Category Archives: foreign policy

No Debt Trap at Hambantota: False Picture on China’s Role

Deborah Brautigam & Meg Rithmire,  in The Atlantic, 6 February 2021, where the title is The Chinese ‘Debt Trap’ Is a Myth “

The narrative wrongfully portrays both Beijing and the developing countries it deals with. China, we are told, inveigles poorer countries into taking out loan after loan to build expensive infrastructure that they can’t afford and that will yield few benefits, all with the end goal of Beijing eventually taking control of these assets from its struggling borrowers. As states around the world pile on debt to combat the coronavirus pandemic and bolster flagging economies, fears of such possible seizures have only amplified.

Ben Shmulevitch

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September 11: Back to Square One 20 Years After

David Kilcullen, in The Weekend Australian, 11-12 September 2021

Twenty years after 9/11 the terrorism threat is larger and more widespread, the Western alliance is weaker, and the US is in sharp ­decline relative to its rivals. Democratic societies are less free, stunted by “safetyism”, less resilient and more divided.

The abandonment of Afghans amid the return of an unreformed triumphant Taliban just in time for the 20th anniversary of 9/11, underlines the failure of the global war on terror and the need for a radical rethink. This is particularly true for Australia, which faces the most threatening geopolitical environment in a century.

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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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The Sri Lankan Government and the Media within the Crossroads of War 2006-09

Palitha Kohona ,in The Sunday Observer, 28 June 2020, with this title Managing the media on the road to Nandikadal – Part 1″ ….http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2020/06/28/news-features/managing-media-road-nandikadal-part-1

The conflict with the terrorist LTTE dragged on for over two decades causing widespread death and destruction with no obvious end in sight. The Government, after the election of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, recognised, perhaps for the first time, that carefully managing the media, both domestic and international, was an important factor if this endless struggle were to be ended successfully. President Rajapaksa, a consummate politician, accepted the profound value of a non-antagonistic media and carefully orchestrated initiatives to secure this objective. As the world knows, the bloody conflict was eventually ended on the banks of the Nanthikadal Lagoon on May 18, 2009, through the colossal efforts and sacrifices of the security forces.

Tony Birtley of Al Jazeera at the warfront in late 2008 and Ranil Wijayapala in ??

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USA’s Bungling-Programmes in Afghanistan

“Double Eagle’s” Serial Commentary 

ONE

Even as the Vice-President with Obama, Biden was opposed to keeping US troops in Afghanistan. When Obama supported the Army’s request for a troop surge in 2009, VP Biden strongly opposed it. It is also known that most Americans did not want their soldiers and airmen to remain in that country after Bin Laden was taken out.

Biden made the announcement in May this year, that he will pull out all US troops by the end of August. His desire was to complete the withdrawal before Sep 2021 (the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 attacks on the USA).

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Defending Sri Lanka at Geneva in 2009: Wijesinha’s New Book

Rajiva Wijesinha, presenting  his new book unders the imprint of Godage & Bros, Colombo

In 2006 the United Kingdom, as now 15 years later, was in the forefront of bringing Sri Lanka before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. The resolution was not taken up but kept on the table, and in September 2007 the UK proposed discussing the text with the recently appointed Sri Lankan Representative Dayan Jayatilleka.

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Al-Jazeera’s Incisive Review of Sri Lanka’s Economic Crisis

VISIT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTRohZFHffQ

“It’s not just the pandemic: Why Sri Lanka’s economy is in crisis | Counting the Cost” …. 31 Jult 2021

Sri Lanka’s finances are in a precarious state, but the economy was already in trouble before the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 2005 and 2015, Colombo borrowed billions from China, accumulating a mountain of debt. It was forced to hand over a port to a Chinese company after failing to keep up with payments. But Beijing is making more loans. Asia Frontier Capital’s Ruchir Desai explains why China and India are keen to help Colombo out. Elsewhere, crisis-hit Lebanon has its third prime minister in 12 months. Diana Menhem, managing director of civic organisation Kulluna Irada, tells us little will change with the same politicians in power. – Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe – Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish – Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera – Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/

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SOFA: America’s Trojan Horse in Sri Lanka?

 Lindsay Hughes** on 17 July 2019 where the article is entitled thus  “The United States, Sri Lanka and the SoFA: A Matter of Balancing China?”

Background

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cancelled his proposed visit to Sri Lanka on his tour of the Indo-Pacific region towards the end of June, during which he visited three countries. The US Embassy in Colombo stated that the cancellation was due to “unavoidable scheduling conflicts” and that Secretary Pompeo regretted that he could not visit Colombo at that time. On the face of it that was plausible enough – diplomatic visits across the globe are frequently cancelled or re-scheduled for many reasons – but rumours swirled in Colombo that Secretary Pompeo was showing his annoyance at not being able to formally forge a Status of Forces Agreement (SoFA) with Colombo.

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Out Out British Spot: Gladstone Expelled from Sri Lanka

Chandani Kirinde, in Financial Times, 30 June 2021, where the title is “The Gladstone Affair: ‘A Sri Lankan Tempest’,”

Just 18 hours after landing in the country in June 1987, David Gladstone had an audience with President J.R. Jayewardene. All too soon, the President had taken him into his confidence.

Retired diplomats spending their days penning down their memoirs recounting their heyday of holding fort among the rich and powerful in foreign lands is not unusual. But then how many among them have had the dubious honour of being declared ‘persona non grata’ by a host nation and given marching orders after being accused of crossing the line into territory that is out of bounds for diplomats?

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Today’s Far Right League of Nations

Eviane Leidig,  in  Foreign Policy, 20 January 2020, where the title reads “The Far-Right Is Going Global”

An unofficial visit by nationalist European leaders to Kashmir highlights the solidarity of far-right movements across the globe. In October 2019, 23 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) visited Kashmir, just two months after the Indian government removed the region’s special autonomous status. The trip sparked controversy when it was revealed that most of the MEPs belonged to far-right political parties, including France’s National Rally (formerly National Front) and Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). It wasn’t just the affiliations of these visitors that drew attention: The MEPs had been granted access to Kashmir even as foreign journalists and domestic politicians were barred access to the region, and the Indian-administered government had imposed an internet shutdown since August.

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