders of batches of citizens, and a little later, plastic handcuffed bodies floating in waterways, occurred.
    Even now, this lives on, disguised as “communal disturbances”, shootings & arrests of students & civilians, without provocation.
    The subtle improved variety prevails now, as shootings, torture, deaths in custody, threats of “rehabilitation”, rape of war widows, etc.
    An ongoing variety is the incarceration of so called ‘political prisoners’ who are neither charged in court, nor released – this is a special type which happens only in Sri Lanka.
    The recent Easter deaths/injuries are an improved imported variety.

  • 4
    1

    Justice, I think you will find that State terrorism existed long before Independence. What would you call the suppression of dissent in 1818, 1849, 1915?

    The political prisoners too are not a phenomenon that ‘happens only in Sri Lanka’. It happens in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia……..

    This contradiction of what you have written does not mean that I approve or excuse any of it.

  • 2
    0

    How about GMOA Terrorism? Strikes, Strikes and more Strikes! Shall we call it Terrorism 2.0 to 2.9?

    • 1
      0

      Good on you, Plato.

      Soma

  • 0
    0

    “Sri Lanka Attacks Mark the Birth of Terrorism 3.0” by James Stavridis Bloomburg 23rd April 2019.

  • 0
    1

    This ‘Colombo elite’ is more appropriately described by another prominent person as ‘male prostitutes of Colombo’. What an apt description that was.

  • 3
    2

    Charitha Herath

    The discussion of the town has changed overnight. High hopes (rather high talks) of the proposed constitutional change by the so-called yahapalana government have been thrown to the back seat. The sophisticated lives of Colombo elites seem to have changed back to the zero level of square and the members of the clubs might have started finding a guy like Premadasa or Rajapaksa to manage the filed. (As always the way that it happened, upper stage elitists of our society would not put their buddy to engage in a mess like this and would try to find a guy from the non-elite political domain). All these things are to happen (or rather are happening) due to the barbaric act of terrorism by the ISIS driven Sri Lankan group of terrorist who belonged to the Thawhid Jammal. I like to make some observations on the new situation and on the new ‘political space’ yet to be created since the 21st of April 2019.

    *** Your article is full of biased views. You have not shown any remorse for your State terrorism.

    3 ( Race Riots ) -v- nil against the minorites and we fought for freedom from your atrocities.

    In my view Sinhala Lanka should be graced to the Ground and rebuilt ( just like Hitlers Germany to Angela Merkels) with decent , civilsec and Mino rity Tolerant people.

  • 3
    2

    Charitha ;
    :
    I am sure you must be shocked to read that all the Muslim Suspects have been released on bail because of the International Pressure from powerful Muslim Countries. Man you are dealing with Religious Fanatics. Your are no longer safe. All the Tamil detainess have disappeard because you have killed them after arresting them. But ISIS fighters are safe and cant be touched. That is the reality.

  • 0
    1

    Dr Charitha Herath is using the word ‘Terrorism’ in the same way oppressors used/use it. The then Apartheid regime used it. For example, Mandela, Mau-Mau , Mao Te Tung, Ho Chi Ming, MK Gandhi were conveniently labelled ‘Terrorists’.
    Charita will no doubt agree that the above named are not.
    .
    Many will agree with Charitha that the 1971 JVP uprising was because of unchecked growth in ‘economic + societal disparities’. Was the brutal force used to put it down necessary? A humane, educated, cultured, calculated approach might have solved it. The guilty on both sides could have been tried in the courts.
    The bitterness accumulated and resulted in the 1989 JVP repeat. The put down was even more brutal – for example the Matale mass grave.
    To be continued

  • 0
    1

    Charita is reminded of the following pieces of history.
    Late forties disempowering the political clout of minorities was hush-hush. Immediately after independence in 1948, the then government showed the cards held. The Tamil speaking minorities formed the Federal Party (FP). Soon the Muslims broke away.
    Protests over the 1956 ‘Sinhala Only’ was harshly put down. SWRD B did not attempt to contain the 1958 pogrom The 1970 ‘Standardisation Protests’ were brutally dealt with. Another pogrom in 1977. In 1981, Jaffna Library set on fire till every collection was reduced to ash. The 1983 Black July Pogrom was allowed to run the full seven days.
    Charita: Are you really surprised that Liberation movements cropped up.
    To be continued

  • 0
    1

    Regarding Charita’s ‘Terrorism 3″
    The Lankan Muslims were loyal to every GoSL.

    Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), formed in 1982, are extreme extreme extreme right wing Sinhala-Buddhist Nationalists. Splintered from extreme extreme Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) which in turn broke away from extreme Sihala Urumaya (SU).
    BBS spewed anti-Lankan Muslim rhetoric MR family saw the potential and encouraged, patronised BBS.
    BBS was behind the arson of Muslim businesses. The hands of BBS was visible in the 2014 Aluthgama Pogrom.
    If 2019 Easer Sunday was terrorism what is BBS and the GoSL?

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