Category Archives: growth pole

Ranil Wickremasinghe at the Oxford Union delineating the Geo-Politics of the Indian Ocean over Time

Today I had the opportunity to speak at two hallowed British institutions: the London Stock Exchange founded in 1698, and now at the Oxford Union born in 1823. Many Sri Lankans educated at Oxford have made an impact in Sri Lanka. Among them were two Presidents of this very Union – my colleagues – Lalith Athulathmudali – we studied at the same school, we entered Parliament at the same time in 1977 and we sat in the same Cabinets. Lakshman Kadirgamar, who like me, studied for the LLB at the University of Colombo, and then came to Balliol. They were both Presidents of the Union in the Hillary terms of 1957-58 and 1958-59, respectively, and both their lives were cut short by the violence perpetrated by the LTTE.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, energy resources, export issues, foreign policy, growth pole, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, world events & processes

Is the Release of Rajiv Gandhi’s Killers Imminent? Modi Government’s Dilemma

P.K.Balachandran, in News-in-Asia, September 2018,

Following the Indian Supreme Court’s stand that it is up to the Governor of the State of Tamil Nadu to decide whether the seven life convicts in the 1991 Rajiv Gandhi assassination case should be released or not, the Tamil Nadu cabinet on Sunday  recommended to the State Governor that the convicts be released forthwith.

 Tamil-Nadu-Governor-Banwarilal-Purohit-and-Prime-Minister-Narendra-Modi-will-have-to-take-the-decision-on-the-release.-Photo.Livemint

Given the grave issues involved, Governor Banwarilal Purohit is expected to go by the advice of the Central Government whose representative he is. But the political powers-that-be at New Delhi will be on the horns of a dilemma because the conflict is between Indian nationalism and Tamil Nadu sub-nationalism or Tamil nationalism for short.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, growth pole, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, legal issues, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajiv Gandhi, rehabilitation, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, war crimes, world events & processes

Repression of Uighurs in China: Why Islamic States are Silent

Alexandra Ma, in UK Business Insider, 17 August 2018, where  the title runs Why the Muslim world isn’t saying anything about China’s repression and ‘cultural cleansing’ of its downtrodden Muslim minority”

China’s crackdown on its Uighur citizens, a mostly-Muslim ethnic minority group, has faced heavy international scrutiny in recent months. In August the United Nations said it was “deeply concerned” by reports that China had forced as many as 1 million Uighurs into internment camps in Xinjiang, western China. In April, the US State Department said it had heard of Uighurs who had “disappeared” or were unexpectedly detained.

Meanwhile, Muslim countries have been deafeningly silent.

 Map showing the projects subsumed under the Belt and Road Initiative as of December 2015. Reuters

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, commoditification, disparagement, foreign policy, growth pole, historical interpretation, human rights, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, press freedom & censorship, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

Chinese Alibaba to retail Sri Lankan Tourist Potential in China

Editor, NEWS-in-Asia, 13 August 2018, whose title is Sri Lanka to ink agreement with China’s Alibaba to attract more tourists

Colombo, Aug 14 (newsin.asia) – The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) will ink an agreement with Alibaba’s travel arm, Fliggy, to bring down 1,000 travelers weekly to Sri Lanka in order to expand the island’s growing tourism sector, Daily FT quoted Tourism Minister John Amaratunga on Tuesday.

high jinks at Bentota beach

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under China and Chinese influences, commoditification, ethnicity, growth pole, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, sri lankan society, tourism, transport and communications, travelogue, world events & processes

Pakistan’s Recent Experience reveals Benefits from China’s Belt & Road Initiative for Sri Lanka

Editor’s Item, News-in-Asia, 28 July 2018, where the title runs Chief of Sri Lanka’s largest business chamber says China’s BRI an opportunity, not a threat”

Colombo, July 28 – China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), trade and infrastructure initiatives and investments in Sri Lanka’s ports could be seen as an opportunity and not a threat, the Economy Next quoting head of Sri Lanka’s biggest business chamber said.

ajendra TheagaRrajah, Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said Sri Lankan businesses could not afford to ignore the evolving international trade patterns and the most visible of the two or three which are currently happening around Sri Lanka is the Maritime Silk Road initiative of China.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, China and Chinese influences, economic processes, growth pole, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

Lanka’s China Policy and the ‘Waves’ in the Indian Ocean

Palitha Kohona, in The Island, mid-May 2018, where the title reads  “China, India and the Indian Ocean:Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy Challenges,”

bassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations; Former Foreign Secretary.

Sri Lanka’s foreign relations must reflect the country’s priorities. Sitting in the middle of the Indian Ocean at the southern tip of India, Sri Lanka occupies an enviable strategic position. A blessing that, with careful and thoughtful handling and long term vision, can be leveraged to its advantage and, mismanaged, a curse that has and will attract the unwelcome attentions of global and regional powers seeking to strategically dominate the Indian Ocean. Throughout history, Sri Lanka has captivated the greedy interest of various powers, for strategic and trading reasons. At times, we elegantly parried and benefited from this attention. At other times we faultered. Responding to and judiciously managing these covetous advances and ensuring that the national interest is safeguarded, including its territorial integrity and sovereignty, will remain a priority. Having overcome a terrible terrorist challenge, nine years ago, we are again facing one of those seminal periods in its history. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, Buddhism, China and Chinese influences, cultural transmission, economic processes, foreign policy, growth pole, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, sri lankan society, world events & processes

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

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, China and Chinese influences, disparagement, foreign policy, governance, growth pole, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, transport and communications, world events & processes