The recent, tragic Easter attack in the South Asian state of Sri Lanka – killing and injuring hundreds – follows a now unfortunately all too familiar formula.
The New York Times has reported in its article, “What We Know and Don’t Know About the Sri Lanka Attacks,” that:
The authorities in Sri Lanka said a little-known radical Islamist group, the National Thowheeth Jama’ath, carried out the attacks, with help from international militants.
It is also reported that these extremists received assistance for the large-scale attack from foreign sponsors. The attack has put Sri Lanka on the map for many in the general public for the first time – but for all the wrong reasons.
Countering OBOR: Divide and Destroy
Sri Lanka has recently and decisively pivoted toward Beijing as a major partner of the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative. This is despite Washington’s best efforts to prevent it from doing so.
Consequently, extremists fuelled by Washington’s “clash of civilizations” have helped set the stage for growing violence between Sir Lanka’s majority Buddhists and its minority Muslim communities. The resulting violence serves as a medium for US coercion, destabilization, and intervention aimed at undermining Sri Lanka’s unity as a nation, and thus its viability as a partner for China.
A nearly identical ploy has been used in nearby Myanmar where US-backed Buddhist extremists battle against US-Saudi-Qatari backed extremism rising from the ranks of the nation’s Muslim Rohingya minority.
The resulting violence and growing humanitarian crisis – without coincidence – is unfolding in Myanmar’s Rakhine state – precisely where China is attempting to build another leg of its region-spanning OBOR initiative.
Sri Lanka has signed on to OBOR in a big way, with major rail, port, airport, and highway projects all moving forward with Beijing’s support. Sri Lanka is also considered by Western policymakers as one of several among China’s strategic “String of Pearls,” strong points where China can secure maritime routes through waters traditionally dominated by the United States.
These projects are derided across the Western media with headlines like the New York Times’ article,