David Kilcullen, in The Australian,31 July 2021,. [and The Inquirer, 31 July ]where the title reads “Making sense of the Afghan fiasco, and how to fix it” … 2021and with this byline : “there are four moves that could stabilise the situation long enough to get talks back on track.”
If a gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth, US President Joe Biden committed one a few weeks ago, answering a question about Afghanistan, when he said “the mission hasn’t failed, yet”. That “yet” contains multitudes: a tangle of military and humanitarian factors refracted through political spin and a hyper-partisan US media.
Afghan militia gather with their weapons to support Afghanistan security forces against the Taliban, in Afghan warlord and former Mujahideen Ismail Khan’s house in Herat on July 9. Picture: AFP
Shamindra Ferdinando, in The Island, 21 July 2021, where the title is“How Premadasa paved the way for first Parama Weera Vibushanaya, posthumously”
One-time Army Commander Gen. Daya Ratnayake (2013-2015) recently joined a special event on Zoom in honour of those who made the supreme sacrifice at Kokavil, 31 years ago. Prof. Raj Somadeva and writer Charith Kiriella delivered special lectures on the occasion. Those who defended the isolated Kokavil base– Officer Commanding, Kokavil transmission complex, Saliya Aladeniya, an old Trinitian who was posthumously promoted Captain of 3 Battalion, Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (3 SLSR), and his men, perished in the battle. The LTTE didn’t hand over their bodies.
ONE: Scott Atran: “The Devoted Actor Unconditional Commitment and Intractable Conflict across Cultures,” ... as introduced to Thuppahi by The Library of Social Science,in New York, … with this abstract at journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.1086/685495
Uncompromising wars, revolution, rights movements, and today’s global terrorism are in part driven by “devoted actors” who adhere to sacred, transcendent values that generate actions dissociated from rationally expected risks and rewards. Studies in real-world conflicts show ways that devoted actors, who are unconditionally committed to sacred causes and whose personal identities are fused within a unique collective identity, willingly make costly sacrifices.This enables low-power groups to endure and often prevail against materially stronger foes. Explaining how devoted actors come to sacrifice for cause and comrades not only is a scientific goal but a practical imperative to address intergroup disputes that can spiral out of control in a rapidly interconnecting world of collapsing and conflicting cultural traditions. From the recent massive media-driven global political awakening, horizontal peer-to-peer transcultural niches, geographically disconnected, are emerging to replace vertical generation-to-generation territorial traditions. Devoted actors of the global jihadi archipelago militate within such a novel transcultural niche, which is socially tight, ideationally narrow, and globe spanning. Nevertheless, its evolutionary maintenance depends on costly commitments to transcendental values, rituals and sacrifices, and parochial altruism,which may have deep roots even in the earliest and most traditional human societies. Fieldwork results from the Kurdish battlefront with the Islamic State are highlighted.
Asiri Fernando, in Ft.lk, 16 July 2021.… … with this title“Sri Lanka, Japan and US partner to better respond to future maritime challenge”
Sri Lanka’s maritime trade hub ambitions and future economic success depend on sound economic strategies and a robust foreign policy as well as on her ability to work in partnership with regional and global actors to ensure the safe navigation and security of the maritime domain around the Island.
Lindsay Hughes** on 17 July 2019 where the article is entitled thus “The United States, Sri Lanka and the SoFA: A Matter of Balancing China?”
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cancelled his proposed visit to Sri Lanka on his tour of the Indo-Pacific region towards the end of June, during which he visited three countries. The US Embassy in Colombo stated that the cancellation was due to “unavoidable scheduling conflicts” and that Secretary Pompeo regretted that he could not visit Colombo at that time. On the face of it that was plausible enough – diplomatic visits across the globe are frequently cancelled or re-scheduled for many reasons – but rumours swirled in Colombo that Secretary Pompeo was showing his annoyance at not being able to formally forge a Status of Forces Agreement (SoFA) with Colombo.
US Official Robert Blake with Reps of Tamil Diaspora
EMAIL NOTE from Gamage, 1 July 2021: Cooperation between some U.S. State Department officials and members of the Tamil Diaspora has been truly extraordinary. The U.S. Embassy in Colombo was very open in its reporting to Washington that the Tamil Diaspora in the U.S. had long “been a source of funding and hard-line support for the LTTE.” At the same time, two months before the defeat of the LTTE, U.S. Ambassador to Colombo Robert Blake was recommending that the USG strengthen its official dialogue with several U.S.-based Diaspora organizations with which the embassy had established a rapport through “almost daily” email communications. In a cable on March 19, 2009, the embassy argued that:
“Recognizing the difficulty of engagement, Post recommends a redoubled effort to reach out to Tamil groups in the U.S. A number of organizations, including Tamils for Justice, Tamils for Obama, and PEARL, remain active politically, and opportunities to interact with them should be sought. . .” Ambassador would welcome opportunities, either in combination with senior State Department officials or just with Colombo diplomatic Mission staff, to meet and converse with the U.S.-based Diaspora through DVD. Such meetings would allow U.S. Embassy to brief the groups on USG efforts to alleviate the humanitarian suffering of the civilian population in the safe zone and U.S. actions urging the government to offer credible political proposals for lasting peace.
Sam Roggeveen, in Sydney Morning Herald,16 June 2021, with this Headline: “The West is not coming to Australia’s rescue. We need new alliances”
The summits of the G7 group and the NATO alliance over the past few days have produced an avalanche of headlines about a growing anti-China mood among Western nations and an appetite to stand up to Beijing’s assertiveness.
Let’s hope the Australian government is not taking these headlines too seriously, because the harsh truth is that there will be no Western alliance to contain China, and no united democratic front against Beijing’s authoritarianism. The sooner we realise this and build it into our foreign and defence policies, the safer we will be.
Dr. Nirmala Chandrahasan, in The Island, 9 June 2021, where the title runs: “Mandarin and Tamil -A Historical Perspective.”
The recent discovery of name- boards in public institutions which have omitted one of the national languages, namely Tamil, only to replace it with Mandarin Chinese has caused a furor with Tamil members of Parliament and other politicians voicing their protests. Certainly, this is most unfortunate but rather than blame the Chinese it is the government Authorities in charge of the implementation of the Official Languages policy who should be blamed. That they have been remiss in this instance is only a small part of the general malaise in respect of the implementation of the official languages policy.
House of Lords: The Rt Hon Lord Michael Naseby spoke in the Queen’s Speech Debate on Wednesday May 19, 2021 …. [with highlighting emphais here being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi]
My Lords, I welcome the gracious Speech. My comments will be on global Britain, specifically the Indo-Pacific tilt. My own background is that I have lived and worked in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and I know the rest of ASEAN quite well. I will specifically address Sri Lanka, and I declare an interest as joint chair of the All-Party Group (on Sri Lanka).
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.