Category Archives: China and Chinese influences

The AUSTRALIAN ‘Umpire’ bats for Sajith and depicts Gota as Anti-Democratic Ogre

 Amanda Hodge in The Weekend Australian, 16 November 2019, where the title runs Sri Lanka election dilemma: democracy or the dread of dynasty”

Ahead of Sri Lanka’s polarising presidential elections on Saturday, an editorial tinged with desperation in the Sunday Observer newspaper urged voters “to keep the lights on in Asia’s oldest democracy. Vote to keep the journalists in this newsroom and newsrooms across the country, who are trying to be truth-tellers, safe from harm,” it said. “There are 35 candidates on the November 16 ballot paper, but a presidential election is ultim­ately a choice between two candidates. One of them terrifies us.”

Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the Sinhalese-Buddhist nationalist party on Wednesday during the last political rally before heading to the polls on Saturday. Picture: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.

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PK Balachandran’s Evaluation of Presidential Stakes: Sajith vs Gota and the Implications

PK Balachandran, in Sunday Island, 20 September 2019, with this title What’s in store for Lankans with Sajith and Gotabaya vying for the Presidency?”

On Thursday, after a month-long bitter inner-party struggle, Sajith Premadasa was nominated as the ruling United National Party’s candidate for the November 16 Sri Lankan Presidential election. The entrenched faction led by party Leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had to bite the dust eventually, and grant Deputy Leader and Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa the party nomination “unconditionally.”

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An Eye-Opener: A Study of China’s Agricultural Biotechnology Policies

Ronald J. Herring reviewing GMO China by Cong Cao (see end for details)

Cong Cao’s book GMO China is refreshing and enlightening. Unlike many authors in this genre, he knows the essentials of his subject: biology, agriculture, politics, history. He is not a campaigner. Readers learn much about the historical evolution of China’s developmental state, global connections of scientists, and the growing importance of global activists and narratives as influences on Chinese domestic policy. We learn why China became a world leader in some applications of agricultural biotechnology and pulled back from others. More important for general readers, China is the most interesting historical-longitudinal case in the global fissures on GMOs: biosafety, bioproperty, and biopolitics.

Herring of Cornell University

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A Populist Strongman in the Wings in Sri Lanka

M. R. Bhadrakumar in Indian Punchline, 12 August 2019, where the title runs “The return of the strongman in Sri Lanka”The announcement in Colombo on Sunday by former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa that his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be his party SLPP’s presidential candidate in the election due to be held before December 8 electrifies the politics in the island country. The announcement was expected, but there was an element of uncertainty lingering insofar as the incumbent president Maithripala Sirisena also harboured ambitions to seek a second term and Gotabaya himself was awaiting the approval of the US administration on his renunciation of American citizenship, which would qualify him to be a candidate under Sri Lanka’s electoral laws.
Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa (L) and SLPP Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa (R) wave at supporters during the party’s National Convention, Colombo, Aug 11, 2019

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American SOFA Proposals generates Sharp Debate

Marwaan Macan-Markar, Asia regional correspondent, Daily FT, 14 August 2019, with this title “US-Sri Lanka military negotiations hit a roadblock”

A Sri Lankan marine stands guard in front of Japanese helicopter carrier Kaga docked at Colombo port. Japan, along with India and China, have many ships going into the port – Reuters
The US government’s new military blueprint in the Indian Ocean is facing headwinds in Sri Lanka, a strategically located South Asian island also being courted by India, China and Japan in a scramble for geopolitical influence.  In the crosshairs is a Status of Forces Agreement initially signed by the countries in 1995, paving the way for the US military to access Sri Lanka for logistics.. But Washington’s push to negotiate a new military cooperation deal under the SOFA, which lays out a raft of protections and privileges for visiting US troops, has come under intense scrutiny.

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Naayakayo Koheydha! Rudderless Drift in Sri Lanka

Rajeewa Jayaweera, in Island, 5 August 2019, with this title “Leadership vacuum in Sri Lanka”

Imran Khan (IK), 67 years old Prime Minister of Pakistan, hails from an upper-middle-class Pashtun family in Lahore and is a graduate of Keble College, Oxford. He captained the national cricket team on the single occasion his country won the Cricket World Cup in 1992. Aged 39, IK took the winning last wicket. A philanthropist, he raised funds for two state of the art hospitals in Lahore and Peshawar. He also served as Chancellor of the University of Bradford from 2004 to 2014. Pakistan Threek-e-Insaf (PTI or Pakistan Movement for Justice) was founded by IK in April 1996. He led PTI to victory in the 2018 general election and was elected as Prime Minister on August 17, 2018.

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Gifts to Lanka: China pats itself on the Head

Cheng Xueyuan, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Sri Lanka, in Sri Lanka Güardian, July 2019, where the title is “Chinese military is actively providing more and more international public safety products
August 1st 1927 was the founding date of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. In the past 92 years, from war to peace, PLA had gone through arduous struggles to epic accomplishments of national independence, people’s liberation and peaceful development. Chinese people and PLA are peace-loving. China will continue to develop itself by securing a peaceful international environment and, at the same time, uphold and promote world peace through its own development.
New office and auditorium  complex of the Sri Lanka Military Academy aided by China

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