The Buddha would not have smiled: Militarization, Environment, and Hybrid War Under a Covid-19 Mask in Sri Lanka
by Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake
The writer, Dr. Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake, is a Social and Medical Anthropologist, based in Colombo, Sri Lanka
“The claim that coronavirus would kill millions without shelter-in-place orders and quarantines is highly questionable .. there’s little evidence to confirm that premise ..and current estimates about the Covid-19 fatality rate may be too high by orders of magnitude” Dr. Eran Bendavid and Dr Jay Bhattacharya, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University.
On June 24, Poson Poya (full moon) day, one of the most sacred days in a Sri Lankan Buddhist’s calendar, the day that Buddhism arrived on the island centuries ago, the country was inexplicably locked down in a Covid-19 curfew.
On the same day, the U.S. & Japan naval exercise CARAT—21 War Games were inaugurated at the Trincomalee harbour on the Eastern coast of the island. Muslims in the Eastern coastal town of Kattankudi had been already confined in Covid-19 lockdowns for a week prior to these war games, dubbed ‘naval exercises’.
The Buddha epitomizes peace and ahimsa or non-violence, not war and militarization. It is both ironic and tragic, or perhaps it was meant as a cruel joke in a country whose leaders dress themselves in religious symbolism, that the Buddhist community was deprived of prayer at the local temple and instead locked down as war games commenced in Sri Lanka’s Exclusive Economic Zone on what should have been a day of peace.
Who makes national policy in this strategically located Indian Ocean Island nation under a Covid-19 mask and global surveillance regime as an increasingly hot hybrid war plays out across the Indian Ocean in what has been dubbed a new Cold War just when Joe Biden announced that “America is Back” at the G-7 and NATO summit in Brussels recently?
From Covid-19 to Carat-21: Hybrid Cyberwar games?
The American-led Carat-21 exercises took place for a week (June 23-30, 2021), at strategically located Sri Lanka’s coveted deep-sea natural harbor, Trincomalee, and off the eastern coast of the island. Among the stated objectives of the exercise were “enhancing maritime engagement and interoperability, fostering greater coordination in shared maritime challenges, gaining a better understanding of the operational environment, enhancing mutual capability in maritime security cooperation, operating in line with international law, norms and standards, facilitating the linkages between maritime components and law enforcement authorities and deepening partnership among the Sri Lanka Navy, US Navy and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) are chief”.
Carat war games used to be run in the Philippines, but its outspoken President Duterte had said sometime back during a visit to Vietnam: “I am serving notice now to the Americans, this will be the last military exercise, jointly Philippines-U.S.: the last one.” The US has 5 bases in its former Asia colony, including Guam.
Of Pilot Whales and Cyberwar games
Last year, during the October 2020 ‘Malabar War Games’ off the coast of India and Sri Lanka, again remarkably while Sri Lanka was in total Covid-19 lockdown for the duration and fishermen deprived of their ability to go to sea, more than a hundred pilot whales and dolphins had beached on the coast of Sri Lanka with many dying. Submarine and giant warships and aircraft carriers used in War games’ Sonar system disorient whales, dolphins, and other large sea creatures causing them to the beach and die. Many Marine scientists have called for a ban on sonar systems.
The Canary Islands has banned the use of sonar, something that environmental groups should lobby for along with an end to war games that cause environmental disasters by foreign navies in Sri Lanka’s EEZ. Environmental groups and coastal communities broke that Covid-19 curfew to come out and save some of the whales beached by the Malabar war games.
The largest stranding of whales and dolphins was an unprecedented event in the living memory of the strategically located island nation’s coastal communities and occurred at a time when the country was kept in lockdown under the claim that there was a Covid-19 pandemic. There was clear evidence to the contrary in the qualitative and quantitative data on Covid-19 infections, morbidity, and mortality rates in the island. Hence this seemed like a deliberate attempt to confine people in the context of big power war games, off the coast of Sri Lanka.
The Malabar exercises saw the consolidation of the QUAD or Quadrilateral Group led by the United States, with Japan, Australia, and India, in the Indian Ocean. QUAD is the equivalent of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, during the Cold War years 1948-1989. The QUAD exercises come as a New Cold War gathers steam following US President Joe Biden’s recent trip to Europe to announce that “America is back”.
MV Pearl Maritime Disaster in the Western Seas
As the Carat-21 war game unfolded under the Covid-19 mask in the Eastern Seas of Sri Lanka, the recently sunk British-owned MV Express Pearl ship with its remaining deadly cargo continues to spill oil compounding environmental disaster in the Western seas of Sri Lanka.
The MV Pearl disaster happened less than a month earlier. The MV Pearl which burned for almost two weeks before sinking outside the Colombo harbour has jeopardized the livelihoods of thousands of fishers and endangered the Salt industry. That incident occurred during the run up to and signing of the China Port City agreement – a Maritime Domain Awareness warning to the hapless natives of Sri Lanka, sitting pretty on the busiest Submarine or Undersea Data Cable Routes (UDC), in the World? The previous year the MT Diamond had spilled oil in the Eastern seas of Sri Lanka.
Perhaps Sri Lanka should wake up and start charging the undersea data cable companies and their Corporate clients that use the data for their businesses and make billions from their users for access to and use of Sri Lanka’s maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and get rich quick? Anyone who wants to data tap in the ongoing cyber wars in the Indian Ocean region using Sri Lanka’s EEZ would need to pay extra, that way the country would be able to pay off her debts and get rich quick!
While the ship burned, the ruling Rajapakse Regime watched and did nothing, and one of its Ministers made the heinous claim that insurance payment would be a bonanza, as the uncorked deadly cargo of sulfuric acid and plastic pellets were leaking from containers. That environmental disaster is the worst in living memory in the island, which has not yet been cleaned up although there is fear that 300 tons of oil could leak out, and Slavos from the Netherlands are waiting for the monsoon to end before emptying the oil tanks.
Meanwhile, dead dolphins, turtles, fish, and sea birds’ carcasses continue to float ashore. Coastal communities and fishermen are deprived of their livelihoods in the Western seas of Sri Lanka, and it is in this context that environmentally destructive war games like the Carat-21 are taking place.
The question arises: why is the government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) engaged in generating more environmental ocean pollution in the Eastern seas of Sri Lanka with the U.S. & Japan’s naval exercise CARAT-21 that commenced at Trincomalee, while the sunken MV Express Pearl that came to Sri Lanka with deadly cargo continues to spill oil?
Why is the United States Government, which has moved the UN Human Rights Council against the country, perceived to be too close to China, along with its EU partners who constantly worry about the state of human rights in the island and the possibility of a military dictatorship, by its own former and current US citizens of the Rajapaksa first family, contributing to militarization and promoting a culture of militarization that is environmentally destructive to marine life at this time rather than helping clean up the MV Pearl disaster?
Remarkably, US citizen Basil Rajapaksa, brother of the President and Prime Minister, arrived back in Sri Lanka from the US and is tipped to become Finance Minister just in time for these Carat-21 war games!
Even more remarkably, in the same week the former pro-US Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe returned to parliament after his Grand Old Party the UNP was all but dissolved at the last general election, in a move reminiscent of “the return of the mummy” as pointed out by Professor Sasanka Perera of the South Asia University in New Delhi!
Covid-19 militarization and Theodore Roosevelt in the IOR
Last year in the first week of May too, Covid-19 PCR test patients mysteriously doubled just when the Government of Sri Lanka was set to lift a 6 week-long militarized curfew implemented for the Sinhala and Tamil New year, ironically, among some of armed custodians of the curfew – the Sri Lanka Navy and Army. At the end of April, 2020, about 4,000 navy troops were quarantined inside the camp while 242 relatives were taken to four quarantine centres run by the navy.
It appears that the Sri Lanka navy caught Covid-19 as part of a trend in the increasingly militarized Indian Ocean region: The U.S. Navy’s Aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt has led the way with 900 plus Covid-19 cases on board in Guam, followed by France’s Charles de Gaulle Aircraft carrier. Thus during the war games Covid-19 has also spread to the Indian Navy camp in Mumbai and Sri Lanka’s Welisarra Navy camp and from there to many sailors and their families all over the country.
U.S.-Sri Lankan military training in Sri Lanka had continued despite travel sanctions due to the Coronavirus spread globally, during March and April 2020 at the Navy’s Special Boat Squadron Training School in Trincomalee Sri Lanka.  USAID had funded the Sri Lanka Army to build a brand new Covid-19 Hospital in Iranawila, the former Voice of America station, and provided surveillance training and equipment while the WHO congratulated the Sri Lanka military for its Covid-19 work!
Clearly, with a majority of cases spreading through the Navy whereas previously, Muslim and Christian religious minorities had been mysteriously targeted in the ‘first wave’ of this remarkably anthropomorphic virus, seemingly manufactured through ‘Gain of Function’ research collaboration between China’s Wuhan Labs and the infamous Dr. Tony Fauci’s Fort Detrick bio-warfare lab near Washington DC, (that had co-incidentally experienced a leak back in September 2019), and was shut down two months before Covid-19 showed up in China, the lockdown has not worked to limit the spread of the disease.
Covid-19 Masks and Colonialism: Data Hoax to roll out Warped speed vaccines?
Ironically the Carat-21 war games started on Poson Poya day while the citizens of Lanka were placed under a 24-hour curfew this year, were based on fake epidemiology models, and rigged Covid-19 data, generated at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, funded by the Gates Foundation, and Epidemiology Unit of the Health Department.
Thus, at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat on Friday, June 18 it was exposed that “only fifteen Covid deaths had occurred on June 11 as against 101 previously reported by the Epidemiology Unit of the Health Department.”
On May 13, 2021, the Daily Mirror had run an article by Kalani Kumarasinghe, which quoted a report by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), at the University of Washington, founded and funded by the vaccine Emperor Bill Gates Foundation.[i]
In that article State Minister for Health Sudarshini Fernandopulle was quoted saying: “The (IHME ) report states that daily deaths due to Covid-19 could be as high as 200 and daily positive cases could reach 10,000 to 20,000 per day. This could be the case if no interventions are made.” Minister Fernandopulle referred to a recent publication by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) affiliated with the University of Washington.
This article was a clear instance of the amplification of Fake Covid-19 predictions in the media and a newspaper that has consistently played up the Covid-19 numbers game and fear psychosis. Following this report which had failed to specify the data on which its predictions were made, the GMOA and Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA), which are well funded by the WHO and big Pharmaceutical companies promoting Covid-19 vaccines, wrote letters to the President calling for extended lockdowns, and Sri Lanka was put into a lockdown for 6 weeks further debilitating the highly debt-trapped economy and starving the majority of the population which does not have disposable income but rather lives on daily wages.
Subsequently, President Gotabaya Rajapakse revealed that he had wanted to open the country on June 14. But the lockdown was extended until June 21 on the basis that the death toll reached 101-mark on June 11. The President conveyed his dismay and dissatisfaction with the health authorities.
The President had asked the intelligence agencies to track the Covid-19 deaths and discovered that the data was being rigged. Against this backdrop, the Chief epidemiologist was transferred and Sri Lanka’s government medical officers GMOA and SLMA which had previously written letters to the president urging indefinite lockdowns, and also implicated in vaccine corruption sought clarification on IHME projections.
Our own research at Colombo’s biggest cemetery and funeral palours had also revealed fewer deaths, cremations, and burials than in previous months and years. So too seasonal monsoon flu had disappeared and been replaced willy-nilly with PCR positive patients, based on a false-positive PCR tests and a Covid-19 “numbers game” to whip up fear psychosis and keep the country in an economically debilitating lockdown. But to benefit whom? That is the million-dollar question.[ii]
The second million-dollar question is: if the Covid-19 data on cases and deaths was being rigged using false positive and or inaccurate PCR tests and there is no health emergency, why is the Sri Lankan population being vaccinated with vaccines developed for emergency use and at “warped speed’?
There is a mounting pile of international research papers including by a team at the Colombo Medical Faculty to suggest that Sri Lankan are already vaccinated against Covid-19 as the BCG vaccine provide broad protection against respiratory tract infections and significantly reduces Covid-19 mortality and morbidity.[iii]
The Covid-19 data hoax and rigged epidemiology models point to the erosion of sovereign national institutions and their capture by external agencies, and “experts” such as the WHO and Gates funded IHME during the institution of the Covid-19 big data surveillance project.
Is Sri Lanka trapped in a full-fledged Cyber War with the narrative captured by the Covid-19 data hoax and numbers game to keep up a national fear psychosis and Groupthink while people forced to wear masks and unable to get enough oxygen and distracted, kept ignorant, in lockdown and unable to protest against the regime while militarization, debt trapping, economic crash for asset stripping by Hedge Funds like Black Rock and other front companies and Hybrid Maritime Trade War on China in the Indian Ocean looms?
Blurred Genres in the New Cold War and the US Pivot to the Indian Ocean Region
The genres of war seem increasingly blurred these days. Oceans have been re-named as empires crash and the Covid-19 “panicdemics” grips the world in fear psychosis and Groupthink: the Indian Ocean has been lost and re-christened the Indo-Pacific. Children in grade school will now be taught about the Indo-Pacific, not the Indian Ocean.
Propaganda, hybrid maritime trade war, bio-warfare (from the infamous patented Fall Army Worm or Sena Catapillar to Covid-19 virus and warped speed vaccines all developed through Gain of Function Research), and trade disruption with strange ships burning and sinking with deadly cargo in the Indian Ocean, attacks on information systems, and strategic trade, energy communications, and financial infrastructure are all happening in real time. All this added to Covid-19 numbers games and data hoaxes is part of an Infodemic that includes false-positive PCR tests, and WHO’s tall stories that people who got the virus and recovered have less protection than those who got emergency use vaccines, to promote fear and economically devastating curfews and lockdowns as well as contradictory messaging on vaccines, vaccines nationalism, and vaccine wars suggest the world is in a state of acute hybrid war.
The new Hybrid Cyberwars fit with Clauswitz’s famous dictum: “War is a continuation of politics by other means”, the more so, murky, messy, and eminently deniable “Grey Zone” operations. Politics now appears to have become war by other means, in a world where outright conventional war between the US and China (plus Russia?), given existing nuclear arsenals on all sides would result in what old Cold War security theorists termed Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD).
The increasingly dangerous US pivot to Asia, which was initially announced by President Obama, under Joe Biden’s “America is Back” slogan has turned the Indian Ocean Region into an epicentre of the new Cold War between the US and China and their allies. As some have argued, the Cold War was always hot in the Global South where proxy wars, assassinations, and regime-change operations were par for the course.
The new Cold War with the Covid-19 mask and narrative looks like a hybrid cyber and maritime trade war in strategically located Sri Lanka which sits at the centre of the Indian Ocean, the world’s busiest trade, energy, and communications routes.
Caught in the crosshairs of a New Cold War, Sri Lanka will need to weather the course and hope for younger and wiser leaders the next time around. As an empire crashes and a multipolar world comes into focus, more global turbulence seems inevitable. [IDN-InDepthNews – 29 June 2021]
The writer, Dr. Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake, is a Social and Medical Anthropologist, based in Colombo, Sri Lanka