Category Archives: authoritarian regimes

A Layman’s History of Afghanistan

Compiled by Gp Capt Kumar Kirinde, SLAF (Retd)  = “AFGHANISTAN:  THE SOUTH ASIAN NATION IN TURMOIL Part 1″ …. compiled with use of Wikipedia

Introduction:  Afghanistan is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. It is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south, Iran to the west, TurkmenistanUzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north, and China to the northeast. Occupying 652,864 square kilometers (252,072 sq mi), the country is predominately mountainous with plains in the north and southwest. It is inhabited by 31.4 million people as of 2020, with 4.6 million living in the capital and largest city, Kabul.

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Rendering Kandy into a Cosmic Force — Sri Viktrama Rajasinha

  PK Balachandran, in Daily Mirror 9 September 2021, with this title  “Recreating King Rajasinha’s cosmic city”

Sri Lanka’s last king, Sri Vikrama Rajasinha of Kandy, was vilified as a cruel despot and was overthrown by the British in 1815, acting in cahoots with disgruntled local chieftains. But King Rajasinha was a creative builder, town-planner and an executor of irrigation projects for the benefit of the common man. In the latter part of his politically troubled reign (1798-1815), King Rajasinha had turned all his energies towards making his capital city, Kandy, a “cosmic city” fit for God Sakra, the Sinhala version of the Hindu God Indra.

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The Benefits from the Hambantota Port Project: Mathews faces Perera Head-On

An Email Memo from Gus Mathews addressing His Schoolmate Prithi Perera,[1] 22 September 2021 … with highlighting and End Notes being impositions of The Editor, Thuppahi

Prithi, we will not concur on this debate about Hambantota and I wish to conclude this discussion. But before I go let me take you up on India being a friendly country to Sri Lanka. While Sri Lanka wants a friendly relationship with India, it does not want to be a vassal state of India.

Recent events have proved that India is not to be trusted. India trained, armed and let loose the LTTE in Sri Lanka to murder 100,000 Sri Lankan civilians. Many Presidents could not defeat the LTTE and one Sri Lankan President paid the ultimate price. The LTTE became powerful and even defeated the IPKF. Unfortunately, India will never learn that interference in Sri Lanka is detrimental to India too – my case in point is the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE.[2] Finally, it was left to Mahinda Rajapakse who gave the political will[3] and Gotabhaya Rajapakse who banged the heads of the Service Chiefs to strategise the ultimate demise of the LTTE.

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Addressing Hostility to China from Sri Lankan Commentators

A Memo from “Fair Dinkum” to Michael Roberts, 21 September 2021 ….with highlighting imposed by The Editor, ThppHI Nmwly, Michael

Michael,

I was glancing at some of the comments on the latest Hambantota piece. I am mystified as to why some Sri Lankans are so hostile to Chinese investment.

To touch on one specific point:  One person who posted a message could only highlight three instances of Chinese interventions. In truth, two of those were not intervention; namely, the 1962 India conflict and China-Vietnam conflict. India had provoked China in 1962. China decided to send a message to India. They crossed the border into Indian territory and seized 45,000 sq km of land, but then suddenly withdrew. In other words, China never intended to take control but simply wanted to show India they could do so if provoked. It’s a Chinese strategy. These two were small conflicts and were not about taking control of India or Vietnam. So, I’m afraid these are not good examples to use against China.  By contrast the US has overthrown over 72 governments, were implicated in the deaths of millions in Indonesia in the 1960s, as one example, but similar patterns can be found in the other 72.

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A Momentous Issue: The Hambantota Port Project under Scrutiny in Thuppahi

Thuppahi is pleased to mark its intense interest in the Hambantota Port Project by listing its recent entries from a wide spectrum of authors located in Australia, England, USA and Sri Lanka. The bibliographies within these essays will also serve up further material.

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Hambantota Port inks in New Prospects

NEWS ITEM ….http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/asiapacific/2021-08/10/c_1310119624.htm

Sri Lanka’s Hambantota International Port (HIP) signed a 58-million-U.S. dollar deal with Maldivian company Sea Horse Yachts on Monday to assemble and export yachts from HIP’s industrial park.

Mr Jayampathy, Secy, Ministry of Ports i signing the document, with Parakrama Dissanayake seated on his right

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Pointers from Singapore towards the Appraisal of the Hambantota Port Scheme

Fair Dinkum

When Sir Stamford Raffles arrived in Singapore in 1819, the British set about creating the Port of Singapore. In time, with much hard work, the port became successful. In the 1960s, the Singapore government set about further expansions of its ports along the south of the island, with five additional gateways operating by the 1990s. It is now one of the biggest and busiest collection of ports in the world. Having visited these ports over the years, the scale of operations is extraordinary. The success of Singapore Ports was built up over time. It didn’t come easily or immediately. The same with the Piraeus Port in Greece, although it became successful and profitable quickly.

  Hambantota — a Pix and a Sketch

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Pyrrhic Defeat: Seven Days which shattered the Great Game of Smashing Afghanistan

Jolly Somasundaram

            “Truth is like the Sun, one can shut it off for sometime, but it will not go away.” …. Elvis Presley                  

Afghanistan has done it again! A country, where her geography was her destiny, made her push towards repeated trysts with history- Alexander’s Greeks, Mongols, Mughals, the Brits, Russians, Americans. She, redoubtable to foreign invaders, specialised in making her country, micro- Kanattestans for these invading hordes. These done-in foreign forces now out-done, were not small fry but superpowers.

Troops from Britain- the Rotweiller in her time slot of Empire building- were decimated three times, bleaching this arid landscape. Undaunted, Sysyphean Britain ventured on the fourth, though now a metamorphosed American poodle: same wipe-out. Russia, in her own time slot of imperial hope, was similarly sent scurrying home. Smaller European countries- Australia, Germany, France Italy, Canada, wishing to taste Petite Gloire but lacking oomph, hitch hiked on the NATO bandwagon: the same degrading exit.

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A Battle Map of the Dutch Invasion of Kandy in 1765

Presented by Brig Hiran Halangode, retd] GW SLA

Chamikara Pilapitiya, author of book titled Maha Nuwara Yugaye Apprakata Viththi* has gifted a copy of a rare Battle Map of the Dutch invasion of Kandy in 1765 to Trinity College Kandy. An image of the gifted copy of the map is given below. It shows a detailed description of the trench lines and the gun batteries in and around the town of Kandy, which was used by the Kandyan army to attack the invading Dutch army in 1765.

 Mr. Chamikara Pilapitiya presenting a copy of his book to then Principal of Trinity College in 2019.

The original map is available in Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

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American Schemes of Global Bifurcation behind Hillman’s Story on Hambantota Port

Fair Dinkum

I am unfamiliar with the work of Jonathan E. Hillman. So, I spent time researching his background before reading this article. I wanted to read the article with an open mind. With this type of article, it is important know who the author is; what his relationship is with Sri Lanka, China and the US; the organisation he is affiliated with and what their goals are; and why did he decide to write this essay and for what purpose?

Greece may be on the fringe of the EU geographically, but it has become a key focus in the intensifying scramble for global influence. Sri Lanka could go the same way.  Illustration by Henry Wong

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