Tony Abbott & Loong Lee consolidate Australian-Singaporean Strategic Bonds

Joint Press Conference with Prime Minister Lee, Singapore ….from

29 June 2015, Singapore

Prime Minister

Subjects: Visit to Singapore; Singapore-Australia relationship; Singapore Free Trade Agreement; Daesh death cult; South China Sea; Indonesia; counter-terrorism.

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PRIME MINISTER LEE: Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

I give a very warm welcome to Prime Minister Abbott and his delegation to Singapore. Your visit comes at a significant moment because this is not just our 50th year of independence, but also 50 years of bilateral relations with Australia – and the relations are worth celebrating because of how close our two countries have grown over the years. Continue reading

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Islam central to radicalisation and ISIS

Anooshe Mushtaq, courtesy of The Australian, June 2015, ….

I am a Muslim female who was born in an Islamic country and lived most of my life in Australia. While Eastern culture and Islam are embedded in me, I also have embraced Western culture. Growing up in Pakistan, I experienced a cocktail of culture and ­religion that often created confusion, not just in me but for many people in Pakistan. My view is that this confusion can be deliberate and often is wielded as a means of controlling the masses in Muslim society. These mechanisms of control flow from the heads of religion, the imams, to the people and are constantly leveraged by parents to scare the children into obedience and compliance.

Midday Prayer  Midday Prayer is held at Lakemba Mosque Open Day in Sydney as part of the National Mosque Open Day. Picture: Richard Dobson. Source: News Corp Australia

When these people migrate to Australia, some of them use the same controls to shield themselves, their children and wider families from integrating into the mainstream Australian culture because it deviates so vastly from Muslim cultural values. Some migrants in the Muslim community become prisoners in their own homes, creating a sealed ecosystem for the sake of cultural and ­religious preservation. Continue reading

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Open Ports! The Boat People Australia wants


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July 1, 2015 · 10:02 am

Coffee Mills Tokens in British Ceylon in the 19th Century

Srilal Fernando

Shunned by numismatists for many years, collection of coffee mills tokens has received a boost in the last decade. Collection of items used as currency when actual money was not easily available even has a label of its own, Exomania.

To understand the use of coffee mills tokens, it is useful to trace briefly the development of the coffee industry in Ceylon. Though coffee had been grown in Ceylon for many years, it did not become a major export till the latter half of the 1830’s. During the period of the Dutch occupation, coffee grown in the interior was brought to Colombo by traders and exported in very small quantities. In early British times, the import duty in England favoured coffee grown in the West Indies. The abolition of slavery in the West Indies and the refusal of the freed labourers to work on the estates saw a reduction of production there. As a result, coffee prices in London rose. The duty on coffee was reduced and favourable tariffs for West Indian coffee were revoked. Duty was set at six pence per pound. These factors provided the impetus for coffee plantation to open up in Ceylon. With the opening up of the roads to the interior, transport difficulties were overcome. Crown land was sold at five shillings an acre. Officials of the Government took this opportunity to both open up areas for cultivation and engage in land speculation. Continue reading

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Dhanapala clarifies 19A and Present Presidential Programmes for the Diplomatic Corps

Jayantha Dhanapala, courtesy Sunday Island, 21 June 2015, –conveying TEXT of Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala’s keynote address at “19 A: Landmark of Democratic Revival” a panel discussion and Q & A for the diplomatic community of Sri Lanka on the 19th Amendment on June 16, 2015, at Jaic Hilton –with the  Speech transcript being provided by the President’s Media Division. Dhanapala was accompanied by Savithri Goonesekera and Mohan Munasinghe. he is presently probono adviser to President Maithripala Sirisena. For his credentials and career see>

Jayantha Dhanapala. - Meera Srinivasan

Distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps, Ladies & Gentlemen,

On behalf of His Excellency Maitripala Sirisena and my colleagues in the Presidential Secretariat, I have great pleasure in warmly welcoming you to this afternoon’s briefing on the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka. It is just over a month since this important Constitutional amendment was formally certified by the Speaker of our Parliament although it was passed on 28 April. In a 225-member legislature this revolutionary piece of reform was adopted with 212 voting in favor, one against, one abstaining and 10 being absent. We undertake this task out of a conviction that the significance of the amendment should be conveyed to you in the context of the revitalization of democracy in Sri Lanka since the Presidential Election of January 8th this year.

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LTTE still active, warns USA

Robert Blake of the US Dept of N. Sathiyamoorthy *courtesy of Eurasia Review and South Asia Monitor where the title is “US Report On LTTE A Caution For India, Too” 

The American acknowledgement and confirmation of the continued existence of LTTE’s global network of sympathisers and finances should be a cause for concern as much for neighbouring India as much for Sri Lanka. In ways, it should also be a source of concern and embarrassment for Western nations, including the US. “The LTTE used its international contacts and the large Tamil diaspora in North America, Europe, and Asia to procure weapons, communications, funding, and other needed supplies,” the 2014 annual report of the US State Department’s Counter-terrorism Bureau said. Whoever rules from Colombo – and administers Jaffna – and whatever the domestic political conditions and electoral compulsions, Sri Lanka cannot be silent after the US has referred to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) procuring weapons.


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Where Water adds Lustre … and generates Lust

AA--1 Continue reading

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