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Sri Lankan police raid at suspected terrorist hideout leaves 15 dead

Sri Lankan police raid at suspected terrorist hideout leaves 15 dead

During a raid at a suspected terrorist hideout by Sri Lankan police, suicide bombers claimed the lives of bystanders in the area. FOX News operates the FOX News Channel (FNC), FOX Business Network (FBN), FOX News Radio, FOX News Headlines…
Sri Lanka missed warnings about bombers' leader

Sri Lanka missed warnings about bombers’ leader

Zahran Hashim preached hate and violence for years but despite multiple warnings, Sri Lankan authorities did nothing about him, and he ended up as a key figure in the group of men who carried out the Easter Sunday bombings. #CNN…

Counter-extremism expert says media, politicians should identify attacks in Sri Lanka for what they...

The founder of a London-based think tank that focuses on counter-extremism criticized media outlets and prominent political figures for not being forthright about this past Sunday's suicide bombings in Sri Lanka aimed at Christians. Six suicide bombings were orchestrated by Jihadi extremists against Sri Lanka's Christian community killing over 300 people. The media and prominent political figures went out of their way to downplay the religious aspects of the attacks prompting criticism, host Tucker Carlson said. "They have been unable to name Islamist extremism by name and jihadist terrorism being a violent manifestation because they genuinely believe that a bigger threat due to their political perspective is white supremacist and far-right extremism and then, of course, there's the pragmatic political side of things. They are pandering to a certain vote base and they fear by naming these things even if they wanted to, it would cause them trouble with their base and that's not how I operate and that's not how I think any decent human being should operate," Maajid Nawaz, founder of Quilliam said on "Tucker Carlson Tonight." "What happened in New Zealand was a white supremacist terrorist attack and what's happened in Sri Lanka is a jihadist terrorist attack and it moves us all to speak plainly about this so we can address these problems." Former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted their condolences Sunday to Sri Lanka but made it a point to avoid calling the victims Christians, instead calling them "Easter worshippers." The Washington Post published an analytical piece Monday entitled "Christianity under attack? Nawaz lamented the political angles being played during tragedy. "I think sadly too many people play politics with tragedy and they allow for their own framework of their own bias to influence how they view human tragedy and then they use that to peddle their own political narrative," Nawaz said.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister holds press conference after Easter bombings

Sri Lankan Prime Minister holds press conference after Easter bombings

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe speaks to the press after a series of deadly Easter Sunday bombings that left over 300 people dead. FOX News operates the FOX News Channel (FNC), FOX Business Network (FBN), FOX News Radio, FOX News Headlines…
ISIS claims responsibility for Sri Lanka bombings

ISIS claims responsibility for Sri Lanka bombings

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, according to a statement put out by the terrorist group's news agency Amaq. "The attackers who targeted citizens of the (anti-ISIS) coalition state members and Christians in Sri…

Religious Minorities Across Asia Suffer Amid Surge in Sectarian Politics

The bombings of three churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday highlighted the vulnerability of Christians in Asia, where religious minorities of many faiths have been battered by this surge of nationalism and sectarian politics. The explosions in Sri Lanka, which killed more than 200, “brought mourning and sorrow” on the most important of Christian holidays, Pope Francis said after celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. Christians make up only 6 percent of the population of Sri Lanka, which is still emerging from the shadow of a harrowing civil war between the Sinhalese Buddhist majority and ethnic Tamils, most of whom are Hindu or Christian. But Christians were a primary target, and their faith has been increasingly under attack by militants and politicians across South and Southeast Asia. In Myanmar, Christian minorities fear they will be the next targets of the Buddhist-dominated government. And in Sri Lanka, a toxic Buddhist nationalist political force has agitated against minority Christians and Muslims, dismissing them as relics of a British colonial era when the Buddhist majority itself was repressed. “Muslims and Christians, especially evangelical Christians, have been facing persecution for many years in Sri Lanka, but the scale and nature of today’s attacks are not comparable,” said Ruki Fernando, a Roman Catholic human rights activist in Colombo. Three years ago on Easter, a suicide bomber targeted Christian faithful in a park in the Pakistani city of Lahore, killing more than 70 people. Even in Muslim-majority Indonesia, which held peaceful elections last Wednesday, faith-based politics have tilted the political landscape, as the persecution of religious minorities mounts with little pushback from moderate politicians. Hundreds of churches have been forced to close in Indonesia, where about 10 percent of the population is Christian.

Inside Facebook’s Secret Rulebook for Global Political Speech

The guidelines that emerge from these meetings are sent out to 7,500-plus moderators around the world. Facebook has been accused of accelerating violence in the country. In many countries, extremism and the mainstream are blurring. The company never set out to play this role, but in an effort to control problems of its own creation, it has quietly become, with a speed that makes even employees uncomfortable, what is arguably one of the world’s most powerful political regulators. A 2016 document on Western Balkan hate groups, still in use, incorrectly describes Ratko Mladic as a fugitive. And Google Translate can be unreliable: Mr. Mladic is referred to in one slide as “Rodney Young.” The guidelines, said Mr. Mujanovic, the Balkans expert, appear dangerously out of date. Several months after Facebook said it had banned praise for Ma Ba Tha, a Myanmar supremacist group accused of encouraging ethnic cleansing, the company’s Myanmar guidelines stated that the group was allowed. Facebook users are prohibited from posting content that is deemed to support or praise them. Facebook says that any such practice would violate its rules, which include contingencies for reviewing posts in unfamiliar languages. But at company headquarters, the most fundamental questions of all remain unanswered: What sorts of content lead directly to violence?

Political Crisis Hurting Sri Lankan Tourism Industry

Visitors come to the Indian Ocean island nation to enjoy its beaches, historic places, interesting nature and tasty food. But Sri Lanka’s current political environment is keeping visitors away. Violence has broken out in parliament and the 2019 national budget has been delayed. The Reuters news agency received that information from someone at the national Sri Lankan airlines. The person told Reuters that, “The crisis started just when tourists take a decision where to go...It has discouraged many of them.” Chandra Mohotti is manager of the high-end Galle Face Hotel in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. She said that 20 percent of planned visits to the area have been canceled. But instead, the hotel has been forced to offer low-cost rates to appeal to tourists. Sanath Ukwatte, president of the Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, said some companies have chosen to move their planned events to Singapore, Indonesia and other places in Southeast Asia. He said if the current situation continues, the economic effects “will be significant.” More than 2.1 million people visited Sri Lanka in 2017, tourism officials say. I’m Ashley Thompson.

The Newest Weapon in Sri Lankan Politics: Chile Powder in the Eyes

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Lawmakers hurled chairs, thick books and stinging chile powder at one another as violence and chaos erupted again on the floor of Sri Lanka’s Parliament on Friday. At least four lawmakers and several police officers were injured. The proceedings were carried live on TV and beamed across the island nation. The trouble began when lawmakers allied to Mahinda Rajapaksa, a former president who, in a contentious move, was appointed prime minister last month, arrived in the chamber early and occupied the speaker’s chair. The lawmakers broke microphones and staged mock sessions. They also blocked the mace, a gold-tipped ebony staff that is the symbol of authority, from being brought into the chamber to begin the session. Dozens of policemen marched in. The government has been paralyzed by a three-way duel between Maithripala Sirisena, the president; Ranil Wickremesinghe, the prime minister who was summarily deposed by the president in October; and Mr. Rajapaksa, considered the strongman of Sri Lankan politics. “But there was also so much to be proud of,” she added, saying that the speaker and the police officers showed enormous bravery and would fall “on the right side of history.” After the vote, Mr. Rajapaksa left the chamber to a cacophony of hoots. Mr. Sirisena had claimed on Thursday that he would accept the result of the vote, but by Friday he seemed to be wavering again.

‘Matangi / Maya / M.I.A.’: a compelling mix of music and politics

This patchwork documentary doesn’t always keep its bearings, but overall it’s a fascinating overview of the complicated life of musician M.I.A. Rating: 3 stars out of 4. Movie review What happens when a woman of two worlds tries to be taken seriously as both artist and mission-driven advocate? For U.K.-born-and-raised musician Matangi “Maya” Arulpragasam — better known as rapper M.I.A., 43, of Sri Lankan Tamil descent — the answer is mixed success at best. The unusual but revealing documentary “Matangi / Maya / M.I.A.,” a hodgepodge of old video diaries, music videos, performances and interviews spanning decades, reflects M.I.A.’s passionate efforts to enlighten fans about victims of government oppression — while also getting people around the world dancing to her music. Explaining that before her recording career started in 2002, she wanted to be a documentary maker, we see how M.I.A. Loveridge doesn’t dwell on her many honors (Grammy and Oscar nominations; Time magazine’s Influential People list). seems comfortable with success, she makes far less headway being taken seriously as champion of a cause. During an interview on his HBO program, “Real Time,” Bill Maher patronizes her by skirting issues and joking about her accent. _____ ★★★ “Matangi / Maya / M.I.A,” a documentary directed by Steve Loveridge.