Posts Categorized: Geopolitics

What the Holocaust Can’t Teach Us about Modern-Day Genocide

Never Again? by Andrew Stroehlien, International Crisis Group, December 2, 2009 (originally published in ‘Foreign Policy’) It was cold, misty, and miserably wet the day we visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, but no one wished for better weather. My companions — mostly midlevel diplomats from more than a dozen countries around the world — all seemed to agree… Read more »

A Decade After Failing to Stop Massacres in Sri Lanka

What has the UN learned? by Richard Gowan, World Politics Review, March 19, 2019 When faced with a crisis, U.N. officials grapple with two imperatives. There is the moral compulsion to protect the suffering. And there is the equal, and frequently greater, need to balance the interests of the power players involved. While outsiders lionize… Read more »

UNHRC Resolution 40/1

And the pathetic plight of the victims of the war in Sri Lanka by Kumarathasan Rasingam, April 16, 2019 The UNHRC Resolution 40/1 was passed without voting giving another two years to Sri Lanka delay the implementation of UNHRC Resolution 30/1. In fact, Tamils are fully aware that Sri Lanka is finding ways and means… Read more »

State Response to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as an Illicit Power Structure

by Thomas A. Marks and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Tej Pratap Singh Brar, PRISM, National Defense University, Washington, DC, May 24, 2016 CHAP_9 Sri Lanka https://cco.ndu.edu/Publications/Publication-View/Article/780214/chapter-9-sri-lanka-state-response-to-the-liberation-tigers-of-tamil-eelam-as-a/ … Lessons in an Era of Illicit Power Structures It is challenging, after the short breathing space of five years, to draw lessons from this most vexing case of an… Read more »

The Geopolitics of Sri Lanka’s Transitional Justice

Western countries are less interested in pressuring Sri Lanka now that Rajapaksa is no longer in charge. by Ana Pararajasingham, ‘The Diplomat,’ Tokyo, April 03, 2019 On March 21, at the 40th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Sri Lanka was granted another two-year extension to implement Resolution 30/1, “Promoting reconciliation, accountability… Read more »

Using Technology to Support Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka

by Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Sydney, Australia, February 19, 2019 “Information Overload: How Technology Can Help Convert Raw Data into Rich Information for Transitional Justice Processes” written by PIAC staff members Daniela Gavshon and Erol Gorur, was recently published in of the International Journal of Transitional Justice. The article draws on their experience working on PIAC’s… Read more »

West Point: The Taming of the Tigers

An MWI Contemporary Battlefield Assessment of the Counterinsurgency in Sri Lanka by Lionel Beehner, Liam Collins, Steven Ferenzi, Mike Jackson, Modern War Institute at West Point, New York, USA, April 2017 https://mwi.usma.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/The-Taming-of-the-Tigers.pdf Executive Summary This report examines one of the few militarily successful counterinsurgencies of the modern era: The 1983–2009 war against the Tamil Tigers in… Read more »

The Geopolitical Dimension

Sri Lanka’s Constitutional Crisis by Ana Pararajasingham, ‘The Diplomat,’ Tokyo, October 30, 2018 The sacking of Sri Lanka’s prime minister bodes poorly for India and the US, but is a welcome sign for China. The entire country, not to mention the international community, was taken unawares on October 25 when Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena… Read more »

MCC: Sri Lanka Constraints Analysis

by US Millenium Challenge Corporation, Washington, DC, 2017 https://assets.mcc.gov/content/uploads/constraints-analysis-sri-lanka.pdf We argue in this report that Sri Lanka faces the following three binding constraints to private sector investment and economic growth: (1) policy uncertainty (especially tax and tariff policy); (2) inadequate access to land; and (3) poor transportation and logistics… The state reportedly owns approximately 80… Read more »

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 »