3 December, 2020

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Is China A Threat To Our Island & The Indian Ocean Region? 

By Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka

While two high level delegations from Beijing were visiting Colombo it was strange indeed to see a full page article in the Daily News of 22 Feb 2017 (“Tripartite Agreement with India, Japan Mooted”, p 4), suggesting that China might well be a threat to Sri Lanka, and Sri Lanka would do well to align with India and Japan to counter this threat. That it was a state-run newspaper that published it while the Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister was visiting and a high level delegation from the ruling Communist Party of China had just arrived in the island, makes it all the more disconcerting.

The fact that it was a report of a talk by a Japanese scholar, Dr. Satoru Nagao, Research Fellow at the Tokyo Foundation and the views expressed were his, in no way makes it less serious, especially since the interview was published with a huge picture of an Indian warship running the width of the page and a smaller one of a Chinese submarine illustrating the perceived threat to the Indian Ocean region. Interestingly, the report itself was by a young American researcher based in Asia, Sam Bresnick. What was it doing so prominently featured in the Sri Lankan state’s English language flagship newspaper the Daily News on that particular day?

From where I am seated, as a citizen of Sri Lanka, China has been a friend for hundreds of years, and has never posed a threat to our country. In fact, in the face of the most dangerous of threat to the very existence of this island as one country, China came through for us when some of our other friends were unable to, probably due to valid electoral considerations of their own.

Furthermore, it doesn’t need me to reiterate that our post-war development would not have been possible without China’s generosity. Within the space of a few years, ours was one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, thanks to our political leadership of the day taking advantage of the development diplomacy of China. The infrastructure that all sectors of the economy had longed for became a magnificent reality and growth took a markedly upward turn.

It is worrying in the extreme, this manifest ambivalence on the part of the current government (or on the part of a part of this government) towards Chinese assistance to Sri Lanka, this article in the official Daily News being a symptom of it. It was during the general election campaign that the UNP swore to stop the Port City Project which soon put the new government and the gullible public in all sorts of economic difficulties having had to pay compensation for delaying the project. How is it that our representatives treat with such scant regard arguably the most economically indispensable country in the world, which has hundreds of projects of infrastructure development all over the globe and daily earns the gratitude of many countries and their citizens, while we who need it desperately, feel we can play fast and loose with China?

The fiasco with the Mattala airport is a case in point. Was it wise for our Prime Minister to stuff the newly completed international airport with paddy for all the world to see? Which airline would choose to schedule that particular airport for regular flights? It has now been proven invaluable during repairs to the Katunayake airport, so the paddy has been shifted to accommodate the diverted flights.

What is it with this government, that it treats our economy and our infrastructure as some joke? Whichever party completed the infrastructure projects, they are national assets and should at least be treated with more respect– and the new government’s task was to use them to bring in more revenue as quickly as possible.

For an ancient civilization with a well-known and finely developed sense of proper behavior forming part of their Confucian world-outlook, it must be bewildering for China to see one blunder after another in Sri Lanka’s recent dealings with it. One can only hope that the Chinese realize from their daily encounters with the general public that this government’s behavior does not represent either the attitude, the feelings, or the sense of gratitude of the vast majority of the country’s populace towards China which has been a firm and unstinting friend through the ages.

Sri Lanka also has a very warm relationship with Japan. The Japanese have been supportive throughout the war years, often intervening at our request to negotiate a peaceful settlement, being an honest negotiator without any hidden agenda or vested interest. They have been an economic partner and a supportive Asian power in multilateral fora, playing a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s affairs as a trusted friend for many decades. The Sri Lankan public is familiar with many projects of collaboration with Japan and value the Japanese notion of honor. However, to date, I cannot recall any kind of collaboration undertaken with Japan as a deterrent or bulwark against a third party. I am open to correction since I am not privy to the thinking behind government to government cooperation, but I can’t recall any report at all of such an alliance, specifically for the purpose of power-balancing allegedly to ensure the security of the region.

The prominent article in the Daily News says in its very first paragraph that the visiting scholar Dr. Satoru “urges Sri Lanka to forge stronger ties with India and regional powers like Japan to balance its relationship with the increasingly aggressive China.” While it may be perfectly understandable, if regrettable, for countries in the South China Sea region to regard each other with suspicion and caution, Sri Lanka does not regard, nor sees any reason to regard China in that light. Any effort to include Sri Lanka as some pawn in a regional power contestation is not in its national interest, since it has neither the size nor the riches to benefit from such a role.

It would be naïve not to acknowledge the threat perception of India as the article states: “If the ‘string of pearls’ does in fact come to fruition, India will find itself encircled.” However, each country has to deal with their own threat perceptions, whether imagined or real. Sri Lanka, as far as I know, doesn’t buy into this theory of a dangerous ‘string of pearls’, and instead hopes to benefit from the trade routes opened up as a result of China’s progress, building on our ancient and successful role as a crucial trading post, the most serendipitously located along that route.

India for her part doesn’t take much cognizance of our own threat perception about Tamil Nadu whose successive Chief Ministers repeatedly call for Tamil Eelam in the North, and has been busily negotiating with our Prime Minister to open up trade agreements with its Southern states including Tamil Nadu, in economic alliances and integration. This government feels no threat perception in such an alliance either. Is it then likely that it will regard distant China as a threat that calls for a “Japan-Sri Lanka-India strategic trilateral dialogue” (as the Daily News article suggests) against Beijing’s “increasing military might, shrewd tactics and aggression [that] threaten to change the balance of power in the Indian Ocean”? Despite this government’s dubious record, I dare to hope that it will not embrace such a project. From Sri Lanka’s point of view, uni-polarity is far less comfortable for small countries than multi-polarity, be it with regard to the world or the region.

In a significant suggestion the report quotes the visiting Japanese scholar’s view that “along with trilateral dialogues, it will be important to augment combinations between Sri Lanka, Japan and India to counter the Chinese threat…For example, if Japan and India collaborate to establish a maritime communications network system in Sri Lanka that would serve the entire Indian Ocean, it would be easy for the three countries to be aware of what occurs n the Indian Ocean.” Is Sri Lanka being urged to be a listening post? Is Trincomalee the perfect spot? We’ve had this suggestion before, many years ago. At the time, India objected.

Sri Lanka’s role should be of facilitator of friendly relations between all countries who have interests in the region, and to form whatever economic alliances that are necessary for the benefit of our country.

The fast intensifying regional power struggle for dominance in the Indian Ocean, and the various geopolitical realities and threat perceptions of those engaging in it, are not ours. We have other priorities, like catching up with the rest of Asia after a 30 year war. In this effort China poses no threat whatsoever to us. Instead, China’s policy of infrastructure development through OBOR has formed the engine of our postwar growth so far. This is true of many other regions of the world from Africa to Latin America.

Reiterating that China building a port in Sri Lanka is “creating new difficulties with India,” the Daily News feature claims that “closer ties to Japan and India would more than make up for any troubles caused by shunning the Chinese.” It helpfully goes on to suggests that “these collaborative projects are preferable to accepting China’s support, which would create strategic difficulties.” I’d say that Sri Lanka had decided that it was indeed preferable for its own National Interest to accept the development assistance offered by China, which in the case of the Hambantota port, was in fact in the aftermath of a refusal by India. “Shunning the Chinese” is not on the agenda, either for Sri Lanka or most parts of the world, including the US and Europe.

Surely there’s a storm brewing in the Indian Ocean. To be unaware of the compulsions of our friends and neighbors is not an option. However, neither is being dragged into being on one side or the other. The people of Sri Lanka have never allowed its leaders to do this. Any veering to one side at the expense of this country’s own national interest has been dealt with at elections.

This is an interesting time of the rise of several Asian Giants, all passing through this island of ours in their quest for economic growth. We have a role to play, and it is not to take sides. Strategic power balancing is what Sri Lanka’s diplomacy has always been good at, since it is an existential necessity. This is what should be deployed in full measure, to navigate us through the approaching stormy weather.

Sri Lanka’s location and size require it to be friendly to all countries. The last thing it needs is to be entangled in an alliance against a third party which poses no threat to it at all, and never has. The threat will surely be created if we let ourselves be foolishly manipulated into some fight to the death between big sharks in the Indian Ocean. The Big Powers will survive but we will lie bleeding on the beach at the end of it.

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  • 0
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    [Edited out]

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      China is not a threat to Srilanka, as it will not interfere in the affairs of the country. China is more than happy as it now owns outright 20 hectares of land in port city, which Srilanka will never get it back as well as no Srilankan head of state can ever enter it without permission from China. It has also been gifted another 170 hectares on a 99 year lease, for which Srilanka has to wait for 99 years to reclaim it. Now Hambantota port and 10 square miles of land around it is going to be given on a 99 year lease. What more can any country get from Srilanka. China is not in Srilanka to develop Srilanka, but to use it as a launching pad to destabilize India, and India knows about it. Please remember Sinhalese are useless for China to destabilize India and will start courting Tamils, especially since India has let Tamils down.

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        ‘destabilize India ‘ Me thinks the Indians are doing a fine job on their own. They make anti china statements, then they shout why has china not invested in India, though many chinese business have invested. They want the whole lot. The Indians are quick to build shanty houses in other peoples nations but cannot even build a toilet let alone houses for their own. The Indians live in their own make believe Bollywood movie. China are realist. Chinese are only interested in economics and not politics.

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        Dr. Gnana
        “……Sinhalese are useless for China to destabilise India and will start courting Tamils”
        So Instead of giving 20hectacres of reclaimed land from out of the sea to China in perpetuity and another 170 hectares of land under a lease in Hambantota to China for for 99 years, do you think the Sinhalese should instead have given Katchathivu away to China and be free from all worries about Tamils and India?

        • 4
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          170 hectares on 99 year lease is also part of the Colombo port city reclamation project which is in addition of 20 hectares conceded in perpetuity. Mahinda wanted to give Kachchativu to China to station their military in the pretext of establishing camps for Srilankan security services, but this was leaked out to India and had to be shelved due to Indian objection. India is in this sorry plight due to its cock-eyed foreign policy drawn up by north Indian racists and corrupt Keralites both of whom are anti-Tamil. India tried to cut its nose to spite its face, and ended up in this miserable state. Time has come for India to assert itself and show the stick to Srilanka, who are trying to hoodwink them. As a first step it must take back Kachchativu which was conceded without the consent of Indian parliament and courts. Best friends of India in this region are Nepalese and Srilankan Tamils with whom it has created enmity due to the foolish acts. If does not do a course correction and treat Srilanka as its enemy, and empower Tamils in Srilanka to keep Sinhalese under control, there is no salvation for India.

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            @Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam

            YOU NEED TO check into the FIRST INDIAN mental institute

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              malik Kafur

              “YOU NEED TO check into the FIRST INDIAN mental institute”

              Are you feeling lonely up there?

              Have you ever wondered why you feel lonely?

              Watch motivational Ted Talks and avoid fantasizing Dayan and Modi.

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            If Katchthivu is to be retrieved by India for it’s salvation can it do it now without it’s parliament’s approval again because it was ceded to SL that way at first?
            How can you say that SL Tamils are India’s best friends in the region when not long ago they just kept silent when Prabakaran who claimed sole leadership to represent them went to war with the IPKF and also was responsible for killing it’s PM ?
            How do you think SL Tamils can be empowered by India to keep Sinhalese under control?

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              You seem not to know the truth. In 1987, Tamils had no power to counter the guns of Prabaharan, who committed all mad acts without their permission. Anyone who tried to defy were silenced either by driving them away or being killed. Prabaharan was never given a mandate by Tamils for anything. He usurped the mandate given to TULF and started his madness. He suppressed dissent and by force elevated himself as sole representative of Tamils. If he stood for an election, he would have lost. You see what is happening in middle east. Can any person try to infuse sanity into these mad Islamic fanatics. The same was with Tamils who watched helplessly these thing to happen. Had Prabaharan accepted Indo-Lanka accord in 1987,now Tamils would have been in a strong position to keep Sinhalese under control, like how Jews are keeping Arabs under control. India will never allow a separate state for Tamils in Srilanka. They want Tamils to remain within Srilanka and work towards the interest of India. If you analyse carefully, Sambandan/Sumanthiran are doing the same by which they are getting the wrath of Tamils, as Srilanka government or India are not reciprocating.

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            Yes, of course, India should be grateful to the Tamils of Sri Lanka for killing their favourite son too, shouldn’t they? Certainly, India will empower the Tamils of Sri Lanka who are best known for biting the hands that feed them. The Witch Doctor knows everything!

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              Rajiv Gandhi was killed by Prabaharan without any mandate from Tamils. Even die hard supporters of LTTE were shocked at this dastardly act. Tamils should not be collectively held responsible for that, though they had undergone suffering due to the killing. Truth about Rajiv Ghandi’s murder has not been fully investigated, probably it will never be, as some influential Indians and a foreign agency are involved in it, and LTTE only acted as the contract killer for money and personal vendetta. When IPKF arrived, Tamils welcomed them with crackers and garland. Presence of IPKF in Srilanka was not to the liking of some world powers, who were behind the LTTE attack on IPKF. Unfortunately for the Sinhalese, now there is no Prabaharan to spoil the party.

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                Proabaharan was the sole representative of Tamils. Tamils had given a mandate and are collectively responsible for that killing and other atrocities committed by Tamils on Sinhalese. As for having parties you are welcome to have fast unto death parties with hamburgers. Still wandering about the humiliating defeat at the hands of the Sri Lankan forces, are you? Get a life!

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                  lal loo

                  Its you again

                  In 1956 the chauvinists demanded and received mandate from majority Sinhala/Buddhists to transform this island into a Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto. Periodical legitimization have been sought under various disguises, free rice moon, …. etc.

                  The moral and physical destruction of this island scarcely stopped.

  • 9
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    Not practising Buddhism is the most threat.

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      No China is not a threat. Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism is the main threat. Mahinda & Dayan corporation is a real threat.

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        Stupid Tamil and conspiratorial Muslim plots are the main threat.

        If they keep on insulting Sinhala Buddhists to achieve their secret plans, they should be sent back to places where they came from.

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          “should be sent back to places where they came from”
          Do you know where you came from?……..Are you an ‘Arahant’ with ‘Pubbe Niawasanussathi Gnaana’ ?. I believe there are so many ‘Arahants’ in Silly Lanka these days.

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          Point Blank

          “Stupid Tamil and conspiratorial Muslim plots are the main threat.”

          Are you a Tamil because you sound like one?

          “they should be sent back to places where they came from “

          You are being a clever dick. When the descendants of kallathonies go I want them to take their Sinhala/Buddhists brethren with them. When are you planning to leave? Or would you like us to kick you back to your ancestral homeland in South India? In fact I am pleased to oblige you.

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      True, what China’s actions in Tibet is an example. Greed, Hatred and Dilution will destroy of the Chinese will destroy the planet earth eventually.

    • 14
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      Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka types:

      “The threat will surely be created if we let ourselves be foolishly manipulated into some fight to the death between big sharks in the Indian Ocean.”

      The threat comes from within.

      When the state does not treat its people well, strangers see it as an opportunity to grope the women folks, including grandmas, mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, ….. granddaughters, …..

      One should stop worrying about foreign powers and start thinking about how best to treat one’s own people.

      Well the greedy politicians and their b***s carriers should be kept in check all the time.

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    “The Big Powers will survive but we will lie bleeding on the beach at the end of it.”
    Maybe, but for how long?. There were 300 dead whales a few weeks ago on a beach in New Zealand and has anyone tried to figure out what the ’cause’ of the matter. The obvious reason is the increased activity of high frequency communications between submarines in the area due to Chinese involvement, is my guess. Whales are harmless creatures with an extremely sensitive communication system built in.

    This is just the beginning of things which the ‘Enlightened One’, the ‘Buddha’ saw 2600 years ago would happen to this universe. So, when your so called ‘Big Powers’ start to act, for their survival, nothing will be left to fight for, except ‘EMPTINESS'(Sunyatha).

  • 7
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    This item should is good enough to have published in the Daily News of the pre-2015 era when it was the best newspaper in Sri Lanka.

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    As I meandered through this ‘what’s it all about’ joint effort by DJ and wife-dearest, I did a double take when I reached ….’Sri Lanka also has a very warm relationship with Japan. The Japanese have been supportive throughout the war years, often intervening at our request to negotiate a peaceful settlement, being an honest negotiator without any hidden agenda or vested interest….’

    What short memories, eh! Of course some of us have live lived through that time when things were different. Easter Sunday 1942, April 5th, was a beautiful sunny morning when our Japanese friends had something other than a peaceful visit in mind. The bodies of those who defended our island at that time are buried in the peaceful confines of Kanatte.

    Sri Lanka has endured much through her 2500+ years civilisation. We have seen off 500 years of foreign domination (that was enabled by powerful local collaborators, let it be said) and afterwards ensured that civil strife will not succeed; in 1971, 1987-89, and 2009.

    Rest assured: Sri Lanka, our precious island in the sun will go on, and on, and on…..

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      Spring Koha

      “Sri Lanka, our precious island in the sun will go on, and on, and on…..”

      Preferably without the crooks, cronies and their war mongering b***s carriers.

  • 8
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    Dear Sanja,
    Good write-up, but sadly some of your factoids are dead wrong:
    “From where I am seated, as a citizen of Sri Lanka, China has been a friend for hundreds of years, and has never posed a threat to our country.”
    Have you never heard of one Zheng He, a Chinese admiral who kidnapped a local king (or kinglet) some time before before the Portuguese arrived?
    ” I’d say that Sri Lanka had decided that it was indeed preferable for its own National Interest to accept the development assistance offered by China, which in the case of the Hambantota port, was in fact in the aftermath of a refusal by India”
    Well then, India was right, having decided that this was an unviable project. The Chinese of course will give you loans (at interest of course) even to hang yourself. What has happened now to Hambantota is similar to the local “poli-mudalali” taking your house when you can’t pay the interest.
    And of course, the jewel :” In fact, in the face of the most dangerous of threat to the very existence of this island as one country, China came through for us when some of our other friends were unable to, probably due to valid electoral considerations of their own.”
    Well , you only have to substitute VIETNAM for “our island above, and check out how friendly they are today. Dear Sanja, countries do NOT give away things out of altruism, not even China. Yes, they gave us weapons, but even Mahinda was prepared to give them Port City, was he not? And most of Galle Face too
    The Chinese are well known for being patient and inscrutable, as much as we are known for living beyond our means.
    We should not blame outsiders for our own stupidity. Our leaders at the time wanted world-class highways to nowhere, empty ports and airports,theatres too expensive to look at even, all named after themselves of course.
    When you go about praising Mahinda Rajapaksa, you ought to remember all this, dear lady.
    As to India, Tamilnadu etc. we should be aware that India is 20 miles away , much closer than China. So whose tune should we dance to? What is preventing us from cultivating the TN leaders, if not downright racism? One only has to look at the way Jayalalitha was portrayed in the local media, as some kind of illiterate clown. Nobody seems to know that under her regime, TN acquired not only a REAL Volkswagen factory, but Hyundai, Honda, GM, Ford, and lots of others. Is it not in our own interest to feed into this?

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      old codger

      “Nobody seems to know that under her regime, TN acquired not only a REAL Volkswagen factory, but Hyundai, Honda, GM, Ford, and lots of others. Is it not in our own interest to feed into this?”

      What is the point you telling these people the facts when they suffer from their toilet superiority and paranoia?

      However, it is good of you to remind them the opportunities that they have foregone over a long period of time out of their own stupidity. The stupid, arrogant, ….. Aryans cannot and will not grasp the opportunity costs they have caused.

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        NV,
        Many people (who have never been to TN or just stayed in a lodge for 2 days) think they are superior because they have toilets. All of them know where Marutis come from , but these pundits are unaware of where their brand new “Japanese” Nissans, Toyotas, Datsuns, Hondas Suzukis actually come from. Ignorance is bliss.

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      old codger

      “Yes, they gave us weapons, but even Mahinda was prepared to give them Port City, was he not? And most of Galle Face too”

      Can I just quote from Gota’s interview with yesterday’s Daily Mirror?

      China, Pakistan Ukraine, Russia, Israel supplied us arms: Gota

      Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said China, Pakistan, Ukraine, Russia and Israel were the countries that supplied military equipment in the fight against terrorism at that time whereas India helped immensely in the provision of training for the security forces.

      In an interview with Daily Mirror, he said 80 per cent of Sri Lanka military’s overseas training had been provided by India over the years, yet it could not supply weapons due to the Tamil Nadu factor. “Yet, they helped us in so many ways by way of training our officers,” he said. He said Sri Lanka’s military is primarily equipped with Chinese weapons for years. “We depended on China for weapons. The other countries that provided us with war equipment are Pakistan, Israel, Ukraine and Russia,” he said.

      Israel supplied Dvora and Kaffir fighter jets for Navy whereas armoured tankers and MiG aircrafts arrived from Ukraine and Russia.(Kelum Bandara)

      Anyhow, Gota forgot to mention what other help he received from Hindia from January 2005 to 2013, say satellite intelligence, cash loan of nearly $2 billion, sea blockade, logistics (war ships and helicopters), political and diplomatic cover, military advisers, managing domestic public opinion, ….. etc.

  • 3
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    Let’s hope the young American researcher’s views do not represent US policy.

  • 0
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    This is part of the open pivot towards the USA by this regime. This was made clear when the Hon PM referred to “freedom of Navigation” identical words used by USA in its increasing game of musical chairs with China in the S.China Sea. The words were not used at random. The shift towards the US is clear. Soon Trincomalee will see more US warships. Now is India understandably worried and afraid? They are a mighty power now, but they are still smarting at their humiliation in 1962. NO I do not think China will ever be a threat to Sri Lanka. But Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines etc are very jittery of China and it flexing its muscles. US has sent an Aircraft Carrier group to S. China Sea to flex their muscles to and to keep China in its place. China has always bailed out and helped Sri Lanka than any other nation including India. India has been very helpful such as in 1971, but it ruined its trust based relationship with SL by arming, training and financing terrorism and intervening in the war during a decade or so in the 1980s. This regime is in the US camp and I am yet to decide if it is bad or not but hell with the way the economy is going it may not be a bad idea to least Trincomalee to them when they have to leave the Philippines. But then SL gets inevitably and inextricably dragged into the “us vs them” issue with US-India on one side and China on the other.

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      “lease” not least.
      Not sure with the way debt servicing has risen because of all the vanity projects etc how SL can sustain itself. If leasing bases and land will help is it worth trying? I do not think the previous regime would have done anything less than what this regime did with the Port in Hambantota and China. Everyone plays a different game when they are in the opposition. This current regime had to end up paying China 200million dollars for delaying the port city project. I just read an interview with GR where he says India asked that project to be stopped because of fears of China. That is why India and US worked together to defeat the MR regime; India under Hinduvta BJP is more afraid of China than Congress-I. So that is why they actively funded and helped the UNP-Sirisena coalition defeat MR. But that is then; what to do now other than lease ports ?

      The debt servicing crisis and drought will end up throwing more burdens on the poor and middle class. A Kilo of Seer/Thoramaalu was nearly LKR 2000.00 when I visited my motherland recently. A coconut is 60 to 80 LKR and Rice is over 100LKR a Kilo. Even upper middle class families such as my relatives have switched to buying Thalapath maalu. Energy costs are amongst the highest in Asia. Sri Lanka can be good with both India and China.

      No point in choosing one over the other. US is very visible in its presence now with so many trips by US Navy and other units for “joint exercises and friendly visits” at levels not seen before. No one does anything for anyone out of the goodness of their hearts or for altruistic reasons. There will be day US will demand its Shylockian pound of flesh.

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    Add to that China’s actions in S.China sea and even Taiwan now. We live in unpredictable times. SL needs closer ties with Kerala and Tamil Nadu both. Tamil Nadu is a vibrant fast growing economy with a booming industrial base now. It is not the TN I knew in the 1980s backward and not developed with corrupt custom agents in Madras asking us for Cigarettes and booze when we landed there or with a shithole Airport. TN has left SL behind in drawing FDIs. We got Hoaxwagen and they got BMW, Daimler, Ford, Nissan, Ashok Leyland etc.

    China will not risk open confrontation with USA because it cannot ever hope to beat the US in an Oceanic war with the US Navy with their their very limited capabilities to counter US uber-dominance in warships and technology and superior aircraft. The regime change in SL engineered by the USA was because of concerns about China. Like I said “Freedom of Navigation” was language RW used and US uses. US will now, under Trump, follow a far more aggressive US first policies towards China and anyone else because Obama could not live up to his ideals and even Russia took advantage of that. China has never been an aggressive threat to Sri Lanka. It did not arm, train and finance terrorism or separatism for their own geopolitical reasons and to win elections as the way Cong I did with Indira and Rajiv Gandhi.

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    We are lucky to have survived the Dravidian onslaught after independence when that bastard Ramasamy ( Tamil ) wanted to divide India into two pieces North and South. South called after Dravidian states comprising Tamil Nadu , Andhra , Karnataka and Kerala and absorb Ceylon.

    Even that Tamil guy Ramasamy conspired with Jinnah for this division. But these Tamils who feel superior to everyone else and has racist casteist complex, should know for example that Kerala and Ceylon are multicultural, multiracial, multinational having its own identity despite of all super powers invading us Portuguese , Dutch , finally British. I know how Tamil created all the problems in SL . I know the history. Dravida Nation was a cry in India in the 1960s.

    Thanks to early congress statesman like Nehru, Rajgopalacharya , Ambedkar who stood stood against the geographic divisions in the early independent India.

    • 4
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      Sandhu

      You have raised a few good points without any basis and simply from your incurable paranoia for anything that is slightly bigger than your brain or your Willy.

      The Aryan/Dravidian dichotomy first emerged in the North of India and Europe. There never existed races such as Aryans or Dravidians (refer The Theory of Aryan Race and India: History and Politics – by Romila Thapar).

      How much do you exactly know about Erode Venkata Ramasamy (Thanthai Periyar)?

  • 0
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    Sampantha Annai says NO.

    What is preventing us from cultivating the TN leaders…. Oh ! how can that be done? they will want to visit us every other day to use our toilet facilities.

  • 0
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    when some one who reads day to day news and news about lobal affairs easily understands that is article is not doing anything good for Sinhla. It is just trying to promote anti-chinese feeling. I don’t know whether it suggests, because India and Japan says we must, Sinhale should be a part of the tri-lateral initiative.

    Mattala air port should be a wastage of money if the hambanthota harbour does not become a key point in the Indian Ocean.

    Any way, When Maithriapala sirisena says Sinhale has responsibility to look after the security in Indian Ocean, Whether Sinhale is going to look after the Indian Ocean (that is scary) and stops fights between USA or NATO allies against China. That is If their are any allies for China because they had been bought out already. Sinhale has only condemned tug boats and a ship condemned by India for the Navy. Israeli boats can not go the high seas.

    Even NATO is a way to subisidize american “security” spendings with the support of european countries some of which are already bankrupt, e.g. Greece, and some are e.g. Poland, third world countries.

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      Did you mean the Mattala International Padddy Storage?

  • 1
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    Sanja,I don’t think that there’s a threat as long as they don’t tag us Made in china.
    Re Indian ocean it is already full of CHU and lai…

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    The threat from China is money-lending-Shylockian style – loans forgiven if the right person owns the country, armed services, police and judiciary.

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    Chinese are resource extractors, maybe exploitative. Not colonialists (as yet, excepting Tibet).

    Colonialists not only do resource extraction, they dictate how the colonies should live.
    Worse they create a “groomed” segment of the colonized population that is bred into their language, ideals and version of history. (Historic example the Janissaries).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janissaries

    The word is Stockholm Syndrome, a word never used in the context of the colonized, specially the enablers for the Colonialists.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

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    To understand the Stockholm Syndrome watch the film The Night Porter

    “On another level it deals with the psychological condition known as Stockholm Syndrome.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Night_Porter

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    We cannot ally ourselves with the Indians because they are not trustworthy. History has proved that time and time again.
    We seem to forget when their warships were hanging around our waters as a clear threat.
    The only country to voice their objections when the indians violated our airspace was China.
    The rest of the world was silent.
    The Govt: should consider all investments other than indian (They will never invest for the good of our country anyway)
    india’s two main exports to SL are Terrorism and Trishaws , both have damaged this economy irreparably.

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      “………..india’s two main exports to SL are Terrorism and Trishaws , both have damaged this economy irreparably……………..”

      How does one use a trishaw as a weapon of destruction of economy?

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        Do you live in SL??????/

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          Tungsan Yu

          “Do you live in SL??????/”

          I never been to black-hole however I know there is one.

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    Tungsan Yu

    “We seem to forget when their warships were hanging around our waters as a clear threat.”

    True, because the ships were unloading relief materials for Tsunami victims and another ship for surveying the seabed.

    The IPKF came by Air and sea to fight the LTTE until Premadasa and his boys armed the terrorists and demanded they left. What a stupid move.

    The Sri Lankan state was able to contain JVP terrorism only because Hindians kept the lid on LTTE.

    If you don’t like imports from India you should stop buying from them including Parippu, Bombay onion, spices, …….. considered equivalent to nation committing mass suicide.

    Why do you sit on your brain?

    “The only country to voice their objections when the indians violated our airspace was China.”

    I am not sure source of the above information.

    However China is the only country which object to us inviting Dalai Lama and opening up diplomatic relation with Taiwan.

    By the way you should applaud China’s peace loving policy, small and large pieces of land from neighboring countries and middle of sea.

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      Vedda (Savage)
      There was no tsunami during the Vadamaarachchi operations. (1987)
      Lentils come from turkey,australia, and a few other countries. Not only from india. B,Onions the same.
      However i am not talking about food, indian food is excellent.
      It is more relevant to the indian psyche , they will not help SL, unless they have much to gain.
      Funny you should refer to my brain??????

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        Tungsan Yu

        “There was no tsunami during the Vadamaarachchi operations. (1987)”

        Has there ever one in Sri Lanka?

        “It is more relevant to the indian psyche , they will not help SL, unless they have much to gain.”

        Have the Hindians ever helped their people since independence?

        You sound like a typical self hating Sinhalese/Tamil.

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          ?????????

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            Tungsan Yu

            “??????”

            ??????
            ??????

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    Is China A Threat To Our Island & The Indian Ocean Region?

    How to define threatening of powers like China or US?

    In the argument of John Mearsheimer, one of the character of the international system is no one knows others intention.
    In terms of this argument, we couldn’t ascertain what the real intention of China is. China may have a hidden agenda and she try to use Sri Lanka as a military base in future.

    Therefore we couldn’t give an immediate judgment regarding this matter. In my view, China can become a threatening force for Sri Lanka when China having hostilities with Indian interests on Sri Lanka. As an immediate neighbor, India never loses its influence into Sri Lankan affairs.

    India has proved its strength to Rajapaksa when he had a pro China stand.

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    First SL must worry about internal extremists in camouflaged coats of ‘saviors of the majority’. This is one of the major curses to the nation’s development.

    Then, Cost Centers, the state sector with unjustifiable workforce without productivity. Does a small country like SL with a small economy really need such a huge state sector and at this cost? Close state sector doors, and many in turn would find and open up their own doors that would be more profitable to them and the nation.

    Then put extremist Tamils and Muslims in the right track through laws and enforcements. Controlling extremism among minorities using law enforcements is easier than using similar extremists from the majority that takes us nowhere.

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      Mohamed,
      “Then, Cost Centers, the state sector with unjustifiable workforce without productivity. Does a small country like SL with a small economy really need such a huge state sector and at this cost?”
      You have the root of the problem. It is called living beyond one’s means.
      We want:
      Fancy highways
      Fancy airports
      Fancy airlines
      Fancy harbours
      Fancy theatres
      Fancy stadiums
      Pensions for all
      Money for being lazy
      Free Education
      Free medicine
      We can’t pay for any of the above. China is willing to advance the money. We still can’t pay. So they take the port, airport, etc. Simple, isn’t it?

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        old codger

        Your age is catching up with you.

        You forgot free rice from moon or plastic rice from China.

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    The politics of Muslim and Tamil extremism are base on GUN Rule line of mindset.

    That is cannot change by overnight ,the reason is Religion and Ethnic are deep root social phenomenal penetrated into persons conspires by the several unknown myths.

    The crux of matter is to be treated by rational methodology and sciencefict analysis on long-term educational path. Other wise religion extremism of Muslim have redefined by an Ideological teaching.

    Task is not easy one?

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    Many interesting comments! However, the answer to the title question lies in the being privy to how the Japanese, Chinese, Indians, and indeed nearly all other countries (and the UN), see us. Our ‘word’ is taken with a pinch of salt. We vacillate, change our minds, look for a get out, say one thing and mean another. We promise but don’t deliver. In desperation a damn-fool minister of state would even offer to ‘marry’ an emissary.

    Soon after the IPKF debacle in 1989, a patrician general told VPSingh “We can take the North for breakfast, and the rest of Sri Lanka before dinner. The problem is that we will suffer from indigestion for five hundred years afterwards”. That was the time that India’s approach to SL was formulated.

    India, China and Japan all play organ grinder to Sri Lanka. For too long we have acted big, puffed ourselves up, acted all fart and no shit. Dignity has been an alien concept to most of our foreign service (the best ones’ get shot or slapped).

    For now, most countries are happy to humour us and let us dig our hole deeper. We are country where ‘unity’ is a meaningless word, reconciliation of communities ‘a moving target’ and ‘Human Rights’ a lost cause.

    But, You and I know that we do have the capability to rise above all this and make Sri Lanka something different, something infinitely better. But first we must clear out the dross that tarnishes us all.

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      Spring Koha

      “For too long we have acted big, puffed ourselves up, acted all fart and no shit. Dignity has been an alien concept to most of our foreign service (the best ones’ get shot or slapped).”

      Old chap – brilliant, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

      On the other hand it is sad to note that the wind bags want to manage foreign policies of this island, particularly the ill-informed, ignorant, arrogant, smart ass patriotic, paranoid ….. Editors of English Media.

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      Spring Koha,
      ” However, the answer to the title question lies in the being privy to how the Japanese, Chinese, Indians, and indeed nearly all other countries (and the UN), see us.”
      Well put.
      We think we are the pearl of the Indian Ocean, the emporium of the East, etc etc. Ask an American and he would say :” Oh, that little bit of India that hangs an inch away!”
      Forget our failed “sovereignty” . We are as Indian as any Hong Konger /Taiwanese is Chinese, toilets notwithstanding.

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        old codger, Spring Koha & other good wise souls

        Please listen to this:

        Dayan vs Sumanthiran at “The Constitution, Reconciliation and You” organized by Sri Lanka Inc”

        https://www.youtube.com/
        watch?v=O4z5xEaj8s4&feature=youtu.be

        Listen to Dayan, what a waste of education.

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    Dear Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka and all Participants,
    Thank you all for showing us the situation in a way we used to learn stories in form-1. We read a story of two dear good friends from childhood until one from a poor family amassed the wealth of the rich boy’s family and became a famous leader. The poor boy was clever and studious where as the rich boy was playful and a bully. As he was growing up the rich boy swindled the family wealth and made a lot of bad friends who supported him with his lifestyle. When the parents found him incorrigible they turned to his old poor friend for help. The now famous old friend who was jealous of the riches of the family but showed all politeness and agreed to turn him around and wanted their properties transferred to him until he turn around his old friend and transfer back the family property to him. The parents felt it as the best way and gave their properties to the friend. The friend succeeded getting the property he longed for and immediately he built several houses and gave them to all his siblings to live.
    If you put two friendly Countries in place of these two friends you should be able to guess which is which. A friend can be good even for a long time as long as you were strong. When he sees your weakness you are definitely vulnerable.

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    Who ever what ever says, Every big country is for them and that includes, India, Britian, ISA and the Europe who wanrts to be a power. They looks after their interests. Sri lanka has to do it. Because, our leaders are chicken and they don’t know how to develop the country on their own. Even if some one does it, there are so many enemies to it the other way. but, I don’t think Mahinda Rajapakse was trying to do it.

    They handle Sri Lanka differently though.

    USA is running our govt and already colombo harbour is checking containers the way USA wants, Now they want Sri lanka to protect the Indian Ocean for them. they don’t give money except some coindswhich come via NGOs.

    China follows another method. China has shown how they do it in Africa.

    Anyway, china is careful and has signed agreements with Maldive Islands too in case, Sri lanka double crosses them.

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    The questions that Sri Lankans should ask is , are there any other country in the world that has aligned with China which has done well economically. We are all aware of many countries that aligned with the US that have done exceptionally well. Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and south Korea are few Asian countries that have had enormous growth by aligning with US and other western countries. It’s important therefore that Sri Lanka maintains good relationships with the US and other western countries but at same time attracting Chinese investments to the countries. Sri Lanka should not become a military hub for China or have any military relations with China that would be of concern to India , which in turn would upset the US. Sri Lanka needs to manage China very strategically, without upsetting the other countries, specially since Chinese relations with most of these countries are not good.

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