Category Archives: politIcal discourse

The Many Strands of the Chinese Dragon in Asia and the Pacific: Debt Trap, etc etc

Tara Francis Chan, in Business Insider, 21 June 2018, with this title “How China tried to shut down Australian media coverage of its debt-trap diplomacy in the Pacific”

The wind blows a red flag onto the face of an honour guard before a welcome ceremony for Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard outside the Great Hall of the People on April 9, 2013 in Beijing, China.
  • A Chinese Embassy official yelled and made demands of an Australian producer to try and censor an episode of “60 Minutes” that would be critical of China.
  • The Chinese Communist Party regularly tries to interfere with foreign Chinese-language media, a former consular diplomat who defected to Australia told Business Insider, but targeting English-language media is rare.
  • The “60 Minutes” report covered China’s debt-trap diplomacy in the Pacific, including a loan to Vanuatu for a wharf which experts are concerned could be used by the Chinese military.
  • Vanuatu’s foreign minister also said China, and Australia, expects support at the UN in return for financing.

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Filed under accountability, Australian culture, australian media, authoritarian regimes, China and Chinese influences, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, security, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes

Life and Death for SL Army Infantrymen on the Vanni Battlefront

Sinha-Raja Tammita Delgoda[1]

As a layman who blundered into a war of his own volition and someone who has lived in and worked in the Weli Oya border region for 6 months,[2] I think you are absolutely right in your stress on the difficulties encountered by infantry soldiers and the critical relevance of specific landscapes. Let me quote relevant segments from one of the Manekshaw papers published by India’s Centre For Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS).

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Infantry Warfare and the Final Phase of Eelam War IV: Where Laymen Blunder into Infantile Assessments

Michael Roberts

 In his typically feisty style Mark Salter has taken issue with the characterization of a statement in his To End a Civil War as “infantile”  (within an article based on the Lt Col Gash files[1]). [This protest is now reproduced at the end of this essay as well]. Salter’s assertion is from an UTHR report which in turn is based on appraisals provided by Tamil civilians who survived the last stages of the war. Here I address both Salter and Rajan Hoole, a friend of mine and the central figure behind the exhaustive 2009 UTHR reports.

Sri Lankan Tamil civilians arrive to a government-controlled area after fleeing territory controlled by the LTTE separatist rebels in Puthukkudiyirippu…Sri Lankan Tamil civilians arrive to a government-controlled area after fleeing territory controlled by the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) separatist rebels in Puthukkudiyirippu, northeast Sri Lanka, March 26, 2009. Pictures taken March 26, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer (SRI LANKA POLITICS CONFLICT IMAGE OF THE DAY TOP PICTURE)

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Aussie Troops in Afghanistan deploy Nazi Emblem and generate Furore

Naaman Zhou, in The Guardian, 14 June 2018, where the title runs Nazi flag on Australian army vehicle ‘utterly unacceptable’, Turnbull says”

Malcolm Turnbull and the Department of Defence have condemned Australian soldiers who flew a Nazi flag above an Australian army vehicle in Afghanistan. Leaked photos taken in August 2007, obtained by the ABC, show the vehicle flying a flag emblazoned with a swastika during operations. Defence confirmed that the photos were genuine, and said they “rejected everything the flag represents”.

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Ramsay Centre’s Multi-Million Dollar Imperial Incursion into ANU Rejected

Robert Bolton, courtesy of Financial Review, 15 June 2018, where the title is Why the ANU vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt rejected the Ramsay Centre’s millions” … with highlighting being the imposition of The Editor, Thuppahi

At Tuesday’s meeting of Sydney University’s academic board vice-chancellor Michael Spence took the unusual step of requesting that a discussion about the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation be cut from the minutes. According to the student newspaper Honi Soit Dr Spence explained to those in the room, “there are some cultural warriors on the Ramsay Centre Board”.

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Woollacott’s Insight in 1976: Tamils set for Guerilla War and Secession

In sorting through my papers I came across a news cutting that is historically significant. Here was one occasion where a visiting journalist deciphered a developing scenario correctly. That I retained the clipping in papers relating to an article  I drafted in 1976 is also significant. These circumstances are clarified briefly at the end of Woollacott’s piece. It is fitting that he should hold centre stage ((though, alas, Alamy have put a price on the only photograph I can find of Woollacott)…. Michael Roberts

Tamil satyagrahis being foricbly removed from Galle Face Green by Sinhala enthusiasts in 1956 during the former’s protest vs the Sinhala Only Bill … 1956 or thereabouts (see Victor Ivan: Paradise in Tears … http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2009/12/20/paradise-in-tears-%E2%80%93-new-edition-by-victor-ivan/)

 Ponnadurai Sivakumaran of Urumpirai was a budding resistance fighter who committed suicide by cyanide in 1974 when trapped by police. He is embodied here in high profile with SJV Chelvanayagam of the Federal Party as the embodiment of resistance to oppression. As such, he reflects the strands of Tamil thinking that Martin Woollacott discerned in 1976. Note that the Tamil New Tigers or TNT had been formed in 1972 and metamorphosed into the LTTE in 1976. In the meanwhile the Tamil United Liberation Front under SJV Chelvanyakam adopted the Vaddukoddai Resolution on 14 May 1976 calling for a separate state of Thamililam.

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June 16, 2018 · 4:29 am

Diehard Tigers Unpunished: Swiss Federal Court negates Its Prosecutors

News Item from Swissinfo,ch … where the title is  “No jail for Swiss Tamil Tiger financiers”

The Swiss Federal Criminal Court has given no prison terms to alleged financiers of the Sri Lankan Tamil separatist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE). The 13 accused were either given suspended custodial sentences or acquitted. The court on Thursday said accusations of participation in and support of a criminal organisation did not stand and released all of the accused.

It noted that the hierarchical link between the LTTE and WTCC was not sufficiently established. The judges also felt there was not enough concrete proof to consider the LTTE as a criminal organisation.  Continue reading

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