5 December, 2020

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Sri Lanka’s Role In The Indian Ocean & The Changing Global Dynamic

By Harsha de Silva

Dr. Harsha de Silva

In light of the regional and global developments, the government of Sri Lanka has embarked on a mission to leverage Sri Lanka’s location in the nautical corridor between the east and west, and make it a hub of the Indian Ocean, as well as a key transhipment port for the Bay of Bengal trade. It aims to maximise relations with regional players such as China, Japan and India to encourage trade and foreign investments in Sri Lanka.

The 9thof January 2017 marked the second anniversary of an important turning point in Sri Lanka’s recent history. It is the beginning of the third year of the five-year term of President Maithripala Sirisena. On 8January 2015, the people of Sri Lanka took part in polls and, on 9January 2015, switched from a government that had embarked on an authoritarian and divisive trajectory to one of convergence and national unity. For the first time since independence, traditional rivals in Sri Lankan politics eschewed adversarial politics to undertake pressing political and economic reforms in the long-term interest of the people. Sri Lankans demonstrated to the world that they could change a well-entrenched government, long considered to be undefeatable by using the ballot. It was an unexpected outcome to many within and outside Sri Lanka and demonstrated the importance of democracy.

Optimism in the Changing Global Dynamic

In the last two years, Sri Lanka has achieved some notable successes as well as faced some complex challenges that have slowed its progress. It is a trajectory that is inevitable in a democracy. Sri Lankans are a resilient people who sustain a sense of optimism about the potential of their country even in the darkest moments of our history. Now perhaps for the first time in Sri Lanka’s contemporary history, the future holds more promise than doubt. The people believe that they are at a stage of economic growth and political maturity which, combined with opportunities presented by global and regional developments, will propel them to the next stage of development if they play their cards right. Therefore, it is with a sense of optimism that I approach this topic on Sri Lanka’s role in the Indian Ocean and the changing global dynamic.

The moment one hears the two words, Sri Lanka, his or her mind travels to South Asia. However, for centuries, Taprobane, Ceylon, Sri Lanka or whatever the island was referred to, was the heart of the Indian Ocean. Therefore, the people would like to position Sri Lanka as the centre of the Indian Ocean, rather than just a South Asian nation. The future prosperity of the nation relies on how well it leverages its location in the Indian Ocean. In order to accomplish its goals, it must be vigilant to regional and global developments that will aid or hinder its path.

Last year was a tumultuous year in politics and economics. Sri Lanka is witnessing momentous changes in the structure of the global economy brought about by the relentless influence of globalisation. It is reasonable to be concerned with the rapid pace of change and what it means for our economies. The effect of Brexit and other possible exits from the European Union and trade policies of United States (US) President-elect Donald Trump will take some months, even years to manifest and everyone will be observing with interest the interactions between China and the incoming administration in the US. It is in this context that one says that uncertainty is the ‘new normal’ in business life. Those organisations and countries that thrive in an era of uncertainty will be those who seize the opportunities presented by these uncertainties and take actions that can avert disasters and promote confidence and recovery. The emerging uncertain global dynamic will present both challenges and opportunities for those in the Indian Ocean.

 Sri Lanka’s Historical Role in the Indian Ocean

Sri Lanka’s location has shaped its history intrinsically for millennia and will continue to be so in the future. In ancient times, Sri Lanka was important as the half way point between the two great empires of Rome and China and near the equator where our navigational winds and monsoon effects changed directions. Therefore, it has strategic geographical advantages where global and navigational contexts were concerned. It featured prominently in the spice routes which were also called maritime silk roads. In fact, it is said that cinnamon from Sri Lanka and cassia from China found their way along the Spice Routes to the Middle East as far back as 2000 BC. Foreign merchants were attracted to ancient Taprobane because of its importance as a centre of international trade and some of them even settled in the islands, particularly Moors, descendants of Arab traders. They were a dominant influence on the islands’ international trade in the Polonnaruwa period, between the 11th to 13th century periods. The Moors maintained this dominance until the early decades of the 16th century.

An examination of the foreign relations of the island under the Polonnaruwa Kings reveals political linkages with Southeast Asia, in particular Myanmar and Cambodia. Peace and prosperity along the Maritime Silk Road helped increase the volume of international trade via the Indian Ocean from which Sri Lanka naturally profited. Much of the trade was in luxury goods, and in that respect Sri Lanka was the transit point as well as a terminal point. The latter was due to Sri Lanka’s own considerable luxury products such as gems and pearls. However, ancient Sri Lanka was a largely self-sufficient agrarian economy, where the role of trade was a generally peripheral activity. It was only after the collapse of the ancient Hydraulic civilization in the Polonnaruwa period that the country’s rulers began to give greater attention to the economic possibilities of trade. Exports of spices, particularly cinnamon, became a particularly lucrative activity.

During the 13th and 15th centuries, Sri Lanka’s position as a trade hub on the East-West maritime route had been established, as had its position as a gateway to India. Sri Lanka had direct commercial links with Malacca and with regions in India such as Gujarat and Bengal. During the colonial rule by the Portuguese, Dutch and lastly the English, the volume of trade expanded. The tea trade, which was started by the British, still plays a significant role in the Sri Lankan economy. However, in the last 500years, the Indian Ocean region lost its geo-political and geo-economic relevance first to colonial dictates and, thereafter, post-colonial cold war concerns.

Sri Lanka’s Strategic Role in the Indian Ocean

Now for the first time in five centuries, global economic balance of power is once again shifting towards Asia. It is estimated that, by 2030, Asia will surpass North America and Europe combined in global power based on gross domestic product (GDP), population size, military spending and technological investments. The global financial system is also moving away, albeit slowly, from the dollar dominated international system to a more multi-currency system. The new consumer markets are emerging all across Asia, and the Asian middle class is expanding rapidly. Of the four largest economies of the world – US, China, Japan and India –three are located in Asia. The busy East-West shipping route passes just six to ten nautical miles south of the island with more than60,000 ships plying this route annually carrying two-thirds of global petroleum, half the supply of container cargo and more. Thus, Sri Lanka’s situation in the nautical corridor between the East and West is not only of importance from a geostrategic perspective but also from a maritime, economics and security perspective.

Sri Lanka is a small country –it can’t change the geopolitical realities of the region surrounding us. Hence, a wise foreign policy is essential not only for the present but to ensure prosperity and safety of future generations.

Along with many opportunities, the renewed interest in Asia will also bring vulnerability to emerging competition among major naval powers. The blue water naval capabilities of key Asian states have ushered a new strategic environment and the Indian Ocean has become an important geo-strategic space. While the maritime space of Asia is strongly connected to the Indian and Pacific Oceans through trade and commerce routes, there is a difference in the power dynamics of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The powerplay in the Pacific is dominated by its proximity to the US, centrality to the US security policies and now the rise of the Chinese naval power. In contrast, the Indian Ocean region has a multipolar characteristic.

This transition in global power to Asia started with the economic awakening of East Asia, driven by the growth of China and the complementary growth of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, particularly Indonesia and Vietnam. While the South Asian region has not matched the same level of development, the region is acquiring an intrinsic significance of its own, underpinned by the growth of India. Currently India is the fastest growing large economy in the world. In the future, the power transition in the Indian Ocean will be heavily influenced by South Asian developments.

The Indian Ocean plays a crucial role in the future of both China and India. The sea routes through the Indian Ocean are very important to China’s maritime trade and energy supply. Therefore, both countries will have to respect each other’s legitimate interest in ensuring that their future prospects are not affected in the long term.

Unlike the Asia Pacific, the Indian Ocean region is not economically integrated. No single power or coalition will be able to maintain peace and stability on their own in the Indian Ocean. In capacity terms also, no country is capable of handling the maritime security threats and challenges in isolation, no matter how advanced or developed it might be. In addition, it is preferable that the region continues its historic and multipolar characteristics to prevent a spill-over of tensions from other regions. In such a background, all maritime nations have a role to play in ensuring the overall balance of strategic weight. Smaller nations such as Sri Lanka, even with comparatively limited maritime resources, can become an integral element of security in the region.

The Indian Ocean is in need of a mutually benefiting security architecture established on a multilateral basis. There is also space for an effective multilateral governing structure. In this regard, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka has expressed an interest in crafting an Indian Ocean Order with accepted rules and agreements that would guide interactions between states. Speaking in Singapore in 2016 at the inauguration of the Indian Ocean Conference, Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe called for this Order to be built on consensual agreement in which no state is allowed to dominate the system.

The Indian Ocean Order would have the primary responsibility of upholding the freedom of navigation in the Indian Ocean ensuring that shipping and air routes to East Asia and beyond are kept open. This will help build closer economic cooperation amongst countries in the region. In this regard, the Prime Minister has called for a dialogue between South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and ASEAN leaders. Perhaps that can happen sooner than later, and Sri Lanka would be delighted to play a role. Be that as it may, Sri Lanka remains committed to preventing international terrorism, transnational crimes and people smuggling in the seas around our country. Supplementing the blue water capability of the Sri Lanka navy and the consolidation of the coast guards are areas of concern for our government. It is also reviewing possibilities of integrating the capabilities of our navy and air force.

Repositioning of Sri Lanka

The government of Sri Lanka has a clear vision of what it wants to be in the world today. It is repositioning itself to maximise its relationship with both historic and new trading partners, to leverage our geostrategic position and make it a hub of the India Ocean as well as a transshipment port for the Bay of Bengal trade. To fully realize this potential, Sri Lanka is engaging in initiatives with regional players who have major economic stakes in the Indian Ocean. It is also pushing to further integrate with the world by undertaking reforms to facilitate trade and encourage productive foreign investments. It has set a target of boosting exports to US$20 billion in 2020 and increasing exports by nearly 80 per cent between 2016 and 2020. It is unfortunate that in the last decade also of the previous government, Sri Lanka lost its focus, with exports to GDP falling from 34 per cent to less than 14 per cent. So it is critical that Sri Lanka implements its plans to leverage its competitive advantages as planned. Unlike ASEAN, which provided its members with a stable and peaceful environment to focus on economic development in formative stages of their countries development, SAARC has not been able to achieve the same level of regional integration. These geopolitical realities require that Sri Lanka build strong bilateral relations with the Bay of Bengal members of ASEAN, in addition to its fellow South Asian members. In sum, Sri Lanka cannot be content with its traditional markets and its must thus look beyond for new opportunities.

India and Sri Lanka hope to finalise an economic and technical cooperation or Indo-Sri Lanka Economic and Technology Cooperative Agreement (ETCA)by 2017. The ETCA will enhance the scope of India and Sri Lanka’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA)to extend freer movement of goods and services, with the added emphasis of cooperation on development of technology and investment. The ETCA will provide an impetus to existing synergies and has the potential to promote rapid growth in the sub-regional economy between Sri Lanka and the five South Indian States.[1]

Sri Lanka is also negotiating an FTA with Singapore. Singapore already has a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with India.[2] Therefore, Sri Lanka believes that, by next year, the Singapore-India CECA, the India-Sri Lanka ECTA and the Sri Lanka-Singapore FTA will enable another southern sub-region of South Asia and Singapore to establish a tri-partite arrangement for trade and investment.

Sri Lanka supports the One Belt One Road Initiative, in line with the major historical role we played in the Maritime Silk Route. This will consolidate its position as a hub of the Indian Ocean while further integrating us with the Asian markets. Chinese investments will be primarily directed towards industrialisation and further development of the Hambantota Hub in southern Sri Lanka. In addition, a US$1.4 billion reclamation is now underway, adjacent to the city of Colombo, for the creation of a 560-acre financial city under English law, to fill a vacuum for offshore financial services between Singapore and Dubai. Chinese investors have made significant commitments to invest equity in the China-debt strapped Hambantota port and the Mattala international airport the previous government built; now as public-private partnershipventures.

The Sri Lanka government is currently negotiating a US$1.3 billion lease agreement with China Merchants Port to lease the currently empty deep sea port, in order to integrate it with the proposed industrial zones. In addition, we inaugurated the 15,000-acre Sri Lanka-China logistics and industrial zone to become a serious player in the global production network. It was revealed at the inauguration that Chinese investors were ready to bring in US$5 billion in investments in the zone over the next three years.

Economic cooperation with Japan is as important to Sri Lanka. It is grateful for four decades of Japanese donor assistance that have made significant impact on its social and economic development. The Japanese Prime Minister, Mr Shinzō Abe, has also appointed a senior official to coordinate the Japan-Sri Lanka Joint Comprehensive Partnership Program that was initiated last year.[3] After a lull, Japan is once again getting involved in major infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka including light rail and expressways.

Many may not be aware that Sri Lanka is home to the second largest natural harbour in the world in Trincomalee – it is said to be one of the finest deep sea harbours in the world. Sri Lanka has now initiated action to develop this port centered on the large Trinco development zone. The government is working with India and Japan, with Surbana Jurong of Singapore being contracted to draw up a city master plan. The proposed container terminal in Trincomalee Port will serve trade in India’s east coast as well as Bangladesh and Myanmar.

With the strong interest in utilising the zones along the south west corridor centered around Colombo port and western megapolis, logistics and industrial zones located near the Hambantota and the north-east corridor centered around the Trincomalee port developed by investors from China, Korea, Japan and also likely from India, Sri Lanka plans to create an export market focused on Europe, China, Japan, US and the crescent of markets around the Indian Ocean. In the Middle East, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, there exists a fast-growing population of over two billion people. This combined market has the potential of three billion consumers by 2050.

Going forward, Sri Lanka’s development strategy will be aimed at capturing trade opportunities within this identified Indian Ocean market by pursuing trade liberalisation agreements with their governments. It has already made the application with the European Union to regain the Generalized System of Preferences Plus facility for preferential access to the single market, and are hopeful of an agreement by next year. A concerted effort is also underway to improve the business climate, domestic reforms that are rule-based and make business and investment more secure. Sri Lanka is taking measures to increase the ease of doing business more directly, for example, it is bringing a number of different agencies together to create a one-stop investment and trade facilitation shop.

Sri Lanka is reviewing its laws and regulations to create a simple rules-based business environment, including those related to land ownership, as well as tariffs and para-tariffs. It has adopted policies that enable private enterprise to thrive, for example, Sri Lanka has a simple three-tier tax rate with the lowest at 14 percent. Together, these reforms – alongside our educated workforce and solid infrastructure – are making Sri Lanka the most attractive, secure and competitive investment destination in the region.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the security of the Indian Ocean is of primary interest to those located in the Indian Ocean region, since it is directly linked to their economies. Therefore, managing competition and strengthening cooperation would be essential, given that both these economic and strategic security factors will have a direct impact on the future of this region. There will always be tension between large countries and their smaller neighbours. However, the countries in the Indian Ocean region have more in common in terms of history, culture and religion than what sets them apart. Sri Lanka believes the Indian Ocean region now has an extraordinary opportunity to create something new and uniquely beneficial to its own people.

*This is a transcript of Dr Harsha de Silva’s presentation at the Public Forum on ‘The Indian Ocean’, organised by the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), an autonomous research institute at the National University of Singapore, in Singapore on 9 January 2017. The Public Forum is the inaugural session of the ISAS Distinguished Visitors Programme. Dr Harsha de Silva is the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the former Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs. The author bears full responsibility for the facts cited and opinions expressed in this paper.

[1]    South India consists of the five southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

[2]    “India – Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).” India – Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). N.p., n.d. Web. 13 January 2017. <https://www.iesingapore.gov.sg/Trade-From-Singapore/International-Agreements/free-trade-agreements/CECA>.

[3]    “Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership between Japan and Sri Lanka.” (n.d.): n. pag. Http://www.mofa.go.jp. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan. Web.

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Latest comments

  • 4
    6

    DR. HARSHA ,
    WE NEED TO REVITALIZE THE ECONOMY BUT OUR SRI LANKAN WORKERS ARE BLADY LAZY !!!!! WE NEED TO GET STARTED WITH FOREIGN LABOR !!!!! AS WE KNOW THERE ARE MORE THAN 200’000 FOREIGN WORKERS IN THE COUNTRY. WITH INDIA PLAYING A GOOD PART TO RECHARGE OUR ECONOMY I GUESS WE NEED TO BRING THE INDIAN WORK FORCE, SEEN THIS I AM SURE OUR LAZY BOYS WILL OPEN THEIR EYES !!!!!

    • 3
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      ED Your Labor shortage is due to a bubble in the apt. construction sector, and failure to have a decent living wage – particularly for Women Workers who are underpaid. Sri Lanka has a real estate apartment bubble. These economic bubbles rise when the rest of the economy stagnates, and there is little investment and innovation in the real economy- manufacturing and services.
      This is because the entire economic development and growth strategy and policy is upside down starting with Prime Minister’s office where the right Wing US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) drafts economic policy for Ranil and his team of jokers including Harsha! Sri Lanka’s development priorities are
      1. investment in LOCAL education, research and product innovation first then go after the markets.
      2. Sri Lanka needs to identify strategic resources, value addition and build on its comparative advantage – marine and ocean resources and services rather than exporting raw materials.
      3. Workers need a decent living wage.
      4. Decent PUBLIC Transport in and between cities and towns which is environmentally less polluting than SUVs for corrupt politicians,
      5. garbage recycling.

      • 7
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        Dead on Kalu, Before Harsha boasts of Free trade agreement (FTAs the local manufacturing and industry base needs to be developed, or, Lankan economy will be destroyed by cheap imported goods from India, China, Singapore, Korea etc. and massive debt..

        Sad thing is that Ranil Wickramasinghe and his team suffer from acquired dependency on fake foreign experts: the economic policy of Sri Lanka is being made for global 1 percent, rather than to benefit the local people, while assets are sold off to pay for the luxury life styles of corrupt politicians.
        Why has there been no investigation of Panama Papers by GoSL and CB? India are and Pakistan are investigating because they do not have IMF’s fake experts running their Central banks! In the age of Fake news we have lots of fake international development experts who know nothing about local economy, society and the political culture of corruption which is the BIGGEST BLOCK to economic growth in Sri Lanka.

        • 1
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          True, true SM!

          Economic policy of Sri Lanka is being made for global 1 percent and to serve the security interests of USA, China, India, Japan Korea in the great game that USA is playing in the Indian Ocean with China.

          This will NOT benefit the local people, while national assets are sold off to pay for the luxury life styles of corrupt and moronic politicians.

        • 1
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          Harsha, a word of caution, remember please: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing/ drink deep or taste not of that Spring!

          Aid for trade is strictly structured to benefit the donor countries, and further their security and business interests FIRST today. If it benefits the local population that would be a miracle given the stupidity and corruption of politicians and mainly corrupt technocrats who do so called aid project negotiations with the donor countries.
          You seem to be a very a naive deputy FM, clueless about great power security interests in Indian Ocean, and how these interests trump aid for development which is really FAKE AID or PHANTOM AID that mainly under-develops countries of the global south, also given the stupidity and corruption of political leaders who get cut back or Fake Aid projects as we know from the Hambantota and Colombo port fraud deals. Harsha, sorry to say, you are proving to be neither adept at Economics and Development nor foreign policy.

  • 7
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    Sri Lanka has a Navy But all foreign Trawlers are taking away the fish from the SriLankan Sea. The Politicians and navy high ranks become Fatty. Mean time the Sri lankan fishermen both Sinhalese and Tamils are starving. They come back from the the fishing trip after hard days in the sea without enough catch. some times the catch is not enough even to cover the fuel expenses. The foreign trawlers should be restricted and regulated so that there is enough for the local fishermen. The fish breeding and maturation should be protected. The Pedro fish bank should be protected. The Fishermen cooperatives should be Facilitated to own very large fishing vessels . the mooring and repair and maintenance of such vessels should be helped. The local fishermen should be working in the foreign vessels fishing around Sri Lanka and they should hold sufficient shares on those vessels.It should be the prime duty of the SL navy to protect the fish resources from foreign poachers, poaching legally or illegally. The Sinhalese people and scientists should focus their attention on these poaching and protection of sea resources rather than exploiting and swindling the norther fishermen’s lively hood. Divert their energy and resources from anti tamil racist minds to meaningful progressive ways.

  • 6
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    Some revisionist history bs notwithstanding it gets interesting when we get to the now and the future. As usual we are totally reliant on others taking the initiative. Too many egg and bacon breakfast arrangements!

    The biggest obstacles to our success in attracting investment is of our own doing. The pathological inability to keep to our word (from the highest in government to the lowest). The many commissions that need to be paid to get things done. The rampant bribery and corruption, including those at the highest levels shrugging their shoulders and turning a blind eye. The selective application of the rule of law, including the interminable delays. The overnight changes that follow government whim. The ever vigilant saffron army that could create domestic turmoil overnight. Get some of these out of the way and see what happens.

    • 5
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      You sound like the broker for donkey land where corruption is high that small enterprises can’t start up but then it’s the same level of corruption for ant land South Korea too. Have a society that is well-ordered, by all means – but not too well-ordered!

      Ants are a hard-working, sane saving and thrifty lot. They are the socially regimented and individually disciplined beings that Lankans are not because faith and patriotism are the catalyst to war.

      Saffron army borrowed it from the same stone that evolved the crusaders of the world- it’s all in the glue of humbugs playing emotions for fame, wealth and power.

      There’s a lot and more of everything out there and it all comes down to price- cheap oil and strength of the dollar.

  • 6
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    Dr Harsha de Silva,

    I doubt whether your following statement is correct.

    “The government of Sri Lanka has a clear vision of what it wants to be in the world today.”

    The two main parties in the government (UNP and the SLFP) have different views. Your presentation (although official), could be considered the views of the UNP, to the far right. The declared ‘Indian Ocean Order’ is a very ambitious project and what Sri Lanka could promote at present is Mrs. Bandaranaike’s proposal making the Indian Ocean a ‘Peace Zone’ under the UN.

    Without elaborating on others, can I kindly ask Dr Harsha to explain what he mean by the following statements?

    1.“Unlike the Asia Pacific, the Indian Ocean region is not economically integrated.” Can you explain what is this economically integrated Asia Pacific? Or is it a slip?

    2.You say, “The Indian Ocean is in need of a mutually benefitting security architecture established on a multilateral basis.” What is the ‘security architecture’ that you are proposing for the Indian Ocean countries? Who is going to take charge?

    3. You also say, “There is also space for an effective multilateral governing structure.” This is quite way ahead of the present realities, to say the least. What is this multilateral governing structure that you are proposing or imagining? How would that affect the ‘small and fragile democracy’ that we have in Sri Lanka? Why do you make such a fancy and whimsical proposals?

    Can you please answer? I remember you came to interview me for the TNL with a barrage of questions in November 2005. I answered your questions. Therefore, please answer.

    • 1
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      Dr Laksiri Fernando: 1. ASEAN vs for instance SAARC etc. (no economic integration); 2. rules based order with participation of stakeholders, large and small; 3. will flow from 2. Harsha

      • 7
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        ” ASEAN vs for instance SAARC”
        Apples and Grapes You have no idea of how cities grow except buy and sell.

        ” 2. rules based order with participation of stakeholders, large and small;”
        India and Pakistan are creators and trainers of terrorist like their respective security council member controllers- Lanka can’t be a card dealer and to top it racism of 3 ethnics and faiths compounds it to a vassal state of both and China.

        3.You are cuckoo land coconuts please stick to your qualifications.

        A country’s success is not only judged by its leaders but equally by the achievement of its citizens those leaders have influenced upon.
        The single stench of exporting maids to medieval middle east.

        If only Lanka could produce a leader and wife at least a 30% Lee Kuan Yew (he framed ASEAN in line with Tokaido)

      • 10
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        Harsha de Silva

        “2. rules based order with participation of stakeholders, large and small;”

        It is interesting to note you believe in sharing the same rules with stakeholders, large and small, very egalitarian. We should welcome your aspirations.

        You seem to have different rules for the minorities and Northerners given that you made the following statement in November 2014 this was 6 weeks before the Presidential elections:

        “I am a proud Southerner and a Sinhala Buddhist. I have no desire whatsoever to align with the Tigers and betray my country,”

        A serious question or two for you:

        What exactly make you a proud Southerner?

        In what ways you are different from Northerners, Easterners and Westerners?

        What you mean by “a Sinhala Buddhist”?

        What entails you as a Sinhala Buddhist?

        What do you have to do to become a Sinhala Buddhist?

        What benefits are you entitle to by being “a proud Southerner and a Sinhala Buddhist” where other are not.

        Do you still believe our constitution should protect Buddha Sasana?

        Could you make sure all state pensioners living outside the country are paid their monthly entitlements on time and all their arrears. Many pensioners living outside this island have not been paid for many years, some for nearly 10 years.

        Send in auditors before the files go walkies.

        From directors to faceless little clerk behind the pension desk would not respond to any of pensioners’ hundreds of letters. It seem pensioners have to pay “Santhosam” 50% of the arrears to get the payment released. Some pensioners are due more than millions in arrears.

        If you are too busy or annoyed with the above please feel free to ignore people like me.

        By the way if you got a few minutes while globe trotting, please do visit this site.

      • 9
        0

        Harsha de Silva

        I have favour to request.

        Is it possible for you to send Dayan Jayatilleka either to North Korea Ambassador or India as High Commissioner.

        Kim Jong-un needs a war monger cheer leader.

        India needs to hear from horse’s mouth, Dayan’s justification for his recent foreign policy paranoia.

        Indians might find some cure for him.

        • 2
          0

          Dayan has no chance in India. He will have chances in Swaziland, Uganda and Belarus. That is what I felt each time READING after his articles written on the like affairs. He is not a war monger, but rather a hate monger. Malice and Jealousy is fiilled in his brain cells.

          • 0
            0

            you are a moron and have no sense.

    • 3
      0

      Great Dr Fernando.

      Let s hope he will come back with answers to your questions.

      I respect the guy the way he addresses the issues, but I am not sure, he is well informed about all before going to add the kind fo statements.

      Mr Fernando, I am a long term fan of your posts. All the very best to you from Germany.

      Sirimal

  • 0
    0

    Indian ocean is/was diversity of ancient civilization that connected to West Asian, Egypt, Iraq, Syrian and Iran civilization too. And civilization of Chinese ,South-east Asian countries are having vital connections in several centuries as well.

    The Sri Lankan national an identity of her civilization has gone more than 2600 years base on Buddhist-Sinhalese norms of civilization.
    Its features and characters of values of cultural norms are guided which that related to by Buddhist Theory of knowledge.
    We called Thervada school of Buddhism thought is/was upheld Principle teaching of Buddhist Philosophy.

    Our ancient to the current system of governances of democracy has been influence and enrich by Buddhist base civilization . The path of Middle -Eightfold is key to living of family life and system of governances of OURS Modern Democracies has been inclusion to governances since 1948.

    The Buddhism was original and development form establishment by Indian Bihar State of Pail Language was the language used by Sinhalese people very inceptions.

    The language of Sinhala was derived from Sanskrit, Pail and Hela incipits, that how Sinhala become an Independent language was progress in last 2600 years .

    Only the way nation civilization that become Rich, while only that their mother Tung must come to well being of Independent development by several centuries; if time permitted by history of civilization of changing differ epochs with all invaders in Sri Lankan were NOT been success to destroy Sinhalese language the very reason is rich in ours language independence even after cruel Rule of 425 by Western Domination and Rule of Colonization.

    The unsuccessful story of that destroy of Sinhalese Language is key reasons to constitution of survival Sinhalese-Buddhist civilization in Island of Sri lanka 2600 years.

    It is not only that location of Indian Ocean which important of Sri lanka situated hence ,her rich civilization has to survival as nation vital issued of changing current Global power politics .

  • 4
    4

    “We’re not the same guys who used to tell you various things and then forget about it three days later… We want the world to know that we’re different—that we’re going to do what we say we’re doing.”
    –Harsha de Silva, Sri Lanka’s deputy minister of foreign affairs, to National Geographic (November 2016)

    What happened to that ‘Social Market Economy’ that you promised?

    What happened to the new management system from Singapore that you promised to introduce to SOEs?

    What happened to those foreign investors that you promised to bring to Sri Lanka?

    • 9
      0

      Eagle Eye, Dr Clean, SL Citizen, …..

      “What happened to those foreign investors that you promised to bring to Sri Lanka?”

      Aren’t they being scared off by the scarecrows, the war criminal brothers potential presidential candidates particularly by the prospect of former national alugosuwa (hangman) Gota contesting in the next presidential elections and his 10% to 30% sibling BR tagging on to him?

  • 4
    2

    FIRST THE LEADERS MUST TREAT THE MINORITIES RIGHT. ARMY OCCUPIED NORTH, HARDLY ANY RELIEF TO WAR TORN AREAS AND BUDDHIST AGGRESSION AGAINST MUSLIMS WILL DRAG OUR ECONOMY DOWN.

  • 5
    3

    What is this dude on about..Even with his PhD he couldn’t work out how the North had 22 % growth when the National Average was only 10% after Nanthikadal.

    His boss Batalanda Ranil’s ETCA will fuck up the Nation big time, if allowed to kick in.

    Indians will bring even Lavatory cleaners from Tamil Nadu to save costs and help India with FX reserves.

    Even Taxi Business will be gobbled up by Hindians.

    The Hub Harsha is on about will be the Indian run Tinco Harbour for sure.

    This nuff nuff should leave the Foreign Relations to people who know the subject.

    And help Batalanda Ranil to get descent people to the UNP which once was the party of Elite Gentlemen,, instead of Sakkilias like the Six Star Sergent Shulz who even insulted the Holy Pope who regularly kisses the Tarmac.

    But then that idiot hasn’t got a brain to go his the mouth, has he?.

    In fact it is an insult to real Sergent Shulz who is a lovable character.

    • 4
      0

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      “What is this dude on about..Even with his PhD he couldn’t work out how the North had 22 % growth when the National Average was only 10% after Nanthikadal.”

      The North has been catching up with 70 years of neglected/foregone development couple with diaspora funded revenue and capital expenditure

      And you say you receive a nice little earner from investments in Blue Chip companies. How couldn’t you work this out yourself?

      Have you been managing MR’s liquid assets abroad?

      Why do you sound like drunken Bandula Jayasekara?

    • 3
      0

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      “His boss Batalanda Ranil’s ETCA will fuck up the Nation big time, if allowed to kick in.”

      Really? Why?

      ETCA should make the lazy louts work bit harder if at all found a job. Intelligent, hardworking, skilled, ….. knowledgeable workers need not to worry.

      Others need not to apply, send their women folks to middle east medieval kingdoms.

      • 0
        2

        Dear Native ,

        As I understand,still there are 300 Million “less than Dollar a Day” Indians in Hindustan.

        If Modi sends even 1 % to please his new buddy Batalanda Ranil, our poor Sinhala Buddhists will have to ask Sampathar to give them some left over Cyanide.

        Because Hindians will work for even 3 Dollars a day which is 300 % lift in living standards for them.

        I didn’t see any of those Diaspora Investments that you are talking about.
        Only one place where I stayed is owned by a Canadian Tamil. may be it is that Vellala Tamil dude from Scarborough.

        If you are serious about developing the North and give the Dalits there a fair go with jobs and a decent income. open up Barramundi and Prawn Farms .

        There are beautiful , lagoons from Mannar all the way to Mullative , including your mate Velupully’s Nanthikadal.

        Plus there are tremendous potential for a couple of Golf Courses and Hotels with Water sport facilities,

        And your Sugar Daddies in diaspora can be Investors and philanthropists at the same time.

        • 3
          0

          KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

          “As I understand,still there are 300 Million “less than Dollar a Day” Indians in Hindustan.”

          What about them?

          Aren’t they all your distance cousins, according to your favorite Hindian politician Subramanian Swamy and residual Aryan High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam?

          Do you think all of them are ready to take the first thonie to this island to work in the plantation, sweep streets, clean your toilets, subject themselves to periodic riots, ….. for pittance while your 3 million dalits are in middle east medieval kingdoms to clean Arab toilets, most them are poor women folks.

          “If you are serious about developing the North and give the Dalits there a fair go with jobs and a decent income. open up Barramundi and Prawn Farms .”

          As a Southerner why should I help develop the North.

          By the way why should the diaspora invest in marine products, instead shouldn’t they invest in high tech industries such as manufacturing satellites, 5th and 6th generation computers, Pharma industries both research and manufacturing, advanced medical equipment, including machines for head transplant, sub contracting to NASA, Roscosmos, ESA (Europe), CNSA (China), SRO (India), …… 20 other space agencies with budget over 8 to 19,500 million dollars?

          While we are on space agencies could you tell me what had happened to the much hyped Sri Lanka Space Agency or Sri Lanka Aeronautics and Space Agency which was planning to manufacture two satellites in collaboration with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

          As usual Basil would have collected his high tech commission and dumped the project under Meetotamulla garbage site.

          Your idea of development is limited to cleaning toilets for whites or Arabs, or fishing for export, …. you can’t even begin to imagine advanced economies and manufacturing.

  • 4
    0

    All the kings horses and all the kings men
    Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again!

    Development policy is all upside down in Sri Lanka. The cart is before the horse with – various FTAs for GLOBAL TRADE, but no improvement of LOCAL manufacturing and services base LOCALLY.

    Sri Lanka needs to FIRST invest in research and development for innovation and LOCAL industrial and enterprise growth and production of good and services to sell. First, the country needs products and then only markets!
    Grand rhetoric about strategic location in IO! This theme song has been flayed to death! It is the corruption, Mega egos, and ignorance of politicians that has always impeded Sri Lanka’s development – past and present.

  • 2
    2

    The government of Sri Lanka has a clear vision of what it wants to be in the world today.”

    Above statement is simply lack of understanding of how Sri lankan politics work. It is well known american Embassy, Indian Embassy and european Embassies run Sri Lanka. Ranil, Mangala and CBK are good poodles of those embassies.

    Sri lanka is good at boasting about the past. but, they don’t have results to show about the present. future probably we go bankrupt. Because, every govt is borfowing money. Prime minister doe snot have his own mind. It is the IMF which deciders the monitary related issues.

    Why Sri lanka should ber worried about Indian OCean Security when USA is in Indian Ocean at the both ends, that is diego Garcia and South china sea/Korea etc., Besides, China, INdian and US aircraft carrers are in the Indian OCean.

    Economicqally also Sri lankan ports lost to Malaysia. When China was developing Malaysina harbours took the advantage and they can handles largest container ships in the world. I don’t think India gives much business except transhipments. to and from India.

  • 3
    3

    Harsha de Silva –

    How about writing an article about,

    Sri Lanka’s Strategic Role in ‘Cheating the Tamils?’

    • 0
      5

      Francis:

      I am reading many different blog sites for sometime.

      I know all these Tamils who want a homeland in Sri lanka are fom Malaysia, singapora, Burma, Tamilnadu, Malabar, Trinidad and those places where they wer born and their relatives are.

      but, the want a homeland in Sri lanka.

      It is Sinhala people who had been cheated.

      • 9
        1

        jimsofty

        “It is Sinhala people who had been cheated.”

        Of course by the Sinhala/Buddhist noisy minority since 1948. I think you are one of them.

        I have promised to give Sinhala/Buddhist noisy minority a 10 square mile ghetto.

        I am negotiating with सोमस जी (somass ji).

      • 1
        0

        Do you know where Angodah?

        If not, do ask others have visit, then you be ok.

  • 1
    0

    Yes if only the colonizers had remained, there would have been no tigers fighting there would have been proper town planning and housing along with jobs for our people rather than the mess made over the last sixty years?
    Financial City, when no other country or even our own airport will accept our national currency ?
    Hundred feet high garbage dumps that collapse and bury people?
    When uneducated thieving filth are barred from parliament let us hear of this new Jerusalem in 200 years?
    Keep taking the medication Harsha?

  • 1
    3

    Dr Francies…comment of cheating…,,,

    Is not that Sinhalese who cheated Tamils ,the Tamil Nadu of Indian-Tamils who came from Tamil Nadu, that their Homeland is nothing
    Sri lanka.
    The three centuries ago Tamils labors who had been an occupy land in North, which that belongs to majority Sinhalese race in Sri lanka?

    Your Homeland is Tamil Nadu that is more visible than any other thing in the world !
    All Tamil speaking race out of Tamil Nadu without doubt their Homeland Madaras center Tamil Nadu……. Republic of India?

    The MYTH of Tamil Eealm of North-east is Tamil Homeland a political an illusion advocated by TNA led political parties by Tamil-chauvinist ideas.

    All Tamils has to leave by forced own land if your are not accepts Sri lanak is majority Sinhalese are who were only build this Country by 2600 years of civilization . Invaders of Tamil destroy ours civilization by time to time, even though we were build again and again.

    For after building the Sinhalese is a civilization ,Tamils only want to Grab land and police power to expanding land to other corners of Island by support of Foreign powers. To installed Tamil-chauvinist regime in North-eastern by GUN Rule+” democracy” as past as LTTE did in thirty years WAR footing politics of power bargaining in Island wide.

    This is another naked cheating of majority Sinhalese by Tamils living in Sri lanka.

    They are playing new game of cheating of Sinhalese take for ride time to time by TNA.

    • 4
      0

      But all Chingkalams like you are all descended from immigrants from India. Mostly from Tamil immigrants. Around half the present day Chingkalam are descended from indentured Tamil labour that was imported into the island from Tamil Nadu and Kerala by the Portuguese and Dutch. The rest descended from Tamil invaders and immigrants who arrived in the island from ancient medieval to modern times. Your so called Sinhala civilisation was built by Tamil immigrants and invaders from India. Polonaruwa by the Chola . All your so called Sinhala kings are from Tamil dynasties from South India.
      What are you screeching here idiot. Everything about the Sinhalese their food dress dances, music , the gods they pray to and even their new year is a carbon copy of India’s two southern states Kerala which was Tamil until a few centuries ago and Tamil Nadu.
      The last Kandyan kings were Tamil speaking Nayakas from Tamil Nadu and the Kandyan convention is half signed in Tamil. Go and fly a kite

  • 4
    3

    All airports, harbours, ports, roads, rail lines in the country should be under the control of the government.

    What is a country that cannot control its borders?

    Have we not learnt anything from the past? How did the Portugese and the Dutch control our destiny? Was it not by controlling our ports and roads?

    For someone as seemingly erudite as you, you should openly acknowledge the dangers of leasing/selling/gifting off our ports of entry to foreign powers.

    And do not bother name calling anyone who opposes selling off our land and ports to foreigners as “racist” or “nationalist”. What they are are patriots.

    • 4
      0

      UNP is mixing up Trincomalee port with ETCA. Everybody knows ETCA is a trading agreement. Selling a port is not.

      One need to expand a port only if clear return on investment is projected by experts. How the Hangbangtota already sold is not able to generate income for UNP but Trincomalee can? Are any shipping companies insisting to come to Trincomalee only? Is that its has to be given to India?

      This guys knows they not coming back. They want to rob maximum possible on these unwanted deals.

      When they leave each of their foreign accounts will have $18 Billion.

      Dupe Masters.

    • 2
      0

      Fantastic comment.

      Give whoever an inch and they will take over.

      Harsha, has selective insights into history.

      Probably thinks
      a( ethnic cleansing of Uva after the Uva Wellasa rebellion
      b) Clearing of mountain land
      c) Import of labor for tea and coffee

      were all good.

      The old ECTA

  • 3
    4

    In his stanzas on Koneswaram, Sampanthar (Sage-not MP) portrays Koneswaram as a densely populated land, economically viable and presided overby Lord Konesar. The relevant line is “குடிதனை நெருக்கிப் பெருக்கமாய்த் திகழ்ந்த கோணமாமலை அமர்ந்தார்”
    He proceeds that in the sea shore of Koneswaram, there was marine wealth such as gems, pearls and sandal wood. He also refers to the onslaughts by alien culture. ……………………..
    ………………………..
    ……………………..
    (Another Stanza):
    “He who dwelleth on Konamamalai where the roaming ocean replete with the sandle wood that is found on its banks and bits of black akil and precious stones, pearls, splashes- is the peerless one who is accompanied by the sounds of the rows of Kalal and the anklet and half of whose body is shared by the maid of the mountain and who rides a sacred bull”
    – OMLANKA
    http://www.omlanka.net/thirukoneswaram-maha-kumbhabhishekam/articles/907-saint-sampanthar-s-hymns-on-koneswaram.html

    That is the majesty of Trincomalee from the mouth of 15th century Sage-holy poet, Sampanthar.

    Rajiv came in 1987 for Trincomalee. The great leader Pirapaharan fought with that mighty army and saved that proud harbor of Tamils.

    Even at Vijeya times or after that, Sinhalese never had a claim on Trincomalee. That land is, historically, only with Tamils. Even the minor Tamil representation now in the parliament is in opposition. Tamils problems are not sorted out by this government. Even the Federal State, SJV asked in 1948, is not sincerely offered to Tamils. Talks on that are so far only to cheat EU who will be making its decision on GSP+ soon. Sinhala Chauvinist Governments voluntarily pawned Hangbangtota, which basically a barren land with a lazy harbor. China needs that harbor only for military activity. China has said it can get any economic benefits only out of the additional land it is taking with harbor. To balance China’s military activity in unwanted Hangbangtota, Sinhala Chauvinist government is pawning Tamils’ magnificent Trincomalee while sticking cloth in Tamil mouth with 6A.

    • 0
      0

      Laksiri
      “Can you please answer? I remember you came to interview me for the TNL with a barrage of questions in November 2005. I answered your questions. Therefore, please answer.”
      Why are you being so vindictive? You know that the poor soul has no answers.

      Maalli
      Correction:
      குடிதனை நெருக்கிப் பெருக்கமாய்த் தோன்றும் கோணமாமலை அமர்ந்தாரே

      “He also refers to the onslaughts by alien culture.” What alien culture?
      You mean his rude rtemarks on Buddhists and Jains?
      Those two religions did much to modernize Tamil culture especially between 2nd and 5th Centuries, and even later.

      கழல் is foot (occurs usually in the plural).
      Decent translations should be available if only one looks hard.

      15th century Sage-holy poet, Sampanthar? It is more like 6th Century.

      • 0
        0

        SJ, why are always talk corny talks. Somebody bother you at home? UOJ? So sad man!

        When the double acting Stalinist did become Buddhist?

        Buddhism not just got wiped out of Tamil Nadu, but out of whole India.

        Majority Indian wiped out those religions and returned back to Hinduism. They didn’t like these monks controlling their government. That is what one call a secular government.

        Entire Thirunavukkarasar’s poems are telling how he was tortured by the Jains. How come your myopia eyes could not read those but was able to read only about what Sampanthar said about Buddhism and Jainism?

        Queen Mangayarkarasi warned Sampanthar that those monks in the Palace did not invite him for real debate, but to kill him. So, when was singing that song he had 100% legitimacy to oppose those who conspired to kill him.

        Eventually they burned him alive with his bride in his wedding tent. Entire TN rose up and hanged 8,000 Jain monks to revenge that incident. That is how the 300 years of Dark Period (terror of Jain and Buddhist monks burning the Sangam literatures) in Tamil Nadu was stopped. If you have a problem with that, you better keep it with you, dear friend. TN people know to take care of them.

        You are ready scratch the back of Appe Aanduwa after Mullivaaikkaal; that behavior is good for you, but for Thirunavukkarasar who started the Satyagraha, that is not acceptable. Thirunavukkarasar and Sampanthar got together opposed and sent out with full force the foreign religions out of their land.

        15th century……., Sampanthar? It is more like 6th Century

        Bravo! At last you successfully picked up something fallen out correctly. I intended to put 5, but some or how 15th came there. Still thanks for pointing out that obvious error.

  • 0
    0

    Both previous government and the present government recognize the strategy of positioning Sri Lanka as the Hub of South Asia. It is a pity that political considerations are preventing the present rulers to implement this strategy effectively.

    • 3
      0

      Lal de Mel

      ” It is a pity that political considerations are preventing the present rulers to implement this strategy effectively.”

      Because the few corrupt politicians are determining/setting the present government’s agenda.

      Do you know how and why it is possible?

    • 4
      0

      You mean rice from the moon or mars.

  • 1
    0

    “In addition, a US$1.4 billion reclamation is now underway, adjacent to the city of Colombo, for the creation of a 560-acre financial city under.. English law,”

    really under English Law?

    I read in CT that only Chinese law will prevail no place for Sri Lankan Law never mind English Law

  • 1
    0

    “The 9thof January 2017 marked the second anniversary of an important turning point in Sri Lanka’s recent history…..

    ..It is the beginning of the third year of the five-year term of President Maithripala Sirisena.

    you mean beginning of the end?

  • 1
    0

    “The moment one hears the two words, Sri Lanka, he or she reminded of the 1983 race riots that shocked the world and gave birth to LTTE that was respected by the world for it’s disciplinary fighters and daring attacks and of course the world cup winning dashing cricket

  • 1
    0

    Dr. Harsha de Silva

    The moment one hears the two words, Sri Lanka, his or her mind also travels to Meethotamulla the garbage dump in Colombo that collapsed and killed scores of people and destroyed the houses and livelihood of many others.

    I am wont be surprised if your are not aware of this.

    But your article is full of energetic hot gas that may help to burn to ashes the garbage dump.

  • 0
    0

    The comment on Rajasha of English Law?…..

    Why is that we do NOT want English Law in land of Port City reclamation and Build by Chinese funded in Colombo Port city?
    This absolute nonsense.!

    The key issues has to be address by Team of Lawyers, Econometrist and Financial expertise’s by that Laws and rules must be suitable of Financial House in –Colombo Port City.
    Keep in mind that having merits of the national interest of Economic Sovereignty of Sri Lankan is absolutely essential; that has to be review by Team work of people of pool of elites.
    The Global-Capital market has change, due that new Financial Market and stock Market has been emerge in Centered Asia.

    Old world order is out of dated that has to Newly redressed Rules and Laws to apply for new conditions of Asian Region; new conditions take into accommodated by accountability Globally amicably accepts Rules must take other interest into account as well. New writing Rules may be complex and complicated very inception.

    The lost and collapsed of the Wall Street stock Market in 2008 had been created New Financial Platform in Asian region. The center of Capital Investment and Trading has shifted to 60% GDP growth that epic center is no doubt that is Two Asian Giants . China is in Front Runner of that .

    The Global Rules and Laws has taken into change by New set of policies related to Fiscal, Financial and Monetary in recent times .
    Such changes has taken into account before an introduce Port City governing Laws.

    • 1
      0

      N.Wimaladasa – The comment on Rajasha of English Law?….. Why is that we do NOT want English Law in land of Port City reclamation and Build by Chinese funded in Colombo Port city? This absolute nonsense.!

      Perhaps you did not understand my comment.

      I was challenging the author whereas he says that the English law will prevail in the Port City.

      However Chinese have said only Chinese law will prevail in the area leased out to them for ever including the international water.

      So basically Sri Lanka has no say in a large chunk of Port City including the international waters.!

      The author is trying to eye wash the readers.

      • 0
        0

        This was a speech made at start of January. Why was it decided to bring here now? May Day May Day! EU Day EU day!

        Many thing on this speech have moved away.

        Why would English law come back to Lankawe after DS had inaugurated to remove that from the land and Sirimavo had plugged it out? English Law presume Queen is the County’s head.Pong Cing is going to be under Domain status like one time Kong Hong was? Why would China allow it after it paid for the development. This guy is faking that Colombo Pong Cing will operate like Kong Hong. China cannot build an artificial City in International water. So bought the Lankawe water and Building the Pong Cing. UK has nothing to do with that.

        (Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China. This like many Indian Regions like Pondicheri and Washington DC. In those areas, relevant countries law only apply, but modified as per the need. I don’t think Pong Cing be a special administrative area of Lankawe. There are lands that are not owned by Lankawe. Whose Jurisdiction should prevail in those area is a decision to the domineering force. Pong Cing is not under Dominion Status and will not be using English Law- These guy created illusions)

    • 0
      0

      N.Wimaladasa,
      English law is too very complicated even for the present day English- 100 years of classic latin.
      English law like the english language is `patchwork law and patchwork constitution` added to it new european laws supercede it.
      While chinese law is not because the language is classical etc.

      Wikipedia is not accessible at China but the more reliable Chinese Encyclopedia in 3 volumes – now wikipedia follows C.E. and C.E. staff are paid to do the job.
      anyone can edit wikipedia and it is run by 250 student volunteers around the world Now they don’t get paid a penny while the 3-4 owners of wikipedia Wikimedia own the millions we pay in as charity and they along with family have winter and summer vacations plus their money is stashed in American bonds.
      Stick to chinese law since sinhalese love Sharia law of oil rich arab states.

  • 1
    1

    Mr Rajash…

    I agreed with you that the writer bluntly an attempt eye wash of majority people of world by proposed an issues of Indian Ocean new development.

    That is political motivated act of writer is an Undemocratic , mode of policies of current UNP politicians has misled whole world. That is not good for the Sri Lankan’s future survival .

    Sorry to say for the misreading about your comment, mishaps are common to all Human being!

    Dialogs of Indian Ocean peace proposal having sufficient documents available on Ministry of Foreign if writer want study.
    The 1976 Non-aligned Summit meeting was in Sri lanka,the key issue had been discussed widely . Indian Ocean Peace proposal by Mrs Sirimavo Banadarake to at United Nation General assembly too.

    • 0
      0

      No political party can beat the chinese in the contract signed-
      WTO would damn SL with a bill that would drown the country like the EU is drowning UK with Euro 100 billion for divorce.
      this was the reason UNP and Sirisena went back after paying the fine.
      Passa and Gota destroyed the Tamils, and Sinhalese along with his muslims for his family only like Trump of today or Sirisena

  • 0
    0

    DR. HARSHA DE SILVA – PLEASE RESPOND

    How could you state:

    “THE GOVERNMENT OF SRI LANKA HAS A CLEAR VISION OF WHAT IT WANTS TO BE IN THE WORLD TODAY”

    when the yahapalanaya government of which you are a key minister demonstrably does not have the WILL to address the scourge of corruption and impunity in the country. This includes its own transgressions such as the alleged Central Bank Treasury Bond scams and the failure to introduce in parliament a credible National Audit Bill which was a major campaign promise.

    After the January 2015 presidential election one does not witness the OUTRAGE demonstrated by you in its run-up which includes your press conference on 17 December 2014 in the presence of Eran Wickramaratne another Yahapalanaya minister where with a slew of files in tow you inter alia referred to casino, drug, ethanol MAFIAS and alleged MONEY LAUNDERING in locations such as St. Nevis & Kitts, Seychelles and Dubai.

    Here is the link to your 17 December 2014 press conference. This must be a ‘new low’ for promises being reneged with impunity.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FkVBvpBEMY

    In the run-up to the elections you also referred to alleged unlawful EPF investments in the stock market.

    Work on the ‘Colombo Port City’ project (now renamed) which you reportedly called “Colombo’s largest land scam.” in partnership with ‘China Harbour Engineering Company’ you alleged was “banned by the World Bank” from 2009 to 2017 is continuing.

    http://www.ft.lk/article/257776/Port-city–pump-and-dump–deal–Harsha

    What is the difficulty in pursuing these cases consistent with the rule of law if you have the evidence to back-up your claims?

    PLEASE RESPOND.

    Amrit Muttukumaru

  • 0
    0

    There is no doubt that Sri Lanka is located in one of the most strategic locations in the world. However, when we try to sell this situation for economic gains, we should get ready to face the future consequences. We cannot simply ignore Indian hegemony prevailing our centuries in the region. No country in the region forget India and welcome China, which is the second largest economy in the world. Sri Lanka as a small country should work like Singapore. We cannot forget the history and live in present and face the future in the name of economic growth or pleasing someone.

    LAnka

  • 0
    0

    population of 22 million is not a small country

    • 0
      0

      …and thankfully losing about half a million every five years due to other grass being greener.

      We are not small; our population is bigger than Florida, bigger than New York state, just short of Texas………but per capita, poorer than each of them. What might be the reason?

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