I recently watched a good part of Stephen Sackur’s dialogue with a French lady politician [whose name I have forgotten]. Sackur pursued his usual hard-line aggressive and bullying mode of questioning – posing vigorous criticisms of the French government’s position on secularism and its hostility to the carving out of sacred domains by French Muslim peoples. The implicit suggestion was that the British system’s tolerance of religious sensibilities was a better line of policy.
Muslim protests … and the selfie proudly posted by the Islamic terrorist who was responsible for the killings in Nice in October 2020
In order to better understand what motivates Australian radical islamists to join or support a terrorist group it is first necessary to get a better understanding of who they are. This working paper examines data sets from 173 Australian citizens and residents to paint a picture of our own cohort of radical Islamist terrorists, including how likely they are to be rehabilitated. For the accompanying infographic feature accompanying this report, click here.
Since 2012 several hundred Australians have travelled to Syria and Iraq to undertake jihad with Islamic State, al-Qaeda or other radical Islamist groups. Dozens more provided financial support to them or other jihadis, or planned, conducted or supported terrorist attacks in Australia on behalf of Islamic State.
Tamara Kunanayakam** says that “MCC, ACSA, SOFA with US are incompatible with international law”
“[T]here is no friendship when nations are not equal, when one has to obey another and when one only dominates another.” …. Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India, Closing Speech at the Asian-African Conference, Bandung, 1955
Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA), the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) are agreements integral to US national security and self-defense strategies, whose goal is “American Self-Preservation,” an ideology incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations and international law.
David Kilcullen, in The Australian, 29 October 2019, where the title is“ISIS on a road to revenge after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death”
The death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a symbolic blow to the organisation he led since April 2010. In practical terms, it may help the group regenerate as it adapts to the loss of its territorial “caliphate”.Baghdadi had been on the run since Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces captured his capital, the city of Raqqa in northern Syria, in October 2017. Islamic State’s last stronghold, near Baghouz on the Syrian-Iraqi border, fell to SDF fighters, coalition advisers and US and allied airstrikes in March this year. These losses followed the fall of Mosul in northern Iraq, the largest and most important city controlled by Islamic State, from which Baghdadi declared the “caliphate” in mid-2014.
When one of my articles on the jihadist network that perpetrated the 21/4 attacks in Sri Lanka referred to the inspirations behind the 9/11 attacks in USA, I was surprised to receive vehement rejections of the latter contention from two good friends and one distant ‘aide’ in Canada – challenges sent independently of each other.
These challenges have been rejected by other friends – at times quite bluntly. But Jeremy Liyanage, Jean-Pierre Page and Chris Black are individuals with whom I have interacted fruitfully and whose commitment to the pursuit of truth and reform in this world are not in doubt. So, this revisiting of 9/11 and its perpetrators on my part is a personal journey that addresses my three friends, while yet seeking to raise significant issues in today’s world – especially embracing the ramifications of the ideological currents known as “Wahhabism” and “Salafism” (terms that seem to be deployed interchangeably).Continue reading →
General HMHA Herath, in Island, 15 May 2019, where the title is “Who was behind the Easter terrorist attacks?”
While the Islamic State has claimed responsibility, the real story is a bit more complicated than that. To millions of Sri Lankans the Easter Sunday tragedy must have seemed a nightmare come true, a frightening déjà vu of the rampant violence this island nation has known for thirty years of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terror. The horrific attacks in which an estimated 253 lost their lives and many hundreds were wounded, signaled that the decade’s calm that prevailed after LTTE’s 2009 destruction by Sri Lanka’s Army is over.
1 What went wrong?
At the time, victory over the LTTE inspired confidence and heady optimism. A 2012 defense seminar in Colombo heralded “Peace and Stability” as its core theme and the five ‘Rs’ (Reconstruction, Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Reconciliation) as the imperative agenda for Sri Lanka. The mood at the time was upbeat and the country’s future seemed bright. The safety of the post-war period brought to the country millions of tourists (2.1 million in 2017 alone), and the reconstruction of Sri Lankan economy and infrastructure commenced apace. With the horrific Easter disaster, this process has come to a grinding halt. And the troubling question is what developments allowed it to happen. Continue reading →
My thoughts are organised in point-form in order to assist succincttness.
A = I recall seeing a news item a day or so back which indicated that Sri Lanka was in the process of acquiring sophisticated cyber-technology from China in order to pursue its intelligence work the better. Quite logical that — though late in the day.
Here I reproduce the second half of a longer article presented in October 2018 where I pinpointed the hidden dangers to Sri Lanka resting within the implications of Mark Field’s visit to the island then — a conveying a message that was one part of the continuing Western nation-cum-UNHCR project to punish Sri Lanka and foist a devolutionary political system on the island. Obviously, this essay was coined before the explosive manifestation of another divisive time-bomb within the Sri Lankan body politic: that of Islamic extremists motivated by the Wahhabi ideology hostile to specific ‘pinnacles’ in any Westernized body politic – such as (a) the Papacy and (b) high-rise hotels marking wealth and ‘debauchery’.**
This traumatic moment on Easter Sunday 21st April 2019 reminds us of two earth shattering moments: the LTTE attack on the Central Bank in Colombo on 31st January 1996 and the Al-Qaida attack on the World Trade Centre in New York on 9th September 2001 (9/11 in shorthand).***
Daya Gamage in Asian Tribune, 12 February 2019, where the title is
The Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) signed between the Governments of Sri Lanka and the United States in March 2007 which allowed both countries to transfer and exchange logistics supplies, support, and re-fueling services clearly benefitted the United States in its military operation in the Asia-Pacific region – specifically US Pacific Command (USPACOM) which is now US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) – but left Sri Lanka with absolutely no benefit from the U.S. at a time Sri Lanka was in an intense military battle with the separatist Tamil Tigers.
Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (2005-2015) and U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka (2006-2009) Robert Blake in a conversation in Colombo during the time the 2007 military agreement was signedContinue reading →
Thuppahi's Blog · This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.