“Stay Resolute. Visit Lanka” says Juliet from Galle

Juliet Coombe … SRI LANKA NEEDS YOU! 

If you really want to make a difference in the world right now, book or support someone else who was planning a trip to go to Sri Lanka or extend  your stay if already in the country. By this act of solidarity with other peace loving people, you will be breaking the cycle of global violence, showing the terrorists, whoever they may be affiliated to, that they have totally failed to create fear, hatred and far wider spiritual destruction than the bombs themselves. As someone who has faced fear since early childhood as an Old Bailey Judge’s daughter and having the honour of marrying into the Sri Lankan Muslim Community during the civil war years, I can honestly say, hand on heart, that these people had nothing to do with this. However, it is easy to raise a red flag and blame them, playing directly into the invisible bully’s megalomaniac plans, which are to create maximum chaos, blow lots of innocent people up and blame others, so the real ‘extremist monsters’ get away with it, repeatedly, as they fool us with their clever deceptions.

When I was a child, the back of our house in London was machine-gunned, glass windows exploding behind me as I ran down several flights of stairs. My mother’s reaction, owing to strong maternal instincts, was to move but my fearless father said, “We will never move or we will be on the run for the rest of our lives.” We stayed and the house was never attacked again and I realised, as the years passed, that you only give up power when you show fear. Many times in my career, I have faced fear as a journalist and then as a mother protecting her children, but I have found, through bitter attritional experience, that in all cases you must be prepared to lose all, to face and stop the cycle of tyranny and bullying. I went through enormous emotions of fear during the Sri Lankan civil war, wondering when the next bus would blow up and whether my young son might be on it.

However, by not letting it get a grip of me and staying close to my amazing Sri Lankan community, I learnt that by working together we make a difference. Living in the Muslim Community of Galle Fort has taught me many things, including how to share whatever I have to help others around me, so that they might have enough to eat, study or make their dreams come true, whatever their religion. In Galle Fort, people of all religions throughout history have lived harmoniously together because fear can’t breed when you know all your neighbours. At my husbands recent funeral and almsgiving, people of all religions came together from all over the island to say goodbye and the streets were so crowded, one could barely move. To see this, after all we had been through, was humbling and, over the years, made me realise that this is a place where people will do anything to help you in your hour of need, whether it be to give you food, their blood,money, vehicles, their homes, clothes off their backs and, most powerfully of all, themselves, dropping everything to be by your side. My son, Amzar Careem, had a serious accident as a toddler and would have died if the people of the island had not acted quickly and given everything to save his life, yet they have never asked me for anything in return. Seeing how fast they act, in desperate situations, is beyond anything I can put into words.

To put it bluntly, these terrorist bomb attacks whether in Paris, London, Christchurch, Pittsburgh or Sri Lanka are simply like the bully in the school playground let loose on the planet, owing to very serious mental health issues in both the aggressors and victims. If we are seen as fearful, or terrified, the bully feeds off us and grows in strength to do more hideous acts. By not going to Sri Lanka and failing to show solidarity for the island, you are becoming part of the hysteria that these monsters feed off and perhaps your particular place of worship, home, hotel or town will be the next target as, progressively, attacks will become more indiscriminate and evil. In the end, if we do not stand up and show our love for Sri Lanka none of us will be able to hide from this reign of terror; they know the more they can divide us the more they can rule us. These uncertain attacks in seemingly random patterns across the world just give them ever-greater control over humanity and its abundant resources.

The bully today is the godless hand behind ISIS or National Thowheed Jama’ath, a radical ‘Islamist’ group, or any other concocted names that suit the purpose of the deflection from the real truth, no doubt manufactured and used as a drugged up ‘rent a mob’, whether based in South India, Libya, Southern Iraq or South London. The frustrating thing is the people who carried out these coordinated horrific attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday are controlled by others, who are too gutless to ever show their hand. With the mass availability and use of mind altering drugs, it is easy to brain wash and deploy pretty much any young drug user as a suicide bomber, using the levers of easily digested propaganda, on the one hand and withdrawal of drug supply on the other. Now is the time to stand up against this and be counted before more innocent people are killed in revenge attacks.

It should not take fictional cold war agents like James Bond or characters from the Avengers to save the world; the spirit of revenge as we have seen from recent events leads to a vicious cycle of fighting violence with violence. We are each in our own right superheroes and through joining hands and being united both physically and mentally we can stop this fear of one another right here and now. You can, through a zero fear message to the mentally unhinged, wrong-foot the equivalent of the sinister Blofeld and his fluffy white cat.

After all, it for the criminally insane and greedy it’s no fun mindlessly killing people if there is no reaction. To everyone reading this, you can use social media for good by being brave and not cancelling your trip, or booking a holiday right now to go to Sri Lanka. By doing this you are showing millions of “innocent people who are loosing hope”, having relatively recently come out of a 26 year civil war, a light that will grow with your action to convert fear into fearless. Instead of blaming the Sri Lankan government for shutting down social media, try to empathise with them as they genuinely do not want to exacerbate ethnic conflict and incite anti-Muslim violence in a multi racial country. Being a government of brilliant thinkers, they do not want to play straight into the terrorists’ plans, whatever the western media might be portraying. It is worth making aware, those who are not so familiar with the island, that the attacks against the three port city churches and three high end hotels, have departed from the usual pattern of terrorism in the country, which has always avoided injuring any foreigner. This clearly indicates an outside force as it is in the interests of no one in Sri Lanka to destroy trade, and interaction with people from around the world just when the country is starting to be a successful world player again. The people captured in this terrible bombing and else where are just the programmed messengers of death and destruction. Jihad is actually the noble struggle to do good and prevent evil and not, as incorrectly projected by media companies, the ‘Holy War’ being fought by drugged up, mind controlled savages who care about no one but themselves.

For those who can see through the propaganda there are other possibilities. Maybe these ‘Extremists’ could  be the benign sounding venture capitalists who can today operate anywhere in the world.  Take note that every time a bomb is dropped, so do the prices for everything in that country, making it a great time to buy or ‘seize’ assets, while everyone else is deflected by fear, sadness and vulnerability. Or maybe the drug lords, who the government have recently declared war on, are creating a deflection to shift the focus from the drugs clamp down so big shipments can come in while the emergency is being dealt with? Instead of looking for drug hauls they are looking for bomb detonators and religious fundamentalists.

Ever since Sri Lanka gained independence from the British in 1948, the makeup of Sri Lanka as a sort of mono-ethnic state has been debated within its borders and exploiters, knowing this weakness, are capitalising on it. The Island made up of multiple religions wishes to coexist happily as seen over the last decade since the civil war ended. These religions have no reason to be in conflict with each other as they hold many common moral codes in common, and positive vision for the future of Sri Lanka. If you want proof enough, stay in my family home in the old city of Galle Fort and talk to the people directly over cups of tea and you will quickly discover their depth of kindness, and will become rightly angry that you were fooled by global project fear, with its self-seeking hidden agendas. Anyone reading this piece please share it with everyone you know. Be part of putting real communication back into the community.

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Filed under authoritarian regimes, communal relations, cultural transmission, heritage, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, terrorism, tourism, unusual people, world events & processes

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