Posts Categorized: Geopolitics

Key Findings: Strategic Conflict Assessment

by Asia Foundation, January 30, 2006 SLkeyfindingsconflict On January 30, 2006, five sponsoring agencies — The World Bank, The Asia Foundation, and the Governments of the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom — launched a study in Colombo, Sri Lanka, titled, The Strategic Conflict Assessment – Aid, Conflict, and Peacebuilding in Sri Lanka, to guide… Read more »

Asia Foundation: Sri Lanka Strategic Assessment 2016

by Asia Foundation, San Francisco, March 2016 Asia Foundation Sri Lanka Strategic Assessment 2016 Sri Lanka underwent a major political transition in 2015 with the election of President Maithripala Sirisena and the establishment of a new coalition government between the United Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) and one faction of the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance… Read more »

The American Hug

Fundamental military alignments with US, taking place without open debate, may foreclose India’s options.

Starvation in Syria Galvanizes U.N.

by Somini Sengupta, ‘The New York Times,’ January 15, 2016 UNITED NATIONS — The images of gaunt, hollow-eyed children in three besieged Syrian towns this week prompted even the usually cautious Ban Ki-moon to bluntly and publicly declare that the people starving civilians on the battlefield were committing war crimes. “Tomorrow,” Mr. Ban, the secretary… Read more »

Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative

Ports & Power in the Indian Ocean How naval power, porting agreements, and access will shape the future of the Indian Ocean Map & more Colombo, Sri Lanka Today China has been involved in the construction of an artificial island near the Colombo South Harbor, to be known as Colombo Port City. After President Maithripala… Read more »

UN Security Council Dynamics on Syria

http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/monthly-forecast/2015-07/ Expected Council Action In July, Council members expect to receive their regular monthly briefings on the chemical weapons and humanitarian tracks in Syria. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is also expected to report back to Council members on the political track. At press time, several initiatives by various Council members on the… Read more »

The American Stake in Myanmar and Sri Lanka

By Admiral Dennis C. Blair, ‘The Diplomat,’ Tokyo, July 14, 2015 Although many Americans would have a hard time finding Sri Lanka or Myanmar on a map, these two Asian countries are in the midst of major political transformations with important and uncertain outcomes. Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election on August 17 will determine whether the… Read more »

Sri Lanka Enters a Complex New Era

by Francesco Mancini and Gianluca Rubagotti, International Peace Institute Global Observatory, New York, May 29, 2015 http://theglobalobservatory.org/2015/05/sri-lanka-sirisena-tamil-tigers/?utm_source=IPI+Publications+%26+Events&utm_campaign=681605453d-Webcast1_7_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6f1f2e59e4-681605453d-19102553 Six years after Sri Lanka’s bloody civil conflict ended and a few months into the presidency of Maithripala Sirisena, this small island state in the Indian Ocean has entered a complex, transformative era. In four months, Sirisena has… Read more »

UNSG’s Report on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

UNSG’s_Report_on_Conflict-related_Sexual_Violence The report, by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, on ‘Conflicted related sexual violence’, urged the UN Security Council to take action to prevent and ensure accountability for sexual violence in conflict. It examined ongoing concerns of sexual violence since 2014 in 19 countries, including Sri Lanka. “One of the major unaddressed issues… Read more »

Observations by the Special Rapporteur

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=15820&LangID=E by UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva/Colombo, 11 April 2015 I would like to thank the Government of Sri Lanka for the invitation extended to undertake a visit to the country from 30 March to 3 April 2015. In the course of the visit, I was able to meet with… Read more »

The Allure of Colombo

By Valentine’s Day 2015, Colombo had managed to court back many of the jilted exes.  They are the same coterie of capitals that were once fellow strategic travellers with Colombo but the relationship was starting to strain around 2010. Neither why nor how these suitors were itching to get back together was a secret. The… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s New Government Hopes to Revisit Past on Its Own Terms

UNITED NATIONS — Sri Lanka’s new government, whichswept into power in January on a platform of national reconciliation, is lobbying to quash — or at least defer for a few months — a landmark United Nations inquiry into war crimes set to be released in March. That presents a delicate problem for United Nations officials… Read more »

Critiquing Nationalism

Tagore recognises the problem of races as the most menacing of the issues faced by India, making our history a continual social adjustment rather than one of organised power for defence or aggression or the rise and fall of dynasties as in the case of most other countries. Social regulation of differences with a spiritual recognition of unity has been the twin strategy for her to cope with her ethnic multiplicity. Tagore is sharply critical of the rigidity of social stratification in India and the resulting crippling of her people’s minds, the insularity of world views and the perpetuation of hierarchies. But he is even more critical of the West where “the national machinery of commerce and politics turns out neatly compressed bales of humanity which have their use and high market value; but they are bound in iron hoops, labelled and separated off with scientific care and precision”…

Whatever hopes of world peace, the dismantling of the Soviet Union and the rhetoric of globalisation had raised for the unthinking have been erased by the post-1980s genocides in Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Gujarat…

Tagore circumvents the issue of civilisational hierarchy by contrasting civilisations through their respective capacities for handling difference and sees history proceeding through the effects of one civilisation on another, thus placing civilisations symmetrically rather than in a progressive hierarchy. Tagore provides an alternative to the narrative modes of his time by directly critiquing the basis of the global modern located in its homelands in the West through the counter-universal. He neither privileges the “difference” of the post-colonial world nor critiques universalism itself as an embodiment of Western culture; “instead he interrogates the basis of a universal, modern Western project of nation-making by posing a counter-universal derived from his location in the East”. He invokes the East as an ensemble of non-instrumentalist modes of social relationships which can supply the principles for an alternative to the “Nation”, a Western creation.

OHCHR Oral Update to UNHRC

A.HRC.27.CRP.2 OISL #1 oral update Human Rights Council Twenty-seventh session Agenda item 2 Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General Oral update of the High Commissioner for Human  Rights on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka 1. On behalf… Read more »

From Glasgow to Kashmir

by Jonah Blank, ‘Foreign Policy,’ New York, September 20, 2014 In Thursday’s vote, the people of Scotland did not opt for independence. But they may well have lowered the bar for separatists all around the world — not least among the countless ethnic groups of Asia. The Caledonian contest came down to the very end,… Read more »

Sri Lanka: Was It a Genocide

“The credible allegations support the finding of the crime against humanity in so far as the conditions imposed on civilians in the final months in the NFZ’s (No Fire Zones) were calculated to bring about the destruction of a significant part of the civilian population.”…

Whether the victims can expect any “remedial justice” might be speculative at this stage but it is clear from the facts given to us by the U.N. and relevant international laws that the government of Sri Lanka can be found guilty of genocide and war crimes.

How Strategic is Sri Lanka?

Editor’s note: Parag Khanna is a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation and author of The Second World (2008), How to Run the World (2011), and Hybrid Reality (2012). The views expressed in this commentary are solely his. (CNN) — Five hundred years ago as the Spanish and Portuguese empires were carving up the Western hemisphere into… Read more »

Where Genocide Is Most Likely To Happen Next

Twenty years after the horrors of the Rwandan genocide, researchers at The University of Sydney have created a model predicting which countries will experience targeted mass violence across the globe. Known as the Atrocity Forecasting Project, the model plugs in more than a dozen “instability variables,” which include statistics on civil wars, regime changes, assassinations, neighboring state conflicts,… Read more »

Years After Obama Hailed Warming Ties With India

by Gardiner Harris, ‘The New York Times,’ March 31, 2014 NEW DELHI — When President Obama visited India in 2010, he called the warming relationship between it and the United States the “defining partnership of the 21st century.” Decades of disagreements, from Cold War ideological battles to squabbles over the United States’ close relationship with India’s archrival,… Read more »

UNHRC Resolution Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka

Human Rights Council Twenty- fifth session Agenda item 2 Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General Albania,* Austria, Belgium,* Bulgaria,* Canada,* Croatia,* Cyprus,* Denmark,* Estonia, Finland,* France, Georgia,* Germany, Greece,* Hungary,* Iceland,* Ireland, Italy, Latvia,* Liechtenstein,* Lithuania,* Luxembourg,* Mauritius,*… Read more »