Can West defeat terrorism?
Dr Upul Wijayawardhana
‘Terror will not win’ is the banner headline of most Sunday newspapers in the UK, reflecting the cry in unison by all political parties, following the brutal murder of Sir David Amess, a Conservative Member of Parliament for 38 years. Coming just over five years after the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox, in June 2016, also in the performance of one of the most sought out functions of a British MP, the safety of MPs has taken centre stage of British Politics. Both of them were murdered at their ‘constituency surgeries’, where constituents can meet their local MPs, face to face to sort out their problems. Jo Cox was stabbed and shot on her way to the ‘surgery’ by a far-right extremist whilst Sir David was knifed to death in a church hall where he was conducting the ‘surgery’. Two more MPs have survived similar attacks but, unfortunately, in one instance the MP’s assistant paid the price.
It looks as if the UK specialised in murdering MPs whereas Sri Lanka specialises in electing murderers as MPs! A convicted murderer, on the technicality of a pending appeal, to be nominated by a major political party is bad enough but electing him with a handsome majority does not speak much about our democratic process, but it is another story.
Sir David had just finished a telephone call, around midday on Friday 15th, on Youth Parliament and saw the first constituent on the list, who stabbed him repeatedly, killing him instantly. The assailant turned out to be a 25-year-old British citizen of Somali origin, whom the police believe to have been radicalised through the media. His father, a former advisor to the Somali Prime Minister, had been taken completely by surprise when he heard the news that it was his son who killed Sir David. The only reason for the killing one can think of is that Sir David was a devout Catholic.
The more important question is whether British politicians are serious when they say “Terror will not win”? Their actions so far belie words, unfortunately! Looking back, terrorism in our lifetime commenced with actions of the UK, perhaps the USA being guilty to a greater degree. From 1939, two Jewish terrorist organisations challenged British rule over the Palestine which Britain could not settle with force or negotiation. The creation of the state of Israel in May 1948 and the subsequent unstinting support the USA extended was a virtual victory for Jewish terrorism, more so because Palestinians were left homeless in their own land! A new mode of terrorism started because of the frustrations of the Palestinians: hijacking of aircrafts which severely compromised safety of air travel.
Al Qaeda took terrorism a step further: using aircrafts as bombs to destroy the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, in addition to damaging the Pentagon. American-led wars in Afghanistan and the totally misguided wars in the Middle East led to the creation of many more Islamic terrorist groups. Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, surely, is a slap in the face of Uncle Sam! Britain has been an enthusiastic supporter of the USA in these ventures, rather misadventures. When will the subjugation of the UK to the USA end?
When the Tigers, trained by India, started their terror campaign in Sri Lanka what did the West do? They turned a blind eye to their staunch supporter JR, nick named Yankee Dicky, who pleaded for their help. Thanks to the Rajapaksa brothers’ leadership, our forces were able to defeat the Tigers, against all odds. Norway’s grand design of a divided Sri Lanka was averted, fortunately!
We achieved what the mighty West could not do. We defeated a terrorist group and the terrorist leader was killed in action. It certainly was not too much to expect some praise but what did we get? We were hauled before the UNHCR! USA led the charge against us but when the USA left UNHCR, branding it a cess-pit, the UK readily donned the mantle! What a shame, the UK opted to forsake its duty towards a fellow Commonwealth country for the sake of a few votes. Perhaps, there may have been party donations, too, from the Tiger rump who inherited the vast fortune made by illegal activities over three decades.
Worse still, UK taxpayers support a tigress of Australian origin. Plenty of videos available on the internet shows her misleading innocent Tamil girls, training them in terrorism and donning cyanide capsules round their necks. Is this not molly-cuddling terrorists? LTTE is banned but the British Police does not stop the Tiger-rump from disturbing the normal life in London. Tiger flags fly because the police interpret that the flag is not banned though LTTE is banned! Come any election, major parties try to beat each other to woo a tiny minority of votes, playing to the hands of a terrorist rump. Is this idiocy or hypocrisy?
Terrorists do not obey rules. They can do major damage with minimum effort. Extremists make the moderates of their ilk suffer too. If UK politicians and the government means what they say, words need to be translated to action. They need to get tough with terrorists. They should stop giving shelter to terrorists. Instead, they should be prosecuted. It is too much to expect. Sir David’s widow, five children and grandchildren will continue to suffer the loss but the government will soon forget. They will wake up only when another terrorist strikes!
If the West wants to defeat terrorism, they need to stop interfering in the affairs of other countries and not go to war. But, will that happen? When a large part of their gross national product is dependent on the armament industries, will they do it? I doubt
Source: The Island