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Archive for the tag “Sri Lanka”

In Gotabaya’s Lanka: Many Fear The Rise Of Majoritarian Sentiment In Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa being received by the Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, General (Retd.) V.K. Singh, on his arrival, in New Delhi on November 28, 2019. Photo/PIB

Less than a fortnight after Sri Lanka’s November 16 presidential elections, the country is faced with two realities. One, a new regime buoyed by its triumphant support base and eager to consolidate an iron political grip. Second, a political opposition in utter disarray, with some citizens consumed by anxiety.

Read Here – The Indian Express

Gotabaya Rajapaksa Wins Sri Lanka Presidential Election

Gotabaya Rajapaksa has won the Sri Lankan presidential election after a closely fought race against ruling party candidate Sajith Premadasa, with the country’s Election Commission declaring him the winner on Sunday. “I would like to inform everyone that I will execute everything you trusted in me [to do],” Rajapaksa said at the results announcement, flanked by his brother Mahinda, a former two-time president.

Read Here – Al Jazeera

Why Is The World Talking Less About Sri Lankan Presidential Polls This Time?

There is little or no excitement in global capitals over the Sri Lankan presidential polls this time, unlike during the last two or three elections of 2005, 2010 and 2015. For most in the ‘international community’ (read: West), one of the two main contestants is ‘unwelcome’ and the other is ‘unknown’.

Read Here – ORF

The End Of Sri Lankan Democracy?

One of Asia’s oldest democracies may be in jeopardy. Sri Lanka’s presidential election next month, is expected to bring to power another member of the Rajapaksa family, whose affinity for authoritarianism, violence, and corruption is well known. While Sri Lanka’s democracy survived the last test – an attempted constitutional coup by outgoing President Maithripala Sirisena a year ago – it may not survive a Gotabaya Rajapaksa presidency.

Read Here – Project Syndicate

Sri Lankans Up in Arms Over US Military Pacts

Two defence cooperation agreements between the United States and Sri Lanka, the already signed Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) and the under-negotiation Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), are triggering concern, criticism, and controversy in the Indian Ocean island.

Read Here – The Diplomat

Is Sri Lanka Really A Victim Of China’s ‘Debt Trap’?

The economic reality is that Sri Lanka leased out Hambantota port to China largely due to a persistent balance of payment (BOP) crisis resulting from the reduction of trade over the years even while external debt servicing costs have been soaring. Sri Lank faced a severe shortage of foreign reserves in light of the upcoming debt servicing payments, due to the maturity of international sovereign bonds. Therefore, the country had to look for various avenues to obtain foreign currency inflows. Leasing out Hambantota port was one of the ways to increase the country’s foreign reserves.

Read Here – The Diplomat

Next Hambantota? Welcome To The Chinese-Funded US$1.4 Billion Port City Colombo In Sri Lanka

Port City Colombo, an ambitious Chinese-funded project to build a new metropolis on a 665-acre island reclaimed from the sea, is set to rise just off the popular spot in a couple of decades. Rising in tandem, however, are concerns about the amount Beijing is lending Colombo, and the circumstances of those loans – with the controversial China-backed Hambantota Port looming large in Sri Lankans’ memory.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

Also Read: Sri Lanka Rejects Fears Of China’s ‘Debt-Trap Diplomacy’ In Belt And Road Projects

How the Sri Lanka Attacks Will Ripple Across South Asia

Despite the temptation to blame violent extremism on foreign fighters returning from Iraq and Syria and the subsequent rise of the Islamic State’s virtual caliphate, the fact is that the seeds of extremism in South Asia were sown long ago by elites from Kabul to Colombo. Often dressed up in the garb of anti-imperialism and nationalism, their brand of exclusionary politics, based on nativism and sectarianism, barely masks a deep and abiding commitment to a status quo of social inequality.

Read Here – World Politics Review

During Its Civil War, Sri Lanka Was a Garrison State; Will The Easter Attacks Turn It Back Into One?

The Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka against Christian targets that killed hundreds raises obvious concerns of remilitarizing a society still getting over the scars of war. The worst violence the country has seen since its longstanding civil war ended almost exactly ten years ago is naturally being discussed at least partly in that war’s context. But while the means of warfare are similar, the motivations are different.

Read Here – Modern War Institute

Asia Is The New Ground Zero For Islamist Terror

The murder of more than 250 churchgoers, tourists, and other civilians in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday should serve as a reminder that Asia is now the world’s leading site of Islamist extremism. The region’s leaders must either address the problem at its source or prepare for more bloodshed in the coming years and decades.

Read Here – Project Syndicate

Also Read: Easter Sunday Bombings Point To Colombo’s Failure In Bridging Communal Faultlines

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