News analysis

Sri Lanka explosions: Did global jihad meet local factors?

In the darkest days of Sri Lanka's quarter century of convulsions that ended with the battlefield deaths of Tamil Tigers supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran and his family in 2009, insurgents never targeted two sectors vital to the national economy: tea and tourism.

With their first-class intelligence, craftiness and resolve, the Tamil Tigers could easily have poisoned a few outbound crates of Sri Lanka's world-renowned tea to scare buyers off the morning brew so favoured by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, or struck luxury hotels around the island to warn off the Germans, Scandinavians and other foreigners who throng its beaches, wildlife sanctuaries and other tourist spots.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2019, with the headline 'An unending spiral of violence'. Print Edition | Subscribe