22 May, 2019

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China’s Continuing Woes In Sri Lanka

By R. Hariharan

 Col. (retd) R.Hariharan

Col. (retd) R.Hariharan

Even in the midst of all political gerrymandering going on in Sri Lanka as election fever is heating up, China must be one country praying (but do Communist nations pray?) for former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s successful return as prime minister after the country elects a new parliament on August 17, 2015. When the people elected President Maithripala Sirisena in preference to Rajapaksa in the presidential poll last January, they also derailed China’s strategic gravy train that chugged along smoothly in Sri Lanka during Rajapaksa’s second term as president.

President Sirisena the new incumbent froze all China-aided mega projects notably the $1.4 billion Colombo Port City Project signed up during Rajapaksa-rule, pending their review for procedural lapses and corruption investigation. However, since then both the countries have tried to understand, if not redress, each other’s concerns also on the twin issues of high cost of Chinese loans and financial viability of the mega projects. There was a lot of billing and cooing about their friendship when President Sirisena and foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera visited Beijing, probably kindling hopes of China to repair its relations with Sri Lanka.

Probably China became more optimistic about regaining its position of primacy in the island nation after former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, China’s favourite Sri Lankan was chosen by the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) coalition to contest the parliament election. There were also other indications of Sri Lanka warming up to China.

Basil Mahinda ChinaSri Lanka President had inaugurated on June 7, 2015 the construction work on the China funded Matara-Hambantota expressway which provides a link to the Colombo-Matara expressway via Galle funded by the Chinese. China’s Ambassador to Colombo had expressed satisfaction over the commencement of the work on the project, which would create job opportunities for the people, in an interview to the DailyFT, Colombo[1]. China’s exim bank had funded the $180 million Galle-Matara expressway[2]. Phase 2 of the Hambantota port project has been inaugurated; on completion it would increase the port capacity to handle 12 ships at a time from two at present[3].

On the defence front also there had been no let up in China-Sri Lanka cooperation. Special Forces and commandos of China and Sri Lanka army have just concluded the three-week long exercise “Silk Route 2015” to hone up their special operations skills[4]. Last month, a Chinese military delegation headed by a Major General has carried out a review of the ongoing Chinese funded auditorium complex in Sri Lanka Military Academy at Diyatalawa[5].

China also appears to have realized the need for relationship building with people at the grass root level. Two Chinese companies – the China Communications Construction Company Colombo Port City Project Company and the China Harbor Sri Lanka Area Company donated $14,400 towards constructing four wells to provide clean drinking water to the people in war-torn in Puthukkudiyiruppu in northern Sri Lanka the Xinhua reported[6].

So, China was probably not amused to hear Minister for Justice Wijayadasa Rajapakshe’s announcement on June 20, 2015 that the Colombo port reclamation project would be allowed to progress only after revising the contract signed by the previous government[7]. Addressing the press, the minister said the government decision was to prevent any negative impact on Sri Lanka and other neighbouring countries, especially India, before resuming work on the Colombo project; this indicated Colombo’s positive response to India’s concerns expressed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to Sri Lanka in May 2015.

If there was any doubt India was influencing the decision, the minister’s rationale for the decision cleared it. He said “as of the agreements, the outright ownership of over 350 acres of land had been given to the Chinese Company. This is totally against the Lands Ordinance of the country. If the project had been carried out as of that agreement, the Sri Lankans may need a visa to enter that land and obtain permission to use the air space over that land. We would not let that happen. President Maithripala Sirisena during his visit to China talked to the Chinese President over the matter. We will only carry forward this project after permanently rectifying its loopholes.”

India which accounts for nearly 70 percent of the Port’s traffic had pointed out its strategic concerns at China gaining sovereign control over a large part of the reclaimed land very close to the port. The U.S. which had been getting cosy with the Sirisena government also probably had similar strategic concerns.

Though President Sirisena’s government had assured the Chinese about Sri Lanka’s ever lasing friendship with China, the fractures in their relations would take time to heal because Sri Lanka would like to dilute its dependence upon China.

Sri Lanka’s external affairs minister Mangala Samaraweera on a visit to Japan touched upon this aspect in an interview to the Japanese news channel NHK on June 18, 2015[8]. He said the defeated President Rajapaksa had promoted a foreign policy that relied on China whereas his government was trying to follow a balanced policy with all countries including China. Though China had overtaken Japan as the biggest source of assistance in 2009, the Chinese aid led to rampant corruption under the previous government. He said the Colombo Port city project may not have followed the appropriate procedures and was being reviewed. And the project is still limping.

Another reason could be to negotiate cheaper loans to get out of the high interest Chinese debts. In fact, the Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran has recently said that the government was in the process of reviewing the Hambantota hub project and trying to improve the existing harbor and airport facility in Colombo would be a better option for reasons for economy.

Even if Rajapaksa comes back to power as empowered prime minister, he may not be able to put the clock back on Sri Lanka-China relations to the same cosy level it used to be. This was indicated by Rajapaksa in his first ever question and answer session on the Facebook page on July 23, 2015, while answering a pointed question on China. Asked whether he would improve relations with China if elected as Prime Minister, Rajapaksa said: “not only China, we will work to improve our relations with all our friends including the West.”[9]

There is no doubt Prime Minister Modi’s initiative to build a win-win relationship with Sri Lanka had created a favourable climate for Sirisena government to balance its relations with China. So much would depend upon how India follows up on the promises made during Modi’s Sri Lanka visit. As of now the signs are favourable; but jn the past, India had not covered itself with glory on timely delivery of its promises.

China would never give up on Sri Lanka as it has too big a strategic stake in Indian Ocean and South Asia. Sri Lanka is an important pivot for China’s power projection in Indian Ocean as well as an irreplaceable investment destination for the success of President Xi Jinping’s pet project – the 20th Century Maritime route. Last but not least, Sri Lanka is the vanguard for India’s peninsular defence and power projection in Indian Ocean.

The writing on the wall is clear: India simply cannot afford to take it easy on the work in progress in building win-win relations with Sri Lanka, whosoever comes to power in the island nation.

*Col. R Hariharan, a retired Military Intelligence officer, is associated with the South Asia Analysis Group, and the Chennai Centre for China Studies. E-mail:colhari@yahoo.com Website: www.col.hariharan.info


END NOTES

[1] DailyFT, Colombo, July 6, 2015 http://www.ft.lk/article/441835/China-happy-with-extension-of-Southern-Expressway–says-a-big-socioeconomic-boost

[2] Global Times, June 7, 2015 http://www.globaltimes.cn/world/central-south-asia/index10.html#list

[3] Daily News, Colombo, http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=business/hambantota-port-second-stage-water-filling-saturday#sthash.RZRUHzax.

[4] June 22, 2015 http://adaderana.lk/

[5] Chinese military delegation reviews Diyatalawa project, June 18, 2015 http://adaderana.lk/

[6] China donates to provide clean water for northern Sri Lanka June 18, 2015 www.xinhua.org/english/

[7] Daily News, Colombo, July 20, 2015 http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/colombo-port-city-contract-agreements-be-revised

[8] FM: Sri Lanka to dilute dependence on China, NHK World Jun. 19, 2015 http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20150619_09.html

[9] UPFA is not divided at all –Mahinda, July 23 2015 www.adaderana.lk/23-7-15

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Latest comments

  • 1
    5

    Broom Stick mustache Malayali has conveniently forget ..that till Gorbachov `s time poverty India was licking USSR …

    More over the foreign policy drafted by big head Malayali Krisna Menon after poverty India`s independence was 100% pro Soviet…

    This Menon was in the paying list of London USSR embassy when he was a student there

    Anyhow poverty India must and will get a very good lesson for interfering SL Tamil affaires simply following south block Malayali officers

    • 1
      2

      How and When…?

      • 3
        1

        Jamis Muthu Banda

        “How and When…? “

        You are raising some intelligent questions.

        I guess you are not part of “our leader Prabaharan” crowd or simply playing dumb, or naturally dumb?

        • 0
          1

          Native I am born fighter & ex, never gave up my believes. After 2002, I expected all what we Tamils going through now…Prabas big blunder we r paying now. that’s all i can say now…

      • 0
        4

        When Krishna Menon was a student in London USSR Embassy there maintained a special file for him …because of his activities Russians knew very well that this Malayali will get a top position in independent India so Russians offered monetary help to Menon.

        Menon was grateful this is why he has drafted pro Soviet foreign policy of poverty India used for many many years if I am not mistaken this Malayali was the first Foreign Minister of India .

        This self proud ..eccentric melon once delivered non stop 8 hours lecture at UN session in New York when he finished a page he threw this and poor Indian Ambassador has to run to collect this paper

        This was disclosed to me someone who was at UN at that time

        Cheers

      • 0
        1

        Hello Muthu. Looking forward to the newly released report? Ha ha ha. Its your September song.

        • 2
          2

          taraki

          Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few
          September, November.

          And these few precious days I’ll spend with you
          These precious days I’ll spend with you.

          Naughty boy Jamis Muthu Banda would not refuse your offer.

          He wouldn’t miss it for the world.

        • 0
          1

          Calm down, time will tell…

    • 2
      0

      This writer quoted the Justice Minister as saying, “He said “as of the agreements, the outright ownership of over 350 acres of land had been given to the Chinese Company. This is totally against the Lands Ordinance of the country. If the project had been carried out as of that agreement, the Sri Lankans may need a visa to enter that land and obtain permission to use the air space over that land.”

      This once again proves that this Justice Minister should be immediately disbarred from legal practice for gross incompetence and a legal skill level that is below that of acceptable legal practice in Sri Lanka or anywhere else in the world. Foreign companies own land EVERYWHERE, and in NO case has a visa been required to enter the land or permission necessary to use air space over the land.

      And there is far too much PHONY concern by India on the Colombo Port City project – if their national security folks think China would consider attacking India from Colombo they are unfit to be national security advisors. China is India’s number ONE trading partner, so invading India would be like shooting yourself in the foot. And India has just joined SCO with China, Russia, and Pakistan and is part of BRICS, which also aligns India with China.

      The REAL concern about Port City is from the US that wants to contain China’s rising influence everywhere in the world, and they are simply using India as a FRONT like they do with Japan to hide US nefarious “we want to oppress countries that are challenging US hegemony” intentions. Sri Lanka needs to understand that when they get a visit from Indian national security staff regarding Port City that his is a LIP SERVICE call by India on behalf of the Americans, and to not take it seriously at all.

      It is the United States that is ‘praying’ for a UNP victory as their last hope to try to contain China in this part of the world. I don’t think the Sri Lanka voter cares about this US concern at all, as they know China is the one who has always come to Sri Lanka’s aid and defense, not the Americans.

  • 2
    1

    Chinese government may be communist but people including buddhists and moslem Chinese pray like your Hindu Indian bullies do as well. India and Modi and RAW are fully active in trying to force the outcome of the election. We haven’t forgotten nor forgiven Hindia for fostering terrorism and ruining our nation. You invaded us and I’m glad you got caught in fighting your own baby:Tamil Tiger fascist terrorists.

    • 1
      3

      Sooner or Later either West…or China will divide SL ….no worries

      and poverty India will eat humble pie..wit shame

      Chinese have their own agenda to open deputy high commission in Chennai which will be operated Tamil speaking Chinese diplomates sure

      Cheers

      • 1
        0

        @cholan
        Interesting point. Turning India into it’s fold will be one of massive political and strategic victories of History
        I guess Tamil-Speaking Chinese diplomats and embassies in Chennai is the first step ?

        • 0
          2

          When a country open her diplomatic missions in a commonwealth country this is called HIGH COMMISSION ….full stop

          Knowledgeable Sinhalese my foot can’t stop laughing ..then why the hell Srimavo and Badiu Deen Mohamad Nanna introduced standardization?

          Remember when SL had world class education 90% of medical and Engineering seats at Universities went to Tamils …he he he

          Today Tamil students are passing exams in German..English..Italian.languages .in western world with flying colors and the numbers go up day by day.

          Cheers

      • 0
        0

        High Commission is ONLY used to refer to diplomatic postings ONLY AND ONLY between Nations of the Commonwealth which are nations that were COLONIES OF OUR WHITE MASTERS . SO Chinese CANNOT HAVE A DEPUTY HIGH COMMISSION. it will be an Embassy or Chancellory. Learn from more knowledgeable Sinhalese.

        • 0
          1

          When a country open her diplomatic missions in a commonwealth country this is called HIGH COMMISSION ….full stop

          Knowledgeable Sinhalese my foot can’t stop laughing ..then why the hell Srimavo and Badiu Deen Mohamad Nanna introduced standardization?

          Remember when SL had world class education 90% of medical and Engineering seats at Universities went to Tamils …he he he

          Today Tamil students are passing exams in German..English..Italian.languages .in western world with flying colors and the numbers go up day by day.

          Cheers

  • 1
    2

    Win win? When will you have the character required to admit Indian war crimes?and when will you discuss how India armed, trained and financed terrorism and how you invaded sri lanka in 1987 when we were about to defeat your creation, your baby : Tamil fascist tiger terrorists?

    Malayali or Tamil, we will never forgive nor forget what India did to ruin our nation. Look at hindians and southern Indian illegals in sri lanka again. Your poverty stricken nation with over 800 million still defecating outside with no running water or toilets are in need of your intelligence. Tamil Indian illegals are even willing to clean toilets and be waiters in Colombia or harvest rice in Ampara now because Mahinda ended the war .

    Ask RAW to stay the hell away or…

  • 1
    3

    As far as Tamils are concerned who ever comes to power the consequences will be the same. The SL majority will amuse on the suffering of the Tamils as JR said. So who ever promise to Treat Tamils badly will win. They say some thing in the south and say in contrast in the north. That is politics and reality. Hindia said they wanted to save them but destroyed them. So never trust them. Some say it is not genocide. Do not trust them too. China was to support the SL govt and dooing so. They can be Trusted.
    Yala for military Training. Joseph camp is a standby amenity for foreign military. Mankulam May be used as a airbase. eastern beaches for holidaying troops. Palaly may be a missile base.. Trinco no need to tell about it. But china can give more Than wheat and rotten Shanti dwellings.

    • 1
      3

      There are no 7 Million Tamils in Greater China ….poverty India purposely massacred Tamils

      SL Tamils WILL NEVER EVER pardon poverty India

      China doesn’t care who will offer better military facility what they need is a super base next to Seycehlles China Navy base…..geo politics change every minute

      Cheers

  • 3
    1

    Hariharan says:

    “India which accounts for nearly 70 percent of the Port’s traffic had pointed out its strategic concerns at China gaining sovereign control over a large part of the reclaimed land very close to the port.”

    These Indians have now got into the Super Power mentality like the Americans. This guy is saying that Chinese control of a piece of land near Colombo port will be threat to the Indian shipping traffic. What strategic materials they take through the Colombo port? If they are worried about this, why should they come here? They have their own ports in the West Coast of India or they can skip Colomb by circum navigating Sri Lanka and reaching their ports on the East Coast.

    This is Hariharan’s flimsy reasoning against the Chinese port city project. First they said Chinese port city project will be used by Chinese to conduct surveillance against Indian security establishments in South India. This argument was brushed aside by both the Sri Lanka and China officials. Now Hariharan has come up with this nonsensical argument about strategic Indian traffic through Colombo port.

    India is trying to do what Americans did when Russians started using Cuban facilities. Like the Americans, now Indians do not want a rival power coming near their country. They forget that Sri Lanka is a sovereign country and it can invite any country that want to use and develop our facilities. But, unfortunately gutless lackeys like Ranil will bow down to threats and intimidation of the Indians.

    If Sri Lanka is to remain a truly independent nation unbowed to the threats of the Americans and Indians it needs a very staunch nationalist leader not lackeys like Ranil. Premadasa faced up to the Indians and booted out the IPKF. The one man who can now face up to the American and Indians is none other than Mahinda Rajapakse.

    • 4
      3

      Naga

      “The one man who can now face up to the American and Indians is none other than Mahinda Rajapakse.”

      How so?

      You too believe in fairy tales don’t you?

      MR and GR on record stated that without India they would not have won the war.

      MR the megalomania and public hora who loves to remain a despot for rest of his life. He wants his brats to succeed him when he attains Nibbana (so hopes him). Divisive narrow nationalist crooks cannot and will not protect this island from invaders. They could only hide behind nationalism where they hope to bury their sins.

      Premadasa public rhetoric and stand against Hindia is completely opposite of his dealings through intermediaries. Even he was expecting RAW to keep him informed on any plot being hatched by JVP or others to assassinate him.

      There is always the public face you see through media and the real politic.

      • 0
        1

        Native Vedda

        Thanks for your reply comments.

        It is true that without India, MR and GR would not have won the war against LTTE. Both India and MR wanted to see the destruction of LTTE and joined hands in completing the task.

        However, MR did not allow the 13 plus that India wanted. Further, in relation to the port city project, GR is on record saying at a public function recently that he dismissed India’s concerns and opposition and the MR government went ahead with the project. MR and GR did not buckle down to pressures from the Indians and that was not the case with Ranil government. They have gone and suspended the Chinese port city project at the urgings of the Indians and Americans.

        In international politics, particularly on issues or interests where the super powers are involved, there have been and there will always be pressures from these super powers on small states like Sri Lanka. Invariably, in order to avoid these pressures coming from one super power, small countries will have to seek the support of another super power or powers. This is exactly the case with Sri Lanka. Americans and Indians put pressure on the MR government making use of alleged war crimes and SL military excesses during the war and MR had to rely on the support of China to counter the moves of the Americans and Indians. It appears that part of the price MR had to pay was the Colombo port city project even agreeing to transfer sovereignty of Sri Lankan soil to China. It is not clear what and what not China can do on the land space ceded to it.

        China is making these types of arrangements in many countries. China taking over the Gwadar port in Pakistan is another example. This port strategically situated on the shores of the Arabian sea near the key shipping route to the Persian Gulf will be under the full operational control of China. Analysts say Gawdar port is a prime location to monitor shipping passing through the Strait of Hormuz from the Persian Gulf, as well as access to cheap land routes or Middle East trade through Pakistan into western China and Central Asia.

        Chinese state owned companies are also buying real estate in Australia. In the Australian state of Victoria, 50 dairy farms producing 500 million litres of milk a year, about one-twelfth of Victoria’s total milk supply, had been recently purchased by a Chinese state company for $400 million. There was one story that all the milk collected from these farms will be shipped to China. According to a joint report by accountants KPMG and the University of Sydney, Chinese investment in Australian agricultural land totalled more than $1 billion between 2006 and 2012, or just 3 per cent of China’s investment in Australia over the period. Apart from Chinese companies, rich Chinese nationals are buying Australian residential properties and the spike in residential property prices in Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne is mostly attributed to these Chinese purchases. According to a report by Credit Suisse, in 2013-14 Chinese buyers snapped up property worth 23 per cent of new housing supply in the New South Wales State of Australia.

        In relation to dealings MR had with China and India, only those close to the ruling clan were privy to what were going on behind the scene. There will always be dealings and dependencies among the ruling cliques. The real test whether Mahinda will be able to protect Sri Lanka from invaders will come when such open invasion really happens. At the moment there are no real open invasions but the Americans and the Indians are interfering in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka through their proxies. We saw it during the last SL Presidential Election and it appears to be happening now at the present Parliamentary election.

        Most Sri Lankan politicians are corrupt one way or other and MR is no exception. There are very few with clean hands from among the present lot of Sri Lankan politicians. In the present political context of Sri Lanka, UPFA with its left of centre economic policies is a better choice than the neo-liberalism of UNP which will destroy all the welfare measures in place in Sri Lanka and open up Sri Lanka to be ravaged by the multi-national companies. As one with a leftist leaning from a young age, I will always be opposed to capitalist policies.

        • 1
          2

          Naga

          It appears that you would be happy to hand over the island to China than see the people enjoying quality of life through bottom up development and good governance. This is another mindset which rose from Mao’s Marxism. I had had the misfortune of discussing Maoism with his followers for many years and found them desperately wanting China to annex this island with peacefully rising middle kingdom. Your line of arguments reminds me the same path Maoist thread in this island.

          Leaving aside all your arguments my Elders tell me that China is only 4,500 miles away from this island while India is 20 miles afar. Historically this should tell us something about the difference between China’s right to rule this island (as you may wish) and Hindian periodical interference over 3,000 years.

          China is not going to start a nuclear war with Hindia over this little island or on behalf of little islanders.

          According to some Hindian assessment they only need 24 hours to flatten all security establishments of this island.

          Have you ever question yourself as to why the state does not treat its own people well? If you don’t treat your family well your neighbours and strangers would take advantage of the situation. Then don’t complain that others are groping your wife, daughters, sisters, mother, grandmas, aunts, …………

          Remember all strategies end in tears.

          Elsewhere you responded to my queries on Eastern Province and Kandyan kingdom. Sorry I did not have time to respond to it however I saw many flaws in your comment which I will deal with when I get time. Thanks anyway.

    • 2
      0

      Agree, the only man who can deliver the goods is MR. He is the best to tackle the tricky foreign policy matters without fear of foreign powers. Also the economy, he will get the ball rolling yet again.

      • 2
        2

        lal loo

        “Agree, the only man who can deliver the goods is MR. “

        Of course only under the tough guidance of Hindia.

        “Also the economy, he will get the ball rolling yet again.”

        You mean his clan’s family fortunes.

        “He is the best to tackle the tricky foreign policy matters without fear of foreign powers.”

        Watch the clip and learn how brave this shivering coward was:

        Destroy India Says Rajapakse in Interview – 1988

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBHDfrJPrbk

        For him those JVP terrorists were patriotic boys was ready to defend those terrorists.

      • 2
        2

        lal loo

        Have you noticed Champika the public racist has fallen for India and APJ Abdul Kalam, an interesting development. India hating Champika has been inspired by a great human soul and he now believes he is the Sri Lankan version of the eminent scientist. What an insult for Kalamji.

        Kalam Enters Election Fray in Sri Lanka

        By PK Balachandran |ENS Published: 31st July 2015 06:34 PM

        COLOMBO: The late lamented Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, former President of India and a much admired figure in Sri Lanka, has been drafted into the parliamentary election campaign now in full swing in the island nation.

        A group of professionals backing Patali Champika Ranawaka, the energetic Lankan Minister of Power and Energy who is standing for election from Colombo district, has put in a full-page advertisement in the Colombo dailies describing him as a “trusted companion” of the “great visionary” Dr.Abdul Kalam. The ad said that Ranawaka will bring clean and affordable energy to Sri Lanka and ensure its energy independence, just as Kalam did in India.

        The somber black and white ad is in two parts: The first, which has a picture of a smiling Kalam, declares: “ We salute you, Sir. One man with one mission brought energy security to his motherland, India, and lifted her to the level of world powers. His passion was to see his neighboring countries also reach energy independence and security, indigenously, affordably and cleanly, to ensure quality and value-added living.”

        The second part, which has a picture of Kalam and Ranawaka in earnest conversation taken at the international alternative energy conference held here in June, says that Kalam believed in “one man”, namely, Ranawaka, “a son of the island soil, Sri Lanka, to bring about his vision into a reality one day.”

        Addressing Ranawaka, the ad says: “We all professionals are proud of you, Hon.Minister Champika, for being a trusted companion of this great visionary and giving us the opportunity to be inspired by his great ideology just a few days ago before his departure for ever.”

        The reference was to Kalam’s visit to Colombo in June, which was his last to Lanka. The jam-packed hall at the Galadari Hotel listened to the iconic Indian with rapt attention as he spoke about the practicability of using alternative clean energy technologies in his inimitable simple and telling way.

        Groups from all over the island, especially, the Tamil north and the Tamil-speaking Muslim community, were eager to host him, but to their utter dismay, time was too short and he went away never to come back again.

        http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/
        Kalam-Enters-Election-Fray-in-Sri-Lanka/2015/07/31/article2950339.ece

        • 0
          1

          Native Vedda

          What a shame this Sinhala racist Champika is stooping to this low level by using the name of that great man Kalam for his election propaganda. Champika with very little chance of getting elected on the UNP ticket from among an array of many popular candidates is doing this to get the preferential votes of Muslims and Tamils in the Colombo district; but I do not think the Tamils and Muslims will be fooled by the antics of this racist.

          No doubt that great man Kalam will be turning in his grave.

  • 0
    2

    Why can’t Hindia build the Mannar- Puttalam Expressway.

    • 2
      2

      Pacs,

      A Mannar-Puttalam will reduce the travel distance from Colombo to Jaffna by 100 Km. Since China is involved in other highway projects, India should come forward to build the Mannar-Puttalam segment with better terms. The Indians have done a good job with the northern railway line.

      Dr.RN

      • 2
        3

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        “Since China is involved in other highway projects, India should come forward to build the Mannar-Puttalam segment with better terms.”

        I was told that MR wanted India to built port city and other projects but free of charge while he was happy to pay China more than the market price.

        • 0
          2

          NV,

          Interesting!

          Dr.RN

  • 4
    1

    It was so obvious that MR regime tried to depend too much on China to protect themselves from any adverse decisions at the UN and it was also an easy source of funds/loans for mega projects although at higher interest rates. China unfortunately does not care how its loans are used and no inhibition on their part to give big commissions or allow its companies or banks to make backhanded deals. In this sense the China-link has had a detrimental effect on Sri Lanka in terms of corruption and deformed development.

    Sri Lanka of course should offer port and other facilities to China for its trade and commerce and should benefit out of these legitimate links for its economic development. Sri Lanka also has age old cultural/religious links with China which should continue. Political solidarity is rather moribund today. Any defense or military links or exercises should however be limited to purely peaceful purposes.

    China today is hardly a socialist/communist country. With its economic expansion, imperial ambitions are natural to grow. Many people in Sri Lanka talk about American/Western imperialism and Indian expansionism, but quite oblivious about (possible) Chinese imperial ambitions (i.e. Vietnam etc.). Imperialism with democracy is one thing, imperialism without democracy is completely a different kettle of fish. More than anything else, it would have a detrimental effect on the country’s democratic governance which was exactly the situation during 2010 and 2014.

  • 4
    0

    Fifteen years ago, as an Intelligence Officer, what did you write to your bosses about China poking their head into Sri Lanka??One knows where they stand with China. They have consistent Foreign Policies.

    Under Indira Gandhi you created the LTTE, ended up her son being assassinated by LTTE and then washed their hands off them. This is Indian Foreign Policy and you were a part of it??

  • 0
    0

    I feel we should be firm on our long term stability when we try to tackle our short term situation though it is bit more difficult. Should be dedicated to our future.

  • 0
    0

    The said rail line is not smooth .You feel very shaky and scary particularly when the train speedup. The people who have not traveled in Trains of other countries do not know the quality of this Indian built Rail line. For SL people especially those who Travel on this Colombo-KKS Indian built line think it is normal to be this much of shakiness and endure without any agitation. There are un hygienic vendors selling esovadai. Not a decent buffet there. But clever and well trained pick pocketeers are posted in the Train. Even though they are kind to take only the money and bank cards and leave the other things in the toilet.

  • 0
    0

    “Fifteen years ago, as an Intelligence Officer, what did you write to your bosses about China poking their head into Sri Lanka??One knows where they stand with China. They have consistent Foreign Policies. “
    He would have written how he came out of his camp and coerced to get innocent people’s bicycles to move around Jaffna. Ask him.

  • 0
    1

    Greetings Col.

    I understood in 1970″s USSR was ready for a nuclear standoff with China, China and USSR was having a artilary battle with USSR. Did India know about it. China Must have made its communist alie very angry. I was told this is what opened China ecconomy to west.

    So one time friends of Sri Lanka can always change to another partner, so Chinease friendship is not solid as gold

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    Hariharan writes about cheap and bullying type politics. On the other hand, Hariharan’s thinking is not like that of an Easternenr or one grew up with Indian culture.

    You just preach western politics which talks always about domination and subjugation and you never talk about live and let live. that is not Hinduism related thinking.

    It is just Western thinking – Judeo -christian – and islamic thinking which says only we should live others must submist to use.

    What happens if every thing is given to India. they simply rape it for their benefit.

    On tyhe other

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    Global Economy has change that development and growth has shifted into Emerging nations , that in return of US, EU and Japanese Economy had been rapidly declined since 2008.

    System of Indian economy mostly follow by US and EU, which the path and model had been shifted by since 1990, after Rajive Gandi of INC was assassination by Tamil Tigers of LTTE and Tamil political class in Sri lanka; while back by Indian Tamil Nadu political clique also behind that their moral assistance Tamil- LTTE outfit.

    Nowadays Modi-RSS administration of de-secularism of political democracy and its Indian monetary and macroeconomic policy, as well as that Reserved Bank of India thus contributed to the country’s growing problem of poverty and inequality in many ways.

    But Indian unity and diversity is not apply to Sri lanka, hence Unitary state of an Island has been discard by current Indian ruling class in New Delhi.

    Indian current administration( Govt. Modi) in fact contributes to provide sustenance to Tamil communal and separatist forces today. There are many illustrative of North Tamils of Sri lanka, that major constituents of the drawing in of that exploited by current Indian Modi ruling class & its policies.

    What is political vision of India, in the respect Sri lanka should be defined by ethnic and religious affiliations of the its people.
    The political hegemony of India has twin expressions by Modi the Tamil separatism or in the other word expressed by himself beyond the more than 13 A power devaluations for Tamils.

    On the other hand power devolution for Muslims in east is if succeeded ,in the unfortunate split and divided an Island with all its consequences that uninterruptedly to fester tension until today.
    ‘Pivot Asia’ policy of US hegemony on similar direction and content of the process of so-called ‘war crime’ to consolidation of the split and divided by Tamil political class vested interest in our Island.

    Indeed this type of political thesis came to be called Tamil ‘minorities’ and the method by which that phycology this feeling for nation was created come to be by ‘majority’ Sinhalese Buddhist .
    While Indian and US dominated politics is undermined Secular democracy, Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity and an Independence of
    Sri lanka.

    These Indian new ruling class of BJP-RSS of Modi, which break decisively our foreign investment, economic development and socio-political stability and unity ours all nationalities.

    The Indian and US efforts at big-power super-imposing capitalist hegemony only had been created a conditions, where backwardness of democracies of consciousness nexus with hegemony, that is degeneration of sustainability aspect of capitalist competitive consciousness.

    Needless to say anti-China policies encourage by Laksiri Fernando is not as a surprise ,that is the interest of monopoly of US and Indian ruling classes unsubstantiated support.

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      D.Nimal

      What is your point if there is one?

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    China can never be a world leader. As in Myanmar, it coils itself up with ruthless regimes. The silly of it all is how wisdom forsakes it. What goes around comes around. Its support for rogue regimes will and have eventually staked its interests against the people of those countries. Regime changes, as in SL and Myanmar, will jeorpadise its interests. China has only itself to blame. Instead of taking the people into confidence and support them, its alignment with rogue regimes lead to only short-term gains.

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      @jansee
      So who are the “World Leaders” ? And why are they “World Leaders” according to you ?

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