Challenges remain for China–Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement

Saman_KelegamaSaman Kelegama, reprint from EAST ASIA FORUM, March 2014

Although China–Sri Lanka trade had been growing steadily beforehand, China was not a large trading partner of Sri Lanka until 2005, which was a turning point in China–Sri Lankan economic relations. In the mid-2000s, China was increasingly asserting its global power via bilateral loans for developing countries in Asia and other continents. In Sri Lanka, a new government was looking for unconditional loans with negotiable repayment periods to defeat a drawn-out separatist war and develop neglected infrastructure in the country.The fusion of both these interests led to Chinese assistance, first in the form of arms and ammunition to win the war and then an overwhelming financial inflow for development of infrastructure projects — so much so that, by 2010, China had become the largest forign finance partner of Sri Lanka. With so many Chinese projects in operation in Sri Lanka, trade with China has also increased during the last eight years with a widening  trade imbalance against Sri Lanka.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, economic processes, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, modernity & modernization, performance, politIcal discourse, Rajapaksa regime, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes

The Sydney Gunman Monis: Many Faces & Many Phases

“Greg Bearup, in The Australian 17 December 2014, with the heading “A Convert from Malcontent to Murderer”

ON the afternoon of the September terrorism raids in Sydney and Brisbane, a group of Muslims gathered to protest in Lakemba. One of them was the Martin Place gunman, Man Haron Monis; a man who saw himself as a peace activist. He stood out that day as the only visible Shia in a crowd of Sunni Muslims.

Monis’s gripes against the West were those common to many Muslims around the world, including many moderates. “You don’t feel our pain. Your ­remote-controlled bombs kill our children and no one is ever held ­responsible. Why are the deaths of your innocents atrocities, while the death of our innocents are collateral damage?” MONIS 2 Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under arab regimes, atrocities, Australian culture, australian media, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, life stories, martyrdom, politIcal discourse, psychological urges, the imaginary and the real, vengeance, violence of language, world events & processes, zealotry

Rajapaksa One-Family Show in the Gunsights at Presidential Election

 Razeen Sally, courtesy of Wall Street Journal 15 December 2014 and The Australian 17 December 2014, where the title reads “Sri Lankan Election is a Chance to end Rajapaksa’s One-Family Show”

AA--the R BROTHERLY LOVE: President Mahinda Rajapaksa (in white and wearing a scarf) rules the country with his son and two brothers, including Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (to his right), and assorted members of the Rajapaksa clan. ASSOCIATED PRESS

When President Mahinda Rajapaksa called a snap election last month in Sri Lanka, it appeared he would cruise to a third term. But a hitherto feeble and divided opposition has since rallied behind a common presidential candidate for the Jan. 8 vote. Only a month ago, Maithripala Sirisena was a cabinet minister and general-secretary of the ruling party. Now suddenly Sri Lanka could be at a turning point after almost a decade of Rajapaksa rule.

The president is campaigning on his economic record after comprehensively defeating the Tamil Tigers in 2009. And on the surface, Sri Lanka looks a lot better off for his leadership. After a quarter-century of civil war, people can go about their daily lives without fear. Roads, bridges, railways and power projects have come to fruition. Colombo and many other towns have been beautified. Tourism has bounced back, with post-war arrivals hitting all-time highs. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, Bodu Bala Sena, economic processes, education policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, LTTE, modernity & modernization, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, press freedom & censorship, propaganda, Rajapaksa regime, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, TNA, tourism, transport and communications, world affairs

Marginalisation in Britain as Path to Islamic Fervour and/or Cricketing Fervour

Michael Roberts, reprint of an article written in May 2003 and published in the International Journal of The History of Sport , 2004, vol. 21, no. 3-4, pp. 650-663. This article remains substantially the same as the original draft in May 2003, but has been embellished by additions in April 2004.[1] …. It is further embellished with hyperlinks that embrace subsequent processes and events, including the ISIS phenomenon and its repercussions. Insofar as lone wolf or lone cell extremism has embraced Australia as well (e.g. Man Haron Monis and Numan Haider) our reflections can be guided by the thoughts penned recently by Alan Dupont (2014) and yours truly (2014 and 2013).

Moeen+Ali- Moeen Ali  Omar Khan Sharif Omar Khan Sharif 

Kabir_Ali_ - WIKI Kabir Ali of Lancashire -elder brother of Moeen

LEE RIGBY KILLERS  Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale – killers of Lee Rigby, 22 May 2013

killer--_1733665a Adebolajo’s declamation after the assassination

Man Monis 11 Man Haron Monis  NUMAN HAIDER NumanHaider–

In interpreting the reasons that induce a handful of Sri Lankan cricket fans within the migrant diaspora to indulge in confrontational abuse that extends even to members of the Sri Lankan cricket team, I suggested recently that a condition of marginalisation and alienation may be one of the factors promoting such excesses.[2] This analysis was informed by my experience in the Australian setting. Here, however, I focus on Britain and England. This land now hosts a number of migrant peoples, each internally diverse, but present in sufficient numbers to provide voice. As such, Britain is a sociological laboratory for comparative studies. Within this terrain I extend my hypothesis to link migrant marginalisation and alienation not only to cricketing fervour, but also to Islamic fervour of the sort recently expressed by the suicide bombers Omar Khan Sharif and Asif Mohammed Hanif. This thesis is speculative and does not have the support of substantial empirical research on my own part.

Hanif and sharif Sharif & Hanif in A Gaza lat before their suicide operations in 2003- from Hamas release later – see Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Al Qaeda, arab regimes, atrocities, cultural transmission, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, life stories, martyrdom, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, suicide bombing, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes, zealotry

Man Haron Monis and Lessons from Sydney

brendan_nicholsonBrendan Nicholson, in The Australian, 16 December 2014, where the title is “Sydney siege: Lessons in new extremism.”

FOR police and security ­officials responsible for stopping extremist attacks before they happen, events in the heart of Sydney yesterday were a reminder of the worst possible scenario.  The use in the CBD siege of techniques used by lone-wolf operators was a ­chilling lesson in the risks faced by modern societies. Whatever the intention behind the siege, it triggered the extensive and complex response that authorities have ­developed to deal with terrorist operations.

SS-Armed police-Getty Armed police outside the Lindt Café–Pic -Gettywounded -AP  An injured hostage is wheeled to an ambulance after shots were fired during a cafe siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney- Pic- AP photo. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Afghanistan, Australian culture, australian media, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, legal issues, life stories, martyrdom, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes, zealotry

Michael Clarke became Indispensable God in the second week of December

Michael Roberts

From the tragic moment of Phil Hughes’s death by cricket ball bouncer, Michael Clarke became GOD. He dutifully, manfully and quite profoundly served as a grieving suffering god in the mourning ceremonies at Macksville, poignant moments that were beamed around the world. No quarrel here.

clarkedeliverseulogy Clarke delivers eulogy for Hughes at Macksville

But he then deemed himself indispensable captain for the Australian team on the cricket field despite his lack of match practice and severe doubts about the capacity of his back (and its related extensions) to withstand the strains of the field. True, he had experienced this problem for years and managed it somehow; but doubts hung over his body’s capacity to overcome the problem. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, Australian culture, australian media, governance, heritage, life stories, patriotism, performance, self-reflexivity, unusual people, world affairs, zealotry

Verbal Assault, Bouncer Assault and Hypocrisy in the Green Fields of Cricket

Mark Reason in STUFF, 8 December 2014 – where the title is “Phillip Hughes death highlights cricket’s hypocrisy”

The best way for cricket to respect the sad death of Phillip Hughes may be not a minute’s silence, but a lifetime’s silence. By all accounts Hughes was a quiet country lad, who did not brag. On the day of Hughes’ funeral, cricket’s sledgers, and that includes Australian captain Michael Clarke, may like to reflect on the vile abuse that they have used to ram home bowling that often bordered on assault.

Clark at anderson Michael Clarke unleashed an expletive sledge at Jimmy Anderson before Australia wrapped up the first Test.

A friend dropped me a line the other day to say how he was sickened by the hypocrisy swirling around cricket. An international sportsman himself in hockey and one of New Zealand’s great all-rounder achievers, Brian Turner wrote of how bowlers tried to hit him and of the puerile vitriol that accompanied it. It was bad then, it is worse now. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, Australian culture, australian media, disparagement, fundamentalism, heritage, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, war crimes, wild life, world affairs, zealotry