19 July, 2024

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Starmer At UK’s Helm; Will There Be Any Qualitative Foreign Policy Shifts?

By Mohamed Harees –

Lukman Harees

Having entered the House of Commons in May 2015, it has taken Keir Starmer less than a decade to climb what Benjamin Disraeli, once famously described as the “greasy pole” of British politics. Britain now has a new government after Labour Party won a landslide victory in last Thursday’s election, winning 412 seats and a huge 172-seat majority in parliament. While 2019’s general election was largely a story of two parties, this time national ballot led to historic gains for the Lib Dems, the Greens and Reform UK. The victories by pro-Gaza independent candidates, among them ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn dealt blows to some of Westminster’s most prominent MPs. The rise of the “populist” Reform UK Party led by Nigel Farage, particularly had leaders of the more established political outfits rattled. (Interestingly the biggest donor to this party was a British entrepreneur with Sri Lankan heritage). Labour has also regained its dominance in Scotland, and Wales too.

Seldom in any democracy has a governing party gone so quickly from triumph—Tory Party won a huge majority in 2019—to disaster in 2024. The reasons are clear: a botched exit from the European Union, stark social and economic decline, institutional decay, to foreign policy disasters, the recent one being the unconditional support to a genocidal regime in Tel Aviv. Over the last decade and a half, the widespread feeling that the UK was on its last legs was reflected in surging English nativism and Scottish, Welsh, and Irish separatism that in different ways threatened to pull the union apart. The voters have left the world in no doubt as to whom they blame for this malaise.

In U.K. general elections it’s almost traditional to avoid discussing international affairs. Campaign strategists insist it’s a waste of effort, based on the belief that voters care more about issues closer to home. Over the next four months, the presidents of both the U.S. and France will be focused on their own political survival, with their ability to shape world events correspondingly reduced. The U.K., in contrast, at least has the most stable government of all the major Western democracies. All politics may be local, but after an election focused on domestic issues, the PM will discover fast that government is often global. Labour government will have to confront a raft of international challenges, with wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, political instability in the US, division in Europe and threats from China.

Thus, at a time of exceptional political fluidity at the global level, how might Britain and its role on the international stage change under Prime Minister Starmer? There is a golden rule for those seeking to understand British foreign policymaking: It never moves unless forced. Ministerial ambition, parliamentary trench warfare, media outrage or unavoidable circumstantial change can all shift policy. Prof A Ibrahim, an advisor to Biden administration on foreign policy says ‘under Sir Keir Starmer, Labour’s foreign policy is likely to:

1. Favour maintaining Britain’s existing alliances but be unlikely to establish new ones.  

2. Evidence ideological support for Joe Biden’s foreign policy and for the broad goals of the European Union.  

3. Oppose the revisionist illiberal powers in Europe, including Viktor Orban’s Hungary and Vladimir Putin’s Russia.  

4. Seek to work with other states on a case-by-case basis in relation to, for instance, climate change and decarbonisation.  

Keir Starmer’s victory  may come with a host of expectations, both domestically and in foreign policy. Yet those expecting swift and significant changes in Britain’s foreign policy will likely be disappointed. Domestically, Labour’s new chancellor, Rachel Reeves — the first woman to hold the post — warned that there isn’t “a huge amount of money” to spend. Any mission of national renewal will thus have to be a long-term project. Labour’s win may look like it is not only a new phase in British politics – a different political reality after over a decade of Conservative dominance – but it brings with it a recognition that new ideas are needed in a world much changed since 2010. On paper however, Labour Party’s foreign policy promises under Starmer do not differ much from the Conservatives, who have been ousted after 14 years in power. Indeed, Starmer and his ministers have offered little to no criticism of the previous government’s foreign policy stances. Any drastic shifts in foreign policy thus won’t be a near-term priority. The greatest differences are on Europe and migration; on China, Ukraine, the rest, it is astonishingly similar.

Starmer, considered as a centrist and vocal supporter of upholding the US-led world order, has promised to uphold London’s transatlantic partnership with Washington, regardless of who wins the next US presidential election later this year. Analysts point out that Starmer will likely drop any rhetoric of “Global Britain”, while his government may still look to maintain a proactive role on the global stage while being a close “junior partner” of Washington. Europe will almost certainly be an immediate focal point of Starmer’s foreign policy. Starmer will support improving post-Brexit ties with Europe, potentially reducing trade barriers and coordinating on security and migration. His government is also expected to uphold Britain’s firm material and political support for Ukraine, as well as maintaining London’s robust sanctions regime on Russia. In fact, by 2025, when Labour ministers are barely in their chairs, the country may see the consequences of a collapse of the Ukrainian front line followed by an even more aggressive Russia pressing against the Baltics, Poland and Scandinavia and the huge economic and refugee consequences of that.

Starmer and his foreign secretary Lammy are unlucky that their election to government comes at a time of a rightward shift in global politics. None of Trump, Le Pen, Erdogan, Meloni, Orban, Modi, Netanyahu, Xi, Putin and many others are naturally to their liking. Events created by such people are likely to require firm responses at a time when the UK is short of hard power tools. Britain’s international reputation, has taken a terrible battering to the point where it is affecting inward investment – yet again foreign policy and economic policy are fusing.

Analysts say that that the lack of discussion on China — one of the most consequential policy issues of our generation — ought to be cause for concern. The relative silence has given rise to speculation about how the Starmer administration will handle relations with Beijing. Labour’s manifesto didn’t contain many clues — just a vague commitment to audit relations with China. Prof Azeem Ibrahim identifies a particular need to set out a vision for global leadership that would see the UK play a major role in containing Chinese expansionism. U.K.’s Labour is likely to champion China trade over human rights and also talk of human rights in the war in Ukraine, although the administration will shut their eyes with regard to the Israel’s carnage in Gaza.

In respect of Sri Lanka too, at least Labour’s position on the last phase of the war against LTTE in 2009 is clear. In a statement released to mark the “15th year Mullivaikkal Genocide Remembrance Day,” in May 2024, Starmer (as the Opposition leader) paid tribute to the tens of thousands of Tamils killed in 2009. It read “Mullivaikkal must also be a reminder that as well as commemorating those who are lost, we must bring the perpetrators of atrocities to justice. As Tamil communities across our country pause and reflect upon this solemn day, the Labour Party reaffirms our commitment to work towards lasting peace, reconciliation and a long-lasting political solution for the Tamil people. Today, the Labour Party recommits to securing justice for the families of those who died and the survivors who suffered such grave human rights violations. We urge the UK Government to stand with the Tamils and heed the recommendations of the UN High Commissioner to refer the perpetrators of atrocities to the International Criminal Court”. Now that Labour being in the government, this may materialise.

Little in the Middle East will be easy for the new government.  Would it restore UK funding to UNWRA, the UN aid agency in Gaza, and if so when? Would it have to end arms sales to Israel – as advocated by the SNP, Green Party and Plaid Cymru – if Foreign Office lawyers decide there is a risk they could be used to violate international humanitarian law. Would it publish that legal advice? London will also likely continue aligning with the US on Iran, including sanctions, siding with Israel in any further tensions with Tehran, and a possible UK designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a “terrorist organization.” Starmer will likely continue assisting the US in countering Yemen’s Houthis’ attacks on Red Sea trade.

In respect of the Middle East, Starmer has not been an ally of Palestine up to this point and won’t start being one once he enters Downing Street. Essentially, he has shown meticulous consistency in ensuring Israel has a dependable ally when it comes to being shielded from accountability.  He will almost certainly further double-down on aligning with Washington. That will include hesitancy over recognizing a Palestinian state and upholding firm support for Israel, despite legal and political pressure to suspend weapons sales to Israel over the Gaza war. Starmer has already in hot waters ,having expressed strong pro-Israel opinions before and during Israel’s offensive on Gaza, including its “right to defend itself. After the October 7 attacks, Starmer gave strong support to Israel, even suggesting that it had the right to cut off water to Gaza. But as Palestinian casualties mounted and internal pressure grew, Labour appeared to temper its support for Israel. His call for a cease-fire appeared timid as Gaza’s humanitarian catastrophe worsens. Another foreign policy challenge will be to decide whether to implement an arrest warrant issued by the ICC against ‘war criminal and genocide enabler’ Netanyahu if he were to pass through London.

Starmer will however be under pressure at home to toughen the stance against Israel, although none of these measures would however be easy choices; in fact it would be harder for a Labour government because of internal political pressures and the strong Zionist influential lobby represented by the Labour Friends of Israel .Ultimately, will the government have to decide at some point whether to back a prospective end to the fighting in Gaza that involved difficult compromises? It’s therefore unlikely Britain will change its actions towards Israel/Palestine without Washington’s approval. Labour foreign policy is a lot like Conservative foreign policy.  The party has struggled to set out a genuinely distinct vision for the UK’s place in the world. The Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza is no exception. Foreign Secretary Lammy then emphasized that Labour supported Israel and its right to defend itself, and that Israel’s response must be proportionate and within the bounds of international law.

Starmer has commemorated the victims of genocide in Srebrenica  and has also spoken in support of the Rohingya in Burma, and his foreign policy team has also condemned both current genocides and past atrocities. One member of the Labour Foreign Policy Group has drawn together public statements from Starmer to indicate that there should be a formal position established in law which positions Britain in opposition to genocides and mandates actions in cultural and economic domains to punish genocidaires. This is considered in light of Starmer’s statement that Britain needs a strong internationalist and moral position on contemporary issues. With the lack of a broad-based international effort to move towards a new peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, there appears to be no basis upon which Labour could participate in an international effort to move the two parties towards a two-state solution. Nonetheless, if an initiative of this kind was proposed by an American administration, Britain under Keir Starmer could be expected to support such an initiative.

There are of course optimistic signs in the horizon. Labour’s support for Israel has become slowly but increasingly conditional. On 20 May, (Now Foreign Secretary) Lammy then told MPs: “Labour believes the UK and all parties to the Rome statute have a legal obligation to comply with orders and warrants issued by the [international criminal court]”. That means, on the face of it, if warrants are issued, as requested by the ICC prosecutor, and Netanyahu remains prime minister, it would be prudent for him not to visit Britain. The disjuncture between US Congress feting Netanyahu and Labour ministers seeking his arrest would be stark. Ultimately however, the scope for manoeuvre will depend on the context and whether the duopoly Britain faces is Trump-Netanyahu or something like Biden-Gantz. If it is the former, advocates of the international rule of law know a dark winter awaits. Blair’s backing for the US invasion of Iraq, and his staunch support for Israel during the 2006 Lebanon war eventually weakened him politically. Having learned much from him about winning power, Starmer also shouldn’t forget how Blair ended up losing it.

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Latest comments

  • 11
    6

    As Harees mentioned, I really don’t what will be the foreign policy of new Labour govt. ( Palestine , Ukraine, …….) But in respect to Lanka, here are some excerpt, 1) Keir Starmer, PM ” I support the Tamil community in their self determination, and justice for genocide. I call for Lanka to be referred to ICC, and demand justice for mass atrocities committed against Tamil people. 2) David Lammy, new sec of foreign affairs ” It’s time for us to remember the sacrifices made by the Tamil people for self determination for peace and and justice in Lanka 3) John Healy, new Defence sec in 2021 questioned maintaining arms deal with Lanka despite human rights concerns 4) Wes Streeting, new health sec, has repeatedly attended UNHRC meeting in Geneva, on behalf of Tamils had this to say ” it’s important if international laws and human rights to mean anything, that individuals are held to account through ICC courts, and those referrals are made ” 5) Ed Miliband, energy sec ” I believe international investigation would be first small step towards permanent political settlement and peace, which is the precondition for any reconciliation an rebuilding”

    • 11
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      Similar sentiments expressed by Yvette Cooper (home office ), Steve Reed ( environment ), Indian Origin Lisa Nandy ( culture , sports ), Hilary Benn ( sec for state of N.Ireland ), Dodds ( women and equalities ) ………

  • 6
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    Hello CT readers
    As far as I am aware and in my humble view, there won’t be any scismic change in our UK ‘s foreign policy , because of a change in government in the UK
    However labour’s foreign policies tend to be slightly different to that of conservatives. This is expected
    There are Tamil sympathisers on the wider political divide .
    This is my Penny’s worth of thought on this matter
    Ratnam Nadarajah

    • 0
      6

      How slightly different?
      It will be a re-run of the Tnony Blair years.

  • 4
    14

    A decent analysis by Lukman Harees, compared to the ones that Rajan Philips does, who somehow finds a way to praise and blow out of proprtion as to what great a nation India is at the end, regardless of the topic of the essays he pen.
    .
    However I wish Harees would have highlighted a little bit more as to how hypocritical Starmer’s foreign policy is. .
    For example his pledge to Tamil people and their alleged efforts on establishing human rights in Sri Lanka, while blatantly violating them with the help of Indian Intelligence, LTTE residuals scattered across the anglosphere, and their western sympathizers like Solheim, who will soon be exposed, are nothing but crooks, are nothing but mere electoral politics.
    .
    TBC

    • 5
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      Continued…
      .
      Starmer may for the time being enjoy his landslide victory, but in reality, if it is anything, it is a sign of lack of alternatives that had brought him this victory.
      .
      Dubbed as Tory Lite, neither Starmer nor Labour has a clear alternative to the predicaments that the United Kingdom is facing currently. Neither do they have the complex cognitive capacities required to introduce such alternatives.
      .
      Their need to piggy back American foreign policy while not being able to be the same bully on the global stage of international relations have only exposed the moral decay the United Kingdom is really in, while its cousin, the US, still maintains its relevance through sheer force.
      .
      This lack of any real alternative and capacity to bring such alternatives in, is evident by the gains that the lib dems, the greens, and the likes of Farage, have shown in the concluded election. They in my opinion are the real winners.
      .
      TBC

      • 3
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        Continued…
        .
        When mainstream refuses to adapt progressive policies in the midst of immense hardships that the electorates undergo it paves way for personnel with questionable values to take foothold in corridors of power.
        .
        Farage’s popularity is one example on this side of the Atlantic and Trump’s triumps on the other side of it.
        .
        The circumstances this are ripe for an alternative, a third force to emerge, that could and would transform the world into a better place ensuring that its resources and wealth are euitably shared, while taking care of the marginalised populations through pragmatic policies of diversity, inclusivity and equality. A force that brings intellectual and other complex cognitive capacities to the table, that could solve wolrd’s most pressing problems, through brain power, not muscle or war power.
        .
        TBC

        • 5
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          Continued…
          .
          Little does the world know, that ground work for the emergence of such a third force has already being done.
          .
          The next four years will show what a failure Starmer and Labour are with their petty electoral politics; creating circumstances that are favourable for this third force to be mainstreamed and emerge victorious come the next general elections in the UK.
          .
          A force that could once again re-establish UK’s position on the global stage as a progressive voice and a power to reckon with.
          .
          A historical event that would send ripples across the Europe and would likely to have a major impact on the politics in the United States, on the other side of the pond.
          .
          While Starmer’s immediate challenge remains to be whether to adapt a cat or a dog when he finally occupies #10, few people across couple of continents have been working putting their and their loved ones lives on the line, to ensure this third forces see the light of the day, as the young and the old, the rich and the poor, all are fed up with the nuisance that is going on in the guise of poitics, geopolitics and realpolitik.
          .
          A force that’ll prioritize cognitive and creative capacities over contacts, and commissions. A force that will put females in positions of power, that have been wronged to, througout the history of human civilization.

          • 7
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            “The next four years will show what a failure Starmer and Labour are with their petty electoral politics”

            True. The UK is a joke. Even Mr.LankaScot had to run away to some villa in Kandy because of the 10% inflation. I can handle it, being unmarried, but there are many families who struggle. The media won’t talk about it, but there are young girls turning to escort services to pay basic expenses. Meanwhile, some migrant comes from Africa, not even a war zone, gets asylum status, and is entitled to all sorts of benefits, including free housing and a monthly stipend for food. He/she does not do any sort of productive work, rather, harasses the local women all day. At least before Brexit, you had some hard-working migrants (mostly Poles) who would do productive work. Now it’s just the unwanted residue abusing benefits.

            • 7
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              “The UK is a joke. Even Mr.LankaScot had to run away to some villa in Kandy because of the 10% inflation”
              .
              Yasss! Mr. Scot here apparently couldn’t find some scottish meat back home. I guess they were above his SEC and pay grade. So instead settled for some KGB in Sri Lanka’s Central Province. Must be finger licking good. 🤣🤣🤣🤣
              .
              Yeah I know the UK has some serious issues with immigrants. Something may have to be done to keep all these women inside Africa.
              .
              Garments! Some reshoring may be required… Scot can send his wifey too for a job… 🤣🤣🤣🤣

              • 10
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                Your Majesty Queen Ruchira,
                Particularly nasty today, aren’t we?
                Bad pizza at the asylum?

                • 9
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                  “Yasss! Mr. Scot here apparently couldn’t find some scottish meat back home”
                  So, this is the pinnacle of Sinhala-Buddhist “culture”. The “culture” we are supposed to defend. The “culture” we are not supposed to insult.
                  I know this guy is an escaped lunatic, but only a Sinhala-Buddhist lunatic would get down to this level.

                • 10
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                  OC, alcoholism or mental health issue are not an excuse to act so low making disgusting comments about family members . These are the people going to save their 2500 culture.

                  • 9
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                    OC, Lankans who didn’t even know that they are bankrupt , now giving financial advise ( what stocks and treasury bills to buy ) and predicting the future of newly elected Labour Party next day after elections. At least those British knew their election day whereas Lankans have no clue about elections, economy or their own future .

                  • 6
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                    OC, which is worse. Ruchira’s comment or STEM expert giving 6 upvotes overnight. ????

                    • 6
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                      Chiv,
                      Birds of a feather…
                      Loony no.2 was parroting
                      Loony no.1’s comment.

              • 7
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                Hello Ruchira,
                Behave yourself, you don’t need ad hominem attacks to get your point across. Stop abasing yourself – “had to run away to some villa in Kandy because of the 10% inflation”. Sure while in Sri Lanka there was 100% inflation, no Gas, no Electricity and no Fuel. And a War Criminal as President that thought he could turn Sri Lanka into the World’s first 100% Organic Country.
                Just for your information, I spent 11 years in Qatar with my Sri Lankan wife before we decided to move here (not Kandy – Welligala) and build a house on her Land. She already had her own house and shops before I met her, so forget your “Sugar Daddy” fantasies. I know that some men in Sri Lanka feel threatened by Independent women, but that’s the future so face it.
                Best regards

                • 9
                  1

                  LS
                  You do not owe any SoB an explanation.
                  This is not the place for such low level attacks, even less to respond to such.

                • 7
                  1

                  LS
                  I think that I have said it before in other words.
                  You do not owe any SoB an explanation.
                  This is not the place for such low level attacks, even less to respond to such.

                • 6
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                  Hello LankaScot,

                  Some of my acquaintances in California, USA, had a similar issue with constant blackouts. After installing solar tiles on the roof, that location has the opposite problem, they are actually “wasting” energy because people are not at home during the day.

                  Don’t know about your income, however there are financial instruments far superior to keeping your money in the BoE. BoE will invest your money in Zionist projects anyway.

                  These are the treasury bills sold by the US government.

                  https://www.treasurydirect.gov/marketable-securities/treasury-bills/

                  So around £52,000 at 4.90% would net you a monthly income of £220.71. Probably not as much as Mahinda is pocketing from his Swiss account, but at zero risk (fixed interest) you can’t complain. Personally I recommend the US stock market over bonds, average return is around 10%. It’s high risk, you never know when the next bat or rabbit virus will be released from China.

                  • 6
                    0

                    Hello Lester,
                    Even in California they export their excess power to the National Grid and all new family homes will have Solar Systems installed. So nothing wasted and they even have Tax Incentives https://www.cnet.com/home/energy-and-utilities/california-solar-panel-incentives-tax-credits-rebates-financing-and-more/#google_vignette
                    So how are Sri Lanka’s Solar Power Schemes doing?
                    Best regards

                    • 7
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                      LS,
                      Obviously some hydraulics geniuses have never heard of Net Metering. Of course, if it had been installed in Sigiriya in 500 AD……….

                    • 5
                      6

                      Hello LankaScot,

                      Many countries periodically experience periodic blackouts due to an aging power grid. Smart grids with AI optimization are the solution.The second point is that widespread use of solar energy would significantly reduce the cost of living for Sri Lankans and prevent future Aragalaya type energy shortages, excluding fuel for vehicles that still has to be imported. However it would take a significant investment on the part of the government and not align with the IMF’s austerity plans. China is very good at producing low-cost solar panels at high volume; a partnership in that direction could have been the solution.

                    • 5
                      7

                      Of course I could answer myself, but it’s more fun to watch the 158 IQ ChatGPT totally destroy the tuk-tuk driver.

                      “Solar energy can still be wasted even with net metering due to several factors: Overproduction, Grid Limitations, Storage Challenges, Regulatory Constraints, Mismatch Between Production and Demand, Inverter Limits, Economic Factors: In some cases, the economic incentives provided by net metering may not be sufficient to encourage investment in additional infrastructure, such as storage systems or grid upgrades, that could reduce wastage.”

                      This is the future of human intelligence. You’ll have these super intelligent machines (ChatGPT 5 will be PhD level) controlling the lives of clowns like “OC.”

                    • 7
                      4

                      I wonder why the PhD holder in 5th century hydraulics is swatting flies in a jungle……

            • 8
              0

              Hello Lester
              What are you talking about? Yes ,there is the dole mentality but by and large the immigrants do contribute; except a certain migrant groups.
              I agree with the reference to Poles etc, a very hard working lot
              Ratnam Nadarajah

              • 6
                8

                Ratnam Nadarajah,

                Are you sure about that? Forget about the low-skilled ones who forced Merkel to walk back her immigration policy. Even the supposedly high-skilled ones might not be what you expect: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-indian-doctors-rude-unfeeling-swapna-chidambaram. She is saying that (in her experience) Indian doctors lack empathy towards patients. The NHS should be employing doctors educated in the UK, or at the very least, doctors who meet UK standards (e.g. Sri Lanka), definitely not doctors “trained” in India or Bangladesh. If medicine were privatized, most of these people would never be employed.

                • 6
                  0

                  Hello Lester,
                  During the Covid Crisis we stayed (my wife and I) in the UK for a little more than a month. We went to my Local Doctor’s Surgery to get her registered and within a few days she had been offered a number of different Health Programmes. This is part of the “Women’s Health Strategy for England” https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/womens-health-strategy-for-england/womens-health-strategy-for-england#access-to-services
                  My wife was taken aback by my conversation with the Doctor. Afterwards she asked me why I kept asking the Doctor questions. She was very surprised that the Doctor had everyone’s records on Computer.
                  Pretty soon after we arrived in Sri Lanka I discovered the differences. Here no-one asks the Doctor anything, they do not question what is on the Prescription and what the Medicines are for. They don’t even ask what the Doctor’s think is wrong with them. No discussion of possible side effects and what to expect. I won’t mention the automatic addition of Ayurvedic pills to a prescription that has Antibiotics included. On a couple of occasions I have refused Antibiotics because I had a Viral Infection. Very reluctantly the Doctor took it off the Prescription.
                  “Indian doctors lack empathy towards patients”😢 as opposed to?
                  Best regards

                  • 5
                    0

                    Dear LS,
                    You are very thoughtful Mr. SCOT, and so am I. I love thoughtful people. You seem to have the trait, no doubt. Within 3 years, you already know a lot about our decadent culture in Sri Lanka.
                    .
                    Every time, when I come back to Sri Lanka (1–3 times a year), I get really upset because I can’t find good doctors even for cold and fever issues.. Pharmacists in drug stores are not adequately trained.
                    THey make real huge mistakes, not being able to read the doctor’s ineligible hand writing. Even the so-called specialists (neurologist) when my elderly mother was with me about 15 years ago was not up to my expectations. I consider some speicalists are very thoughtful but most of them focus only about consultation fee etc… very selfish.

                    Today, I am going back home (Sri Lanka) with private medical insurance knowing that some private hospitals in Sri Lanka are relatively good with their services.

                    MTAs and CAs seem to be the big bosses, but many of them do not have the minimum expected levels (trainings and knowledgewise) as their European counterparts.
                    I know a guy leading colombo agitations is an MTA but he is competing with doctors and surgeons, thinking that his status is the same…. this country is now in real mess due to indifference and negligence.

                    Tbc

                    • 4
                      0

                      cont.

                      Once when I visited a laboratory for blood test to be taken for my nephew, well recognized place in Negombo (MTA services), the man tried to abuse his mouth again us as if we have no knowledge of lab records. The guy had not the basic degree level education however was a big mouth not treating his customers decently. As he explained to us about ranges of haemoglobi/haemocrits/CRP etc and other constituents in the lab report, I was speechless. Later, I started clarifying the issue, then he repeatedly apologized me for his behavioiur. Their level of behavior is beyond all ethics.
                      Imagine if they had advanced degrees, how would they act before the customers? The health services in srilanka are today heavily caught in the mafia network, curse to the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration. The MaRa government had not imposed any restrictions on any kind of import based on agro-chemicals and pharmaceuticals, as the barons are close to the crime family

                      Tbc.

                    • 5
                      0

                      cont.
                      .
                      As you have experienced in the UK, the same is true for patients in Germany. I know I’m earning some privileged status, but normal patients too ask a lot in Germany as each is insured in Germany. My friends and family complain that as doctors they have too much workload to attend to patients in Germany.. As you may know it, Sri Lankan doctors are held in high esteem and Europeans consider them as mere medical professionals.
                      .
                      It has a lot to do with the general knowledge of the patient. In Srilanka and other developing countries, the general public does not know much about the consequences of medical treatment. They don’t read before going to the doctor. They regard their doctors as gods who can somehow help them.
                      In Europe (Germany, UK, Switzerland, Italy, France) the condition is more or less felt by patients as “Kunde ist König”.

                  • 3
                    5

                    “Afterwards she asked me why I kept asking the Doctor questions. She was very surprised that the Doctor had everyone’s records on Computer.”
                    .
                    From which cave in the central province did you find her and to which century does she belong to? I thought you founf a strong independent woman who is well knowledgeable about the world having lived in what some think of as paradise but essentially nothing but a barren sand-pitch.

                    • 4
                      5

                      Ruchira,

                      I can see it now. “When was the last time you read a Jataka story?” “What is your opinion of Richard Dawkins?” “Are you a certified member of the Skeptics Society?”

                      Anyway, check my last link. Commenter “Dave Wells” wrote “I have worked with East Indians in Las Vegas for 50 years. Beware or be sorry. If u have ever visited Bombay, u would understand. AS plane approaching to land i saw a minimum of white clad figures taking a dump 1 ft away from runway. ”

                      The beautiful not so-odorless land of JASI’s. I had a similar experience in India. While on the train. At first I thought they must be praying. Calm and bent over.

                  • 4
                    7

                    Hello LankaScot,

                    I am referring to doctors in the NHS and elsewhere in Western Europe, North America, and Australia.

                    “It is a fact that doctors trained in Sri Lanka are well respected and welcomed in the UK. I cannot speak for more recent generations as I am now retired and out of touch but my younger colleagues inform me that this still applies.”

                    https://colombomedgrads1962.blogspot.com/2013/07/why-are-sri-lankan-junior-doctors.html

                    Meanwhile, there are numerous stories of Indian doctors even taking advantage of female patients. This doesn’t have to do with their training, but the culture which they cannot escape from. In India, there is extreme gender segregation and violence against women.

                    “The persistence of violence against women in India is deeply rooted in entrenched systems of sexism and patriarchy that permeate Indian culture.”

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_against_women_in_India

                    I know some low IQ clown will try to find an isolated incident of violence in Sri Lanka and spam the thread now. I presume you, being educated, can differentiate between culture and sporadic incidents.

                    • 5
                      3

                      Sri Lanka murder rate is 2.5 times that of India
                      Sri Lanka rape rate is 4 times that of India.
                      Rate of monks raping minors 56 times that of India.
                      https://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/India/Sri-Lanka/Crime
                      The persistence of violence against women in Sri Lanka is deeply rooted in entrenched systems of sexism and patriarchy that permeate SB culture
                      .
                      I know some low-life clown who insults other people’s wives to win arguments will try to find an isolated incident of violence in India and spam the thread now

                    • 3
                      7

                      To determine the accuracy of these statements, we need to look at the latest available crime statistics for both countries.

                      Murder Rate

                      Sri Lanka: According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the intentional homicide rate in Sri Lanka was approximately 2.5 per 100,000 people in recent years.
                      India: The same source indicates that India’s intentional homicide rate is around 3.1 per 100,000 people.

                      Rape Rate

                      Sri Lanka: The rate of reported rapes in Sri Lanka is relatively lower compared to many other countries, with a rate of around 2.5 per 100,000 people.
                      India: According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of India, the reported rape rate is about 5.2 per 100,000 people.

                      Analysis

                      Murder Rate: The statement that the murder rate in Sri Lanka is 2.5 times that of India is false. The murder rate in India is slightly higher than in Sri Lanka.
                      Rape Rate: The statement that the rape rate in Sri Lanka is 4 times that of India is false. The rape rate in India is higher than in Sri Lanka.

                    • 3
                      2

                      Of course the Jungle Liar provides no links, because obviously, lies cannot by definition have links.
                      I HAVE given the links. Here is another link, with even worse results for SL:
                      https://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Crime/Rape-rate
                      What does Jungle Lester expect? The stats for rape of minors in temples, would balloon the Sri Lanka rape rate to 15 times that of India.

                    • 3
                      2

                      “It is a fact that doctors trained in Sri Lanka are well respected and welcomed in the UK” says Lester.
                      News just out:
                      https://www.sundaytimes.lk/240714/news/what-ails-nhsl-where-patient-friendliness-is-compromised-564116.html
                      Lies, statistics, and more malle pol, of course.

                    • 3
                      2

                      Here is a UN report which shows India at 0.45 rapes per 100,000 population.
                      Sri Lanka is shown at 7.2 per 100,000.
                      It probably includes rapes by clergy too.🤣🤣
                      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics
                      So, as always suspected, Sri Lanka is a hotbed of rape. Just watch the news.

                    • 1
                      0

                      You have revealed your identity. You are a retired doctor of 62 medical batch living in Leicester.

                  • 1
                    0

                    LS,
                    “On a couple of occasions I have refused Antibiotics because I had a Viral Infection. Very reluctantly the Doctor took it off the Prescription.”

                    To tell the truth, some doctors in Sri Lanka and India are prescribing antibiotics that we don’t even know about in Europe. They have many biotech companies in India. Some of them have been imported from India, though they are at the testing stage. I don’t trust some medicines in Sri Lanka because the guidelines regarding their importation are very corrupt. I think Indian standards for some clinical trials are not as good as Europe and America. A couple of German doctors once criticized SL-style drug applications. However, without conducting a meta-analysis, it is not correct to generalize those experimental data produced by Indians.
                    .
                    Therefore, side effects and numerous complications are rare in some patients. Better to double check before buying. Antibiotics can prevent you from getting super infections. If you live in a tropical country, you are more prone to the flu than in Europe. Some germans living in Bentota area had raised this question several times.

          • 8
            1

            Hello Ruchira,
            “The circumstances this are ripe for an alternative, a third force to emerge….A force that brings intellectual and other complex cognitive capacities to the table, that could solve wolrd’s most pressing problems, through brain power, not muscle or war power”.
            It looks like you are calling for a Technocratic Dictatorship. Where will this come from and what form will it take? Have you ever heard of a Politician with “intellectual and other complex cognitive capacities”?
            Best regards

            • 9
              6

              Oh No, he is calling people of his ilk and Lester “intellectuals with complex cognitive and creative capacities ” to the table. They will solve world’s most pressing problems through brain power. Grandiosity and Paranoia , has no limits.

              • 7
                0

                chiv,
                .
                Lester is a Rajapaksaist as any idiot in the south would do as we have already proven. How dare a man with some knowledge still respect Mahenda Rajapakhe?
                – MaRa is fake so as his hair colour
                – MaRa is fake so as his birth name ” Mahendra P Rajapaksa”.
                :
                Lester may be a basic engineering graduate, but above all, his general knowledge of trivia is far below average mentality. His issue is that he has been generalizing what he knows not respecting the ground realtieis. Even today, his hero is GOTABAYA and MaRa who ruined this nation to all abysmal levels. They are forced to believe, that BROTHER duo crushed LTTE and eliminated them from the country. But the truth is various factors affected on it, best of all, LTTERrs were got banned on POWERFUL rich soils across the globe because CBK’s FM Late Mr Kadirgamar did his job well. He was praised by the west on and on.
                .
                Guy won’t get back to us if you cross-examine him.
                .
                Only Ruchira and Sinhala Man praised Leaster for trying to talk about quantum theories and some mathematical model knoweldge, CT readership as a professional audience.

                • 8
                  3

                  LM,
                  “Lester may be a basic engineering graduate, “
                  No, the guy is no engineer. He just uses ChatGPT to prove that Kassapa used a 300 psi siphon in Sigiriya. A total fake.

                • 2
                  9

                  Leela,

                  You should read about the LTTE’s attempts to assassinate Mara, Gotha, and Fonseka. They had some idea what was coming. These guys Gotha & Fonseka as well as my relative were part of the “Vadamaratchi Operation” in the late 80’s that nearly crushed the LTTE. I don’t know why the LTTE tried to take out CBK. That woman would have given them the country (and probably herself) for a few extra rupees. Anyway, when the LTTE saw that MaRa would likely become President, they made plans for the assassinations. The number one target was Fonseka. LTTE used a CARE car to transport a bomb to Colombo during the time of Moda Ranil’s “negotiations” with the LTTE. After that failed, they went after Gotha. They went after MaRa several times, including in India. How MaRa survived, he must be an incarnation of Lord Buddha himself.

                  • 7
                    0

                    Anyone can become the president in our hell, if main stream media misled the nation in favour of the candidate.
                    .
                    1)MaRa became a religion to southerners not because of the bugger being a wise leader but because the media painted the picture as if he is a better leader.
                    .
                    2) Gota was a survival jobber for 15 long years in the Trump s land.
                    However stupid media thought his recall to the country immediately after his brother became the prez would give the lead to military – which is the biggest lie.
                    .
                    3) Dr Dabare Amila thero revealed that MaRa had not the least interest to defeat LTTE militarily,however ,it was the collectivity forced him to go for that.
                    .
                    4) Champika Ranawaka repeated MaRa behaved then like a dog 🐕 dragging to take a bath, when they wanted to talk about the elimination of terror with him.
                    .
                    All these prove the truth about the most abusive man in srilanken politics, Mahendra Rajapakse.
                    .
                    Tbc

              • 0
                7

                Grandiosity, true. Paranoia? Where?

            • 0
              6

              Are you suggesting world’s most pressing problems should not be solved using human intellect, cognition and creativity?
              .
              Technocratic Dictatorship?
              .
              From where did you get that idea?
              .
              I am envisioning a scenario where direct democracy would be possible and one in which there will be better social equity and mobility, a level playing field for everyone.
              .
              Technology will play a big part, which will in any case happen. That doesn’t imply its a technocracy.
              .
              Have no idea from where the idea dictatorship creeped in.
              .
              But your limitations are begining to show. The scientific materialistic dogma based on naive realism, that is the typical product of the Western Civilization.
              .
              You are a classic example of a typical product of the western civilization.
              .
              Can’t thank enough for McGilchrist for writing that gem of a book!
              .
              You should invest sometime in reading it. Might do you some good.

              • 6
                0

                Technocratic dictatorship was a success in Singapore. There is no doubt that Lee Kwan Yew was a democratically elected dictator. He said I want technocrats in my cabinet and not lawyers, and what resulted is history. In an interview, Tony Blair former UK prime minister said about the policies of Lee Kwan Yew:
                1. He made English as the official language. To the opponents he said, English is world language and we have to go along.
                2. He said we have to get the best brains form the world into the country and did it despite opposition. Now Singapore exports intellectuals to the world.
                3. He said zero tolerance to corruption. Paid the politicians high salary so that they will not resort to corrupt practices.

                • 1
                  6

                  Dr. Sankaralingam – LKY is a greater leader by several folds compared to the sc*m that Sri Lanka has been producing from DSS to RW and EVERYONE inbetween. But Singapore ain’t no paradise.

                  • 5
                    0

                    Singapore is a paradise for the following reasons:
                    1. Per Capita income is on par with western countries and oil rich states and no unemployment.
                    2. Health, educational and communication facilities are first class in parallel to developed countries, resulting in high quality of life, superior to many other states.
                    3. There is law and order. Anyone could walk the streets alone without fear even at midnight. Law is applied equally without ethnic religious or political bias.
                    4. There is no discrimination in education, employment or welfare measures. Everything is on merit.
                    5. There is co-existence between concrete structures and nature giving a pleasant environment.
                    6. Extremism from any quarter is not tolerated leading to peace and harmony among diverse population.
                    7. There is zero corruption and minimal red tape. You can get anything done without influence or bribery.
                    8. You could find culinary and cultural pursuits from many sources, making it a truly multinational state.

              • 7
                0

                Hello Ruchira
                “The scientific materialistic dogma based on naive realism, that is the typical product of the Western Civilization”.
                Max Planck received the Nobel Prize for Quantum Theory in 1918. Your grasp of Science and Materialism is more than 100 years out of date.
                As for McGilchrist, let me give you a short quote from his book “later democracy ‘came to be swept away by the large-scale, rootless mechanical forces of capitalism, a left-hemisphere product of the Enlightenment’”. Complete bollocks – how can the forces of Capitalism be a product of one half of your Brain? Capitalism pre-dated the Enlightenment by a few hundred years.
                You share many traits with DTG, however whilst DTG believes in the Biblical Gospel you are an adherent of the Gospel according to McGilchrist.
                Best regards

                • 3
                  7

                  Hello LankaScot,

                  Classical materialism corresponds to Newton’s deterministic universe. Objects can be represented as particles and their motion analyzed within a Galilean (not Jesus but Italian) reference system, using Newton’s laws. As you know, Newton’s laws break down at the subatomic level and when an object exceeds the speed of light. Ex: Newtonian mechanics predicts that an infinite amount of energy would be required to accelerate an object with mass to the speed of light, which contradicts special relativity where it is impossible for any object with mass to reach or exceed the speed of light. Why is that important, it means Newtonian mechanics is just an approximation of relativistic mechanics. The analogy is: slam the brakes on a car at high speed. You’re still on the same highway. Obviously there is some duality here, which suggests empiricism alone cannot tell us everything we want to know about the Universe.

                  In unrelated news, my condolences, as your compatriot Mohamed Deif was taken out today in Gaza. Finally Al Jazeera provided some accurate coverage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY_C-inBSz0&ab_channel=AlJazeeraEnglish, although translating Netanyahu’s reference to “God” as “Allah” might leave some puzzle. Allah will have to hold a separate conference to do damage control.

                  • 3
                    7

                    *puzzled

                  • 5
                    0

                    Hello Lester,
                    Nothing exceeds the speed of light.
                    “The analogy is: slam the brakes on a car at high speed. You’re still on the same highway. Obviously there is some duality here, which suggests empiricism alone cannot tell us everything we want to know about the Universe”.
                    What on earth are you rambling about, your ChatGBT has failed you.
                    At least 90 people were killed and there is no evidence yet that Mohammed Deif was killed or even there. Netanyahu is an inveterate liar and will face trial in Israel for fraud if not taken to the Hague for Genocide.
                    Best regards

                    • 7
                      3

                      LS,
                      This guy has always been a nutcase, hung up on everything from suicide bombers and Brahmins to manufactured statistics and fake Physics wrapped up in impenetrable jargon.

                    • 3
                      5

                      Hello LankaScot,

                      The object (mass) would turn to energy before reaching the speed of light, which contradicts Newtonian physics. The object doesn’t have to actually reach the speed of light. Did you study limits in your Taqiyya class? The behavior of the function only depends on some neighborhood.
                      The analogy is my own. Your perception of the highway depends on the speed, yet it’s the same highway. What does that say about your senses? This is a duality. A fallacy in empiricism. Your “scientific” rational “worldview” taking the pi–.
                      Deif (PBUH) is in Paradise, enjoying his 72 virgins. Sinwar will join him soon.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7woEXovruc&ab_channel=Pomerodia

                  • 8
                    3

                    LS,
                    Can a Newtonian deterministic universe full of duality in relativistic mechanics explain why some nutters are impelled to vomit malle pol rubbish all over CT?

                    • 4
                      0

                      Hello OC,
                      Lester has definitely “lost the plot” with has last comment about highways and speed of light. Can you imagine him teaching A Level Physics in School. There would be a huge increase in Suicides by A Level Examiners throwing themselves from High Buildings after going mad trying to understand the answers. Newton’s 4th Law for Lester ” Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”
                      Just for Lester https://www1.grc.nasa.gov/beginners-guide-to-aeronautics/newtons-laws-of-motion/
                      Best regards

                • 1
                  6

                  “Your grasp of Science and Materialism is more than 100 years out of date.”
                  .
                  Really? How so?
                  .
                  Capitalism at best is about 300 to 500 years old. Some elements common to capitalisteconomic doctrine may have predated that doesn’t necessarily meand capitalism does. Here’s a better narrative: https://www.britannica.com/money/capitalism
                  .
                  “..how can the forces of Capitalism be a product of one half of your Brain?”
                  .
                  For that you need to read his book.
                  .
                  I’m not taking it as a gospel truth. Just a book that I recommend others to read, Sam Altman has his own list, I have mine. Simple.
                  .
                  Being homo sapiens I believe DTG and I have common traits. I know those who are not (H. Sapiens that is…) would have trouble accepting such realties.

                • 1
                  7

                  “Max Planck received the Nobel Prize for Quantum Theory in 1918.”
                  .
                  You seem to think scientific materialism is same as newtonian physics.
                  .
                  I suggest you revisit your assumptions and may be try again???

                  • 6
                    0

                    Hello Ruchira,
                    “You seem to think scientific materialism is same as newtonian physics”
                    Please explain the difference and where either is contradicted. Ask Lester – Newtonian physics behaves in a Scientific Materialist manner as does the rest of the Universe.
                    Best regards

                    • 0
                      6

                      There you are! I didn’t say the Newtonian physics doesn’t behave in a way that contradicts Materialism. Newtonian physics are the foundation of scientific materialism uuntil quantum physics came along. Despite the extensive onvestmwnts and efforts made by Scottish authorities to provide their youngsters the room to develop critical thinkimg skills you still seem to unable to figure out what intended to say? And resort to logical fallacies. Looks lile a commoon problem.of your generation. There’s another chap here with a doctorate from Imperial to whom logic is alien.

                    • 1
                      6

                      Not to mention sugandh, chiv, and the codger who doesn’t know the difference between heart diseases and Coronary Artery Disease.

                    • 5
                      0

                      Hello Ruchira,
                      You said “You seem to think scientific materialism is same as newtonian physics.”
                      Now, to me, that is questioning MY belief that newtonian physics is part of scientific materialism. I asked you to explain the difference. You then contradicted yourself by saying “There you are! I didn’t say the Newtonian physics doesn’t behave in a way that contradicts Materialism”
                      You used a double negative in the sentence which confuses your meaning.
                      When you are addressing complex subjects it is imperative that you (all of us) use concise language- Newton certainly did. Newton’s 3 Laws of motion describe very accurately the behaviour of Planetary orbits, Cars moving, acceleration, Snooker (Pool for Americans) balls and apples falling from trees.
                      Best regards

  • 3
    7

    Uma Kumaran’s success is a great achievement in the history of Britain, where the British had allowed room for Tamils who could not live peacefully in Sri Lanka. She has won at the General Election as a Member of Parliament with a thumbing majority with the assistance of the British people and entered as the first Sri Lanka Tamil in the British Parliament. She has assured that justice for the Tamils will be obtained in a proper manner. She will assist and look after interests of the British people. Likewise the British people and the British Prime Minister will listen to Uma Kumaran’s requests especially and reducing the cost of living of the British people as well as in finding out justice for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Let us be patient and watch how she contributes her part in the interests of the British people and of the Sri Lanka Tamils.

    • 8
      6

      Very True Ayathuray Rajasingam
      UK is a land of opportunity . Where else you would have another Rishi Sunak ?
      Will follow Uma’s progress
      Ratnam Nadarajah

      • 6
        3

        Anyone elected has to work within the policy framework of the government. Look at Muslim MPs who cannot go beyond a certain limit in supporting Palestinians, without risking their political future. Uma is not an exception to this rule. She should distance herself from the machination of LTTE and take up the cause of suffering Tamils.

        • 3
          8

          “She should distance herself from the machination of LTTE and take up the cause of suffering Tamils.”
          .
          Word!
          .
          I suggest you do the same Dr.
          Sankaralingam.

      • 5
        1

        Ruchira , few of us tried hard explaining about the terms ischemic heart disease , coronary heart disease, Coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, rheumatic heart disease…….
        You need to be sober enough to know, that we did.

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