18 July, 2019

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Tides Post-Terror: Towards Stability Following The Easter Sunday Attack

By Asanga Abeyagoonasekera

Asanga Abeygoonasekera

“Men march from West to East killing their fellow creatures..” Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)

Life is nasty, brutish and short. The horror of the Easter Sunday attack in Sri Lanka will prove Thomas Hobbes was correct. The child that lost her parents or the parent that lost their child unaware why this disgraceful act of brutality came to their lives. During a visit to Berlin an expert who has studied ISIS rightly said to me, “your country was staged”. It was not an ISIS directed attack but an influenced attack. If it was staged, who was behind in staging this terror? Willingly or unwillingly, you would have to draw on geopolitics to answer the underlying question.

Western Hemisphere is ours 

Four days before the Easter Sunday bombing in Sri Lanka, John Bolton, the National Security Advisor a living example of liberal hegemony, ardent supporter of regime change according to many western scholars, says “Today, we proudly proclaim for all to hear: the Monroe Doctrine is alive and well,…the twilight of socialism has arrived in our hemisphere….We will need your help in the days ahead. We must all reject the forces of communism and socialism in this hemisphere—and in this country”. He re-affirmed that the western hemisphere belongs to United States. An evil troika is in the making in the backdrop of US geography, according to Bolton. This, he describes, is Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. It seems, Fukuyama got it wrong in his 1992 “The End of History and the Last Man”. Over a visit to Sri Lanka a few months ago, Samantha Powers referred to Fukuyama’s work as a book about the global triumph of liberalism ‘that there is a common evolutionary pattern for all human societies…in the direction of liberal democracy.’

Where Bolton and Powers got it wrong was that they believed in a single theory of Fukuyama. He explains in his book there will be ‘no struggle or conflict over ‘large’ issues consequently no need for generals or statesmen; what remains is economic activity’ for the US. John Muller, Stanley Hoffman and Friedman all followed this “Golden Straitjacket” that suppressed the geopolitical theories of great power politics, pushing forward a liberal order, reinforcing the sense of optimism about democracy and human rights was the belief the economic globalization was opening the door to a new era of peace and prosperity, followed by Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump. Steven Walt explains although subsequent US administrations in post cold war differ in their diplomatic styles and policies, “liberal hegemony remained the default strategy…all of them assumed US leadership was essential to global progress and each administration sought to use American power to spread democracy expand US influence and security commitment and reinforce a rules based liberal world order” . Efforts to bring these values in the Middle East military expeditions proved the theory itself doesn’t support the outcomes.

It was Osama Bin Laden in the 80s that kept the Soviets out of the Indian Ocean, by taking the side of the US defeating the Communist Soviet Union. If this did not take place Fukuyama would not have written his masterpiece. Looking at the US liberal hegemonic foreign policy adopted from the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Soviet Russia was clearly the reason why many nations did not embrace liberal values which USA tried in its crusading expedition. When Russia fell, USA was the single power holding the balance of the global system. The holder of the balance threw its weight at the scale to promote liberal hegemony..

Unsinkable aircraft carrier 

Taking the liberal hegemonic theory to the distant oceans in the Eastern Hemisphere, the Indian Ocean a vital highway of the global energy market. There is only one unsinkable aircraft carrier that the US military own in the Indian Ocean, which is in Diego Garcia. The Portuguese explorer Pedro Mascarenhas discovered the island in 1512. It is located equidistant from all points of the Indian Ocean and also called the “Malta of the Indian Ocean”. This island was a blessing to move forward the US liberal hegemonic foreign policy. In Spanish Deo Gratias means ‘Thank [be] to God’, and this really applies geopolitically when looking out the missions carried out during the last few decades. From the Iranian revolution, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Operation Desert Fox, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and many more future military expeditions will be carried out from this forward flexible strategic hub, echoing the US foreign policy towards the entire Indian Ocean. In February 2019, a ruling of the International Court of Justice was made to transfer the islands to Mauritius, a definite signal perhaps to explore for an alternative location in the Indian Ocean.

In the same manner discovered by the Portuguese seven years before was the Island Sri Lanka, siting less than 2000km away from Diego Garcia. The teardrop shaped island at the center of Indian Ocean ‘Sea lines of Communications (SLOCs)’. During the Cold War, Sri Lanka took a nonaligned position in its foreign policy. Today a multi-aligned foreign policy is visible, struggling to calibrate internally, and strike a balance due to great power rivalries. Imagine a tightrope walker without the pole. The long pole which gave stability was taken away from Sri Lanka by the great power rivalry and internal political disunity..

Small nations always owed their independence either to the balance of power or rejection of imperial aspirations. While US sees China as a National Security threat in its latest trade sanctions, Sri Lanka’s position in the global power balance between USA and a rising China is an important factor. Former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Robert Blake highlights in his recent interview in Colombo, “First, my advice to America is that it should not ask the countries to choose between China and the U.S. They do not want to choose. They want to have good relations with the US, China, India and others.” This cannot be achieved with US liberal hegemonic aspirations in the Indian Ocean. Any foreign security agreement from global powers should be vetted from the Parliamentary body with inputs from National Security Researchers. Else, it may trigger serious national security implications in the future.

A process needs to be in place. Instead of baseless allegations, careful observations and research inputs has to be fed in to the security establishment. The independence of Sri Lanka will be in jeopardy if the US or China takes a decisive turn in favor to pull Sri Lanka towards it’s respective orbit. Sri Lanka in the past has been pulled towards China to gain a decisive and permanent advantage. The recalibration towards achieving a balance by Prime Minister Wickramasinghe was seen as a threat by China, as certain policies made the Island nation vulnerable for liberal hegemony to grow. It is essential to find the lost stabilizer to balance to reach the end on the tight rope.

The need of the hour to uplifting the National Morale 

National morale is the degree of determination with which a nation supports the foreign policies of its government in peace or war. According to Hans Morganthaue, it permeates all activities of a nation including its military establishment and diplomatic service. In 2015, the unitary government divided its portfolios leaving the President with national security and foreign in the other political party. After the 30/1 UNHRC resolution and subsequent actions there was a deep polarization between the two that triggered a national security threat perhaps unnoticed for some time but instability was felt by the entire nation time to time. Some days ago, after the Easter attack, the President took a flight to China to meet President Xi while his Foreign Minister took a flight to US to meet Mike Pompeo. Both left perhaps to bring in assistance from the two polarized camps. The US has explained in their National Security Strategy that their number one threat is China and Russia, and number two is ISIS.

This deep polarization between the establishments breaks the morale of our nation. It threatens and limits the nation’s power to carry out its agenda forward or stabilize internal politics. In this vulnerable environment, external threats will creep in to take advantage of the State actors working in silos within the establishment.

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Latest comments

  • 3
    2

    Who has been planning the Hyper-militarisation a nd 21C Psychological Operations in post-war Northern Sri Lanka going on in the last 10yrs? What the Rajapakses started this government continues.

    • 5
      5

      Asanga, the American Special Operations Forces (SOF) with the, FBI and CIA have destroyed evidence on who “staged” the Easter Sunday attacks. Under the guise of “assisting” the Easter Carnage investigations that they themselves organized in order to push SOFA they have covered up and buried the evidence!
      Sri Lanka’s security community must demand answers from CIA FBI ‘s fake investigators regarding the Suicide bombers phone data and fianancial data, and the bomb materials at JAIC Hilton discovered by police sniffer dog on so-calle dUS diplomats.
      What are the FBI nding are at this time???? No one died in sword attacks and the US had the bombs it seems and the US embassy should have been searched.
      The US is the biggest Rogue State in the world today and its Special Operations Forces (SOF) which own and operate IS with their merdorous Saudi allies organized the Easter Carnage to snag Sri Lanka with SOFA now that Chagos Islands / Diego Garcia has been outed.
      But this backfired because of a few good people.
      Most dangerous is the way that the Americans have been weaponizing religious and ethnic diversity (particularly Islam and Buddhism) all over in Asia – to Divide and Rule. The neoliberal US rogue state is far more dangerous than China.
      Let us get the facts straight and speak out!

      • 3
        1

        The new face of the US war machine – the Special Operations Forces (SOF) – check out this report and send Alina Tablitz, MCC and its paltry 480, packing.
        AA: Stop pretending re. US and SOF being behind the Easter massacre.
        Pl. don’t waste tax payers funds at the NISSSL or go home

        https://www.mintpressnews.com/u-s-special-operations-the-new-face-of-americas-war-machine/256431/

        US puppet and Bondscam artist Ranil and butterfly Managala must be impeached for enabling the Easter carnage and FBI cover up of the crime and marketing SOFA and MCC compact to turn Lanka into a US military base .

        • 2
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          Yes INSSSL must issue a comprehensive analysis of the investigation and findings on the Easter Sunday crime 3 months later, or better shut it down and not waste funds of Lankan tax payers!

          Huge waste of time and funds for kate pittu statements from AA..
          Ha ha ha aa!

      • 4
        0

        Could anyone define and explain’
        what liberal hegemonic aspirations are and neoliberal US rogue is.

  • 7
    2

    The most dangerous enemy to this island is Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism, not USA or China.

    • 5
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      Sri Lanka’s most dangerous enemies are alive and well and prospering. They are Tamil, Muslim, Sinhala, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, laymen and priests. But they have one thing in common – they are all politicians.

  • 3
    0

    Asanga. Certain statements you have written contradict each other; some are lies.some do not mean anything. It looks even the author who writes it for a certain client is confused.
    What I understand USA is destroying Theravada Buddhism and their’s Buddhist culture. One day, long after this, some of engaged in that will understand will be that they established Buddhism in their country on in their heart. My statement looks very silly. But, it needs time to understand. US-Deep State does not want to understand that the totally and completely the Materialistic – christian thinking in which they grew up. They are attached to their thinking so hard. It takes time to understand. It is like the some European countries, most recently in the history United Kingdom hit the wall. It needs time to understand this mentality.
    USA is promoting their crappy human rights. Yet they fail to understand that they want to promote their country’s needs, a poor island is considering their need to provide good living conditions to it’s people. Ranil handed over Hambanthota to USA but they could not handle it. So, Ranil went back to China. China has helped Srilanka even 50 years ago. Now, they have to think more about them because they know USA is in Srilanka and is sabotaging them. The problem is their Almighty knows everything concept in their minds which make them most superior to any one on this earth. That has happened during the ancient history and many tried it and lost. They even do not understand that Roman Kingdom lived only about 400 years while the Byzantine Kingdom which prevailed by side existed 1200 years. Lord Buddha says, the most difficult thing is to change the peoples taking concepts in their minds and live in those. My writings look crazy ha.

  • 2
    2

    In Lankawe ,what we have to re calibrate is the increasing Wealth of the Yahapalanista and the Worsening poverty of the Sinhala Buddhist great majority , whom the Yahapalanista call Sinhala Buddhist Fascists.

    Anyway the problem with Dr Ranil and his Cohorts Calibration is they not only want Lankawe to be the next Diego Garcia, but Dr Ranil also wanted to give Diaspora and their TNA Buddies an Independent Home Land and hand over the Muslims to the TNA boss Sampathar.

    But after Ibrahims and Zaharan boys put the spanner in the works on Easter Sunday , Dr Ranil will have to re calibrate his Homelands.by saying bye bye to his New Constitution.
    With all that Muslim lot in Dr Ranil’s Camp now ,can Dr Ranil expunge Kattankuddy from the East to give it Sampathar?.

    To make it even more difficult , TNA new Boss Sivajilingam has issued their New List of Demands to the UNP if the UNP wants the TNA also to be in their Camp along side the Muslims.
    The List this time has 11 Demands.
    They now want East as well as the North in one Fruit . ( Gediya)
    And they are even demanding the President to hand back his Summer House in Jaffna because it was built on their land.

    No wonder re calibration has started big time at Srikotha, with Galleon Ravi taking the Sledge Hammer to Keslwatta Kid calling him a School Drop out.
    And now Mangala Samare backing the Kid to the Hilt , naming him the only UNP Candidate who can face the Electorate.

    And Samare says he even has the Formula ( Suthere like his Fuel Price Formula I guess ) to make the Kid become the next Yahapalana President.

    • 3
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      KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera


      “To make it even more difficult , TNA new Boss Sivajilingam has issued their New List of Demands to the UNP if the UNP wants the TNA also to be in their Camp along side the Muslims.”

      The stupid Tamils had the same demand for the past 63 years, what is new or difficult about them? The stupid Sinhala/Buddhist bigots have made life difficult for all people over the past 70 odd years.

      What does make it more difficult, perhaps the Sinhala/Buddhists are sitting on their brain.

      • 0
        3

        NV,
        “The stupid Sinhala/Buddhist bigots have made life difficult for all people over the past 70 odd years.”

        It is the descendants of ‘Para Demala’ slaves brought to this country by Portuguese, Dutch and British ‘Awajathakayo’ and descendants of ‘Para Muslims’ who were saved by Sinhalayo when they faced slaughter by Portuguese that have made life difficult for Native Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo. These ‘Para’ minorities have become a real headache for Native Sinhalayo. Native Sinhalayo did not invite you guys to this country. If unhappy jump to the other side of Palk Strait from where your ancestors came.

  • 3
    2

    JD, Thanks again for making our Buddha a ‘Lord’ by granting a British hereditary peerage!
    /
    Fools can’t be taught, can they?

  • 4
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    Asanga Abeygoonasekera

    “Men march from West to East killing their fellow creatures..” Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)

    Life is nasty, brutish and short.

    *** Thank you Brutus Yes you are right in Sri Lanka for the minorities.

    The horror of the Easter Sunday attack in Sri Lanka will prove Thomas Hobbes was correct.

    *** He was always going to be right as all the ingredients were there. It was all about “when” not “if”

    The child that lost her parents or the parent that lost their child unaware why this disgraceful act of brutality came to their lives.

    *** Have you ever given any thought to the Tamil mothers who lost their loved ones and are still looking for them.

    During a visit to Berlin an expert who has studied ISIS rightly said to me, “your country was staged”. It was not an ISIS directed attack but an influenced attack. If it was staged, who was behind in staging this terror? Willingly or unwillingly, you would have to draw on geopolitics to answer the underlying question.

    *** You seem to be making more high level trips than Heads of State . Lucky “SOD”

  • 0
    0

    NOT EXCEEDING 300 WORDS? even 300 chapters in MAHAVAMSA IS INADEQUATE TO NARRATE THE SORDID HISTORY.

    RECALL LORD BUDDHA TO CLEAN THE MESS CREATED IN HIS LORD’S NAME.!

  • 1
    0

    Time for Ossie’s son to take his rightful seat in parliament?
    Although junior is not much of a talker it’s time for Asanga to stop writing high end theory and march from Elba.
    The road to Paris opens in May 2020.

  • 0
    0

    As a child I use to believe every stone which glitter is precious and will make me filthy rich (just because I was told , our neighbor found one in his field) This is what Asanga has presented to us, Lanka as the next Diego Garcia. Was US liberal hegemony , CIA,SOFA,FBI —etc behind Rathana fasting, release of Ganasara, MS lying daily, ignoring intelligence, Kurunegala riots —-etc—-etc ???? I guess even US dosent realizes its true might.

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