Category Archives: transport and communications

Nadesalingam Family in Heated Asylum-Seeker Controversy

Tracey Ferrier, in AAP News Item,  3 September 2019, entitled “Peter Dutton lashes out at Tamil parents for “dragging” kids through court appeals”

A Tamil couple has unfairly “dragged” their two young children through drawn-out court appeals in an ill-fated bid to stay in Australia, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says. Mr Dutton has rounded on the couple, saying the reason they’ve been in Australia for so long is because they have refused to accept rulings that they are not genuine refugees. He said “excessive” appeals had kept them here and now they were complaining about having to leave the life they established in the Queensland town of Biloela.

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton says the Tamil couple has unfairly dragged their two young children through drawn-out court appeals. Picture: AAP Image/Mark JesserMinister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton says the Tamil couple has unfairly dragged their two young children through drawn-out court appeals. Picture: AAP Image/Mark JesserSource:AAP

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Colombo in the 1970s on Video Courtesy of Asela Atukorala

Looking Back at 1970s Colombo

Last year, a nearly three minute video shot on 16 millimetre film featuring aerial videography of 1970s Colombo, Sri Lanka was released on the Kinolibrary YouTube channel. The video is called “1970s Colombo Aerials, HD from 16mm”. I’m embedding the video below which you can watch if you wish. Following that, I will give my thoughts on this footage. ,,,, https://aselaatukorala.blogspot.com/2019/08/a-look-back-at-1970s-colombo.html

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A Populist Strongman in the Wings in Sri Lanka

M. R. Bhadrakumar in Indian Punchline, 12 August 2019, where the title runs “The return of the strongman in Sri Lanka”The announcement in Colombo on Sunday by former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa that his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be his party SLPP’s presidential candidate in the election due to be held before December 8 electrifies the politics in the island country. The announcement was expected, but there was an element of uncertainty lingering insofar as the incumbent president Maithripala Sirisena also harboured ambitions to seek a second term and Gotabaya himself was awaiting the approval of the US administration on his renunciation of American citizenship, which would qualify him to be a candidate under Sri Lanka’s electoral laws.
Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa (L) and SLPP Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa (R) wave at supporters during the party’s National Convention, Colombo, Aug 11, 2019

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American SOFA Proposals generates Sharp Debate

Marwaan Macan-Markar, Asia regional correspondent, Daily FT, 14 August 2019, with this title “US-Sri Lanka military negotiations hit a roadblock”

A Sri Lankan marine stands guard in front of Japanese helicopter carrier Kaga docked at Colombo port. Japan, along with India and China, have many ships going into the port – Reuters
The US government’s new military blueprint in the Indian Ocean is facing headwinds in Sri Lanka, a strategically located South Asian island also being courted by India, China and Japan in a scramble for geopolitical influence.  In the crosshairs is a Status of Forces Agreement initially signed by the countries in 1995, paving the way for the US military to access Sri Lanka for logistics.. But Washington’s push to negotiate a new military cooperation deal under the SOFA, which lays out a raft of protections and privileges for visiting US troops, has come under intense scrutiny.

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Harvesting the Talents of the Sri Lankan Diaspora

Jeevan Thiagarajah, in Daily News, 29 July 2019, where the title is Implementing Brain gain initiative. Our diaspora”

There is sheer waste of rich resource and benefit to Sri Lanka by our failure to tap into the rich resource available in the Sri Lankan Overseas Communities. There is no co-ordinated effort to tap into this rich willing resource. In the end what most do is undertake personal initiatives. This is what a lot of people do.There are two ways to implement the brain gain: either through the return of the expatriates to the country of origin (Return Option) or through their remote mobilization and association to its development (Diaspora Option).

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Gifts to Lanka: China pats itself on the Head

Cheng Xueyuan, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Sri Lanka, in Sri Lanka Güardian, July 2019, where the title is “Chinese military is actively providing more and more international public safety products
August 1st 1927 was the founding date of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. In the past 92 years, from war to peace, PLA had gone through arduous struggles to epic accomplishments of national independence, people’s liberation and peaceful development. Chinese people and PLA are peace-loving. China will continue to develop itself by securing a peaceful international environment and, at the same time, uphold and promote world peace through its own development.
New office and auditorium  complex of the Sri Lanka Military Academy aided by China

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Australia takes Tough Line on Asylum Seeking Boat People

Asiri Fernando, in Sunday Times, 28 July 2019, where the title is

Five Sri Lankan men who attempted to reach Australian shores by boat were repatriated to Colombo this week. Several attempts by Sri Lankans to sail illegally into Australia the past three months have raised questions if human smugglers are probing Canberra’s resolve to stop such incursions following the federal election in May.

Three such attempts were intercepted by the Australian and Sri Lankan authorities since then, resulting in 66 Sri Lankans being repatriated, a spokesperson for the Australian Department of Home Affairs said. Police said all those sent back were adult males. Australian authorities notified their Sri Lankan law enforcement counterparts via the Sri Lankan High Commission in Canberra prior to deporting the asylum-seekers by air.

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