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Cyber Security, Digital Transition, Technology Geopolitics & Worlds Global Topics In-Defense

Daily news – February 8, 2022

News from: Al Jazeera, Astana Times, Atlantic Council, Brookings, Bruegel, Chatham House, CSIS, Defense News, Defense One, East Asia Forum, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Global Times, Human Rights Watch, Japan Institute of International Affairs, Nextgov, Reuters, RFE RL, RUSI, StartMagazine, The Jamestown Foundation, Vatican  AFGHANISTAN – USA Where are the detailed Pentagon reports like […]

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Sri Lanka’s dilemma: Pay off debt or pay for milk, meds and gas (Rehana Thowfeek, Al Jazeera)

A lone bullock cart carrying a barrel of Kerosene, a symbol of life in Sri Lanka in the 1970s, is once again a common sight on the streets of Sri Lanka’s commercial capital as dwindling foreign currency reserves have hampered the imports of everyday essentials including cooking gas. At the root of the problem is […]

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Sri Lanka leader vows to fix ‘misconceptions’ over rights record (Al Jazeera)

Sri Lanka’s president has promised to change “misconceptions” of his country’s human rights record, following years of international criticism over wartime atrocities and extrajudicial killings. Government troops were accused of systematic abuses during the island’s decades-long separatist war against the Tamil Tigers group, including the killing of at least 40,000 civilians at the end of the conflict in 2009. […]

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The Rajapaksas to blame for Sri Lanka’s disastrous 2021 (Neil DeVotta, East Asia Forum)

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s 2019 election manifesto promised ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’. Professionals for a Better Future (Viyathmaga) were to implement his programs, which would achieve successive years of economic fortune. But Rajapaksa will instead be remembered for presiding over Sri Lanka’s worst-ever year post-independence. 2021 was a year that millions will associate with lengthy […]

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Sri Lanka unveils $1BN relief plan as soaring food prices bite (Asantha Sirimanne, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera)

Sri Lanka will increase pay and pension for government employees, remove some taxes on food and medicine, and provide cash for its poorest citizens as prices of essential items surge in the nation that is running out of foreign exchange to pay for imports. Sri Lanka unveils $1BN relief plan as soaring food prices bite […]

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The tangled diplomacy of Sri Lanka’s currency crisis (Dushni Weerakoon, East Asia Forum)

Sri Lanka ends 2021 with foreign currency reserves in hand (US$1.6 billion) to support a month of imports. For much of the year, a shortage of dollars saw uncleared essential imports piling up at the Colombo port as domestic prices soared. Directions from the country’s central bank to maintain an artificially fixed rate have seen a […]

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Colombo Port City project: Controversial since its inception (Vinitha Revi, ORF)

At first envisioned during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidency (2005-15), the Colombo Port City (CPC) project was announced on Xi Jinping’s visit to Sri Lanka in 2014. The CPC is one of China’s flagship projects and a major component of Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Spanning 269 hectares of reclaimed land from the sea, the project […]

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Balances and benefits in Southern South Asia: The Maldives and Sri Lanka in 2021 (Aditya Gowdara Shivamurthy, ORF)

The increasing competition between India and China and the Indo-Pacific’s rising prominence has reinvigorated the world’s interest in the Indian Ocean and its island states; impacting the island states’ behaviour and foreign policy conduct. Subsequently, in 2021, the Maldives has tried reaping benefits from this competition vis-à-vis its ‘India First’ policy. Similarly, Sri Lanka has […]

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Sri Lanka shuts three foreign missions as dollar crisis worsens (Al Jazeera)

Sri Lanka has announced the closure of three overseas diplomatic missions in a bid to save foreign currency reserves, as the country’s Central Bank slaps tighter controls on dollars needed to finance essential imports. The Sri Lankan High Commission in Nigeria and consulates in Germany and Cyprus will be closed from January in the restructuring, the […]

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Sri Lanka: ‘Internationalising’ fisheries issue with India will have consequences (Sathiya Moorthy, ORF)

Reports that Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda has taken up the long-standing fishers’ issue involving neighbouring India with US Ambassador Martin K. Kelly in Colombo has consequences far beyond comprehension. Taken to the logical or illogical conclusion, it could mean that Sri Lanka, or at least Minister Devananda, is seeking to ‘internationalise’ what in every sense […]

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Short-sightedness in Colombo (Harsh V. Pant, ORF)

During Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s visit to India earlier this month, the two nations have seemingly agreed to work out a cooperation package that involves broad based engagement across sectors like food, energy, investments and offer of currency swap to address balance of payments crisis. Sri Lanka is facing an economic crisis that […]

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Chinese marine engineering giant gets new project in Port of Colombo (Global Times)

China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) said on its WeChat public account on Tuesday that it has won a bid to build the east terminal at Colombo Port, which aims to boost throughput and the port’s role as a transshipment hub in South Asia. Chinese marine engineering giant gets new project in Port of Colombo – […]