Category Archives: foreign policy

Sri Lanka is Drowning in its Own Shit. Two Appraisals. Ajit and Elmo

Emphasis by highlighting in blue is the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

parliamentary kehel mal!

ONE: “The Perfect Storm” by Ajit Kanagasundram in Sunday Island, 15 April 2018

The optimism that accompanied the Yahapalana government in 2015 has evaporated. We simply seem to have exchanged the misguided and dictatorial regime of Rajapaksa for the misguided and weak government of Sirisena/Ranil. There is a confluence of factors – political, economic, financial, inter-ethnic relations and international that are converging and will cause a major crisis within two years. Continue reading

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TIGERS AT THE GATE from ABC: Mark Corcoran reads Prabhakaran in Mid-1999

After seeing the ABC production in the FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT SERIES entitled Tigers at the Gate” in mid-1999 I had the temerity to criticize the ABC and its producer Mark Corcoran. I should have attended to the blurb which presented this documentary on the ABC web site. This note ran: “The truth is a political solution is as impossible as a military breakthrough because for the (Tamil) Tigers its all or nothing– a homeland or glorious death.” (signed Mark Corcoran).

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Is there a Chinese Dragon Looming over Sri Lanka ?

 in Hambantota and in The Guardian, 26 March 2018, with this titleThe biggest game changer in 100 years’: Chinese money gushes into Sri Lanka,” … with highlights being the imposition of  The  Editor, Thuppahi

Little disturbs the serenity of Guan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion, as her statue sits in contemplation at the centre of Mattala Rajapaksa international airport. The last flight from the airport departed at 7.50am. The next is scheduled for 7.50am tomorrow. In the meantime, check-in counters are empty, car rental desks deserted, and the only sign of life a handful of staff laughing around an information desk who disperse when a visitor arrives.

Mattala Rakapaksa airport, built with Chinese loans, handles 50,000 passengers a year, a fraction of its capacity of 1 million. Photograph: Michael Safi

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British House of Commons press for Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sri Lanka, March 2018

HOUSE OF COMMONS HANSARD, 20 March 2018, 

Paul Scully MP (Conservative, Sutton & Cheam), Chair of UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils called a short debate in Westminster Hall on the establishment of a Truth & Reconciliation Commission in Sri Lanka. FCO Minister, Rt Hon Mark Field responded on behalf of HMG

    • I beg to move,

      That this House has considered the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission in Sri Lanka.

      It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Paisley. I am delighted to be joined by fellow members of the all-party parliamentary group for Tamils. The turnout represents the depth of feeling, particularly among the Tamil diaspora, in our constituencies. Yesterday, I led a debate in this Chamber on cystic fibrosis, which was the first time I have seen it with standing room only. The fact that there are fewer Members here for this debate does not negate its importance. Every Member in this Chamber represents many thousand members of the Tamil diaspora, who remain concerned about what is happening in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Government’s slow progress in meeting the terms of UN Human Rights Council resolution 30/1, which the Sri Lankan Government co-sponsored.

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China’s SILENT INVASION of Australia

Paul Monk reviewing  Clive Hamilton’s SILENT INVASION in The  Weekend Australian, 17 March 2018

At a recent Lunar New Year dinner in Perth hosted by the Australia China Business Council, Twiggy Forrest, billionaire founder of Fortescue Metals Group which sells China a lot of iron ore, denounced what he called ‘‘immature commentary’’ about China. ‘‘This has to stop,’’ he declared, as it fuelled ‘‘distrust, paranoia and a loss of respect’’.

Adam Handley of MinterEllison, West Australian president of the ACBC, agreed. They spoke of China as being ‘‘an ally’’, one we need more than it needs us and one that has been ‘‘neglected in recent times, as Australia lost sight of its long-term national interests’’. Continue reading

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Colombo Port Terminal’s Rapid Growth consolidated via Deal with China

Editorial Item in NewsinAsia, 17 March 2018, where the title is thus Sri Lanka, China to jointly promote Colombo Port”

Colombo, March 17 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port expects to handle 7.0 million containers in 2018, up 12.9 percent from the 6.2 million twenty foot equivalent units handled in 2017 through a joint marketing by three terminals, Ports Minister Mahinda Samarasingha said here Saturday.

Sri Lanka’s Jaya Container Terminal of the state-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), South Asia Gateway Terminal run by John Keells Holdings and Colombo International Container Terminal of China’s CM Ports has inked a deal to jointly promote the port, which now ranks at 25 in the world’s busiest ports.

 

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Liddle’s Sarcastic Criticism of David Cameron’s Arrogance in Sri Lanka at its CHOGM Occasion in 2013

A NOTE: With the UNHCR sessions looming in Geneva this month and CHOGM due to take place in London in the near future I am stirred to visit this moment when a local journalist broke away from the miasma clouding the judgement of a whole ‘tribe’ of media personnel in Britain in their reportage of the Sri Lankan war and its IDP camp aftermath. As I am in UK because of a family bereavement. I have been stirred to return to this puzzle. That is, my investigations of the scenario in Sri Lanka in 2009-2010 led me to the firm conclusion that the British media had bought into the clever  propaganda of the LTTE — in part from ideological reasons (in my surmise). Among those who I would place in this camp of pro-Tiger supporters (in varying degrees) THEN are Frances Harrison, Marie Colvin, Jeremy Page, Nick Paton-Walsh, Gethin Chamberlain  Charles Haviland and Alan Keenan (ICG)….. and of course Channel Four writ large. In such circumstances the ‘sniper commentators” who took a different stance (e.g.Simon Jenkins, Christopher Hitchens, Liddle) are worth a glance … or more. Any such exploration should also attend to some of the readings I am placing at the end of this article. Michael Roberts

Rod Liddle,   “That’s the president of Sri Lanka, PM, not one of your fags,” in The Times, 17 November 2013,

I have to say, I thoroughly approve of the manner in which our prime minister has decided to deal with foreigners, especially jumped–up foreigners who by rights should really still be part of our dominion and thus be doing as they’re bloody well told. David Cameron struck precisely the right note with a man called Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is somehow running a place that I think we’d all prefer to call Ceylon. Normally when one is a guest in someone else’s country, it is incumbent upon the visitor to be polite, even deferential. Continue reading

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