Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Rony » 17 Nov 2019 18:43

Gotabaya Rajapaksa wins Sri Lankan presidential election with 52.25% votes

With half the votes counted from Saturday's election, Rajapaksa led with 50.7 percent, while his main rival Sajith Premadasa had 43.8 percent, the election commission said. Rajapaksa's party claimed victory.

Premadasa, a housing minister in the current government that has faced criticism for failing to protect Sri Lankans in the wake of the suicide bombings in April, conceded defeat.

His victory margin showed huge support in the Sinhalese-dominated southern part of the island as well as postal ballots.

Premadasa, who campaigned on policies to help the poor, led in the north and east where minority Tamils are predominant.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Rony » 17 Nov 2019 18:59

https://twitter.com/ConstantinoX/status ... 8453152769

Gota expected to play the China card again but Beijing now less inclined to repeat investments of 5-10 years ago (eg Hambantota).

Simplistic to label leaders pro/anti-India/China: Colombo will balance and seek to maximize Sri Lankan interests by playing off Delhi vs Beijing.

But beyond politics and security, India’s regional predominance in Sri Lanka and the region will hinge on its capacity to deliver more, better and faster on key connectivity projects and economic interdependence -- whether with Rajapaksa or Premadasa

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby dinesh_kimar » 17 Nov 2019 20:37

^ personally I'm a little sceptical abt funding our neighbours for developing their infrastructure.

Our domestic infrastructure and our people should be first priority.

Like Bangladesh is developing textile industry, and the Barons of Tirupur in TN are moving over there, setting up shop.

All helped with Indian line of credit, instead of improving facilities locally.

And towards what end: BD cow smuggling, illegals, anti India activities and trade pacts continue as usual.

BD buys arms from Pakistan rather than us, in spite of historical aggression by Punjabi officers in 1971.

Pakistan is able to cultivate them, without extending line of credit facilities.

We need Foreign Officers with less money n more initiative, and track results like
- contracts to Indian companies
- exports of Indian goods.
- competiting sectors - textiles, jute, rice and light engineering.

Our sub-continent sized nation can offer same conditions as Bangladesh in West Bengal, even same demographic people with same language !

But they export more textile, jute and rice !

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Philip » 18 Nov 2019 19:51

The return of the Rajapakse clan to power in the island presents a very challenginv time for Indian diplomacy and strategic planners.Openly pro- Chinese, the clan has virtually handed over vital port space to the Chins at Hambantota in the south and Colombo ( Port City) on the western coadt, just minutes away flying time for aircraft and missiles and the potential use of Lankan ports and bases by the Chin navy, catastrophic for India.The presence of Chin nationals will now explode turning the island into a Chin colony.The Chins even tried tp foray inyo Jaffna eith the aim of seducing them from Indian influence.

There are both opportunities as well as difficult decisions to be made with the ancien regime's return to power.The clan will play the " good cop; bad cop" routine with India..MR good cop and Gothabaya bad cop threatening to keep outside " influencers" at bay.
Opportunities by engaging with the new dispensation assisting in beneficial joint Indo- Lankan infra and trade JVs, which I've advocated for decades, which requires us to loosen our purse strings instead of massive knee- jerk arms acquisitions later on to counter an entrenched Chinese presence. Such aid, etc. would come on a clear understanding that a Chinese military/ security presence on the island would be considered an act of war against India and result in cataclysmic consequences for the Rajapakses.

India must dust off old files from Mrs.G's days , the IPKF experience too and be prepared for the worst in case the return to power this time as a pharaonic president does not go to the new president's head. Unlike earlier times, there is no Manmohan Singh as PM of India but a twice elected Modiji made of far sterner stuff. In no uncertain terms the GOI must make it clear to the new Lankan pres. that his country is only 2 doz. miles away from India while his bumchums the Chinese are thousands of miles away and not to forget that 48% of the Lankans , most of whom look to India as protector did not vote for him.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 18 Nov 2019 21:57

^^^ China not only owns Sri Lanka but also spreads its hegemonic internationalism ideological wings, which by definition is a paradox within itself in Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. As recent reports hint, while India was revitalizing "Look East" policy, China has managed to come in the belly of the beast. Might is right, I guess.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 19 Nov 2019 06:26

DER SPIEGEL: You haven't mentioned Beijing. Chinese companies are planning large infrastructure projects in Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. What is India doing to counter China's influence in the region?

Jaishankar: Whatever we do, we're not doing to counter China's influence. Take China away for a moment: We would be still be investing in Nepal, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka the way we do today. South Asia is lacking regional awareness and I fault India for it, because as the largest country, it shoulders the largest responsibility. For the past five years, we have done our best to correct that mistake. The more connected South Asia is, the better it is for us too.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 19 Nov 2019 22:15

Of course, Rajapaksas will now explicitly state that the clan will maintain an equidistant foreign policy to be diplomatic since efforts have been made to counteract this feeling by making India more distinctly an outsider. Time will tell...

Sri Lanka To Maintain Close Ties With India Under New President: Experts - NDTV

Gotabaya would be working within the American perimeter which means that he would adopt a policy of not weaning too much away from the US interests in the region. The end result of this would be that he would not be seen too pro-China or too anti-India," Jehan Perera, executive director of National Peace Council, an independent think tank, said.

However, he stated that the new Sri Lankan President would also want to maintain a friendly relation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The experts also believe that Sri Lanka under Gotabaya Rajapaksa would engage China, the country's top lender. "He would engage China and do business with them. China too would be wary that their previous engagement with the Rajapaksas had created bad publicity for them," Mr Perera said.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 20 Nov 2019 00:04

Jaishankar meets Gotabaya in Colombo
https://twitter.com/DrSJaishankar/statu ... 4536423425

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 21 Nov 2019 02:22

PM Imran invites newly-elected Sri Lankan president to visit Pakistan
https://tribune.com.pk/story/2102748/1- ... tan/?amp=1

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Sanju » 22 Nov 2019 00:01

President Rajapaksa & PM Rajapaksa

President Gotabaya swearing-in his brother Mahinda as PM.

The Admiral looks Aircraft Carrier in stature.. :shock:

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby chetak » 22 Nov 2019 05:47

Tuan wrote:^^^ China not only owns Sri Lanka but also spreads its hegemonic internationalism ideological wings, which by definition is a paradox within itself in Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. As recent reports hint, while India was revitalizing "Look East" policy, China has managed to come in the belly of the beast. Might is right, I guess.


that's why we are being blackmailed and arm twisted to allow companies like huawei into the communications network and we are being RACEPed into submission because the hans are using a multi-pronged, multilayered approach to flood our markets using the tactics of multiple country of origin facade to penetrate our markets leveraging our traditionally soft approach to such transgressions.

We have now created an opening in the telecom space that is a potential game-changer as far as the hans are concerned. In this highly "constrained" space, they can and will use their OBOR type of predatory financial investments to hamstring Indian telecom companies by supplying financially leveraged 5G infrastructure and equipment sales on so called "generous" terms.

The hans know just whom to pay off and how much it will cost them to undermine existing policies. The deep state thrives on such opportunities. Look at what was done in the airline space by the previous guys to see how it may play out in the telecom space too. Large telecom players in India are not BJP pasand, in fact they are just the opposite.

Their physical intrusions into the soft Indian underbelly in places like arunachal pradesh is simply a ploy to preclude India from stoping their more desperate and voracious hunger for the Indian markets.

nepal, beediland, SL and pakiland is the manifestation of their proximate encirclement of India.

If Modi hadn't come along, one shudders to think what the deep state would have done now, given their long standing linkages to the BIF

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Philip » 22 Nov 2019 07:40

A culling of the Chin apologists and appeasers in the MEA should've been carried out 20 years ago when the first warning signs of China's intentions in the island and region became visible.When I predicted on BRF almost 2 decades ago that we would have the PLAN sending its subs and warships into the IOR and obtain a naval foothold in Pak I was laughed at also on BRF! Instead of investing a couple of billion in the island collaborating with the power centres there, we treated the island like a semi-vassal state that had to kneel to India's diktat.We completely forgot that the vast majority of Lankans are Buddhists, who venerate the birthplace of the Buddha and instead threw our chips in with an elite section of the Tamil minority who looked down upon their " lesser" Tamil brethren.We have done bugger all to leverage this unique opportunity to help ordinary Lankan pilgrims visit the Buddhist trail ( I suggested this a few years ago to some in our establishment but zero was done), and gain much " merit" from grateful Sinhala-Buddhist Lankans who hold the electoral key to political power in the island.Meanwhile Haj pilgrims over here are given various sops!

That asinine foreign policy , rejecting the offer to develop Hambantota twice(!) saw the Chinese step in and execute their long-planned goal of establishing a permanent presence in the island, a pearl of great value in their "string of pearls" strategy for the IOR. The electoral result with the return of the Rajapakses saw the humiliating sight of the Indian Foreign Minister rushing in a knee-jerk reaction ( typical of the MEA) to Colombo to be first in line to invite the once- hated Gotabhaya now its new President! The Rajapakses, Father, Son and Holy Goat must be rolling over with laughter in their sarongs at the acute discomfiture of the Indian establishment which put its shirt on over the last few years on an even more pathetic and nauseating Lankan Ranil Wickremesinghe, widely believed to be an agent provocateur for the first family, selling his and his party's soul for the post of Leader of the Opposition ( and its new car which he ordered very recently when PM!) .

Mr. Modi would be well advised to send as High Commissioner to Sri Lanka not another bumptious babu from the MEA but a seasoned retd. navy chief.I can think of a few who would do an admirable job as HC in the most dangerous island in the IOR, just a few miles off our vulnerable under-belly, which was the route of the British who conquered and enslaved us for over 200 years!

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby chetak » 22 Nov 2019 09:13

Philip wrote:A culling of the Chin apologists and appeasers in the MEA should've been carried out 20 years ago when the first warning signs of China's intentions in the island and region became visible.When I predicted on BRF almost 2 decades ago that we would have the PLAN sending its subs and warships into the IOR and obtain a naval foothold in Pak I was laughed at also on BRF! Instead of investing a couple of billion in the island collaborating with the power centres there, we treated the island like a semi-vassal state that had to kneel to India's diktat.We completely forgot that the vast majority of Lankans are Buddhists, who venerate the birthplace of the Buddha and instead threw our chips in with an elite section of the Tamil minority who looked down upon their " lesser" Tamil brethren.We have done bugger all to leverage this unique opportunity to help ordinary Lankan pilgrims visit the Buddhist trail ( I suggested this a few years ago to some in our establishment but zero was done), and gain much " merit" from grateful Sinhala-Buddhist Lankans who hold the electoral key to political power in the island.Meanwhile Haj pilgrims over here are given various sops!

That asinine foreign policy , rejecting the offer to develop Hambantota twice(!) saw the Chinese step in and execute their long-planned goal of establishing a permanent presence in the island, a pearl of great value in their "string of pearls" strategy for the IOR. The electoral result with the return of the Rajapakses saw the humiliating sight of the Indian Foreign Minister rushing in a knee-jerk reaction ( typical of the MEA) to Colombo to be first in line to invite the once- hated Gotabhaya now its new President! The Rajapakses, Father, Son and Holy Goat must be rolling over with laughter in their sarongs at the acute discomfiture of the Indian establishment which put its shirt on over the last few years on an even more pathetic and nauseating Lankan Ranil Wickremesinghe, widely believed to be an agent provocateur for the first family, selling his and his party's soul for the post of Leader of the Opposition ( and its new car which he ordered very recently when PM!) .

Mr. Modi would be well advised to send as High Commissioner to Sri Lanka not another bumptious babu from the MEA but a seasoned retd. navy chief.I can think of a few who would do an admirable job as HC in the most dangerous island in the IOR, just a few miles off our vulnerable under-belly, which was the route of the British who conquered and enslaved us for over 200 years!


Additionally, we need to understand this

These cases are some of the examples of China’s ambitious use of loans and aid to gain influence around the world and of its willingness to play hardball to collect its dues with interest.

All this nonsense of being suckered in by the SLs playing off India Vs china to get aid from both is just so much crap. If we know the game, as we claim to, then, why play at all.

We need to play hardball against such venal and predatory sinhala politicos and stop this cry baby support to SL tamils to appease TN dravidian parties. The political, commercial, as well as diplomatic ROI to us, is nil.

We are idiotically playing into both of their grasping hands and not benefitting from the process and both are BIF supported.

In any deal, the element of quid pro quo must prevail in some form or the other.

if there is no quid, then there should be no pro :mrgreen:

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Philip » 22 Nov 2019 09:48

The Chins have another strategy which despite
innumerable reminders, our worthies have ignored.That of donating/ building iconic edifices to always remind Lankans for example of their friendship and munificence.
Take Colombo for example.Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall ( BMICH) built for the NAM confetence, a magnificent imposing conference centre.
Then the Supreme Court building which has a Chin pagoda roof. The Cultural centre in the main park.The newly opened " Lotus" communications tower.
And now the Hambantota Port, Colombo Port City gigantic land reclamation and development project and expressways across the island, rail renovations too. They've even tried to build houses in Jaffna. Sadly our Delhi- wallahs have responded with nothing of lasting value. Magnificent efforts like our tsunami relief with 24 hours, port wreck clearing, bus donating, etc. been almost forgotten.Despite suggestions, even district hospitals put up by India are nowhere to be found.The most visible Indian product easily recognisable is the ubiquitous Bajaj "three-wheel" auto!

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby nandakumar » 22 Nov 2019 10:40

This business of financing projects to gain strategic influence is it all so open and shut case as is thought to be? What if one of the recipient country decides to renege on the repayment? What options does China have?

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Pratyush » 22 Nov 2019 15:09

nandakumar wrote:This business of financing projects to gain strategic influence is it all so open and shut case as is thought to be? What if one of the recipient country decides to renege on the repayment? What options does China have?


Conduct a destabilizing campaign using proxies in country. Which makes governence difficult if not impossible. Resulting in economic and social collapse.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 22 Nov 2019 18:49

FM Jaishankar has said India is not in a competition with China to build stuff for the surrounding states. Instead Indian diplomacy is focused on raising the consciousness of shared regional interests.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 22 Nov 2019 19:19

A_Gupta wrote:FM Jaishankar has said India is not in a competition with China to build stuff for the surrounding states. Instead Indian diplomacy is focused on raising the consciousness of shared regional interests.


A "laissez-faire" policy towards China will enormously undermine Indian interests in the region. Each nations are distinguished and unique, and therefore calls for distinguished and unique solutions and policies.
Last edited by Tuan on 22 Nov 2019 20:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 22 Nov 2019 19:46

Philip wrote:The Chins have another strategy which despite
innumerable reminders, our worthies have ignored.That of donating/ building iconic edifices to always remind Lankans for example of their friendship and munificence.
Take Colombo for example.Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall ( BMICH) built for the NAM confetence, a magnificent imposing conference centre.
Then the Supreme Court building which has a Chin pagoda roof. The Cultural centre in the main park.The newly opened " Lotus" communications tower.
And now the Hambantota Port, Colombo Port City gigantic land reclamation and development project and expressways across the island, rail renovations too. They've even tried to build houses in Jaffna. Sadly our Delhi- wallahs have responded with nothing of lasting value. Magnificent efforts like our tsunami relief with 24 hours, port wreck clearing, bus donating, etc. been almost forgotten.Despite suggestions, even district hospitals put up by India are nowhere to be found.The most visible Indian product easily recognisable is the ubiquitous Bajaj "three-wheel" auto!


Philip ji, great observation indeed. In addition, we should also take note of the fact that the Chinese introduction of learning Mandarin as a subject in Sri Lankan school syllabus is eye opening.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 22 Nov 2019 20:16

^^^^ not laissez-faire. Choosing a different arena in which to compete.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 28 Nov 2019 01:04

Sri Lankan Critics Fear a Crackdown Is Underway, and Some Flee - The New York Times

A Swiss Embassy employee is abducted and asked about asylum applications and investigators are banned from leaving just days after Gotabaya Rajapaksa is elected.

In a case that raised particular alarm, a Sri Lankan employee of the Swiss Embassy in Colombo was abducted on Monday by unidentified men who forced her to unlock her cellphone data to them, diplomatic officials said. The officials said her phone contained information about Sri Lankans who have recently sought asylum in Switzerland, and the names of Sri Lankans who aided them as they fled the country because they feared for their safety after Gotabaya Rajapaksa won the presidency in elections this month.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Philip » 28 Nov 2019 08:46

Friends in the island are gravely worried as everything now is being monitored, allegedly even whatsapp.A pogrom of anti- establishment activists is feared and upon good grounds.If the regime cares little about abducting an employee of the Swiss embassy, days after taking over, imagine what's to come. If the international community AND India do not speak out openly and in private to the regime, the island will become a gulag like the concentration camps where lakhs of Uighars are being incarcerated, where the guards of the coconut gulag will be yellow-faced ,slit-eyed, and guardians of the first familia.

The Indian establishment should take events in the island exceptionally seriously and like the Scouts, "be prepared" for any eventuality.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Kashi » 28 Nov 2019 09:40

^^And how do you propose we do it, without inviting howls of protest and indignation at "interfering in sovereign matters of another country"? A throwback to Jaffna air drop is not something that Sri Lankans will find endearing.

All SL has to do is say a big FU to India and invite more PRCians.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby vishvak » 28 Nov 2019 09:44

Yes mowdee has to do everything in 5 years or he bad. The earlier PM Manmohan sir was too kind and busy reading books because he was clearly clean and therefore fit for key post of pmship.
the island will become a gulag like the concentration camps where lakhs of Uighars are being incarcerated

Sonia Gandhi will appeal for the (pseudo) leftists to descend on the gulag guarded by Chinese and sing songs and blame mowdee for everything thereafter Chinese will oblige and see reasons per UN laws. Or not.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby uddu » 28 Nov 2019 09:54

Philip wrote:Friends in the island are gravely worried as everything now is being monitored, allegedly even whatsapp.A pogrom of anti- establishment activists is feared and upon good grounds.If the regime cares little about abducting an employee of the Swiss embassy, days after taking over, imagine what's to come. If the international community AND India do not speak out openly and in private to the regime, the island will become a gulag like the concentration camps where lakhs of Uighars are being incarcerated, where the guards of the coconut gulag will be yellow-faced ,slit-eyed, and guardians of the first familia.

The Indian establishment should take events in the island exceptionally seriously and like the Scouts, "be prepared" for any eventuality.


Haha..few years before ..you were fully with the military in their action against LTTE. Suddenly you have changed to become a hooman rights activist when the Swiss (Western agents) bootlickers are caught. It's high time that India calls the Swiss and tell them not to create trouble in Sri Lanka with their agents at the behest of their masters. No more intervention from the west to create more trouble in Sri Lanka. The interventionism must end or must be put to an end.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 28 Nov 2019 17:20

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/27/worl ... 2KFJKVIdzQ

The officials said the men appeared to be focused on finding information about a Sri Lankan detective who had been investigating Mr. Rajapaksa. The detective fled to Switzerland with his family on Sunday.

The head of the C.I.D. was reassigned last week to a junior position away from the capital, Colombo, officials said. And the lead detective on many of the cases, Nishantha Silva, fled to Switzerland on Sunday. National television channels on Tuesday displayed the photos of other detectives involved in the investigations, accusing them of corruption and treason, after they were stripped of their personal security.

A spokesman for the National Police Commission of Sri Lanka said they would decide in the next few weeks whether the investigations would continue.

Mr. Silva was the lead detective in several investigations into Sri Lanka’s military, when President Rajapaska served as defense secretary.

“Now he will not be there to give evidence at trial,” Ms. Eknaligoda said. “These vengeful actions against senior C.I.D. officials who led these investigations will cripple the entire department — they will all be afraid to act now.”


All we can hope is that detective Nishantha Silva, who is safe and sound in Switzerland now, exposes all the criminal enterprises of the Rajapaksa clan, including their link to Easter Sunday bombings in the country earlier this year.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 28 Nov 2019 17:44

Kashi wrote:^^And how do you propose we do it, without inviting howls of protest and indignation at "interfering in sovereign matters of another country"? A throwback to Jaffna airdrop is not something that Sri Lankans will find endearing.

All SL has to do is say a big FU to India and invite more PRCians.


You don't have to worry about interfering in sovereign matters of another country vis-à-vis Sri Lanka since it is a failed state. A failed state is a political body that has disintegrated to a point where the basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government no longer function properly. A state can also fail if the government loses its legitimacy even if it is performing its functions properly. The recent presidential elections once again corroborate this as Sri Lankans had elected a majoritarian and authoritarian government.

On another note, whether India interferes or not in Lankan affairs, the incumbent regime will certainly be pro-China although they openly state that they will maintain an equidistant foreign policy.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby chetak » 29 Nov 2019 12:57

and the oft repeated myth that the ltte is dead has just been busted by the malaysian authorities. :mrgreen:

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 29 Nov 2019 18:31

Sri Lanka Wants to Undo Deal to Lease Port to China for 99 Years - Bloomberg

Sri Lanka’s new government led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa wants to undo the previous regime’s move to lease the southern port of Hambantota to a Chinese venture, citing national interest.

Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in 2017 changed the terms, saying it would be difficult to pay the loans taken to build the project. He agreed to lease the port for 99 years to a venture led by China Merchants Port Holdings Co. in return for $1.1 billion. That helped ease the Chinese part of the debt burden raised to build the port, Wickremesinghe said in an interview in 2018.

“We would like them to give it back,” Ajith Nivard Cabraal, a former central bank governor and an economic adviser to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, said in an interview at his home in a Colombo suburb. “The ideal situation would be to go back to status quo. We pay back the loan in due course in the way that we had originally agreed without any disturbance at all.”

The port is emblematic of the controversy dogging Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road initiative from Kenya to Myanmar, including accusations that the world’s second-largest economy is luring poor countries into debt traps. In Sri Lanka, where the transaction to lease the port was opposed by Rajapaksa’s party, Mahinda took Chinese loans during his 10-year rule as president to build the project in his home district.

“This is a sovereign agreement” and it’s unlikely that it will be scrapped or altered in a big way, said Smruti Pattanaik, a research fellow at the Institute forDefence Studies andAnalyses in New Delhi. “The Chinese may reconsider some clause, if it is considered crucial for the Rajapaksa regime.”

An attempt to rework the transaction will help the new Sri Lankan government, led by Gotabaya and his brother Mahinda, showcase their drive to change contracts seen as hurting national security, a key campaign platform for Gotabaya, a former defense secretary.

“China-Sri Lanka cooperation, including the Hambantota port project, are built on the basis of equality and consultation,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a faxed statement from its spokesperson’s office. “China looks forward to working with Sri Lanka to make Hambantota a new shipping hub in the Indian Ocean and developing the local economy.”

China’s infrastructure-building in Sri Lanka became part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, prompting concern in India about its geopolitical rival using a port close to its southern coastline for future military or strategic uses. Gotabaya is in India on Friday for his first state visit overseas.

China has dismissed worries over any military dimension to its investment in the Hambantota port, which lies on the main shipping routes between Asia and Europe, and said it was mutually beneficial that would aid Sri Lanka’s economy.

“Sri Lanka will have to offer it something equally, if not more, attractive in financial terms for Beijing to agree to the cancellation of the lease agreement,” said Brahma Chellaney, a professor of strategic studies at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi. “With the Rajapaksa family back in power, China hopes to expand its footprint in Sri Lanka.”

A similar port deal under the Belt and Road program in Myanmar was drastically scaled to $1.3 billion from $7.5 billion, while in Malaysia the government canceled $3 billion worth of pipelines and renegotiated a rail project in 2019, cutting that one’s cost by a third to $11 billion.

“Bilateral agreements once you’ve signed those, are serious agreements,” Cabraal said in his house adorned with pictures of local and foreign leaders. “At the same time, we’ve got to look after the national interests. And if one government had bartered it away, there is a necessity for the new government to find ways and means by which it can be done amicably.”

For its part, China Merchants, whose $93 billion of revenue dwarfs Sri Lanka’s gross domestic product, has been able to use its experience stretching from China to Europe to help kick start the Hambantota port, which once hardly attracted any ships.

China Merchants’ Hambantota joint venture also last month said it had entered into an agreement with Japanese shipping conglomerate Nippon Yusen KK, for vehicle transshipment through the port.

New Ports Minister Johnston Fernando wasn’t immediately available for comment.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Philip » 29 Nov 2019 23:17

Uddu, the LTTE was a fascist outfit who killed far more Tamils of importance than the SLA.Rajiv G as well and around 1000+ IPKF troops. They can't be equated with the ordinary innocent Tamils.India helped the GOSL with intel to finish off the LTTE.

The current pres. of the island apart from allegedly orchestrating a saturation bombardment of thousands of Tamil civilians being used as human shields by the LTTE in its final days, tolerated little criticism of the regime with many casualties amongst the press, white vans that " disappeared" those put in it amongst other alleged human rights atrocities.

There was enough evidence to put many members of the R family "inside", but nothing concrete was done RW and former pres. Sirisena, both allegedly bought off by the familia. The Easter bombings were carried out by Muslims, but was there a master pupprteer's hand behind it all? " Cui bono ?" is an old saying and the Q remains.

If the staff of a foreign embassy, the neutral Swiss to boot, has its employee treated as such , pity the citizens in the days to come. We cannot ignore events in the island ...to our peril.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 30 Nov 2019 04:04

PM Modi Announces $450 Million Line Of Credit To Sri Lanka After Talks With Gotabaya Rajapaksa - NDTV

PM Modi said he assured Gotabaya Rajapaksa of India's full assistance in taking his country in the path of rapid development.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday a financial assistance of $450 million to Sri Lanka including $50 million to fight terrorism after he held "fruitful" talks with the island nation's newly elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The talks focused on issues like fulfilling aspirations of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, ways to boost security and trade ties and address concerns of the fishermen.

In his media statement after the talks, PM Modi said he assured Mr Rajapaksa of India's full assistance in taking his country in the path of rapid development.

The Prime Minister announced a line of credit of $400 million for development projects in Sri Lanka besides granting a separate fund of $50 million to help the country deal with challenges of terrorism.

Sri Lankan capital Colombo was hit by a series of bombings in April in which over 250 people were killed.

"I have discussed in detail with President Rajpaksa how to strengthen our mutual cooperation in dealing with terrorism. Sri Lankan police officers are receiving training on countering terrorism in prominent Indian institutions," PM Modi said.

Mr Rajapaksa arrived on Thursday on a three-day visit, in his first overseas tour after taking over the reins of Sri Lanka 10 days back in reflection of importance he attaches to ties with India.

On the lingering Tamil issue, PM Modi said he was confident that the Sri Lankan government will carry forward the reconciliation process and fulfill the aspirations of the Tamil community.

"The mandate that you have received reflected the aspirations of the Sri Lankan people for a strong and prosperous Sri Lanka. India's good wishes and cooperation are always with Sri Lanka in this regard," PM Modi said.

PM Modi said a stable Sri Lanka is not only in interest of India but for entire Indian Ocean Region.

On his part, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said the talks were "fruitful" and that a major focus area of the deliberations was on security cooperation.

Earlier, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said he would strive to take his country's bilateral relationship with India to a "very high level".


It seems like with neighborhood-first policy, India gives priority to the tiny-island nation. Were Rajapaksas just bought off by New Delhi in order to counteract China???

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Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Peregrine » 30 Nov 2019 14:45

ImageSri Lanka Wants to Undo Deal to Lease Port to China for 99 Years - Anusha Ondaatjie & Asantha Sirimanne

- Sri Lanka wants ‘status quo’ for Hambantota port deal : adviser

- New government to uphold investor rights, foreign relations


Sri Lanka’s new government led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa wants to undo the previous regime’s move to lease the southern port of Hambantota to a Chinese venture, citing national interest.

Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in 2017 changed the terms, saying it would be difficult to pay the loans taken to build the project. He agreed to lease the port for 99 years to a venture led by China Merchants Port Holdings Co. in return for $1.1 billion. That helped ease the Chinese part of the debt burden raised to build the port, Wickremesinghe said in an interview in 2018.

“We would like them to give it back,” Ajith Nivard Cabraal, a former central bank governor and an economic adviser to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, said in an interview at his home in a Colombo suburb. “The ideal situation would be to go back to status quo. We pay back the loan in due course in the way that we had originally agreed without any disturbance at all.”

The port is emblematic of the controversy dogging Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road initiative from Kenya to Myanmar, including accusations that the world’s second-largest economy is luring poor countries into debt traps. In Sri Lanka, where the transaction to lease the port was opposed by Rajapaksa’s party, Mahinda took Chinese loans during his 10-year rule as president to build the project in his home district.

“This is a sovereign agreement” and it’s unlikely that it will be scrapped or altered in a big way, said Smruti Pattanaik, a research fellow at the Institute forDefence Studies andAnalyses in New Delhi. “The Chinese may reconsider some clause, if it is considered crucial for the Rajapaksa regime.”

An attempt to rework the transaction will help the new Sri Lankan government, led by Gotabaya and his brother Mahinda, showcase their drive to change contracts seen as hurting national security, a key campaign platform for Gotabaya, a former defense secretary.

“China-Sri Lanka cooperation, including the Hambantota port project, are built on the basis of equality and consultation,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a faxed statement from its spokesperson’s office. “China looks forward to working with Sri Lanka to make Hambantota a new shipping hub in the Indian Ocean and developing the local economy.”

China’s infrastructure-building in Sri Lanka became part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, prompting concern in India about its geopolitical rival using a port close to its southern coastline for future military or strategic uses. Gotabaya is in India on Friday for his first state visit overseas.

China has dismissed worries over any military dimension to its investment in the Hambantota port, which lies on the main shipping routes between Asia and Europe, and said it was mutually beneficial that would aid Sri Lanka’s economy.

Sri Lanka's Little-Used Port

“Sri Lanka will have to offer it something equally, if not more, attractive in financial terms for Beijing to agree to the cancellation of the lease agreement,” said Brahma Chellaney, a professor of strategic studies at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi. “With the Rajapaksa family back in power, China hopes to expand its footprint in Sri Lanka.”

A similar port deal under the Belt and Road program in Myanmar was drastically scaled to $1.3 billion from $7.5 billion, while in Malaysia the government canceled $3 billion worth of pipelines and renegotiated a rail project in 2019, cutting that one’s cost by a third to $11 billion.

“Bilateral agreements once you’ve signed those, are serious agreements,” Cabraal said in his house adorned with pictures of local and foreign leaders. “At the same time, we’ve got to look after the national interests. And if one government had bartered it away, there is a necessity for the new government to find ways and means by which it can be done amicably.”

For its part, China Merchants, whose $93 billion of revenue dwarfs Sri Lanka’s gross domestic product, has been able to use its experience stretching from China to Europe to help kick start the Hambantota port, which once hardly attracted any ships.

China Merchants’ Hambantota joint venture also last month said it had entered into an agreement with Japanese shipping conglomerate Nippon Yusen KK, for vehicle transshipment through the port.

New Ports Minister Johnston Fernando wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Cheers Image

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 02 Dec 2019 11:08

Will be frank with New Delhi to avoid misunderstandings: Gotabaya Rajapaksa - The Hindu

How do you hope to take India-Sri Lanka ties to a “higher level”, as you said here in New Delhi, and what are the priority areas?

Even during [former President] Mahinda Rajapaksa’s time we had very close relations with New Delhi, and then at the end (2014-15), it suddenly went down. And even if with the Sirisena government, they started with a very good relationship, but it ended with a lot of frustration. I would like to be consistent. I am usually very frank, so I hope to tell New Delhi honestly if I can’t do something; and if I can, then do it soon and not drag out commitments. We were successful during the previous government because we had a separate mechanism, the Troika (a 3-man coordination team) with New Delhi. We needed that mechanism because the conflict was on, and we were able to solve sensitive problems because of the close links.

Will you bring in the same mechanism for coordination again?

Well, at that time there was a necessity because of the conflict, but now I don’t think it is necessary, as we can work through the Foreign Ministries. If we are upfront, and work genuinely, we will not have issues. I think the main issues India could have with us would be on [our relations] with China or Pakistan, but if we don’t do anything that creates suspicions amongst Indian authorities, there will not be any problem.

On development cooperation with Delhi, for which PM Modi announced an additional $400 million, will you honour the MoU signed by former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on projects like the Trincomalee oil farms and Port development projects?

There are certain projects where we have to change certain modalities, and we discussed it during this visit. I haven’t studied all the projects in detail yet, but I will promise that we will expedite all projects that are important to Sri Lanka.

You have said publicly you will renegotiate the Hambantota port agreement with China, which India was concerned about. Along with that is the future of Mattala airport, which India has shown an interest in. Now that you are in power, what will you do?

I believe that the Sri Lankan government must have control of all strategically important projects like Hambantota. After all, these are not like hotel or a terminal, but to give control of a port or an airport or our harbours is different. With our control they can do anything, but these 99-year lease agreements [that the previous government signed] will have an impact on our future. The next generation will curse our generation for giving away precious assets otherwise. That is why our party protested these decisions.

But the reason the lease had to be given was because of the debts incurred by the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa…

No, that is wrong. It is also wrong to say there was a debt trap. In fact during our time the ports authority paid back the first installment [to Chinese banks]. The Sirisena government, on the other hand, got more money as loans and just spent it. If they were worried about the debts piling up why didn’t they first service the debt, rather than give away sovereignty?

India has also had issues with Sri Lanka’s defence cooperation China in the past, especially over the docking of Chinese submarines, when you were Defence Secretary. In 2017, you said, India had a “bee in its bonnet” on the issue. Will you be more sensitive to those concerns this time around as President?

We were sensitive then too, but the submarine issue was a simple issue overlooked by officials at the time. Warships were visiting Sri Lanka regularly, and all ships that were part of the naval piracy task force for the Arabian Sea, including Russian ships had docked there. When the Chinese asked for the submarines to be docked, officials considered it a normal port call and approved it. Former NSA Shiv Shankar Menon has written in his book that “Gotabaya gave his word that he would not do anything counter to India, and he kept his word”, so I was genuinely sensitive.

You mentioned India’s suspicions of the past, those include differences over China, and the Tamil issue, but also your allegation that Indian agencies conspired for regime change against your brother. Can your government turn the page on these past suspicions?

I am sure [we can turn the page]. We did hear about agencies conspiring, including the US, for regime change. Some of their suspicions were due to our ties with China, but that was a misunderstanding. We had a purely commercial agreement with China. I want to tell India, Japan, Singapore and Australia and other countries to also come and invest in us. They should tell their companies to invest in Sri Lanka and help us grow, because if they do not, then not only Sri Lanka, but countries all over Asia will have the same [problem]. The Chinese will take the Belt and Road Initiative all over unless other countries provide an alternative.

What kind of cooperation on terrorism do you foresee now with India?


The threat in Sri Lanka has now changed: unlike the LTTE which was a specific threat to Sri Lanka, IS [Islamic State] is a global threat posed by terrorists across the world. India and other countries have more information on this threat than us. The previous government didn’t give much priority to security and intelligence issues. During our time, the military intelligence was always the most important organisation, but the last government took their [oversight] away from the military. We have now reversed that. We also hope to upgrade our intelligence as it was earlier geared towards only LTTE threats, not the IS, and we need help from India and others on this as well as on technological cooperation.

Your focus on national security also raises fears about human rights violations of the past, about disappearances and the “White Vans”, as well as worries about violence against journalists in particular. Will you give assurances that those will not return?

Those are bogus allegations, and certainly nothing of the sort was done by me. Post-2009, we had tried to study the allegations, but it is difficult. We were not responsible, and even though we did ask the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) to investigate the charges, but they didn’t have any evidence. If it was easy, why didn’t the [Sirisena] government pursue these charges? The fact is we were strict about journalists during the war, but not in peacetime. Remember, MR’s government didn’t start the war, we finished the war. Why aren’t previous Presidents being asked about these allegations?

Last week, after Dr. Jaishankar’s visit to Colombo the Indian government issued a statement urging justice and equality for Tamils. What is your reaction?

My approach, as I told the Foreign Minister, is that it is more important to give the [Tamils] development, and a better living. In terms of freedoms, and political rights there are already provisions in the constitution. But I am clear that we have to find ways to directly benefit people there through jobs, and promoting fisheries and agriculture. We can discuss political issues, but for 70 odd years, successive leaders have promised one single thing: devolution, devolution, devolution. But ultimately nothing happened. I also believe that you can’t do anything against the wishes and feeling of the majority community. Anyone who is promising something against the majority’s will is untrue. No Sinhala will say, don’t develop the area, or don’t give jobs, but political issues are different. I would say, judge me by my record on development [of North & East] after five years.

Are you promising talks on devolution or the 13th amendment on rights for the Tamil majority areas?

Look, the 13th amendment is part of the constitution and is functional, except for some areas like control of police powers, which we can’t implement. I am willing to discuss alternatives to that.

In the past as defence secretary, you led Sri Lankan forces to victory, but amidst allegations of human rights abuse, and you were accused of declining to take forward the internationally-mandated truth and reconciliation process. What would you like your legacy to be at the end of five years?

Those allegations are wrong. In peacetimes, my engagement was even more than during the war to try and work on these issues. I did demining, I worked on resettlement and rehabilitation and development, and I got all militia to disarm. Without me there would not have been provincial council elections, which our government conducted for the first time in the North and the East. We ensured the elections were free and fair; we didn’t try to manipulate them, or bring in a candidate of our choice. The international community did not recognise these things, even the Tamil politicians did not recognise these things which led to a [better situation in the North & East].

Your elder brother Mahinda is now Prime Minister, while another brother Chamal is minister. How will the relationship with your brothers work now, and will there be a transfer of power towards a more parliamentary system as under the 19th amendment?


The 19th amendment (passed in 2015) is a failure and if we get 2/3rds majority in parliament we will drop it from the constitution. The only way you can even make the 19th amendment work is with two brothers (laughs) [at the top]. For a country to be governed successfully, you need stability. This was not the case during the Sirisena-Wickremsinghe government, where they were fighting all the time and there was no development. Without stability, investors won’t come.

Is it true you are called the Terminator in the family?


(Laughs) That is not true. I am the most innocent person in our family, since my childhood. When I joined the army, my family said Mahinda should have joined the army, and I should have joined politics.


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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 03 Dec 2019 22:56



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