Posted on October 15th, 2022

By Sena Thoradeniya

Engineering the ouster of the Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and satisfied with the ascension of a person of their preference, Western power block headed by the US and INGOs now have moved their operations once again to Teheran, Iran.

Iran, known as Persia until 1935, founded by Cyrus the Great has one of the oldest and greatest civilisations in the world. It has a long history which goes far back to several centuries before the birth of Christ.

Western powers have an axe to grind with the Iranians. Democratically elected progressive Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadegh nationalised the British owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company which enjoyed monopoly over extraction and sale of Iranian oil. In 1953 Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi was installed by the Americans in a coup d’état. With the blessings of the Americans Shah ruled Iran with an iron fist until he was ousted by the Iranian Revolution in 1978-1979. But the US imperialists and their Western allies never allowed Iran rulers to govern their country as they wanted. They attempted to arouse Iranian Kurdish minority many times after 1979.

In the North West of Iran approximately ten million Kurds live. Kurds consist of 10% of the Iranian population. They are mainly Sunni Muslims as against Shi’ite Muslim majority. Human Rights” groups, as usually the NGOs such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch say Kurds are being long oppressed. Dissident groups, political parties and armed militant groups had emerged fighting for Kurdistan independence, separation and autonomy backed by Western powers. In 1946 Kurdish Republic of Mahabad (name of a city) declared independence when the allied forces were occupying Iran, but within a few months it was conquered by Iran. In 1979, 1996 and 2005 armed conflicts broke out between Kurd militant factions and Iranian armed forces. Because of cross-border alliances as there are millions of Kurds in the adjoining countries it has become easy for foreign powers to destabilise Iran.    

Jina (Mahsa) Amini who died on 14 September while in police custody was a Kurdish woman. Recent protests had erupted especially in Kurdistan.

As in Sri Lanka, there are some powerful NGOs operating in Iran and among Kurds. Some of these NGOs are based either in England, France or Geneva. Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP), Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN), Kurdistan Human Rights Association, Hengaw Organisation for Human Rights are some examples. Promoting democracy and human rights, defending rights of ethnic and religious minorities, challenging all forms of discrimination, promoting women’s rights, raising awareness about human rights situation are main aims of these NGOs. Further evidence is not necessary to elaborate that the present turmoil in Iran has become a vehicle in the realisation of these aims and objectives.

No wonder, US Government funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED)” which commenced various progarmmes since 2005 in Iran, with its affiliates such as Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)”, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)”, Rights of Marginalized Populations”, Rule of Law” is fully operational in Iran. CIPE focuses on developing leadership capacity of a women-focused civil society and empowering a women-focused civil society; NDI aims at strengthening the capacity of Iranian activists; to raise awareness about human rights and strengthen capacity are the main aims of Rights of Marginalized Populations”.  All these objectives are interwoven with the present turmoil. 

Some of the fierce unrest was reported from areas home to ethnic minorities including Kurds in the North West and Baluchi in the South East. Baluchi militants had attacked Iranian forces.

2022 was not the first time that Iranian women instigated by foreigners protested against wearing the hijab. In 2014 an Iranian journalist and activist based in US and UK started a Face Book campaign called My Stealthy Freedom” against compulsory hijab law. Iranian women posted their photographs without the hijab. In 2017 women protested against mandatory hijab in Teheran and other cities. In 2019 a women’s rights activist entered a men-only football stadium disguised as a man. This incident led to widespread protests and thousands of women entered a soccer stadium to watch a World Cup qualifier match. In 2009 members of the so-called Green Movement” took to the streets after a disputed Presidential election. So, it is very clear to comprehend that widespread protests in 2022 erupted after a long period of gestation.   

Similarities and Dissimilarities Between Teheran and Galle Face

1. (A) Foreign media reported that the rebellion in Iran is the mounting wrath of a generation raised on the Internet. According to them they were born into cyberspace”. Most of these protesters were born after 1997. They are far removed from the history before 1997 Revolution. They grew up in a different historical time. 

(B) Same applies to Galle Face Protesters. Majority of the Protesters were born under a corrupt system which has its roots to 1977, who do not know the history, politics and culture of this country. No wonder a self-appointed leader” of Protesters thinking of implementing similar policies of Thatcher and Reagan as his System Change”. 

2. Leaderless nature of the Protest backed by the NGOs and demonstrators shouting different slogans.

3. (A) Iranian Protesters demanded regime change”, bringing human rights, minority rights and women’s rights into the forefront. Death to the dictator”.

(B) Galle Face Protesters demanded Go Gota” and System Change” which no one understood what system and change are.

4. (A) Iranian authorities have blocked WhatsApp, Instagram and other social media platforms and limited the access to Internet and introduced digital surveillance.

(B) In Sri Lanka although there was a blocking of social media platforms for a few hours after Mirihana Outrage” the government was forced to rescind it. Very soon Data Dansel” were opened by big businessmen.     

5. (A) Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed riots as scattered riots”; said that the riots are being instigated by the US and Israel Zionists. He further said that these scattered riots are the passive and clumsy designs of the enemy against the great developments and innovative movements of the Iranian people”.  He compared the Iranian Republic to a mighty, unshakeable tree that cannot be uprooted.

The truth about Ali Khamenei’s words can be understood by studying the composition of United Against Nuclear Iran” (UANI) organisation. Its CEO is a former US Ambassador to UN. Of the 31 members of its Advisory Board we have selected seven members to support Ali Khamenei’s accusation. Former Head of the Political Military Bureau at Israel’s Ministry of Defense and former Director of Intelligence of the Mossad; former Director of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service; General Director of the Israeli Mossad; former Chief of Staff of UK Armed Forces; former Director of Special Forces and Commander of the British Field Army; former UK Minister for Security; and Jeb Bush former Governor of Florida and son of George Bush!  (Mossad is the national intelligence agency of Israel.)     

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi accused the US for conducting a failed policy of destabilisation targeting his nation. He dismissed the death of the woman in police custody as a purported Western plot without providing evidence. 

(B) In Sri Lanka none of the government spokespersons said anything about the Galle Face Protest. They completely ignored the foreign hands behind the Protest.

6. (A) Western media reported a military crackdown in Iran, arrests and deaths due to shooting. Protesters had thrown rocks, hurled Molotov cocktails at security forces and set fire to buildings and statues. A number of security personnel had died in the commotions. Judges in Iran had ordered harsh sentences to rioters.

(B) In Sri Lanka Protesters were handled with kid gloves allowing them to storm and occupy public spaces. Security Forces floated like butterflies while the Protesters stung like hornets. Court orders, thanks to BASL were mostly in favour of the Protesters; that protesting is a human right enshrined in the Constitution.

7. (A) Protests were held by the Iranians living in major cities in Europe, US and Canada. Many of them are the people who fled Iran in the 1980s during and after the Iranian Revolution, self-exiled people. They were joined by their progeny born and raised in Western capitals with no Iranian roots.  Many women cut off locks of their hair.

(B) Sri Lankans who protested in foreign capitals were not different. Some of them were those who left the country on government scholarships and defaulted the government. Many of those who protested in West European capitals were economic refugees. Some were smuggled out by human traffickers.  Some gunmen in 1971 and 1988-1989 left the shores getting passports using dead men’s birth certificates and were escorted to Katunayake Airport either by Christian clergymen or officials of Western diplomatic missions.  

8. (A) European women also demonstrated in support of Iranian women. Some including women legislators cut their hair in showing what they called Global solidarity”. Certain celebrities also joined the Protesters.

(B) No such solidarity” was shown to Sri Lankan Protesters, except those tuppenny” white men and women who shouted slogans at the Galle Face including that White woman who went missing aided and abetted by Black Coat Army”. Half a dozen of Protesters at Federation Square in Melbourne can be shown as a massive gathering as thousands of Melbournians gather there at any time of the day.  For the Western world Sri Lanka was a small fry. They knew that things were moving unhindered as choreographed by them. Within four months they reaped a rich harvest. To destabilise Iran Western powers need a different approach. The protest mark one of the boldest challenges to clerical rule since 1979 Revolution, even if the unrest does not seem close to toppling the system”, wrote a Reuter correspondent. Western world is not clear about the outcome of the Iranian protests.

9. (A) Western powers have already begun Iran bashing showing their hidden agendas. US State Department spokesman Ned Price said, Right now our focus is on remarkable bravery and courage that Iranian people exhibiting. And our focus right now is on shinning a spotlight on what they are doing and supporting them in the ways we can”.

Biden had praised the Iranian women Protesters. Addressing a meeting in California he had stated that Mahsa Amini’s death has opened the floodgates for lasting change in the theocratic country”. 52 members of the Congress had written a letter to Biden to prevent Ibrahim Raisi entering the US. US blame Iranian rulers that they are held accountable for four decades of carnage, inequality”, totally forgetting the rule of Shah. They want a regime change in Iran. Ouster of their protégé Shah still haunts in their minds and souls.  

 Will they allow such protests in their backyard demanding regime change? 

Britain had sanctioned some senior Iranian security officers. 

Canada outsmarting the US imposed new sanctions on Iran. New sanctions include 03 entities and 17 people including Iranian Foreign Minister. Canadian Foreign Minister’s words echo what was said by Price: We stand in solidarity with the Iranian people who are courageously demanding a future”. Canadians should be reminded of the discovery of unmarked graves in 2021 with skeletal remains of 215 children in a former Residential School” in British Columbia. To cut a long story short, these schools were funded by the government and managed by Christian Churches to educate and assimilate indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture by removing them from their families and culture. Similarly, White supremacists in Australia took away Aborigine children, known as Stolen Generation” from their parents.     

10. (A) Hackers interrupted Iranian State TV News Bulletin for a few seconds by the image of a mask followed by depicting Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei with flames around his head, the slogan Women, Life, Freedom” and a message to the viewers, join us and rise up”.

(B) Galle Face Protesters painted the Presidential Secretariat in flames. On July 09 some Protesters forcibly entered state TV institutions and suspended scheduled programmes and forced them to telecast the programmes of the Protesters.

How to Situate Teheran with Galle Face?

ONE: So far not a single Galle Face Protester had supported the Iranian women’s ‘Women, Life, Freedom” campaign. Why?

TWO: Muslim women who did murals and other art works at Galle Face, the so-called Fearless Community” and Sisterhood Initiative”, who were trained by their Indian Guru of Asian Fearless Collective” had not gathered in support of Iranian women. Why?

THREE: Buddhist priests and Catholic priests who acted like shepherds to the Galle Face flock had not voiced their opinions about the protest of Iranian women. Why?

FOUR: SJB, Fonseka, TNA and Mahajana Sabha grandees who wept copiously on behalf of Galle Face Protesters are silent. Why?

FIVE: JVP, JNB, FSP or IUSF had not demonstrated in front of the Iranian Embassy or issued statements showing their solidarity to Iranian women Protesters? Why?

SIX: Muslim politicians, human rights activists, columnists who fill Sunday English weeklies and those Muslims who issue press statements at a drop of a hat had not written anything in support of Iranian women or given any statement in support of them. Why?

SEVEN: Iranian women are protesting against the mandatory Hijab, neither Niqab nor Burqa. Hijab is just a simple colourful headscarf that covers the hair, head, neck and sometimes shoulders. Niqab and burqa cover the entire body except the two eyes. So why the Muslim women in some parts of this country want to dress  either niqab or burqa? Why?

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