A few months ago, I wrote a piece on the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse’s ability to redress the wrongs of the nation’s ethnic strife. The argument was based on his government’s seemingly unshakeable position of power that would allow Rajapakse to make the tough decisions and compromises required to solve the Sinhala/Tamil divide. Lesser attempts by previous governments have been viewed as betrayal by the radical Buddhist right, who see the defence of their faith as a national duty. Would Rajapakse, one of the strongest presidents in the island’s history even called a dictator by his opponents, cave to similar pressures? Its litmus test came in the form of recent attacks by Buddhist radicals on a Mosque in one of Sri Lanka’s historical capitals. The result? Appeasement; failure.
Posts Tagged ‘Islam’
Tags: Buddhism, Ethnic Conflict, International Relations, Islam, Politics, Radicalism, Religious Conflict, Sinhala, Sri Lanka
Tags: Arab Spring, IAEA, Iran, Iranian Nuclear Program, Islam, Israel, Middle East, Negotiations, P5+1, Politics, Shiite, Sunni, Syria, United Nations
By Uri Marantz
Iran. The country is without a doubt one of the most geopolitically sensitive states in the international system. It is also one of the most challenging and chimerical countries for its immediate neighbours, the region’s rising powers, the world’s great powers and the international community as a whole to fathom. Just this past weekend (April 14, 2012), the first nuclear talks between the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council – China, France, Russia, the U.K., the U.S. – and Germany) and Iran in 15 months took place. During the past decade, subsequent rounds of these talks have led to little or no progress. The most recent talks in Istanbul have been hailed by the Americans, Europeans and Iranians as ‘constructive and useful’, although nothing of substance was actually achieved at these negotiations. If the universally positive atmosphere emanating from Istanbul lasts for another month, the real negotiations on Iranian uranium enrichment and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections will begin in earnest on May 23 in Baghdad.