Showing posts with label Sri Lanka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sri Lanka. Show all posts

April 26, 2019

Suspect in Sri Lankan Massacre: The Richest Family* (The Wish of The Rich in Many Countries?)

 This mansion belongs to the richest boy in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has over 40 families which independently have Billions.
One of the most prominent families in Sri Lanka now finds itself at the center of ongoing investigations into the horrific bombings on Easter Sunday that killed about 250 people and injured several hundred more. 
Inshaf Ahmed Ibrahim and Ilham Ahmed Ibrahim, sons of a Sri Lankan spice tycoon, were among the suicide bombers who killed themselves in a series of attacks at churches and hotels in the island nation on Sunday, unnamed sources told CNN. The brothers' father, Mohamed Ibrahim, was reportedly detained after the attacks, along with his third son, Ijas Ahmed Ibrahim, but he hasn’t been charged, according to reports.  
Mohamed Ibrahim is the founder of Ishana Exports, one of the larger spice exporters in Sri Lanka, according to a business directory of spice exporters.
Sri Lankan authorities have not officially named the Ibrahim family in connection with the attacks, nor have they revealed the identities of any of the estimated seven suicide bombers. Still, the family's alleged ties to ongoing investigations mark a dramatic new turn for the investigations into the Sunday attacks. The government has taken nearly 80 people into custody, according to Al Jazeera. 
Inshaf, a 33-year-old owner of a copper factory, walked into the breakfast buffet area at the five-star Cinnamon Grand hotel in Colombo Sunday and blew himself up, according to the Indian news site Firstpost. Ilham, 31, did the same at the Shangri-La Colombo. 
Ilham is believed to be connected to the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), a little known, local Islamic extremist group that’s been tied to the bombings, according to Reuters. He was arrested prior to Sunday’s deadly attacks and released, anonymous sources told CNN, although it’s not clear when or for what reason. Inshaf was reportedly more moderate than his brother, and was married to the daughter of another prominent wealthy family. 
How deeply the family was connected to the attack is still unclear, primarily because the Sri Lankan government has yet to release the names of the suicide bombers involved. There have been conflicting reports about how many members of the family died in the bombings.
It’s possible another Ibrahim child died in the attacks; Indian outlet NDTV reported the Shangri-La bomber’s sister and wife were killed Sunday without naming any of the deceased, and Australian news site reported only Mohamed Ibrahim’s “daughter-in-law blew herself up” at a Colombo home. Reuters reported Ilham’s wife and three children died, citing anonymous sources. 
Sri Lankan officials believe that small domestic-terrorist cells such as NTJ received outside help from a multinational terrorist organization but has yet to provide conclusive links. The Islamic State group, meanwhile, has claimed responsibility for the attacks, and some terrorism experts say it seems credible. 
The Sri Lankan government is under intense pressure for its failures to act on intelligence leading up to the Sunday bombings. Officials were reportedly warned by U.S. and Indian authorities that extremist groups were threatening churches, but did not act on the intelligence. The government has since apologized and pledged to overhaul its security systems to prevent a future attack. 
For the fifth straight night, the country is under an island-wide curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m

April 23, 2019

Sri Lanka Arrested Novelist Over Gay Buddhist Monk Story~~Gays Are Outlawed on This Backward Nation

Representatio  arrests-handcuffs.jpg

Representational photo Bigstock
Shakthika Sathkumara, 33, was arrested in the north-central town of Polgahawela on Monday and remanded in custody for nine days after monks complained about his writing

A Sri Lankan novelist has been arrested for writing about homosexuality in the Buddhist clergy and charged with violating international human rights law, officials said Tuesday, outraging free speech advocates.

Shakthika Sathkumara, 33, was arrested in the north-central town of Polgahawela on Monday and remanded in custody for nine days after monks complained about his writing.

The short story contained indirect references to homosexuality among the clergy, who hold considerable sway in the Buddhist-majority nation of 21 million.

The story was published on Sathkumara's Facebook page and in local Sinhalese language publications. 

"A group of monks complained that the reference to homosexual activities among the clergy insulted Buddhism," a police spokesman said.

Buddhist monks are expected to be celibate. Homosexuality is also outlawed in Sri Lanka under an 1883 colonial-era law, but it is rarely enforced. 
The police spokesman said the monks who complained refused to settle the matter out of court and insisted on Sathkumara being prosecuted.

He was taken before a local magistrate who charged him with inciting "religious hatred" under the United Nation's international human rights treaty, to which Sri Lanka is a signatory.

Local activists decried what they called abuse of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to clamp down on free speech.

"The police have abused their powers and carried out an arbitrary arrest," the Free Media Movement, a local watchdog, said in a statement.

"We condemn this action of the police."


Sri Lankan novelist arrested over gay Buddhist monk story

A file image of newly ordained Buddhist monks praying at a ceremony marking their entry into priesthood in Colombo on June 15, 2016.  
Quintus Colombage, Negombo 
Sri Lanka 

A post-modernist novelist has been arrested and charged with violating international human rights law in Sri Lanka for authoring a story about homosexuality and child abuse at a Buddhist temple.
Shakthika Sathkumara, 33, was arrested on April 1 after a group of monks complained to the police when he posted the short story called Ardha on his Facebook page and in local Sinhalese language publications.

Homosexuality is outlawed in the island nation, where about 70 percent of the population of 21 million identify as Theravada Buddhists and monks swear vows of celibacy.
The writer and poet was detained by Polgahawela police until April 9 after the monks refused to settle out of court.

He was charged by a local magistrate with inciting religious hatred and breaching the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a multilateral treaty adopted by the U.N. General Assembly.

The ICCPR prohibits advocacy of racial, national, religious hatred that helps incitement discrimination, hostility or violence.

The story makes only indirect references to homosexual behavior among Buddhist clergy, but this was enough to inflame local religious sensibilities.

The Free Media Movement (FMM), a rights watchdog, expressed its dissatisfaction over the incident and said police should not have such extensive powers to control or censor works of art.
It pointed to numerous occasions where the government, in deciding on works of art and literature by independent thinkers, has violated people’s freedom of expression.

"When Sri Lanka signed the ICCPR, the promise given to the people of the country and the international community was that freedom of expression would be further strengthened and protected by the charter," C. Dodawatta, convener of the FMM, said on April 3.

"But it is clear this particular charter challenges freedom of expression. When there is an issue with the content of a piece of art, it cannot be judged by a single point of view." 
Sathkumara was named the best Sinhala short story writer in Sri Lanka’s National Youth Literary Festivals of 2010 and 2014.

The FMM said the decision to immediately prosecute him shows how little respect Colombo has for basic human rights.
"Once again, the FMM appeals to all state officials not to proceed with this kind of arbitrary action," Dodawatta said.

In an opinion piece published in the Colombo Telegraph on April 3, Sarath de Alwis wrote: "In medieval times creators of beauty, truth and human squalor were persecuted. In the new age of fake righteousness attempted by statute and proclamations we seem to be returning to our tribal roots.
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"Our free press — print and electronic — did not report the incident. The incident has gone viral on the internet. The international news agency AFP has reported the Orwellian ordeal of Shakthika Sathkumara to the world."

Vijeykumar Vidhusan, 18, is also being detained for 10 months under the ICCPR for posting New Year’s wishes on his Facebook account on October 2018 showing pictures of the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Jayathilaka Kammallaweera, one of the leading short story writers in the country, said the authorities have abused the international covenant to clamp down on free speech. "Freedom of expression should be strengthened and protected. Sathkumara is not against the philosophy of Buddhism at all," he said.
Kammallaweera expressed concern about the extremist Buddhist group who filed a complaint against Sathkumara.

Tenison Perera, president of the Writers Organization of Lanka, said his network would rally behind the persecuted writer. "If he has done anything wrong, the Buddhist group can work according to the rule of law, but not violate his rights by force," he said.

Gamini Viyangoda, co-convenor of Purawesi Balaya, a civil society movement, said the monks hope to intimidate and silence the award-winning writer.
Meanwhile, human rights defenders have signed a petition demanding he be released.

"The ICCPR is intended to ensure citizens’ civic and political rights," they wrote. "It is not to be misused to intimidate artists and censor works of art in the guise of preserving religious harmony. The publication does not amount to any disrespect towards Buddhism.

"[His] arrest and detention is not merely a threat to our freedom of expression but also paves the way to creating a culture of regulating and censoring artistic expression based on the whims of religious and extremist groups." 

Sarath de Alwis wrote in the Colombo Telegraph that in ancient India homosexuals were simply identified as the third nature, trithya prakthi. "Whether it is a deviant practice or not is not the issue in Shakthika’s story. It is the realism embedded in the yarn that has upset the holy hornet’s nest."

Carnage in Sri Lanka~~ How Many Murders Does It Take To Make A Political Point?

The historic St. Anthony's church at Kochikade in Colombo is a popular destination for Sri Lankans and tourists. More than 50 people died here in the morning of Sunday, April 21, 2019. Image by AntanO via Wikimedia Commons CC: BY-SA 4.0.
Sri Lanka was rocked by series of eight blasts on Easter Sunday morning (21 April 2019) in locations including churches and hotels across the country, leaving at least 207 people dead and more than 450 injured.
The six explosions in the coordinated bombings targeted churches packed with worshippers who were attending Easter Sunday services. These include St. Anthony's church at Kochchikade in Colombo, St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo, and Zion Church in the Tamil-dominated city of Batticaloa. At least 67 people died at St Sebastian's church alone.

The bombings also targetted luxury hotels in the capital city, Colombo — the Cinnamon Grand, the Kingsbury, and the Shangri-La, where at least 35 foreigners were killed.

35 foreigners among the victims of the bomb blasts in Sri Lanka.
Among the victims are nationals of; , , , , , , and - National Hospital Spokesperson.

The seventh blast was at a small hotel in the suburb of Dehiwala in capital Colombo.

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