Category Archives: export issues

Port Cities of Asia surveyed by Frank Broeeze et al in 1989

Frank Broeze from the University of Western Australia organised a wide-ranging study of port cities in Asia which should not be neglected in exploring the background bearing upon the ongoing politico-economic manoeuvres in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific today.

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USA vs China in the Indian Ocean, 1950s-2020

Tony Donaldson. with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

In 1943, the US tried to establish a military base in Sri Lanka when OSS chief William Donovan invoked a ruse to railroad it into existence. The details of the ruse and how it was played out is a subject for another occasion. The point to be made here is Donovan’s ruse was quickly exposed by Colin Mackenzie, the Head of Force 136 – the name given to the Special Operations Executive organisation in Asia during World War II. As a result, the British rejected Donovan’s proposal for an OSS military base. Had the US established a military base in Sri Lanka in 1943, it would very likely still be there today, asserting US influence over Sri Lanka, its culture, and inflicting great social damage on local communities.

 Banda welcomes Zhou Enlai soon after he steps off the Air India flight at Ratmalana on 31 January 1957.

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Colombo Port City via Chinese Alliance

News Item in Colombo Times, 18 September 2020, with this title “Colombo Port City … has attrcted 16 billion dollar investment ….”

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said the Colombo Port City Project will become the main source of income for the country and the project will generate more than 83,000 employment opportunities.

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Milinda Moragoda’s Heavy Burden in Delhi and the World-Around

Shenali Waduge, in her Facebook Page, 11 September 2020, https://www.shenaliwaduge.com/can-moragoda-deliver-a-sri-lanka-first/ fbclid=IwAR0ENoSao7UVsWL5vdkIb0fLN61HCL_Sn49DJldGZ8MgQqI5gfaXj5UCnm8 .… where the title is “Will Moragoda deliver a ‘Sri Lanka First’?”

With much thought and strategy Sri Lanka has appointed Moragoda as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Delhi iced with cabinet ranking, the first such fringe benefit afforded to a high commissioner. No doubt, Sri Lanka is thinking the Moragoda magic will provide much relief to Sri Lanka, given the appointment is being made against tremendous objections.

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Pictorial Angles in Michael Naseby’s Tale of His Engagements with Sri Lank, 1963-to-today

Michael Naseby’s Sri Lanka. Paradise Lost. Paradise Regained is on the market was originally due to be launched in Colombo in early April — an event knocked on the solar plexus by the Corona-virus pandemic. We will need time to acquire reviews of this large book; but let me spark interests among lap-dogs as well as cynics by presenting a election of its illustrations.

Michael Morris with family friend Mrs Veena Talwatte … & iron cages used by the LTTE for their prisoners. Continue reading

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The Asia Society Policy Institute in Melbourne Talks the Walk

The Asia Society Policy Institute opens its first international presence in Melbourne with the appointment of Richard Maude as a resident Senior Fellow. He will also serve as Executive Director, Policy for Asia Society Australia.


For more than 60 years, the Asia Society has sought to explain the diversity of Asia to the United States and the complexity of the United States to Asia, and to be a bridge in problem-solving within the region and between Asia and the wider world. With a solution-oriented mandate, the Asia Society Policy Institute builds on this mission by tackling major policy challenges confronting the Asia-Pacific in security, prosperity, sustainability, and the development of common norms and values for the region.

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Evaluating Gotabaya’s Early Moves — Rajeewa Jayaweera

Rajeewa Jayaweera, Island, 7 December 2019, where the title is “Gotabaya Rajapaksa Presidency: some positives, negatives and challenges”

For all intent and purposes, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s (GR) recently concluded state visit to India, his first as Head of State is considered a success. A one on one meeting scheduled for 15 minutes had lasted one hour. During this time, both leaders have supposedly found common ground and established a personal rapport, so essential in relations between countries, especially between countries with a history of thorny periods.

The newly elected Sri Lankan President, in his inaugural speech stated, “we want to be neutral and stay out of conflicts amongst the world powers.” While in India, he reiterated his intention to renegotiate the 99-year lease with state-controlled China Merchants Port Holdings which would have no doubt pleased his hosts.

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An Eye-Opener: A Study of China’s Agricultural Biotechnology Policies

Ronald J. Herring reviewing GMO China by Cong Cao (see end for details)

Cong Cao’s book GMO China is refreshing and enlightening. Unlike many authors in this genre, he knows the essentials of his subject: biology, agriculture, politics, history. He is not a campaigner. Readers learn much about the historical evolution of China’s developmental state, global connections of scientists, and the growing importance of global activists and narratives as influences on Chinese domestic policy. We learn why China became a world leader in some applications of agricultural biotechnology and pulled back from others. More important for general readers, China is the most interesting historical-longitudinal case in the global fissures on GMOs: biosafety, bioproperty, and biopolitics.

Herring of Cornell University

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Washington’s Arm-Twisting via Trade exposed by Daya Gamage

Daya Gamage, in Asian Tribune, 14 June 2019, where the title is “”GSP as a ‘bait’, Pompeo in Sri Lanka to push the (SOFA) military deal”

Washington – quite obviously to fulfil one of its foreign policy objectives in the Indo-Pacific Region – is sending a high-level delegation next week to Sri Lanka to discuss the ‘continuation’ of the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) with the government when the Secretary of State Michael Pompeo is scheduled to visit Colombo in the following week on June 27 at a time Sri Lanka has expressed some skepticism of several (highly questionable) terms of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) the US wants Sri Lanka to accept.

Mike Pompeo 70th incumbent Secretary of State

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A Welcome Spike in Sri Lanka’s Exports in 2019

DAILY FT News Item, 18 April 2019, with title Exports off to a positive start in 2019″

  • 7.5% growth propels second consecutive month of $ 1 b plus performance
  • Industrial exports mainly contributed to growth of export earnings, driven by textiles and garments, rubber products, machinery and mechanical appliances and food, beverages and tobacco
  • Agricultural exports earnings grew YoY for first time since Feb 2018, due to growth in coconut, seafood, vegetables, unmanufactured tobacco exports
  • CB and Govt. measures apply brakes on imports to dip for third consecutive month by 17.8% to $ 1.65 b
  • Trade deficit shrinks to $ 617 m in Jan, compared to $ 701 m in Dec 2018 and $ 1.05 b in Jan 2018

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Filed under economic processes, export issues, governance, performance, politIcal discourse, sri lankan society, transport and communications, world events & processes