Michael Safi in Hambantota and Amantha Perera, in The Guardian, 26 March 2018, with this title “The 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
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
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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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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Chandre Dharmawardana, in The Island, September 2017, with title “Unit of Devolution – look in cyberspace!“
It is interesting to read the debate about what the unit of devolution should be. Recent articles, by Dayan Jayatilleke (Island, Sep. 20, 2017) and Neville Ladduwahetty (Sep. 23, 2017) argue for the Province (DJ), and for the District (NL). Interestingly, both the TNA, and their counter organizations pay homage to “the indivisible nature of Sri Lanka”, the “Orumiththa Nadu” and the “aekeeya Rajya”, while also supporting “maximum devolution”, i.e., the opposite objective! In our view, the issue of power devolution to units of government is an obsolete question. However, we discuss them as usual and lastly look at the enormous technological possibilities that exist to leap frog into a system compatible with the 21st century.
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