Category Archives: Responsibility to Protect or R2P

Gridlock and Hocus-Pocus in Sri Lanka underwritten by Prejudice, Exclusion plus False News

Michael Roberts

This is an expanded version of anarticle sent earlier toColombo Telegraph and this expanded version will be sent to the print media in Sri Lanka as well as Col/Tel. It is test case: are the political lines associated with the present crissi so sharp that Editors shut out perspectives that question their political leanings?

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Suri  Amarakeerthi  

It is the fashion for Editors of prestigious newspapers and for authors themselves to impress their credentials when presenting articles in newspapers. When Amarakeerthi Liyanage wrote a Letter to the Ambassador for China and presented this text in The Island, he was “Professor Amarakeerthi Liyanage.” When a friend recommended Suri Ratnapala’s readings of the present constitutional conundrums in Sri Lanka to me, he stressed that Suri was “a much-respected Professor of Law.”

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Young Tamara Kunanayakam in Central Europe, 1970s-to-1980s

Michael Roberts

 With Tamara Kunanayakam what you see and hear is what you get: no subterfuges, straight-talking without frills or obscurantisms. Seeking to explore the events in Geneva from 2011 when she was our Permanent Representative there for a short spell, I met her in her rented home in Battaramulla in June 2016 in the convivial presence of her French husband and their dog Hombrito.[1]

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A Response to Rajan Hoole re Reviews of Eelam War IV and Western Deceit

Michael Roberts

I chose to respond to Rajan Hoole’s Comment within the Colombo Telegraph presentation of my article on “The Western World’s Cumulous Clouds of Deception: …,” directly and privately on the 18th October… at about the same time that I addressed ALAN KEENAN of ICG privately re his Twitter comments.

The issues are complex and cannot be efficiently tackled within the confines of a COMMENTS BOX with word limits because assiduous readers need supporting citations, maps and pictorial insights. In fact, it is difficult to investigate this topic without a lengthy report that is perhaps one/third the size of the UNPoE Report. Continue reading

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Diego Garcia and the Fate of Its Its Indigenized Chagossian People

 

ONE = A Summary Report

Diego Garcia is part of the Chagos Atoll, a “group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean” (Jayaweera 2018). Though discovered in 1512 by the Portuguese explorer Pedro Mascarenhas, it was uninhabited till the French moved in and took over in 1783. The atoll passed to the British after the Napoleonic wars in 1814/15. Thereafter the atoll was administered from Mauritius and was considered part of its domain. Over the years the overseers and workers imported to work the plantations and settlements on the islands became indigenized as “Chagossians” and by the 1960s are said to have been around 1500 in number (note the imprecision).

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Terrorsim in Britain has been Blunted and Contained

THE SPECTATOR, Editorial, 18 August 2018, with title Terrorism isn’t ‘losing’. It has already lost”

By now, the routine is familiar: a lone wolf strikes, roads are sealed off, buildings locked down and a biographical picture begins to emerge. Often, the perpetrator turns out to be born and bred in Britain. His astonished friends and neighbours say they saw no signs that he had succumbed to fanaticism. It later emerges that radicalisation happened incredibly quickly — perhaps inspired by online videos — and the terror plan was so low-tech that interception would have been impossible. How, it might be asked, can any country protect itself against such threats?

Pic from Getty

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Facing Palihakkara: Foreign Judges on Homeland Soil?

Darshanie Ratnawallie in Daily Mirror, 13 June 2018, with the title reading “Diplomacy and Foreign Judges”

Could there be a keener pleasure than to sit around a fire and discuss diplomacy with a diplomat? Of course, there is no fire; just coffee, and that only in plastic cups, which nevertheless provides the fire, inside, instead of outside, but with the same cheering and relaxing power.

  
It’s after the coffee break at the ‘Education Institute’ and Ambassador Palihakkara has invited questions. “You said we cannot operate in isolation. But we have opposed the intervention of foreign judges in HR issues. As a diplomat how do you view this?” a student asks. Palihakkara makes it clear that he views it with disfavour, and concern and has no doubts that the same degree of disfavour would be forthcoming from every country, were such a thing suggested to them.    Continue reading

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Reflections: Interpreting the Gash Files IV

Michael Roberts

I proceed, here, to extract motifs from the details on the happenings in 2009 within the principle theatre of war that have been summarized in Gash IV. This arena has been aptly identified as “the Vanni Pocket” by Serge de Silva-Ranasinghe[1] and is in the north western corner of the island. My comments will be marked A, B, C, etc for ease of reference.

  Situation Map, 2 February 2009

A= The Grand Strategy of the LTTE

In his secret situation report of the 28th January, Lt. Col. Gash notes: “The LTTE appear to have no options left, and the language on TamilNet and other similar platforms is clearly striving for international intervention to force a ceasefire on the GoSL. Further civilian casualties are now inevitable as they no longer have options to move away from the combat zone. Without the presence of the IDPs the LTTE would be subjected to unrestricted air and artillery strikes, so have no incentive to release them. The SLA is exercising restraint but, without a change in political mood, will not hold back entirely.”

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