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விவசாயி விக்

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  1. Sri Lanka watching northern coast to prevent refugees from India had last month reported that following this incident, Central and State intelligence units in India began probing the illegal return of the duo. Nearly one lakh Sri Lankan refugees live in Tamil Nadu, many of whom are keen on returning to their former homes, while aware of the many challenges that await them, including the lack of opportunities and livelihood options in the war-battered economy. With the spike in COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu, some may be desperately trying to leave, Sri Lankan authorities anticipate. Nonetheless, in Colombo, the issue came up when Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa addressed editors of Tamil newspapers on July 1. According to a report published in popular Tamil newspaper Virakesari on July 2, Mr. Rajapaksa told the editors: “The number of those entering illegally is increasing. In this regard, myself and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa have spoken with the Indian government.” However, a senior officer of the Coastal Security Group, Tamil Nadu, when contacted, said: “We are keeping a close watch on the situation. But the tendency to go back by illegal means is no longer there for these refugees. They can get proper certificates from government authorities and go back, which is what they are doing now since there is no problem in Sri Lanka any more.” The officer said claims of people panicking due to COVID-19 and fleeing illegally were not true as the refugees were in separate areas and were anyway maintaining physical distancing and novel coronovirus cases were largely not prevalent in these areas. Why you should pay for news - know more
  2. Nagaland dog meat: Animal rights groups hail ban as 'major turning point' Getty Images Activists have long campaigned for an end to the sale of dog meat The Indian state of Nagaland has banned the import, trading and sale of dog meat, in a move celebrated by animal rights activists. The north-east state's government announced the ban following a sustained campaign by animal welfare groups. They hailed the decision as a "major turning point" in ending cruelty to dogs in India. But some civil society groups criticised the ban, calling it an attack on food customs in the state. Eating dog meat is illegal in parts of India, but some communities in north-eastern areas consider it a delicacy. "The State Government has decided to ban commercial import and trading of dogs and dog markets and also the sale of dog meat, both cooked and uncooked. Appreciate the wise decision taken by the State's Cabinet," Nagaland's Chief Secretary Temjen Toy tweeted on Friday. The government shared no further details about how it planned to enforce the ban. Indian media said the ban came after a picture of dogs bound in sacks at a wet market was circulated widely on social media, provoking outrage. The countries where people still eat cats and dogs On Thursday, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisation (FIAPO) said it was "hit by shock and horror at recent images" of dogs in "terrifying conditions, tied up in sacks, waiting at a wet market, for their illegal slaughter, trade, and consumption as meat". The group urged Nagaland's government to enforce an immediate ban on selling dog meat. The FIAPO was among several animal rights organisations, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), to spearhead campaigns against the sale of dog meat in Nagaland. The Humane Society International (HSI), which has campaigned for years to end India's dog-meat trade, welcomed the decision by Nagaland's government. "The suffering of dogs in Nagaland has long cast a dark shadow over India, and so this news marks a major turning point in ending the cruelty of India's hidden dog meat trade," managing director of HSI, Alokparna Sengupta said. South Korea dog meat: The dogs saved from being eaten An estimated 30,000 dogs a year are smuggled into Nagaland, where they are sold in live markets and "beaten to death with wooden clubs", according to the HSI. Earlier this year, the state of Mizoram took the first step towards ending the sale of dogs, by amending legislation to remove them from the list of animals suitable for slaughter. While not widespread, the eating of dogs does take place in other countries, including China, South Korea and Thailand.
  3. Supermarkets snub coconut goods picked by monkeys Getty Images A number of supermarkets have removed some coconut water and oil from their shelves after it emerged the products were made with fruit picked by monkeys. The monkeys are snatched from the wild and trained to pick up to 1,000 coconuts a day, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said. The animal rights group said pigtailed macaques in Thailand were treated like "coconut-picking machines". In response Waitrose, Ocado, Co-op and Boots vowed to stop selling some goods. Meanwhile, Morrisons said it had already removed products made with monkey-picked coconuts from its shelves. In a statement, Waitrose said: "As part of our animal welfare policy, we have committed to never knowingly sell any products sourced from monkey labour." Co-op said: "As an ethical retailer, we do not permit the use of monkey labour to source ingredients for our products." Woman hatches ducks from Waitrose eggs Calls to shut down 'dirty fur trade' In a tweet earlier on Friday, the prime minister's fiancée Carrie Symonds, a conservationist, called on all supermarkets to boycott the products. Sainsbury's subsequently told the BBC: "We are actively reviewing our ranges and investigating this complex issue with our suppliers." Asda said: "We expect our suppliers to uphold the highest production standards at all times and we will not tolerate any forms of animal abuse in our supply chain." It pledged to remove certain brands from its shelves until it has investigated the allegations of cruelty. Ms Symonds later took to Twitter again to urge Tesco to make a similar pledge: "Come on @Tesco! Over to you! Please stop selling these products too," she wrote. A Tesco spokesperson told the BBC: "Our own-brand coconut milk and coconut water does not use monkey labour in its production and we don't sell any of the branded products identified by Peta. "We don't tolerate these practices and would remove any product from sale that is known to have used monkey labour during its production." 1,000 coconuts a day Peta said it had found eight farms in Thailand where monkeys were forced to pick coconuts for export around the world. Male monkeys are able to pick up to 1,000 coconuts a day, Peta says. It's thought that a human can pick about 80. It said it also discovered "monkey schools", where the animals were trained to pick fruit, as well as ride bikes or play basketball for the entertainment of tourists. "The animals at these facilities - many of whom are illegally captured as babies - displayed stereotypic behaviour indicative of extreme stress," Peta said. Getty Images "Monkeys were chained to old tyres or confined to cages that were barely large enough for them to turn around in." "One monkey in a cage on a lorry bed was seen frantically shaking the cage bars in a futile attempt to escape, and a screaming monkey on a rope desperately tried to run away from a handler." In one case, the organisation was told that monkeys would have their canine teeth pulled out if they tried to bite handlers. "These curious, highly intelligent animals are denied psychological stimulation, companionship, freedom, and everything else that would make their lives worth living, all so that they can be used to gather coconuts," said Peta director Elisa Allen. "Peta is calling on decent people never to support the use of monkey labour by shunning coconut products from Thailand."
  4. Australia seeks long-range missiles in Indo-Pacific defence shift Getty Images Australia's naval operations will be focused more on its region Australia says it will significantly increase military spending and focus on the Indo-Pacific region amid rising tensions between the US and China. PM Scott Morrison pledged A$270bn (£150bn; $186bn) to Australia's arms budget over 10 years - a 40% boost. He said Australia would acquire long-range missiles and other capabilities to "deter" future conflicts. It was necessary because the region was the "focus of the dominant global contest of our age", he added. Mr Morrison named several areas of tension including the border between India and China, and conflict over the South China Sea and East China Sea. It follows deteriorating relations between Australia and China - which are widely seen to be at their worst in decades. What is Australia spending money on? The new defence capability budget - about 2% of GDP - replaces a previous decade-long strategy, set only in 2016, which had set aside A$195bn. Mr Morrison said much spending would go to upgrading arms and equipment. Australia will purchase from the US Navy up to 200 long-range anti-ship missiles, which can travel up to 370km (229 miles). It will also invest in developing a hypersonic weapons system - missiles which can travel thousands of kilometres. Up to A$15b would be spent on cyber warfare tools - which the prime minister noted "says a lot about where the threats are coming from". Last month, he warned that Australian institutions and businesses were being targeted by cyber attacks from a "sophisticated state actor". The remarks were broadly interpreted as aimed at China. Why does Morrison say this is necessary? He said tensions between the US and China had accelerated in recent years and their relations now were "fractious at best". The pandemic had worsened these tensions and put the global security order at its most unstable point in decades. The region was also seeing "military modernisation" at an unprecedented rate, he said. Australia ups Pacific role to counter China How reliant is Australia's economy on China? "The largely benign security environment... that Australia has enjoyed, basically from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the global financial crisis, that's gone," he said. "The risk of miscalculation - and even conflict- is heightening." He said Australia would vigorously defend its democratic values and those of others in the region, adding that increasing military capabilities would help "to prevent war". Under the 2016 strategy, military priorities had been split equally across that region but also on operations with Western allies, such as US-led missions in the Middle East. What's been the reaction? The Labor opposition has welcomed the change in strategy, saying it had long called for greater military focus on the region. Analysts say the change shows Australia is trying to be strong in its own region and on its own resources. "There's a great emphasis, implicitly, in Mr Morrison's speech, in recognising the rise of China and also that America may not be as big a help as it has been in previous years," said Sam Roggeveen from the Lowy Institute. AFP/Getty Images US and Australian navy personnel mark a joint military exercise in the Pacific Ocean in 2017 Many have also interpreted the shift as Australia taking a more defined opposition to China's increasing influence in the region. Relations with its biggest trading partner have further deteriorated in recent months, following Australia's push for a global probe into the origins of the Covid-19 virus.
  5. China forcing birth control on Uighurs to suppress population, report says AFP A file photo shows a Uighur woman with children in China's northwest Xinjiang region China is forcing women to be sterilised or fitted with contraceptive devices in Xinjiang in an apparent attempt to limit the population of Muslim Uighurs, according to new research. The report, by China scholar Adrian Zenz, has prompted international calls for the United Nations to investigate. China denies the allegations in the report, calling them "baseless". The state is already facing widespread criticism for holding Uighurs in detention camps. It is believed there are about one million Uighur people and other mostly-Muslim minorities detained in China, in what the state defines as "re-education" camps. China previously denied the existence of the camps, before defending them as a necessary measure against terrorism, following separatist violence in the Xinjiang region. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on China to "immediately end these horrific practices". In a statement, he urged "all nations to join the United States in demanding an end to these dehumanizing abuses". China has faced mounting global scrutiny over its treatment of Uighurs in recent years. An investigation by the BBC in 2019 suggested that children in Xinjiang were being systematically separated from their families in an effort to isolate them from their Muslim communities. What's in the report? Mr Zenz's report was based on a combination of official regional data, policy documents and interviews with ethnic minority women in Xinjiang. It alleges that Uighur women and other ethnic minorities are being threatened with internment in the camps for refusing to abort pregnancies that exceed birth quotas. AFP Uighur women have faced a "ruthless" birth control programme, the author of the report said It also says women who had fewer than the two children legally permitted were involuntarily fitted with intra-uterine devices (IUDs), while others were coerced into receiving sterilisation surgeries. "Since a sweeping crackdown starting in late 2016 transformed Xinjiang into a draconian police state, witness accounts of intrusive state interference into reproductive autonomy have become ubiquitous," the report says. According to Mr Zenz's analysis of the data, natural population growth in Xinjiang has declined dramatically in recent years, with growth rates falling by 84% in the two largest Uighur prefectures between 2015 and 2018 and declining further in 2019. "This kind of drop is unprecedented, there's a ruthlessness to it," Mr Zenz told the Associated Press. "This is part of a wider control campaign to subjugate the Uighurs." Former detainees in internment camps in Xinjiang said they were given injections that stopped their periods, or caused unusual bleeding consistent with the effects of birth control drugs. "Overall, it is likely that Xinjiang authorities are engaging in the mass sterilization of women with three or more children," the report said. Politicians call for UN investigation In a statement on Monday, the Interparliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), an international cross-party group of politicians including Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, and US senator Marco Rubio, called on the UN to "establish an international, impartial, independent investigation into the situation in the Xinjiang region". "A body of mounting evidence now exists, alleging mass incarceration, indoctrination, extrajudicial detention, invasive surveillance, forced labor, and the destruction of Uyghur cultural sites, including cemeteries, together with other forms of abuse," the statement said. "The world cannot remain silent in the face of unfolding atrocities. Our countries are bound by solemn obligations to prevent and punish any effort to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group 'in whole or in part'." Coverage of China's hidden camps The long read: China's hidden camps Explainer: China's Muslim 'crackdown' Searching for truth in China's 're-education' camps China denies Muslim children separation campaign According to a report by the Associated Press published on Monday, women in Xinjiang have faced exorbitant fines and threats of internment for breaching childbearing limits. Gulnar Omirzakh, a Chinese-born Kazakh, was ordered to get an IUD inserted after having her third child, the AP reported. Two years later, in January 2018, four officials in military camouflage knocked at her door anyway and handed Omirzakh, the penniless wife of a detained vegetable trader, three days to pay a 17,5000 RMB (£2,000) fine for having more than two children. She was reportedly warned that she would join her husband in an internment camp if she refused to pay. "God bequeaths children on you. To prevent people from having children is wrong," Omirzakh told the AP. "They want to destroy us as a people." The BBC meets Uighur parents who say their children are missing in China Responding to the report on Monday, China's foreign ministry said the allegations were "baseless" and showed "ulterior motives". Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian accused media outlets of "cooking up false information on Xinjiang-related issues". For decades, under China's one-child policy, urban minorities were instead allowed two children, or three for rural families. A 2017 policy change, under President Xi Jinping, removed the ethnic distinction, permitting Han Chinese to have the same number of children as minorities, while preserving the urban-rural distinction. But according to the AP, Han Chinese have been largely spared the abortions, sterilisations, IUD insertions and detentions implemented against minority populations, including the Uighurs. Mr Zenz's report characterises the alleged campaign of coercive birth control in Xinjiang as part of a "demographic campaign of genocide" against the Uighurs. "These findings provide the strongest evidence yet that Beijing's policies in Xinjiang meet one of the genocide criteria cited in the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide," he writes.
  6. Sri Lanka remittances down 23-pct in May but up from April Tuesday June 30, 2020 06:44:46 ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s foreign remittances fell 23.3 percent from a year earlier to 431.8 million US dollars in May 2020 but has picked up from a low of 375 million US dollars in April amid a Coronavirus pandemic, official data shows. Sri Lanka was under strict lockdowns in April with banks only operating a few hours and postal services also not operating. Expatriate family members in the Middle East and elsewhere send money either through bank drafts over the post or through a transfer which may cost more. Sri Lanka’s official remittances which were trending down in 2019 started to pick up from December. In January 2020 remittances grew 6.5 percent to 580.9 million US dollars. In February remittances were up 5.4 percent to 527 million US dollars. Many Sri Lankans whose contracts had expired were unable to come to Sri Lanka after inward arrivals were banned from all countries after March 19. Since then Sri Lankans are being brought back according to the availability of quarantine facilities. “We believe that around 1.3 million Sri Lankans or more may be working abroad,” Information Minister Bandula Gunewardene said. “For many reasons, only a relatively small number has indicated that they want to come back. Of that 52,401 from 117 countries had informed Sri Lankan missions abroad that the wanted to come back by June 16, he said “We have brought back about 10,000 persons so far.” Based on Foreign Ministry data by the third week of June 9,580 persons have been brought back from 38 countries. Foreign missions were also distributing dry rations to persons who had lost jobs, he said. (Colombo/June30/2020-sb)
  7. Chinese policy towards Sri Lanka tells a cautionary tale James M Dorsey China was quick to aid coronavirus-stricken Sri Lanka. Chinese magnanimity and speed in responding to the Indian Ocean island’s request contrasted starkly with Beijing’s more measured response to Africa’s needs, widely expected to be the pandemic’s next hotspot. Geography was, but, one reason why China favoured the strategic island that straddles one of the Indian Ocean’s busiest shipping routes. China was rewarding Sri Lanka for stalling military-related talks with the United States two years after the People’s Republic was accused of pursuing predatory debt-trap diplomacy. Sri Lanka granted China in 2018 a far greater stake in its port of Hambantota at a moment that it was unable to service its debt to Beijing. Sri Lanka has so far dragged its feet on signing a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States that would regulate the rights and privileges of visiting US military personnel. The hold-up was prompted by Sri Lanka’s rejection of the terms of an associated $480 million Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) development aid package on the grounds that it impinged on the country’s national security. At the same time, however, Sri Lanka has done nothing to challenge its Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) with the United States that governs the transfer of US logistics supplies as well as support and refuelling services for US military operations in the Indo-Pacific region. The discrepancy in China’s approach towards Sri Lanka as opposed to Africa could revive charges that predatory debt diplomacy is a feature of China’s multi-billion dollar infrastructure, telecommunications and energy-driven Belt and Road Initiative that seeks to connect the Eurasian landmass to the People’s Republic. To be fair, only a handful of renegotiations of Chinese debt would suggest that China is using liability as a diplomatic tool. Nonetheless, China’s willingness to grant Sri Lanka a 10-year $500 million concessionary loan to deal with the economic fallout of the pandemic in addition to donations of medical supplies offered by China to countries across the globe is likely to raise eyebrows. The risk is that countries in Africa, as well as the Middle East like war-torn Syria and financially bankrupt Lebanon that no longer can count on assistance from Gulf countries struggling with economic woes of their own, may feel that they have little alternative but to follow in Sri Lanka’s footsteps. It is a risk that not only capitalizes on the United States’ already tarnished image but also China’s ability to maintain close ties to Middle Eastern nations without being sucked into the region’s myriad conflicts. To be sure, there are stark differences between Indian Ocean nations and Middle Eastern states that are in some respects far more dependent on a US defence umbrella designed to protect them against Iran. Like Sri Lanka, Middle Eastern states benefitted from close healthcare and pandemic-related cooperation with China and unlike the Indian Ocean nation, Gulf states face a financial crisis but not an immediate cash shortage. Nonetheless, the risk for China of some countries feeling that their security and economic wellbeing is better ensured by a greater balancing of their relations with China and the US is that they will want to see China engaged in regional security arrangements to a degree that Beijing has so far been unwilling to entertain. The risk is enhanced by US aspirations to reduce America’s commitment to the Middle East and focus attention on Asia and its rivalry with China. The risk for Gulf states in the implications of China’s policy towards Sri Lanka is that China rather than being sucked into the Middle East and North Africa’s myriad conflicts could opt to reduce its engagement in the Middle East. Countering Western perceptions of ever-greater Chinese economic involvement, Xinchun Niu, director of Middle East studies at China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), widely viewed as China’s most influential think tank, argues that Chinese-Middle Eastern economic relations have passed their heyday. Niu also suggested that the Middle East ranked low on the Chinese priority totem pole. “China-Middle East countries is not a political-strategic logic, it’s an economic logic. For China, the Middle East is always on the very distant back burner of China’s strategic global strategies… Covid-19 combined with the oil price crisis will dramatically change the Middle East. (This) will change China’s investment model in the Middle East… The good times of China and the Middle East are already gone… Both China and the Middle Eastern economies have been slowing down… In the future, the pandemic combined with the oil price problem will make the Middle East situation worse. So, the China economic relationship with the Middle East will be affected very deeply,” Niu said. As a result, Gulf states, among the world’s foremost arms buyers and confronted with a need for far more incisive economic reform in the wake of the pandemic than many other nations, are likely to find a rebalancing of their big power relationships more difficult than Sri Lanka. The success of Chinese policy towards Sri Lanka is nevertheless more than an isolated incident. It offers insights into what a more assertive Chinese policy could mean for the shaping of new world order. "When India or the West get involved in Sri Lankan affairs, there is suspicion as to what the motive is. Is it to divide the country? Is it (to) exploit, subjugate us?" said Jehan Perera of Sri Lanka’s National Peace Council. By contrast, he added, Sri Lankans view Chinese investment as "essentially benign (because) China has never been a historical enemy of this country." (Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)
  8. Split In Congress Needed for Vibrant Indian Democracy June 29, 2020 Columns, N.S. Venkataraman by N.S.Venkataraman BJP government led by Narendra Modi is having it’s feet firmly on the ground. Under the charismatic leadership of Modi and his image as a honest crusader, the opposition leaders in India look small before him. In the process, BJP government is becoming very powerful and some people even say authoritarian. Rahul Gandhi Obviously, democratic structure of India would become weak, if there would be no credible opposition party, to critically assess the programmes of the ruling party. Unfortunately, congress party, the only significant national party in India apart from B J P , has become listless, weak and is rapidly losing credibility after Rahul Gandhi took over as the president of the party. He has been selected as party president mainly because he belongs to Nehru’s family and not due to any particular merit. With his sister also now entering political arena as the general secretary of the party and the mother overseeing the son and daughter as interim president of the congress party, the picture of congress party as essentially a family controlled party is complete and obvious. With the recent news that Sonia and Rahul visited China ,when congress party signed some sort of agreement with the communist party of China and Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received fund from China has totally demolished the image of the congress party as a reliable and dependable political outfit. As the only national party now in India, it is necessary that congress party should resurrect itself. This cannot happen, if Sonia and her family would continue to control the party, with the image of the party now lying shattered. Certainly, Sonia and her family would not give up the control over the party under any circumstances and would hold the finances of the party firmly under the grip. The family would encourage and give prominence only to those persons in the congress party who firmly commit their loyalty to the family. With the prospects of congress party under the control of Sonia family now very dim, the only option is that people with good image and courage of conviction in the party should demand leadership change in the congress party. Most likely it would not happen and such demand would be shouted down by the loyalists of Sonia’s family. In such circumstances, it is necessary to force a split in the congress party, to make it get rid of the family control. Some people in the congress party should take the initiative. Certainly, they would not have an easy time but gradually would receive support from the cross section of the countrymen and those who believe that the country needs a strong opposition party, so that BJP would not become authoritarian. In any case, under the control of Sonia’s family, Congress party can not get majority in Parliamentary election at any time in future. Then, why not take a chance and split the congress party, so that it would be resurrected as a clean party, that would help in ensuring vibrant parliamentary democracy in India.
  9. Deadly gun attack on Pakistan stock exchange Reuters The gunmen entered the building from the car park, "firing indiscriminately" Gunmen have attacked the Pakistani stock exchange in the southern city of Karachi, killing at least two people and injuring others, local media report. The assailants stormed the exchange after launching a grenade attack at the main gate to the building. Latest reports quote police saying officers have killed all four heavily armed gunmen and are combing the area. Militants from the Baloch Liberation Army say they were behind the attack. Ethnic Baloch groups have fought a long-running insurgency for a separate homeland and a greater share of resources in Pakistan's Balochistan province. Pakistan has suffered years of militant violence, mostly by Islamist groups, but attacks such as this one have become rare in recent years. 'They opened fire on everyone' Monday's attack began when the militants armed with automatic rifles threw a grenade and then began firing at a security post outside the stock exchange. "They had come in a silver Corolla car," Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon later told Reuters. Guards fought back, killing all four attackers, the authorities say, but police officers and security personnel are feared to be among the casualties. It is not clear if more assailants were involved and a search of the premises is continuing. The Pakistan Stock Exchange said in a statement that the situation was "still unfolding". Its director, Abid Ali Habib, said the gunmen made their way from the car park and "opened fire on everyone". Reports say most people managed to escape or hide in locked rooms. Those inside the building were being evacuated from the back door, Geo TV reported. The stock exchange has offices for hundreds of financial institutions and is situated in a high security zone along with head offices of banks and other businesses.
  10. Weird: Out Of Nowhere, Something Just Rocked Earth's Magnetic Field by Tyler Durden Fri, 06/26/2020 - 21:05 A GLOBAL MAGNETIC ANOMALY: On June 23rd, Earth’s quiet magnetic field was unexpectedly disturbed by a wave of magnetism that rippled around much of the globe. There was no solar storm or geomagnetic storm to cause the disturbance. So what was it? மனிதரை சுற்றி நிறைய நடக்கிறது. தாய்க்கு தெரியும் தன் குழந்தைகளில் அரைபாதி உருகி அழியும் என்று! இதை தான் மாயன் நாள்காட்டியும் சொன்னது!
  11. Rajapaksa’s leadership in Sri Lanka’s domestic politics amidst regional instability 27 June 2020 Sri Lanka will hold its Parliamentary election on 5 August. The efficient leadership of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was demonstrated in managing the recent Covid-19 pandemic crisis. It is a proven leadership which will be a significant factor to ensure a landslide victory in the upcoming election for the Rajapaksa front. There are two other factors which will determine a Rajapaksa victory. First, the fracturing of the main opposition party the United National Party (UNP). For the first time in its history, the party is split into two camps which will divide and erode their voter base. Second, the loss of several years of economic growth and political instability due to Sirisena-Wickramasinghe policies finally resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives and threatening national security. Perhaps predicting the upcoming defeat at the elections one-time political spin doctor and former Foreign Minister of Sirisena-Wickramasinghe Government, Mangala Samaraweera, withdrew from the parliamentary race. Hopefully after the upcoming election, the long absent political stability will be restored in the island nation. There are currently two inquires afloat, one on corruption and the other on negligence. The central bank bond scam and the Easter Sunday terror attack inquiry findings will impact the domestic political landscape. Both inquiries are in full swing, revealing shocking information such as a previous Central Bank Governor accused of the bond scam who is now residing in Singapore having changed his name. On the Easter Sunday inquiry, more previously unheard and unattended information were revealed and exposed to the public on the extremist activities by the perpetrators. Further, discussing the Easter Sunday attack at a recent interview to BBC, former President Sirisena explained “Why should I accept responsibility for the Easter attacks? Responsibility should be taken by those responsible”. As the commander in chief with direct responsibility on national security, there should have been acknowledgement of the failure in authorities. Comparing with another post-terror attack in Norway in 2011, carried out by Anders Behring Breivik, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg apologized to the nation for failings in his duties, and this even without any prior warnings. The Sri Lankan situation was a systemic failure at different levels, the system was headed by no other than the Sirisena-Wickramasinghe duo. In the economic front, Sri Lanka and many developing nations will face the brunt of Covid-19 and the global economic recession. Japan’s JICA suspended funding for a new project until financial policies and the debt position of Sri Lanka is clarified raising concerns on the current debt situation of the country. Meanwhile, China recently extended its assistance standing strongly with the island nation. As a symbolic gesture, acting Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Hu Wei, handed over an official letter from President Xi to Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his 71st birthday, praising his leadership in managing Covid-19. Medical assistance during the pandemic has transformed into financial assistance as China takes the helm in assisting many nations. Containment strategies: Sri Lanka’s role in regional stability The global pandemic has made the world a more dangerous place with pressure surmounting within nations from internal and external pressure in the political, economic and security spheres. Assessing China’s aggression, former Indian National Security Advisor Amb. Shivshankar Menon explains: “it seems to me that it’s part of a general pattern and a general shift in Chinese behaviour in the way they deal with the world. What I supposed the Chinese themselves have called wolf warrior diplomacy”. The general pattern and shift of China’s behaviour could be trickled down to the pressure exerted on China from recent containment strategies at the geopolitical high table. Nations use other nations for their strategic advantage. Long before the Cold War, using Russia’s geographical position, US made an alliance with Russia to act as a wedge and not a bridge between Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. In the same way, has the US taken advantage of India’s geography to drive a wedge between China and her strategic allies surrounding India? With the brewing conflict of Indo-China, how would Sri Lanka manage its defence and foreign relations with both nations? China is directly facing geopolitical challenges arising from multiple issues at multiple geographies at the same time, from the surrounding Indian geosphere at Galwan and Pangong Tso, Ladakh, Senkaku Islands, South China Sea, Taiwan to the streets of Hong Kong. According to professor Srikanth Kondapalli, ‘all of these Chinese assertive and aggressive responses have been put down to a new “wolf warrior” diplomacy and is a bid to cover-up the Covid-19 disaster’. While China’s presence in the multiple geographies is visible, it does not reflect that its actions are intended to cover up the pandemic. More than a cover-up, it is symbolic and strategic, depicting Beijing’s military might at multiple locations simultaneously. A clash triggered at Galawan Valley between Indian and Chinese troops with casualties for both sides was explained by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian by stating: “on 15 June Indian troops seriously violated our consensus and twice crossed the borderline for illegal activities and provoked and attacked Chinee personnel.” The direct accusation by China has intensified and reset the China-India confidence-building mechanism (CBM) exercises during the last three decades, while both sides accuse each other of violating the unmarked border, the Line of Actual Control (LAC) of 3,440 km distance. Threats at the harsh geographical terrain are linked to the larger geopolitical context. There has been a threat looming from the militarization of strategic alliances in which India has played an active role. While the pandemic environment has the potential to severely erode military budgets and minimize the military projection of many nations, there seems to be silent military alignments and infrastructure expansions taking place in South Asia. With the US President’s decision to reformat G7 grouping of the advanced economies to G11, inviting India, Australia, South Korea, and Russia is a significant step impacting Indo-Pacific geopolitical space. Two scholars from India, Mansheetal Singh and Megha Gupta suggestthat the ‘Indo-Pacific requires an urgent need for a coordinated strategy to mute China’s swaying strategies in the region. Leadership for this should come through mooting a proposed Indo – Pacific Treaty Organization (IPTO). IPTO must be patterned on the lines of NATO which have been a successful and effective association even after the disintegration of the USSR. Only through an alliance like this can we hope to avert further security turbulences inflicted by China in the Indo Pacific region’. The Mutual Military Logistics Support Agreement with reciprocal access to military bases was signed on June 4 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison. This agreement would strengthen the quadrilateral partnership that includes Japan and the U.S, further. The agreement adds to India’s already existing agreements with the United States, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. These agreements would assist to secure India’s role as a net security provider of the region and to contain Chinese influence in India’s marine sphere. Australian Scholar David Brewster highlights that ‘Australia will need a sober understanding of India’s likely future abilities to act as a regional security provider across our shared oceanic space.’ While the agreements would provide strength, it also drags India closer to US orbit and the western sphere, departing from its South-South agenda away from Iran in India’s western shores. The Sri Lankan government did not proceed with the similar US military logistics agreement SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) and financial assistance MCC (Millennium Challenge Compact) seeing it as detrimental to its national security. This position could push Sri Lanka closer to the Chinese orbit despite its neighbor’s alliances with the US. Thus, the entire focus is on India’s north, on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). There is less focus on India’s south, the Indian Ocean and its littorals. Seeing the growing security threat from China in India’s vicinity, there will be strong reaction to counter and strengthen India’s role as the net security provider of the region. At the beginning of the year, India started to reorganize its military command structure by introducing the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) since 1947, General Bipin Rawat. Sri Lanka introduced its CDS many years back, providing a single point of view to the government on the three armed services under a unified command. Perhaps the reason India took so long was to keep military at limited engagement with bureaucracy at the center. The shift and internal reorganization would assist its process to take swift coordinated action. The tense situation in the Sino-India relationship will have an impact on regional nations that maintain a cordial relationship with both countries. The recent conflict has got the Indian foreign policy circle to revisit their view on China and long-term economic barriers for Chinese products are already being discussed. India would need a mediatory partner to ease the tension in the region, while conflict would minimize the strategic space for nations like Sri Lanka to gain and maximize its gains while not antagonizing either. There is no harm in Sri Lanka playing a mediatory role left behind by Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranayake in December 1962, where she was trusted by both nations to minimize the tension and draw up the ‘Colombo Proposals’, which India accepted, and China accepted in principle. Although the context is different to 1962, Sri Lanka with its unique geography in the Indian Ocean, being the closest neighbor to India and a strong strategic partner to China, revisiting and resuscitating its foreign policy legacy, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa could perhaps play an active role with the question of regional stability increasingly being contested. The views expressed above belong to the author(s). ORF research and analyses now available on Telegram! Click here to access our curated content — blogs, longforms and interviews.
  12. 2009 ஆம் ஆண்டு இனப்படுகொலை காலங்களில் இந்து ராமும் ராஜபக்சவும் கட்டி புரண்டு பாசம் கொண்டாடி தமிழருக்கு அறிவுரை கட்டுரை போட்டவர். கொழும்பிலும் சிறி லங்கா பிச்சைக்காரர் இப்படித்தான் பிச்சை கேட்ப்பார்கள், நீங்கள் பதில் அளிக்கவில்லை என்றால் திரும்பி மற்றவரிடம் பிச்சை கேட்ப்பார்கள். இது அவர்களின் தெரவட புத்த கலாச்சாரம். வேலைக்கு போக பஞ்சி சீலைய கட்டி கொண்டு போய் பிச்சை எடுப்பார்கள். நாட்டையும் இந்த மாதனமுதாக்கள் சிதைப்பார்கள்! சிங்கள தொழிலாள வர்க்கம் இவர்களை விரட்டி அடிக்கும்.
  13. With India yet to respond on debt freeze request, Sri Lanka turns to China - The Hindu International Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. File | Photo Credit: AFP Suhasini Haidar Meera Srinivasan NEW DELHI/COLOMBO 27 June 2020 22:14 IST Updated: 28 June 2020 02:09 IST As the Rajapkasa government reaches out to international donors, China likely to step in. Sri Lanka’s request to India for a postponement of its debt repayment amidst the current economic crisis is “under consideration”, say officials, though no decision has been taken, more than four months after the request was made personally by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On Saturday, Mr. Rajapaksa “renewed calls for international monetary organisations to provide debt relief for developing countries” during an interaction with United Nations officials, the Prime Minister’s office said, repeating earlier appeals to all its debt partners, including India. Also read | Sri Lanka gears up for daunting debt repayment Advertising Advertising $960 million debt According to officials in Delhi and Colombo, the two sides have been discussing holding the loan repayment on the total $960 million that Sri Lanka owes India, as well as two separate Sri Lankan requests for a currency swap facility. Ministry of External Affairs officials say they have now proposed a virtual meeting between Delhi and Colombo on the issue, to take talks further, but did not explain why the request has not been cleared thus far. “The Sri Lankan side hasn’t yet responded on when to do the talks,” an Indian official told The Hindu. Last week, President Gothabaya Rajapaksa told a group of European Union ambassadors that the country needs “new investments instead of further debt” and asked for a deferment on loans. In March and April as the coronavirus pandemic spread, he had called on international donor agencies to do the same. Sri Lanka's foreign reserves, already in peril due to economic troubles and last year’s Easter Sunday terror attacks are being further drained after the coronavirus pandemic, as its main earners — exports (tea and garments), labour remittances and tourism sectors — are all badly hit. Sri Lanka is scheduled to repay $2.9 billion of its total external debt this year and has so far made three requests to India — a debt moratorium and two separate requests for a currency swap facility. Sri Lanka turns to China With bleak prospects elsewhere, Sri Lanka’s government may once again have to turn to China for help, as it did in 2014, which could raise red flags in New Delhi. After a conversation between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Rajapaksa on May 13, Beijing has already approved an additional $500 million loan from its development bank to help with countering the impact of the pandemic. When asked about talks on the moratorium, Chinese Embassy officials in Colombo confirmed that the two countries are working together on the financial cooperation “via different channels and mechanisms”. “More practical progress will be drawn in coming weeks,” spokesperson at the Chinese Embassy Luo Chong told The Hindu. Even prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Rajapaksa had asked India for a debt deferment during a visit to Delhi in February, as he had confirmed in an interview to The Hindu. In April, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka sought a $400 million currency swap with the RBI under the SAARC facility and again in May, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa sought a “special” $1.1 billion currency swap facility from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had called him to discuss the responses to the pandemic and bilateral cooperation. The situation could get more difficult for Colombo, as Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has put on hold funding for a proposed light rail transit system, local media reported, because of concerns over the island nation’s rising debt. Sri Lanka’s total foreign debt is approximately $55 billion, which accounts for nearly 80% of its GDP, according to last year’s official figures. Of that, China and the Asian Development bank each hold about 14%, Japan accounts for 12%, the World Bank holds 11%, while India holds about 2%. Other countries in the region are also now seeking debt repayments. On Friday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to President Rajapaksa about joining a ‘Global Initiative on Debt Relief” to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic, a press release from the Pakistani High Commission in Colombo said. In the Maldives, President Solih’s government is talking to all its bilateral partners and international agencies. “We want to discuss options as the entire world tries to cope with the economic fallout of this pandemic. We would also be seeking help from India, one of our closest friends,” Presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Hood told The Hindu. According to government sources, Maldives has very “small loans” from India, which prefers a more project-driven, development aid programme. In comparison the Maldives owes China a sum of nearly $1.5 billion, including $600 million from government-to-government, which could necessitate a shift from the Solih government’s earlier tough stand on what it called the Chinese “debt trap” due to the Belt and Road Initiative projects. Reports suggest that China has now agreed to a partial repayment, to reduce the dues this year from $100 million to $75 million, a development New Delhi will watch closely. Why you should pay for news - know more Comments
  14. சென்ற மாதம் நானும் திண்ணையில் தேடி பார்த்தேன். ஒருத்தரும் பதில் போடாதது கவலை. ஊக்கத்திற்கு நன்றி சகோ. Telus selects Vancouver, four other cities, for initial 5G rollout By Tyler Orton | June 18, 2020, 2:47pm Vancouver-based Telus Corp. is staying close to home with its initial rollout of 5G. The telecom giant revealed Thursday (June 18) that it’s launching its 5G network in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto.
  15. அண்ணா, உங்களை போன்ற ஒரு பெரியவர் வாழ்த்தி ஊக்குவிப்பது எனக்கு பெருமையாக இருக்கிறது. சிற்றுண்டி வருட செலவு $3800, பின் ஒவ்வொரு நாளும் 900 சதுர கிலோமீட்டரை சுற்றி வரவேண்டும் இரண்டு நாளைக்கு ஒருக்கால் எரிபொருள் நிரப்பவேண்டும். மாதம் $900. வருட செலவு $10800. மற்றும் வாகன தேய்மானம். வருடத்திற்கு $15000. 12 வருடங்களிற்கு $180,000 + வரி! சென்ற மாதம் வரை துணைவிக்கு கூட தெரியாது. எல்லாம் நான் வாழும் நகரில் நிலவும் ஆன்மீகத்தை கூட்டி இயற்கையை திருப்பி கொண்டுவரும் கனவு தான். லானவை சுட்டு பொசுக்கிட்டாங்கள் சுந்தரங்கள்!