Posts Categorized: Geopolitics

Grassroots Leaders Provide the Best Hope to a Troubled World

Amid cruelty and suffering, there are heroes, says Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who steps down on September 1st The apparent powerlessness of those who suffer was also brought home to me in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, where Tamil communities dispossessed of their land by the military decades ago still… Read more »

Protecting or Facilitating?

A review of the humanitarian response to IDP detention in Sri Lanka, 2009 All too often however, humanitarian organisations were poorly equipped with the time, skills and attitudes to address a situation where the state was not representing the interests of the population. In these cases, supporting the vulnerable means contesting state agendas, even where… Read more »

Sri Lanka Military Caught Red Handed While Misleading Public Inquiry

by Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka, July 18, 2018 Military authorities in Sri Lanka have been providing incorrect information about sexual abuse by its soldiers and officers while on a UN peacekeeping mission. A joint press release issued on Tuesday (17) by the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) has… Read more »

How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port

by Maria Abi-Habib, ‘The New York Times,’ June 25, 2018 HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka — Every time Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, turned to his Chinese allies for loans and assistance with an ambitious port project, the answer was yes. Yes, though feasibility studies said the port wouldn’t work. Yes, though other frequent lenders like India… Read more »

Sri Lankan Lawmakers Target Reporters in Times Investigation

by Maria Abi-Habib, ‘The New York Times,’ July 3, 2018 NEW DELHI — Angered by a New York Times investigation detailing how China seized ownership of a seaport in Sri Lanka, a group of Sri Lankan lawmakers denounced the newspaper on Monday, focusing their ire on two local journalists for the newspaper. On Monday night, the lawmakers,… Read more »

The Rohingya Crisis and the Meaning of Genocide

Despite evidence of systematic violence against the Rohingya, countries remain reluctant to classify the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine State as genocide. Interview by Camilla Siazon, Kate Cronin-Furman, Interviewee,  Council on Foreign Relations, New York, May 8, 2018 Human rights groups and UN leaders have condemned the violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya ethnic minority as bearing the “hallmarks of… Read more »

Economic History Chart of Major Powers

by Matthew Bey, Stratfor, Austin, TX, USA, May 10, 2018 https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/us-and-china-economic-fight-century-begins?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article

Is China a Colonial Power?

by James A. Millward, ‘The New York Times,’ May 4, 2018 Mr. Millward is a China scholar and historian of the Silk Road In a lesser-known novel, “Claudius Bombarnac,” Jules Verne describes the adventures of the titular foreign correspondent as he rides the “Grand Transasiatic Railway” from the “European frontier” to “the capital of the Celestial… Read more »

Why Civil Wars Are Lasting Longer

Although the norm of negotiation has not died, countervailing norms have emerged around non-negotiation with terrorists, militarily defeating terrorist organizations, and prioritizing stabilization over democratization, even if that means bolstering authoritarian rule. Across today’s battlefields—in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Sudan, and Yemen—external actors are… Read more »

How is the World Ruled?

by Branko Milanovic on his blog, February 17, 2018 It is Saturday evening and snowing in New York. I have nowhere to go, I do have things to do (my book!) but my memories take over. Like for example, the simple question of how is the world ruled. I think that lots of misunderstanding among people in… Read more »

HRW: Key Elements for HRC 37 Statements on Sri Lanka

by Human Rights Watch, January 15, 2018 HRW Sri Lanka HRC37 letter We write to seek your support in ensuring that the upcoming consideration of Sri Lanka’s progress towards implementation of its commitments under UN Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution 30/1 accurately and substantively reflects the situation within the country, including both progress to date… Read more »

Sri Lanka Hands a Major Port to China

Sri Lanka, Struggling With Debt, Hands a Major Port to China by Kai Schultz, ‘The New York Times,’ December 12, 2017 NEW DELHI — Struggling to pay its debt to Chinese firms, the nation of Sri Lanka formally handed over the strategic port of Hambantota to China on a 99-year lease last week, in a… Read more »

Catalans and Kurds Discover the Hard Truth About Secession

by Max Fisher & Amanda Taub, ‘The New York Times,’ September 29, 2017 When does an independence movement get to form its own nation? For decades, a set of unstated but well-known rules has supposedly decided that. But those rules include a number of contradictions. And as the Catalans in Spain and the Kurds in… Read more »

Ongoing UNHRC session: What’s in store for Sri Lanka?

by  SUNANDA DESHAPRIYA GroundViews 09/25/2017   The term ‘painfully slow progress’ has become a standard descriptor for Sri Lanka’s overall pace of implementation of UNHRC resolution A/HRC/30/1  in Geneva. It has been two years since Sri Lanka cosponsored the resolution “Promoting democracy, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” pledging in the meantime to implement a comprehensive… Read more »

[US] Learning to Live With a Changing World Map

By JOSHUA KEATING The NY Times SEPT. 22, 2017 (Print Edition on Sept. 25, 2017 has the title: The U.S. Likes the World Map the Way It Is.)   (Sangam’s Observation: Any reference to Tamil Freedom struggle for Eelam in Sri Lanka is missing. Internationally assisted genocide of more than 140,000 Tamil civilians to suppress independence… Read more »

India’s “Like-Minded” Partnerships to Counter China in South Asia

by Constantino Xavier, Center for Advanced Study of India, University of Pennsylvania, September 11, 2017 China’s inroads into South Asia since the mid-2000s have eroded India’s traditional primacy in the region, from Afghanistan to Myanmar and also in the Indian Ocean. As Beijing deploys its formidable financial resources and develops its strategic clout across the… Read more »

India, U.S. and Japan Begin War Games

and China Hears a Message By Hari Kumar & Ellen Barry, ‘The New York Times,’ July 10, 2017 NEW DELHI — The navies of India, Japan and the United States began a set of war games on Monday with a particular target: submarines capable of sliding unannounced into the deep waters of the Indian Ocean, silently taking positions… Read more »

Ex-Diplomat Carne Ross: the Case for Anarchism

How a high-flying diplomat and Middle East adviser lost his faith in western democracy – but put his trust in people power by Andrew Anthony, ‘The Guardian,’ UK, July 9, 2017 If you were to play a game of word association with the term “anarchism” what would be the likely responses? Perhaps the anarchy sign,… Read more »

New Silk Road or New Great Game?

India Developing New Sri Lanka Port to Combat China by Forbes, April 22, 2017 As regional powers like China, Russia, Japan, and India vie for political and economic position throughout the eastern realms of Eurasia, many of the less powerful countries caught in the middle are employing what could be called a ‘multi-vector strategy’ as… Read more »

What Just Happened in Geneva (2.0)?

by Sri Lanka Campaign for Justice and Peace, London, March 31, 2017 Last week, members of the UN Human Rights Council adopted another resolution on Sri Lanka – Resolution 34/1 – renewing the government’s pledges to deliver a meaningful process of justice and reconciliation.  In this post, we briefly explain how and why the resolution… Read more »