Category Archives: growth pole

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

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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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The History of Civil Society Organisations in Sri Lanka

Vinod Moonesinghe

Although the role and importance of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other civil society organisations (CSOs) have diminished since January 2015, they continue to play a significant role. While the level of their co-operation with the state is fairly high, this has not always been so. The eruption on in July 2014 of a controversy regarding the political and media activities of civil society highlighted its long-standing friction with the state. Relations between state and civil society have been characterised by periods (of varying duration) of familiarity and of remoteness, of alliance and of antagonism.

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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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Lanka’s External Debt: 2010 and 2016 in Comparison …. There is no Chinese Gonibilla Monster

Nishan de Mel of VERITE RESEARCH

“There is a tendency for discussion on Sri Lanka’s economy to overstate its dependence on China. It is important to take a look at the numbers. In 2010 China’s part of Sri Lanka’s loan portfolio was 3%. By 2016 it had grown to 9%, with the 6% growth coming from the Chines EXIM Bank. This is less than the loan portfolio held by other bilaterals and multilaterals such as Japan and ADB. The largest growth during this period was in the loan portfolio held by international financial markets. In 2010 it was 30% and by 2016 it had increased to 44% of the loan portfolio.”

SO: one has to ponder this question — which elements and which media outlets have promoted and massaged the fears of China? and towards what goals? Editor, Thuppahi

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The Colombo Port City: Basic Details

Editor, News-in-Asia, 2 January 2018, where the title is  Sri Lankan PM undertakes inspection tour of China funded Port City project””

Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Tuesday made an inspection tour of a 1.4 billion dollar mega port city which is being constructed close to the Colombo Harbour in the island’s capital.

The Colombo Port City, which will be the first of its kind in South Asia, is being constructed by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC). Wickremesinghe, who was accompanied by several ministers, was briefed by the Port City management on the overall project and the present stage of construction. “This project which will also be a financial center will convert Sri Lanka into a global hub in the Indian Ocean region,” Wickremesinghe told reporters at the site of construction.

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Reviewing the Statistical Computations on Civilian Deaths in the Last Phase of Eelam War IV

Lt. Colonel (Retd) Athula Lankadeva, in Sunday Island, 12 November 2017, where the title is “A Critical Analysis of UN Panel of Expert Report which says SLAReviwe killed 40,000 Civilians During the Last Stage of War” … highlighted emphasis has been inserted by The Editor, Thuppahi

The Sunday Times of 29 Oct carried an article referring to Lord Naseby on demanding to remove the war crime tag from Sri Lanka. Lord Naseby researched classified documents to find that UN has fudged the casualty figure of 40000 civilians killed during the last phase of war in Sri Lanka whereas it was a guess by the UN Panel of Experts (POE) better known as Darusman Commission. According to the classified documents filed by then British Defence Attaché in Colombo Lt. Col Anton Gash, the civilian killed from Feb 1 – 26 April 2009 is 6432.  The figure could be higher with the civilian deaths occurred within next 3 weeks. However, the total civilian deaths included civilians killed due to collateral damage during combat operations by the Armed Forces against LTTE, civilians killed intentionally by the LTTE by design and deaths of LTTE combatants dressed in civilian clothes.

In this photograph released by the pro-LTTE website TamilNet.com on May 2 are what they say show some of the 64 people killed and 87 wounded by shelling at a makeshift field hospital in Mullivaikal…In this photograph released by the pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) website TamilNet.com, obtained by Mercy Mission, on May 2, are what they say show some of the 64 people killed and 87 wounded by shelling on May 2, 2009 at a makeshift field hospital in Mullivaikal, in the south of the last scrap of land held by the guerrillas. The military denied the report saying the LTTE may have set off explosions near the hospital. Sri Lanka has disregarded heavy Western pressure to call a truce to protect tens of thousands of civilians trapped by the LTTE in the war zone, a 5-square km (2-sq mile) strip of coast. It is difficult to get a clear picture from the war zone, which is generally off-limits to outsiders. REUTERS/www.Tamilnet.com/Handout

Island 29 April 2009

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