China and India-Japan relations

[ SAAG ][ Sep 17 13:45 GMT ]

China has greater strategic relevance than Japan as it can impact India's strategic interests more strongly in real time. India has already embarked on the process of building win-win relations with China started under Manmohan Singh's leadership. But it had been making slow progress. Modi probably wants to ginger up this process and Xi's visit provides an ideal opportunity for him to do so. India faces other compulsions in the competitive relationship building process with China and Japan. [ full story | comments ]

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Chinese Leader Visits Sri Lanka, Challenging India’s Sway [ more ]

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China and India-Japan relations

China has greater strategic relevance than Japan as it can impact Indi...

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Japanese PM pressures Sri Lanka to weaken ties with China

Japan, however, is manoeuvring for closer ties with Colombo to pursue ...

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Chinese loans will bleed country dry: Harsha

Well, if you look at the past few years, we have been taking massive l...

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Committee on Enforced Disappearances examines report of Belgium

[ OHCHR ][ Sep 17 13:40 GMT ]

The Committee on Enforced Disappearances today concluded its consideration of the initial report of Belgium on how it implements the provisions of the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The delegation of Belgium included representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Defence, the Federal Police, the Flemish Community, the Flemish Region and the French Community of Belgium and the Wallon Region, as well as from the French Community from the Wallon Region in Geneva and the Permanent Mission of Belgium to the United Nations Office in Geneva. [ full story | comments ]

Japanese PM pressures Sri Lanka to weaken ties with China

[ WSWS ][ Sep 17 12:54 GMT ]

Japan, however, is manoeuvring for closer ties with Colombo to pursue its own strategic interests, not out of any sympathy for the Rajapakse government. For public relations purposes, Abe said he “appreciated” Sri Lanka’s “reconciliation” process—which has consisted of whitewashing the killing of tens of thousands of Tamils—and the government’s supposed engagement with “the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms.” Abe’s visit to Sri Lanka took place in the broader context of the strategic and military preparations being made by Japan and the US against China. [ full story | comments ]

Modi to meet MR in NY on Sept. 27

[ Island ][ Sep 17 12:36 GMT ]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in New York on September 27 in the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session, according to informed sources here. "The meeting with the Sri Lankan President is still somewhat tentative, but we expect it will happen," a senior diplomat said. (In a related development, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said on Monday that India expects Sri Lanka to implement the 13th Amendment to its Constitution. [ full story | comments ]

Xi says China regards Sri Lanka as all-weather friend

[ Xinhua ][ Sep 17 12:29 GMT ]

China regards Sri Lanka as an all-weather friend and partner, Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Wednesday when meeting with Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa. China appreciates Sri Lanka's stance to support China on the issues of Taiwan and Tibet, said Xi, adding that China supports Sri Lanka's efforts in safeguarding independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and will contribute to Sri Lanka's economic and social development as always. Under the new situation, China is willing to work with Sri Lanka to seize the opportunity of jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, strengthen mutual benefit and cooperation, expand people-to-people exchanges and constantly inject new vigor and positive energy to the bilateral ties, said the Chinese president. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka cuts energy price after start of Chinese-funded coal power plant

[ Reuters ][ Sep 17 12:20 GMT ]

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa cut energy prices across the board on Tuesday after officially opening a completed $1.35 billion Chinese-financed 900 MW coal power plant project. He announced the cut after a meeting in Colombo with Chinese President Xi Jinping, now on an official visit to Sri Lanka. "Electricity bills of the people will be reduced by 25 percent with effect from today," the president said. "The price of kerosene will be reduced by 20 rupees per litre, price of petrol by 5 rupees per litre and price of diesel by 3 rupees per litre from today. This will benefit all households in Sri Lanka." [ full story | comments ]

Engaging Modi: US-India Policy in Transition

[ Asia Society ][ Sep 16 14:36 GMT ]

Narendra Modi, India’s newly elected Prime Minister, arrives in September for his first visit to the United States as India's leader. His agenda is long - charting a new economic growth path for India, Prime Minister Modi seeks greater engagement with the world’s top economies. To launch the 2014-15 season of the Asia Society Policy Institute’s (ASPI) AsiaConnect teleconference series, Assistant Secretary Nisha Biswal will discuss her views on Prime Minister Modi’s upcoming visit to the United States in September. She will discuss the Obama Administration’s high-level engagement with India’s new government, the future of the U.S.-India partnership, and India’s role in Asia and the world. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka to sign FTA with China

[ Hindu ][ Sep 16 13:41 GMT ]

Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive here on Tuesday, on a significant visit to the island nation, during which Beijing and Colombo are expected to firm up a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). While the Chinese President is likely to sign nearly as many agreements in India, where he will arrive on Wednesday, foreign policy analysts are closely watching the emerging dynamics among India, Sri Lanka and China, particularly after Mr. Modi assumed charge in May. Analysts often refer to Sri Lanka playing the ‘China card’ against India. [ full story | comments ]

Health alert issued for respiratory illness for kids

[ Toronto Star ][ Sep 16 13:08 GMT ]

Health Canada has issued a public health alert to health professionals across the country to be vigilant regarding a vicious virus that can cause severe breathing difficulty for children. The warning was issued after Alberta and several other provinces reported confirmed cases of people infected with the enterovirus EV-D68, suspected of infecting and hospitalizing hundreds of children in the United States. [ full story | comments ]

Male Astrologer Charged In Sex Assault Case; Other Possible Victims

[ 640 AM ][ Sep 15 18:15 GMT ]

A Toronto man has been charged in a sexual assault case, and police believe there may be some more victims. On Thursday, September 11 at 1 p.m., a 38-year-old woman went to the Sri Vinayaka Astrologer, located at 2310 Keele Street. It’s alleged she was attacked by the male astrologer. 30 year old Bhaskar Muniyappa was arrested and charged with sexual assault. He’s scheduled to appear in court next month. Police are asking anyone else who may have visited the same location to come forward or call Crime Stoppers. [ full story | comments ]

MR seeks talks with Modi, as TNA sets January 1 deadline

[ Sunday Times ][ Sep 15 08:31 GMT ]

Both for the UPFA Government and some major Opposition parties, it appears to be transition time. What it portends with a presidential election round the corner remains a critical question. In the UPFA, some major issues relate to the foreign policy front. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sought a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when they attend the 69th sessions of the UN General Assembly in New York. Initial responses from New Delhi through diplomatic channels were that there were scheduling difficulties. Modi is also to meet President Barack Obama on September 29 and 30. The Sri Lanka External Affairs Ministry has hence offered to re-schedule Rajapaksa’s itinerary in a bid to ascertain whether a meeting was still possible. EAM officials are hopeful an engagement would be possible. [ full story | comments ]

Al Qaida's new South Asian arm claims major attack

[ Haaretz ][ Sep 17 12:58 GMT ]

Al Qaida's South Asia wing has claimed responsibility for hijacking a Pakistani naval ship and trying to use it to fire rockets at U.S. vessels in the Arabian Sea, in the first major assault by the newly created group. The SITE monitoring service quoted its spokesman, Usama Mahmoud, as saying a group of militants had succeeded in seizing control of the Pakistani frigate PNS Zulfiqar and tried to use it to attack nearby U.S. vessels.The naval yard on Pakistan's Arabian Sea coast is a strategically important facility at the centre of U.S.-Pakistani security, anti-terrorism and anti-trafficking cooperation. [ full story | comments ]

Chinese loans will bleed country dry: Harsha

[ Daily Mirror ][ Sep 17 12:39 GMT ]

Well, if you look at the past few years, we have been taking massive loans, particularly from China, which are going into construction projects. These include the US$1.3 billion for the hardly-used sea port, then the more than US$300 million for a little used airport, unused cricket stadiums and perhaps the world’s most expensive railway tracks and roads, extension of the expressway, the unbelievable Roads, overpasses and flyovers in the Hambantota area or the Hambantota Integrated Development Zone. I am not saying that all the money is being wasted. But very little is being invested in useful ways while a mind-boggling amount of money is wasted on ego-boosting, massively corrupt projects in Hambantota. [ full story | comments ]

Northern Governor should emulate Colombo Mayor – Defence Secy

[ CDN ][ Sep 17 12:31 GMT ]

Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that if the maximum benefits of the government’s endeavour to create an environment that encourages a high quality of life are to be enjoyed, local government institutions irrespective of whatever party is in power, must cooperate with the Central Government. He also said that fortunately in Colombo though the opposition is in power in the local governing body, the Mayor and others corporate with the government but in the Northern Province the lack of corporation on the part of the Chief Minister has denied the people the maximum benefits. - See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/northern-governor-should-emulate-colombo-mayor-defence-secy#sthash.LdCYzLQE.dpuf [ full story | comments ]

China's Xi pledges closer defence ties with Sri Lanka

[ AFP ][ Sep 17 12:23 GMT ]

"The two sides agreed to strengthen defence cooperation... and to cooperate in the areas of defence-related science and technology, exchange of military academics, and provide logistic support," the joint statement said. China is increasingly asserting its influence in Sri Lanka, a midway point on one of the world's busiest international shipping lanes. On Tuesday, he along with President Rajapakse launched Sri Lanka's biggest electricity generator, a Chinese-funded 900-megawatt coal power plant located less than 200 kilometres (125 miles) from India. Soon after connecting the Chinese power pant to the national grid, Rajapakse, who called China "a sincere and a trusted friend who has assisted Sri Lanka at all times" announced slashing domestic electricity tariffs by 25 percent. [ full story | comments ]

Chinese Leader Visits Sri Lanka, Challenging India’s Sway

[ New York Times ][ Sep 17 12:18 GMT ]

China’s efforts to secure naval and maritime access throughout South Asia — a strategy called the “string of pearls” — has unnerved India. But with India distracted by its own problems, China’s outreach has been welcomed by both the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Mr. Rajapaksa has visited China seven times during his nine years in office. Last year, China surpassed the United States as Sri Lanka’s second-largest trading partner behind India. China also recently replaced India as the largest investor in Sri Lanka. [ full story | comments ]

Engaging with Civil Society

[ GV ][ Sep 16 14:34 GMT ]

Recognizing the crucial importance of active involvement of civil society, at all levels, in processes of governance and in promoting good governance, including through transparency and accountability, at all levels, which is indispensable for building peaceful, prosperous and democratic societies, Mindful that domestic legal and administrative provisions and their application should facilitate, promote and protect an independent, diverse and pluralistic civil society and, in this regard, strongly rejecting any acts of intimidation or reprisals against civil society. [ full story | comments ]

China's Xi to launch $1.4bn port city development in Sri Lanka

[ AFP ][ Sep 16 13:37 GMT ]

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Sri Lanka Tuesday to launch construction of a Beijing-funded $1.4 billion port city and seek closer defence ties that could provoke unease in neighbouring India. China is increasingly asserting its influence in the Indian Ocean, with Sri Lanka a midway point on one of the world's busiest international shipping lanes. [ full story | comments ]

Academics condemn Sydney University professor for call to go soft on Sri Lanka's war history

[ SMH ][ Sep 16 09:54 GMT ]

Academics and non-government organisations have condemned a University of Sydney academic's call for delegates at a human rights conference to go soft on Sri Lanka, despite claims of the country's war-time atrocities."We therefore consider it important to write to dissociate ourselves from the event and the way in which it has been conceived and managed," said the academics, who include Associate Professor Jake Lynch and Brami Jegan, conveners of Sri Lankan human rights project at the university.Professor Lynch and the other academics told Dr Celermajer the conference is at "serious risk of providing the appearance of human rights cover to a brutal regime that continues to perpetrate gross violations and is going to great lengths to silence critical voices both within Sri Lanka and in the international community". [ full story | comments ]

2009 was a genocide says former UK home secretary

[ Tamil Guardian ][ Sep 15 16:49 GMT ]

The former British home secretary, David Blunkett described what took place during the final stages of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka in 2009 as a "genocide" and called for it to be "properly investigated", meeting with members of the Tamil community at an Advice Surgery last Saturday. Mr Blunkett said he "believed genocide had taken place on the island of Sri Lanka and that evidence that human rights violations had occurred during the armed conflict in 2009 must be properly investigated." [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka's asylum seeker expulsion plans to be challenged in Supreme Court

[ AFP ][ Sep 15 08:30 GMT ]

Sri Lankan rights activists have gone to the country's highest court in a bid to stop the government deporting Afghan, Iranian and Pakistani asylum seekers. Lawyer Lakshan Dias said six human rights defenders have petitioned the Supreme Court to challenge the expulsions, which are being carried out despite Sri Lanka being warned it is in breach of its international obligations. "The case is coming up on September 29," Mr Dias said. [ full story | comments ]


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Featured News

[SAAG - Sep 17, 2014 13:45:35 GMT]

China and India-Japan relations


[WSWS - Sep 17, 2014 12:54:32 GMT]

Japanese PM pressures Sri Lanka to weaken ties with China


[Daily Mirror - Sep 17, 2014 12:39:49 GMT]

Chinese loans will bleed country dry: Harsha


[New York Times - Sep 17, 2014 12:18:53 GMT]

Chinese Leader Visits Sri Lanka, Challenging India’s Sway


[GV - Sep 16, 2014 14:34:16 GMT]

Engaging with Civil Society


[AFP - Sep 16, 2014 13:37:53 GMT]

China's Xi to launch $1.4bn port city development in Sri Lanka


[Toronto Star - Sep 16, 2014 13:08:00 GMT]

Health alert issued for respiratory illness for kids


[Tamil Guardian - Sep 15, 2014 16:49:31 GMT]

2009 was a genocide says former UK home secretary


[Sunday Times - Sep 15, 2014 8:31:29 GMT]

MR seeks talks with Modi, as TNA sets January 1 deadline


[Times of India - Sep 15, 2014 8:16:16 GMT]

Pakistan hiring Sri Lankan Muslims as spies spooks intelligence agencies


[The Hindu - Sep 12, 2014 20:10:53 GMT]

NIA team may visit Sri Lanka for probe into espionage case


[Scarborough Mirror - Sep 12, 2014 17:41:46 GMT]

Scarborough’s Tamil community hosts walk-a-thon to raise funds for Heart & Stroke Foundation


[UNOG - Sep 12, 2014 13:13:40 GMT]

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, New Un High Commissioner For Human Rights, Addresses Opening Of Human Rights Council’s 27th Session


[Hindu - Sep 12, 2014 12:21:47 GMT]

Global observer needed for talks with Sri Lanka, says Sampanthan


[Guardian - Sep 12, 2014 10:10:35 GMT]

Sydney University bows to request from Sri Lankan military and police