Posts Categorized: Geopolitics

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 »

Demilitarisation, Human Rights and Indo-US Interests

by Dr. Parasaran, Rangarajan, ‘Eurasia Review,’ Oregon, USA, reprinted from South Asia Analysis Group, March 25, 2014 The United States is reported to have requested a military installation in Sri Lanka as part of its “Pivot Towards Asia” where the Pentagon has stated that approximately 60% of U.S. Navy assets will be in the Asia… Read more »

Spreadsheets and Global Mayhem

Using machine-learning tools to draw inferences about the effects of each piece of information they analyzed, the researchers compiled a list of 15 countries facing the highest risk of genocide between 2011 and 2015. Central African Republic, which had been on no one’s radar at the time, came out at the top, followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad. Also on the list were some obvious contenders with continuing strife: Somalia, Afghanistan and Syria. They didn’t get everything right: Sri Lanka was on the list, but has witnessed no outbreaks of mass violence since 2011 — not yet, anyway.

Sovereignty vs. Self-Rule

by Peter Barker, ‘The New York Times,’ March 8, 2014 WASHINGTON — They wanted to break away from a country they considered hostile. The central government cried foul, calling it a violation of international law. But with the help of a powerful foreign military, they succeeded in severing ties. The Kosovars’ secession from Serbia in… Read more »

Channel 4’s ‘No Fire Zone’   ABOUT THE PROGRAMME The team behind the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields tell the story of the 138-day-long final offensive in Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war Available for a limited time only at Channel 4 site. —————— Channel 4 Nov. 9 blog on interview with Isaipriya’s mother and sisters

Transnational Security and Postinsurgency Issues

From from “Issues for Engagement: Asian Perspectives in Transnational Security Challenges,” published by Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, 2010 Posted on & only available for online reading at Key Findings • sri lanka’s quarter-century civil war may be over, but many of the underlying causes of the war continue to linger. • the international network of… Read more »

Sri Lanka: COIN or Civil War?

Ambassador (Ret.) Edward Marks, a veteran of 40 years in the Foreign Service and currently a Distinguished Senior Fellow at George Mason University, contacted Joint Force Quarterly with comments about “Understanding Sri Lanka’s Defeat of the Tamil Tigers” by Niel A. Smith, which appeared in issue 59 (4th Quarter, 2010). Ambassador Marks believes that MAJ Smith misreads the context… Read more »

A Violent Non-State Actors Reading List

About Daveed Gartenstein-Ross Visiting research fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT)–The Hague; senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Ph.D. candidate in world politics at the Catholic University of America; etc. In the introduction to her edited volume Violent Non-State Actors in World Politics, Klejda Mulaj notes that, while political science scholarship has… Read more »

Understanding Sri Lanka’s Defeat of the Tamil Tigers

After three decades of conflict, Sri Lanka’s government defeated the ethnic separatist insurgent group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), popularly known as the Tamil Tigers, in May 2009. The violence and brutality employed by both sides in the final years of the conflict drew significant interest from the global civilian and military communities, especially… Read more »

Collateral Damage

At the time of the crackdown in East Pakistan, President Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, were trying to establish relations with the People’s Republic of China…Yahya, its military leader, became Nixon’s secret liaison with the Chinese leader Zhou Enlai. Yahya helped lay the groundwork for the visits to China by Kissinger and then Nixon….

With the White House averting its eyes, the largely Muslim Pakistani Army killed at least 300,000 Bengalis, most of them Hindus, and forced 10 million to flee to India. Bass lays out his indictment of the White House: Nixon and Kissinger spurned the cables, written by their own diplomats in Dacca (the capital of East Pakistan), that said West Pakistan was guilty of carrying out widespread massacres. Archer Blood, the counsel general in Dacca, sent an angry cable that detailed the atrocities and used the word “genocide.” The men in the White House, however, not only refused to condemn Yahya — in public or private — but they also declined to withhold American arms, ammunition and spare parts that kept Pakistan’s military machine humming.

London Conference on Accountability for Genocide

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) organised a conference on accountability for genocide against the Tamils on 28 & 29 September in London.  During the conference, many  speeches were delivered.   Four of those speeches on YouTube are below.  The speakers presented their views on whether Sri Lanka can be held accountable for committing  genocide. Geoffrey Robertson… Read more »