Category Archives: China and Chinese influences

Sinhala Extremists eye Uyghur Solution for Muslims

ACL Ameer Ali, in Sunday Observer, 14 July 2019, where the title runs Moulding Muslim Culture’ echoes Chinese Uyghur experiment’

The hidden agenda of the far-right and extremist groups like Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Mahoson Balakaya, Sinha Le and so on, in respect of the Muslim community needs be understood in light of what was announced in that rally by BBS secretary, Gnanasara. From the beginning, and at least since the Alutgama riots of 2015, the BBS and its obstreperous secretary, were vociferous in demanding the expulsion of all Muslims to Saudi Arabia or any other Arab country, reinventing a 19th century argument advanced by Anagarika Dharmapala and Co. in a different context, that Muslims were ‘aliens’ in Sri Lanka. The fact that this community, like the Sinhalese and the Tamils before, were also foreigners but arrived last and that they were indigenised over one thousand years ago did not matter in the BBS’ twisted [readings of] history. Its ultimate goal is to make this island one hundred percent Sinhala Buddhist. It was this aspiration that was once again reinforced in Kandy, when Gnanasara announced that, “every home must have an owner and Sinhalese are the owners of Sri Lanka.” When saying that he quite naively expected the Tamils also to accept their status as tenants and live until they too would be ejected one day.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, China and Chinese influences, communal relations, economic processes, heritage, historical interpretation, human rights, Islamic fundamentalism, legal issues, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, religiosity, riots and pogroms, security, self-reflexivity, trauma, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry

Cumulus Clouds shroud the Death Penalty in Sri Lanka

Gerald H Peiris, in Island, 8 July 2019, where the title is “To Hang or Not to Hang?: Our Heads in Shame”

Our press coverage of the ‘Capital Punishment’ debate that followed President Sirisena’s announcement on 26 June of his signing death warrants on four persons convicted for serious narcotic-related crimes – I refer to ‘Features’, ‘Opinions’, news reports such as those on intimidatory “orders” conveyed to the government of Sri Lanka by foreign diplomats and spokespersons of INGOs, decisions of trade unions and other civil society outfits, and the seemingly casual statements by political leaders in the course of censuring the president’s wayward performance −  provided no cause for surprise in the sense that they were the expected responses. For instance, those from the regimes of the sanctimonious agents of the ‘West’ and their INGOs were displays of both pretended “humanitarian” commitments as well as economic muscle-power directed at governments like ours that readily genuflect.  Likewise, the more prominent among our political leaders are obviously impelled by electoral considerations. The civil society stances reflect, more than all else, the widespread unpopularity of the ‘Yahapalanaya’ which the president is believed to nominally lead.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, commoditification, conspiracies, economic processes, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, working class conditions, world events & processes

USA’s Infiltration via ACSA and SOFA

Political Editor, Sunday Times, 7 July 2019,where the title is  “Inside story of how Sri Lanka fell into the ACSA-SOFA trap”

Amid mounting opposition, President should appoint expert probe team to identify weakness in the national security system 
Despite denials and clarifications by the US, the two deals give America a major footprint in Sri Lanka
With little or no prospect of contesting presidential election, Sirisena may settle for a portfolio close to his heart

Opposition is mounting over the two defence related agreements between Sri Lanka and the United States, one already signed and another now pending.The first is the Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA). For almost two years it was not tabled before Parliament. Nor was there a government statement explaining the contents, on a matter of such national importance to Sri Lankans.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, conspiracies, economic processes, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, military strategy, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, transport and communications, world events & processes

SOFA — American Boots in Sri Lanka in ‘Soft Power’ Insertion

Daya Gamage, in Asian Tribune, 6 June 2018, with this title “U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy Report 2019: Military presence to secure ‘Homeland’.”

Coinciding the Asia Security Summit – the Shangri-la Dialogue – in Singapore in which US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan was the major participant, on June 1 Washington released the 2019 the Trump-Defense Department-designed Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, labeling Asia the ‘priority Theater’, and explicitly declaring, the U.S. enhanced military presence in the region is to “protect the American people, the homeland, and the American way of life”.U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan speaks at the IISS Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore, June 1, 2019 – All about Military and Defense issues..

Similarly, the first sentence of the report itself (“The Indo-Pacific is the single most consequential region for America’s future.”) could not be more explicit.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under american imperialism, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, economic processes, Indian Ocean politics, legal issues, military strategy, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

Uncle Sam! Sri Lanka’s Sovereignty impaired by SOFA deal with USA

Lasanda Kurukulasuriya, in Island, 27 May 2019, where the title reads”

While the contents of the proposed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the governments of Sri Lanka and the US still remain hidden from the public eye, parliament was told last week that the government had not entered into such an agreement – yet.  The negotiations however are going on, and Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana has reportedly indicated to the US that some of its provisions could not be implemented. One was the provision seeking exemption for visiting US personnel from criminal jurisdiction under Sri Lankan law, while in Sri Lanka. Another was a clause that would give effect to the agreement through an ‘exchange of notes.’

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, economic processes, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

Blake Foreshadows New American Approach to Sri Lanka … and the Rajapaksa Combo

Daya Gamage, in Asian Tribune, 12 May 2019, with this title “Robert Blake indicates Washington’s new approach to Sri Lanka”

Robert O’Blake, former (2006-2009) American ambassador to Sri Lanka and onetime assistant secretary for South and Central Asian Bureau (2009-2012) of the US Department of State indicated how Washington would approach Sri Lanka having seen the deteriorating security situation in this South Asian nation – which could affect Washington’s military design in the Indo-Pacific region – while assessing the rapidly changing political environment possibly favoring the return of the Rajapaksas.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under american imperialism, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, discrimination, economic processes, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, life stories, military strategy, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, security, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, truth as casualty of war, war reportage, world events & processes

Sri Lanka as Lilliput Isle between Two Giants

Political Editor, Sunday Times, 19 May 2019, where the title runs “Sri Lanka caught in the big power conflicts”

When elephants fight, an African proverb says, it is the ants that get crushed. In essence that encapsulates how the small and weak become dangerously vulnerable when big powers fight for dominance and even hegemony. That is Sri Lanka now.

President Maithripala Sirisena returned from China on Thursday after adding another explosive chapter to this big nation power play. His Media Office head-lined a statement saying, “three significant agreements with China on national security and development were signed.” However, there was no mention of what these agreements were or the different titles.

Bilateral talks on security between China and Sri Lanka under way Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, atrocities, China and Chinese influences, economic processes, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, legal issues, life stories, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes