AN INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE VITAL IN ADDRESSING WAR CRIMES AGAINST CHRISTIANS SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD & HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE!

‘The hunt is on, and, I feel sorry for any country, who decides to offer such terror operatives safe haven or assistance, in any form, directly, indirectly or through proxies, under the guise of “solidarity, brotherhood, race, religion and dogma!”

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AN INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE VITAL IN ADDRESSING WAR CRIMES AGAINST CHRISTIANS SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD & HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE!

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At the time of writing, I am informed by reliable source in Colombo that dear friend, Sri Lanka’s president Maithripala Sirisena has asked for the resignations of the defense secretary and national police chief, post this mother of all barbaric bombing and a reshuffle within 24 hours!

It is the right response domestically in the light of a tragic lapse of communication that resulted in the mother of all bombing carnage on innocent worshiping and holidaying civilians and non-combatants!

As a practitioner of international and human rights law and advocacy, I must state that this dramatic internal shakeup after security forces shrugged off intelligence reports warning of possible attacks before Easter bombings that killed over 359 is critical to restore some resemblance of command, control and competence (3C)!

It has been reported that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has claimed responsibility for the attacks on Christians worshiping in three churches and people at three luxury hotels.

Many who went to fight in these enclaves are today planning to return under various guises and this again poses a very dangerous trend and situation unless countries take the bold stand like some have of denying them an opportunity to return!

In the case of the Sri Lanka barbaric bombing it was obvious that the footprints of experienced battle-hardened operatives advising, funding or guiding must be acknowledged in this attack!

Whatever said and done, I am all praise for the Sri Lanka government for their acknowledgment of “major” lapses over its failure to prevent the attacks on Easter Sunday that killed more than 359 people, despite prior intelligence warnings.

In many countries, there is an immediate cover up or denials as those countries or failed states, as I call them go on a delusional and denial mode, even when hard core evidence is staring them in the eyes!

In Sri Lanka’s case, another positive factor is the immediate empowerment of the security forces using newly granted powers under the country’s state of emergency, which allowed them to pursue and arrest suspects in connection with the attack without the need for a court order!

The Sri Lanka carnage, which saw among those killed 45 children, 8 Britons, 10 Indians, 4 Americans and nationals from Turkey, Australia, Japan and Portugal and others, has now caught the optics of international anti-terrorist groups who now expresses solidarity with Sri Lanka!

The game has changed drastically!

This is a warning to lukewarm countries and others, wearing masks who provide safe haven or ‘close both eyes’ when terror operatives, their financiers, or others who aid and abet them move freely in some countries without caveats just because they have done “no crime in that land?”

More so, when post Sri Lanka carnage details emerged about some of the bombers, where one had studied in Britain and then did post-graduate studies in Australia before returning to Sri Lanka.

Today’s terror operatives are well-educated, some academics, professors, professionals, theologians, businessmen and women, members of the religious civil society coming from middle, upper-middle class families, so they are financially quite independent and their families are quite stable financially positioning them most times below the radar!

The response now must be one which encompasses an international flavor!

And I am glad to be advised, that professional anti-terrorist task force and security apparatus intelligence teams from the US, the UK, Australia and the United Arab Emirates have all offered intelligence help.

Some already arrived at ground zero!

The hunt is on and I feel sorry for any country who decides to offer such terror operatives safe haven or assistance in any form directly, indirectly or through proxies under the guise of “solidarity, brotherhood, race, religion and dogma!”

It is time to act against such atrocities by initiating an international network of anti-terrorist task force with authority and power given for cross border and international jurisdictional license to hunt down those involved in such terrorist activities in the name of race and religion, no matter where they hid or which country provides them safe haven or protects them while giving lip service to the world at large!’

 

THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL URGED TO ADDRESS THE KILLING AND PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS USING LETHAL FORCE IF NECESSARY!

‘Unless the global community intercedes as a global village removing the safe havens, the financial support, the base, the safe passage given to terrorist, their financiers and others within those shadows, the targeting including those closet government sympathizers whose travel and bank accounts need to be restricted fully, nothing changes!’

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THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL URGED TO ADDRESS THE KILLING AND PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS USING LETHAL FORCE IF NECESSARY!

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Are you aware that about 245 million Christians endure oppression worldwide?

This I am advised is according to the organization – Open Doors.

In 2018 alone, more than 4,000 Christians were killed because of their faith.

They could be those gathering for worship, or in worship, or just visiting as a tourist fulfilling their pilgrimage!

And in other cases, countless more will have suffered threats or discrimination, where there are hurdles to initiate renovations to church buildings, to light up crosses, to have land alienated for building new churches, car park or even burial grounds being facilitated?

Schools founded by Christian missionary also facing discrimination and attacks.

These past years have witnessed even Christian marriage ceremonies being targets, or that barbaric attack at St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria, Egypt, the target of a terrorist attack on Palm Sunday in 2017 that killed 17 people.

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Closer to home, in the southern Philippines, terrorists planted a bomb in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, claiming 20 lives during mass on January 27 this year.

And as these slaughters take root thanks to racial and religious fanatics, mercenaries, terrorists those aiding, abetted and financing them get bolder.

And one cannot but ask, whether those flames that damaged Notre-Dame in Paris last week was an accident or was there foul play?

In many parts of the world it is this soft target – the non-combatants who come to worship their God who perish.

I cannot but feel the tragedy of countless innocents whose love for their faith and God being kidnapped and murdered rather tragic.

And just when you think it is safe – Sri Lanka happens, where more than 290 have lost their lives and this number expected to rise with those injured above the 500 mark from the Easter morning bombing!

A barbaric act by barbarians!

But the sombre truth is, those who were the victims of the Easter day bombing will not be the last as many millions of Christians are still alive under a similar shadow of persecution.

Unless the global community intercedes as a global village removing the safe havens, the financial support, the base, the safe passage given to terrorist, their financiers and others within those shadows, the targeting including those closet government sympathizers whose travel and bank accounts need to be restricted fully, nothing changes!

I have always known that of all people who suffer persecution for their faith, it may surprise some to know that the greatest number are Christians.

Did you know that in 2015, Christians faced harassment from governments or social groups in 128 nations, according to the Pew Research Centre?

By 2016, this had risen to 144.

And China imposes the ‘highest levels of government restrictions.

Yet, the hypocrisy and irony, is that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed by the United Nations General Assembly without a single negative vote in 1948, enshrines ‘freedom of thought, conscience and religion’.

The declaration makes clear that everyone has a right to the ‘practice, worship and observance’ of their faith.

Then why the killings?

Why are churches being bombed?

It is time to consolidate our efforts!

It is time to change the rules of engagement!

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It is time to act together against such atrocities by initiating an international network of anti-terrorist task force with authority and power given for cross border and international jurisdictional license to hunt down those involved in such terrorist activities in the name of race and religion, no matter where they hid or which country provides them safe haven or protects them, while giving lip service to the world at large of zero tolerance for terrorism!’

TIME THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY ADDRESS CHRISTIAN-PHOBIA THE HATE FILLED NARRATIVE THAT JUSTIFIES MURDERING CHRISTIANS SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST!

TIME THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY ADDRESS CHRISTIAN-PHOBIA THE HATE FILLED NARRATIVE THAT JUSTIFIES MURDERING CHRISTIANS SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE!

A newly minted Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister of a certain country had dismissed a travel advisory issued by the US that placed his country on the “K” list of countries with risks of kidnapping and hostage-taking.

This law maker who already has had made serious silly and stupid statements a month ago once again confirmed reports and allegations he is unqualified to hold ministerial office when he foolishly in a media interview questioned the US government’s rationale in issuing his country on to a “K” list of countries with risks of kidnapping and hostage-taking.

He even had the audacity of stating the following remark on the United States of America’s advisory by saying:

“I don’t know whether they are smart or dumb. Our country has no problems.

“How is it that the Americans, from so far away, they can (claim to) know better there are problems here?”

This comes a day after a wave of bombings that killed 290 people in Sri Lanka was carried out with certainly the support of an international network!

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At the time of writing the Sri Lankan government seems poised to blame a little-known local jihadist group, National Thowheed Jamath, although no-one has yet admitted carrying out the bombings and certainly the professionalism, competence, skills, knowledge and both logistics and supports systems denote a far dangerous and ruthless group behind this carnage.

So far 290 people have been killed and another 500 people injured in the suicide attacks on churches and hotels.

Yesterday, I congratulated the Sri Lankan security apparatus for the arrest of 24 people in a series of raids while the president’s office declared a state of national emergency.

This is a strategic move as the emergency declaration, which comes into effect from midnight (19:30 GMT) on Monday, will give police and military extensive powers to detain and interrogate suspects without court orders.

The intelligence reports making the rounds that Sri Lankan authorities were warned about a bomb threat from National Thowheed Jamath a full two weeks before the attacks, denotes there are today political divides among rival politicians in high office who put their personal political agenda and interests among the countries!

It is shocking hearing the statement made by cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne at a press conference that the warnings were not passed on to the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, or his cabinet.

Mr Wickremesinghe acknowledged that security services had been “aware of information” but had not acted on the information.

This is a colossal criminal failure and irresponsibility!

It is also embarrassing to hear Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando telling the BBC that the intelligence “never indicated it was going to be an attack of this magnitude”.

“They were talking about isolated, one or two incidents. Not like this,” he said.

He said “all important departments of the police” were informed about the warning, but acknowledged that no action was taken.

All these comments are now silly, futile and embarrassing for the government in the eyes of domestic and international scrutiny!

Lives have been lost of both local and foreigners, which could have been otherwise if those whose shoulders rested the responsibility of defense and security did their job!

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I am happy to learn that dear friend, President Maithripala Sirisena (above) who I had the opportunity of meeting at a welfare program for students during Christmas in 2016 would ask for foreign help to track down the international links to the attackers.

By now it is clear that there are international footprints and fingers behind this barbaric attack!

After the likes of atrocities in Mumbai, Bali, Madrid, Surabaya, Egypt, Pakistan and Nigeria, more needs to be done!

It is time to act against such atrocities by initiating an international network of anti-terrorist task force with authority and power given for cross border and international jurisdictional license to hunt down those involved in such terrorist activities in the name of race and religion, no matter where they hid or which country provides them safe haven or protects them while giving lip service to the world at large!’

 

 

MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD HUMAN RIGHTS LEAD PRAISES SRI LANKAN SECURITY FORCES FOR FAST TRACK CONTAINMENT OF TERROR THREAT!

‘It is time to act against such atrocities by initiating an international network of anti-terrorist task force with authority and power given for cross border and international jurisdictional license to hunt down those involved in such terrorist activities in the name of race and religion, no matter where they hid or which country provides them safe haven or protects them while giving lip service to the world at large!’

MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD HUMAN RIGHTS LEAD PRAISES SRI LANKAN SECURITY FORCES FOR FAST TRACK CONTAINMENT OF TERROR THREAT!

US Vice President Mike Pence called the attacks in Sri Lanka “an attack on Christianity & religious freedom everywhere” and said he and President Donald Trump were monitoring the situation!

It is shocking that of all days – it was Easter, when at the time of writing 207 people and allegedly 30 foreigners were killed and hundreds more wounded in a series of bomb blasts that hit luxury hotels, a zoo and churches across Sri Lanka!

The country currently is in a state of lock-down.

We are advised that the first wave of attacks struck at the heart of the country’s minority Christian community during busy Easter services at churches in the cities of Colombo, Negombo and three high-end hotels, the Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury, all in capital city Colombo were also affected which clearly denoted the sophistication and agenda of the terrorist behind this attack!

The following churches which are popular were also targeted, St Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade,

St Sebastian’s Church, Negombo and Zion Church, Batticaloa.

I have nothing but accolades for the Sri Lanka’s security apparatus and special forces who have moved speedily to isolate and capture those allegedly involved in this barbaric act!

Seven people are under arrest following the attacks at this time of writing, we are advised!

While there is thunderous condemnation from global leaders on this barbaric act, there seems to be the eerie pin drop silence of super hypocrisy, bogus religiosity continuing in some countries!

These doubles faced rogue failed states are silent, whenever the victims are not of their religious persuasion!

Now the world can see hypocrisy in its finest attire and moments!

While we pray and uphold Sri Lanka, let us also uphold and pray for the Sri Lankan security apparatus so that they get to the bottom of this terrorist attack!

We need to know who were the masterminds behind this attack, who financed it, who aided, abetted and provided strategic and logistic support for this war crime against humanity!

It is time to act against such atrocities by initiating an international network of anti-terrorist task force with authority and power given for cross border and international jurisdictional license to hunt down those involved in such terrorist activities in the name of race and religion, no matter where they hid or which country provides them safe haven or protects them while giving lip service to the world at large!

It is time to take this war against terrorism to new heights and greater penetration!

There needs to be accountability here!

It is time to get a commitment from countries of hypocrisy!

They are either with the international community addressing and fighting terrorism in totality or not!

Enough of double-faced diplomacy and hypocrisy!

It is time the international community acts and acts decisively on all parties providing access, support, finances or safe havens for terrorists and their support base!