Category Archives: Indian Ocean politics

Sri Lanka’s Constitutional-Political Dilemma TODAY: Three Types of Sri Lankan Separatists

Dayan Jayatilleka, in the Island, 19 September 2017,where the title is  “Constitutional choices and Tamil politics.  Three Types of Sri Lankan Separatists”

At the heart of the Constitutional Question is the crux of the continuing Sri Lankan crisis. And that is what may be variously called the Tamil Question, the Tamil issue, the Tamil problem, the Tamil national question, the Tamil nationalities question, the Tamil ethnic issue etc. I tend to see it as Sri Lanka’s North-South Question.

What is the Tamil Question? It is the problem of accommodating the identity and aspirations for irreducible political space of a community with a justifiable sense of pride and achievement, and doing so while not impinging upon the identity and aspirations for a secure space, of the unique community that forms the majority on this small island placed on a strategic sea-lane and in close proximity to a massive landmass with a huge population.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under centre-periphery relations, constitutional amendments, devolution, economic processes, electoral structures, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, language policies, legal issues, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, the imaginary and the real, TNA, world events & processes

Mattala Airport in China’s Game-Plan

Brook Larmer,  courtesy of New York Times Magazine , 13 September 2017, where the title reads What the World’s Emptiest International Airport Says About China’s Influence”

   

The four-lane highway leading out of the Sri Lankan town of Hambantota gets so little traffic that it sometimes attracts more wild elephants than automobiles. The pachyderms are intelligent — they seem to use the road as a jungle shortcut — but not intelligent enough, alas, to appreciate the pun their course embodies: It links together a series of white elephants, i.e. boondoggles, built and financed by the Chinese. Beyond the lonely highway itself, there is a 35,000-seat cricket stadium, an almost vacant $1.5 billion deepwater port and, 16 miles inland, a $209 million jewel known as “the world’s emptiest international airport.”

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, China and Chinese influences, disparagement, economic processes, foreign policy, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

US Congress has Sri Lanka in Its Gunsights

Daya Gamage,  courtesy of Asian Tribune, where the title runs thus U.S. Congress Tightens War Crimes Noose on Sri Lanka”

The United States Senate Committee on Appropriations last week approved the FY 2018 Department of State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill with $51.35 billion for diplomatic and humanitarian programs that strengthen U.S. national security and support American values abroad. Despite the Trump administration’s soft-peddling of American values abroad – democracy promotion, good governance, human rights, and rule of law etc. – the Senate Appropriations Bill, co-authored by Republican Lindsey Graham and Democratic Patrick Leahy, independent of the White House budget proposals released last month, underscored policy iteration or ‘riders’ on Sri Lanka’s commitment to “increasing accountability and transparency in governance; supporting a credible justice mechanism in compliance with United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution (A/HCR/30/ L.29) of October, 2015”.

   Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, communal relations, democratic measures, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, foreign policy, fundamentalism, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, legal issues, LTTE, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, world events & processes

ELIYA launched as Challenge to the Present Lankan-US Dispensation

Shamindra Ferdinando, in The Island, 12 September 2017, with title “A challenging task for Gotabhaya”

article_image

The high profile launch of Eliya (light) by wartime Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa underscored Sri Lanka’s PATHETIC failure to counter unsubstantiated war crimes allegations, directed by a section of the international community, since the conclusion of the war, in May 2009. Sri Lanka paid a very heavy price for its failure and the previous government can never absolve itself of the responsibility for the situation. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, constitutional amendments, disparagement, doctoring evidence, Eelam, electoral structures, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, NGOs, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes

Shaping the Constitution: Several Voices, Discordant Scenarios

ONE = Editor, NewsIin Asia: “Political posturing unlikely to hamper Lanka’s constitution making process,” 12 Sept 2017

Forces which are eager to give the country a new constitution as per the pre-election promise solemnly made by Sirisena and Wickremesinghe, are confident that the competing parties would sink their differences and agree to the Steering Committee’s Interim Report which is to be submitted to the Constitutional Assembly (CA) on September 21. writes P.K.Balachandran in South Asian Monitor.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, constitutional amendments, democratic measures, devolution, economic processes, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, language policies, legal issues, nationalism, plural society, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Tamil migration, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

The New Constitution is a Neo-Colonial US Project

Tamara Kunanayakam, being the full text of a talk entitled The new Constitution – a neo-colonial project!” at a Forum in Sri Lanka on 6th September 2017 .. with highlighting emphasis added by The Editor, Thuppahi

As we meet here this evening, a radical overhaul is underway – of our political, economic, financial, social and cultural system. A new Constitution is being discussed, at the same time a plethora of radical reforms are being rushed through. The fact that many of these reforms are being challenged as unconstitutional indicates that the new Constitution is aimed at making what is un-Constitutional today, Constitutional tomorrow, making legal what is illegal by a simple trick of changing the Law!

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, constitutional amendments, democratic measures, devolution, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, Left politics, life stories, military strategy, NGOs, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

Vale. In Memoriam. Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

In sadness, we record the passing away of Dr. Rajasingham Narendran, truly a Tamil intellectual in difficult times who did not let his ethnic sentiments distort his commitment to fact and realistic assessment. There cannot be a greater testament to his commitment to TRUTH than his terse description of the discovery of the rotting corpse sof his mother, brother and family aides after they had been killed by the IPKF in 1987 (repeated below in full to remind readers of their own frailties and the realities of war).

“Naren,” alas, was man whom I met only once …. a man who traversed investigative paths far removed from his training and did so in the incisive ways expected in his specialist field. I borrow his familial details from the VALE recorded in COLOMBO TELEGRAPH where he was a contributor of informative articles. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, citizen journalism, constitutional amendments, education, Eelam, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, indian armed forces, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, modernity & modernization, NGOs, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, tolerance, world events & processes