Category Archives: China and Chinese influences

China blows its Own Trumpet: Progressive Innovative Production

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Scientists have been trying for decades to get rice to grow successfully in salty water VCG via Getty Images Continue reading

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Sri Lanka’s Economic Prospects reviewed by the Governor of Central Bank

 Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, presenting the Gamani Corea Memorial Lecture on Monday, 6th November, 2017 at 5.00 p.m. at the BMICH , entitled“Towards a vibrant economy and prosperous country”

I -Introduction: The theme of my remarks this evening is going to be Towards a Vibrant Economy and Prosperous Country.  I intend to begin by trying to make the case that this is probably the most favourable set of circumstances Sri Lanka has enjoyed for over five or six decades. I then propose to talk about key paradigm shifts which have changed the landscape for policy-making; the frameworks that have been put in place for macroeconomic policy making; the growth model; the policies to strengthen the growth framework; and some of the Government’s major development programmes.  These are embedded in the Government’s Vision 2025 document.

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Dayan Jayatilleka counters Gerald Peiris

Dayan Jayatilleka, in Island, 6 October 2017, with title The rise of the Sinhala fundamentalist new right: Response to Prof GH Peiris” the emphasis below being that of the Editor Thuppahi

Philosophy, said Kautilya (Chanakya) in the Arthashathra, deals primarily with the right and wrong use of force. At least from that time, it was recognized that there is a right way and a wrong way of doing even what is necessary or unavoidable. This was of course the very premise of the Just War doctrine of Christian theologians St Ambrose, St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. A war had to be for the right cause and the right cause was not self-evident or merely self-referential and self–proclaimed. It needed to pass certain criteria to qualify. This too was not enough. For war to be just it not only needed to satisfy the criteria for a just cause but be fought by just means, which too needed to meet certain criteria to warrant the appellation. Modern theologians, especially of the Protestant persuasion, have added a third criterion, that of Just Peace, i.e. of the outcome of the war.

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The Devolution Debate: Indelible Facts

Gerald H. Peiris … an original article with emphasis in black being that of the author and that in blue being an imposition by The Editor, Thuppahi

 

Several articles by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke published in The Island during the past few days indicate that he is very definitely the most articulate and, arguably, the most “intermestic” exponent of the notion of the ’13th Amendment’ (implemented more comprehensively than at present with all powers and functions referred to in its Ninth Schedule vested on Provincial Councils – PCs) being the constitutional via media that would ensure stability, good governance and interethnic harmony. Dr DJ is no doubt aware that, following the misguided curtailment of Presidential powers through the 19th Amendment of the Constitution in 2015, alongside the practice of foreign agents including diplomatic personnel bypassing the Colombo government in their transactions with the ‘Northern PC’ emerging an unofficial ‘convention’ in Sri Lanka’s external relations, his prescription would actually entail the creation of a more autonomous network of PCs than envisioned at the promulgation of the 13th Amendment thirty years ago. Continue reading

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Hambantota Port set for Boom under Chinese Auspices

Peter Fuhrman,  courtesy of Beyonf Brics  where the title is “China-owned port in Sri Lanka could alter trade routes”

Much has been said — but far less is understood — about the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, the centrepiece of Xi Jin ping’s expansive foreign policy. That Mr. Xi has ambitions to extend across Eurasia China’s commercial, political and military power is not in doubt.But, the precise details on OBOR remain just about as unclear now as they did four years ago the policy was unveiled — which countries are included, how much cash China will invest or lend, where are the first-order priority projects, will any of the trillions of dollars of proposed  China-owned port in Sri Lanka could alter trade routes, will spending achieve commercial rates of return? Questions multiply. Answers are few.

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The Buddha’s Middle Path is the Route to Lanka’s Present Constitutional Dilemma

Dayan Jayatilleka in The Island, 25 September 2017, where the title is  “The ethnic issue: Fantasy vs. Reality. Response to Ladduwahetty and Hulugalle”

At a time when national borders are vanishing, the borders in our own mind need to be erased in the interests of serious inquiry and discussion.”—Mervyn de Silva, The Age of Identity, 1993

As in life, there are no guarantees in politics. One can only avoid the most obvious mistakes and cultivate the wisdom to manage things prudently. A Constitution cannot function as a prison house. Countries, like people, stay together because of consent and mutual agreement. The “stability” that both Ladduwahetty and Hulugalle crave, cannot be ensured by rigidity and unilateral imposition. The stability of the whole can be achieved only through dialogue and consensus, involving mutual compromise and concessions, between the component parts. That is surely the logic and spirit of the Social Contract. Continue reading

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Mattala Airport in China’s Game-Plan

Brook Larmer,  courtesy of New York Times Magazine , 13 September 2017, where the title reads What the World’s Emptiest International Airport Says About China’s Influence”

   

The four-lane highway leading out of the Sri Lankan town of Hambantota gets so little traffic that it sometimes attracts more wild elephants than automobiles. The pachyderms are intelligent — they seem to use the road as a jungle shortcut — but not intelligent enough, alas, to appreciate the pun their course embodies: It links together a series of white elephants, i.e. boondoggles, built and financed by the Chinese. Beyond the lonely highway itself, there is a 35,000-seat cricket stadium, an almost vacant $1.5 billion deepwater port and, 16 miles inland, a $209 million jewel known as “the world’s emptiest international airport.”

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