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Americans without ethnic prefixes

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by Vijaya Chandrasoma

After the mass shooting a few weeks ago in Atlanta, Georgia, which left six Asian American women dead, Maizie Hirono, Democratic senator from Hawaii proposed legislation to contain the rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans, fueled by rhetoric that blamed the Chinese for the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

In an address last week, President Biden condemned “vicious hate crimes against Asian Americans who have been attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated”.

Attacked and scapegoated with third grade insults against China from the bully pulpit of the former hate mongering president. A president who had no clue how to alleviate the pandemic, resorting to his characteristic refusal to accept responsibility for his incompetence by blaming China, the country of origin of the virus. His infamous taunts of the “China Virus”, “China Plague”, “Kung Flu” inflamed the anger and hatred of his white base to attack Asian Americans, who they imagined, in their racist delusions, were responsible for the spread of the virus.

The legislation aimed to mitigate violence against Asian Americans passed 94 – 6 in the Senate. The six senators from deep red states who voted against the legislation were Josh Hawley (Missouri), who incited the insurrectionists against the Capitol on January 6, Tom Cotton (Arkansas), Ted Cruz (Texas), Roger Marshall (Kansas), Rand Paul (Kentucky) and Tommy Tuberville (Alabama). The modern counterparts of Hitler’s cronies, Goebbels, Himmler, Goring and Mengele, they are staunch sycophants of the deposed and disgraced American president. They are all vociferous propagandists of the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from their Fuhrer.

Asian Americans, like all Americans of color, have been subjected to racist slurs and violence by white racists for centuries. Hate crimes against Asian Americans have accelerated in the past year; over 3,800 cases of racist violence have been reported against Americans of Asian origin during this period.

So the American theme, its modern doctrine, is now clear. In a way, the doctrine is very similar to the white supremacist symbol of 1488 – 14 for the 14 words of the motto of white supremacy: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children”, followed by a repetition of the number 88 for the eighth letter of the alphabet, the letter HH, representing the Nazi salute, Heil Hitler. According to these white racists, America is for white Americans, Hitler’s Aryans. Immigrants from non-white nations are tolerated on grudging sufferance.

When a disaster occurs in a foreign country which has an adverse effect on America, the American descendants of that country who have been legal American citizens for decades, sometimes centuries, become responsible for that disaster, and are worthy targets for violence. The latest example is Asian Americans. There are many other such targets, even today.

The classic example of the doctrine are the Africans who were kidnapped from their homes, brought in chains to America, and forced to slave in American plantations. The forced, unpaid, tortured labor of these slaves built the economic powerhouse that America is today. They are Americans of several generations, they have absolutely no connection with Africa. They are racially profiled and brutally murdered on a depressingly regular basis. And after four centuries, they are still not Americans, they are African Americans.

The Chinese emigrated to America in waves. Immigrants in the 19th century worked mainly on the transcontinental railroad network. They suffered racial discrimination at every level, contemptuously called “The Yellow Peril”. White Americans, while enjoying the benefits of their cheap labor, denied them citizenship, they were not allowed to own land or marry Caucasians. Most of these immigrants have little or no connection with their country of origin. But they are still known as “Chinese Americans” or “Asian Americans”.

Significant Japanese immigration to America began in the mid-19th century, caused by economic necessities. Poor living conditions and high unemployment forced them to look to America for a better life for themselves and their families. They also shared with the Chinese the discrimination, racism and slurs, and were considered an extension of the “Yellow Peril”.

When Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941, and America declared war against Japan, an estimated 120,000 Americans of Japanese origin, who had no connection with Japan, certainly none with the attacks, were forcibly incarcerated in internment camps based solely on their ethnic origin, although America had been their home for decades. They are still known as “Japanese Americans” or “Asian Americans”.

Ironically, when America entered the same war against Hitler’s Germany and Italy’s Mussolini in 1941, a few Germans and Italians were “deemed enemy aliens,” and placed under curfew. A couple hundred were even locked in “internment camps”. There were 1.2 million and five million of German first and second generation immigrants, respectively, and over 600,000 first generation Italian immigrants. The vast majority of Germans and Italian immigrants were treated as “Americans”. The reason is obvious, the Asians are the Yellow Peril, Hispanics the Brown Invasion. There is nothing called a White Peril. Not to white Americans, anyway.

Cuban Refugees who fled the Castro regime, and settled in America in the 1950s are “Cuban Americans”. Mexicans and immigrants from other Central and South American countries, some who had lived in the United States when it was Mexico, which became Texas or New Mexico when the US government “annexed” their homelands, are simply Hispanics, or Hispanic Americans.

And the original inhabitants of the land stolen from by the white man are also prefixed as Native Americans!

Then we come to 9/11, when 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists committed the most terrible domestic attack against the United States in its history. The terrorists were from four countries, 15 from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates, one each from Lebanon and Egypt.

A 2017 study estimated that there were 3.45 million Americans of Arabic origin living in America, many second and third generation Americans. The vast majority oppose Islamic terrorism and expressed their horror of the 9/11 attacks. They have little connection to their countries of origin. They are adherents of Islam, the third most popular religion in the US, after Christianity and Judaism. Predictably, Muslims have been targeted for violence ever since 9/11. Many ignorant, racist Americans (and recent events have proved that they number in the tens of millions) have assaulted and murdered not only Muslims, but anyone who looked Arabic to their racist eyes. They are still known as Arab Americans.

Immigrants take the pledge of allegiance to the United States of America when they are granted citizenship. They also renounce their allegiance to their country of origin. For first generation immigrants, this may be an impossible emotional exercise.

I can best explain this conundrum with my personal experience. I emigrated to the United States in 1990 at age 49, to escape the general violence of an ethnic war, and the personal violence against political rivals of the administration at the time. I chose the United States because my older son was already there on a scholarship to a leading university, which he was awarded while he was in Colombo, on the basis of his scholastic performance. I received my Green Card in 1998 and my citizenship in 2003 as did my family. I will be forever grateful to the USA for giving me the second chance which I desperately sought; which enabled my children to grasp with both hands the wonderful educational opportunities available during the Clinton years to kids who were willing to work hard.

But despite the fact that I swore my allegiance to my adopted country, I have always been a Sri Lankan by emotion, an American by document. When peace finally returned to Sri Lanka in 2009, I had little hesitation in retiring in my home country. My children, who were in their teens when they emigrated, still have an affection for the old country. They speak Sinhalese, have many friends here and visit often. But, after 30 years, America is their home. My grandchildren are Americans, pure and simple. I believe this to be the natural evolution of assimilation for immigrants everywhere.

When Mexico played soccer against the Americans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena in 2013, there was a capacity crowd of 90,000 spectators, 89,000 Mexican Americans cheering the Mexican team on, waving 89,000 Mexican flags! Old Glory was hardly to be seen.

It has to be stressed that Americans of every color and creed have fought for America, against Nazism of the Germany of the 1940s, and more recently, to stave off a Nazi/Russian attack on its democracy. Americans of every color and creed have given their lives enforcing the laws of America and defending its constitution. There are grave sites of many nationalities in the Arlington Memorial Cemetery. They were all true Americans, sacrificing their lives for their country. Death is one route to drop the ethnic prefix of a true American.

The only other route is the privilege of having a white skin. Orange is also acceptable. There are no English Americans, no German or French Americans. They are all white, all Americans, all Caucasians. The rest of us will always be Arab Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Pacific islanders or when in doubt, “Other”. Never ethnic adjective-free Americans, not unless we die for America. Italian Americans may be the exception to this rule, but in any job or official application or document, there is no box for Italian Americans, they tick the magic box that says “Caucasian.”

Countries which have attracted most mass immigration from other countries for a variety of reasons, poverty, violence or seeking a better life for their families are, besides the USA, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. When these immigrants become citizens of their country of choice, they are Canadians, Brits, Aussies or Kiwis. The white racists in these countries have their own slurs for their immigrants. But they have no official classification as African Canadians, Pakistani British, Asian Australians or Sri Lankan New Zealanders. The United States of America is the only country which officially identifies, advertises and endorses its concept of white racism. Perhaps unknowingly, even instinctively.

This concept may finally disappear when the most haunting fears of white racists – the loss of white dominance, privilege and supremacy over colored immigrants – become a reality, predicted for 2040. When the browns, the blacks and immigrants of all other hues will form the national majority and restore racial balance.

Racial and social justice for all, which will make the USA, at long last, a true Nation of Immigrants. All Americans, no ethnic prefix.

Hopefully, when my granddaughter and/or grandson are vying for the presidency of the United States in a few decades, they will simply be known as Americans, and not as Japanese/European/Tamil/Sinhalese Americans. Although, truth be told, that does have a nice, global ring to it.



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Features

Twenty-five years of private sector-led renewable energy development

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by Dr Tilak Siyambalapitiya

A policy change in 1995 to allow private investments in electricity generation into the grid, a standard agreement and a standard price for electricity produced, enabled such investments to pick-up faster than in other countries. The first mini-hydro power project with entirely private sector funding and private ownership commenced operations in May 1996.

 

The agreement and the price

Dubbed the “most investor friendly agreement in the world”, Sri Lanka’s renewable energy developers were offered, since 1996, a non-negotiable 15-year agreement (20-years for projects signed after 2008). The agreement says, literally, “I will buy all your electricity produced for the next 15 years, any day any time; I will not penalize you for delays in your project or for not producing electricity at all or producing less electricity than you promised; I will not ask you to start or stop your power plant”. There is no other agreement in the business world 25 years ago or now, where such agreements are offered to a seller.

Then the price. The agreement carries a price, which too is not negotiable. It says: “I will pay you a price that reflects the fuel saved in major power plants; in case fuel prices go down, I will not drop the price below 90% of the price when you signed; if the fuel prices go up, I will keep on increasing the prices without any limit”.

I shall buy all your all your product at the following price for 20 years. If you do not produce too, even when I need it badly, I will only greet you with a smile !

Government procurements have to be on competitive basis. This policy of competition was further reinforced by the Electricity Act 2009, required to be implemented by the Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL). The legal validity of such renewable energy agreements and price offers, that make a mockery of rules of “competition”, has been debated in many quarters over the past 25 years.

 

Has it been good ?

Well, yes and no, depending on whom you speak to and your convictions. To the credit of the program, Sri Lanka’s renewable energy development accelerated after 1996. These are smaller power plants using hydropower, wind, wood and more recently, waste. If the government attempted to develop them through a state entity, excessive overheads and inefficiency would most likely creep-in. There would have been a politically appointed Chairman and a fleet of vehicles going up and down, to run a tiny minihydro.

On the other hand, had the state rigidly controlled what is developed and where, renewable energy projects developed would have been more efficient, well-engineered and certainly more environment friendly. Stories are many, where a private mini-hydro project agreed with the Central Environmental Authority to release water for downstream users, but later blocked it 100%. As the saying goes, “Sri Lanka’s streams and rivers are now flowing in tubes”, but we are proud about a vibrant renewable energy industry !

Renewable energy from such smaller private investments reached 1% of total in year 2000 and 4% by 2006. Buoyed by another policy change in 2007 that offered a contract for 20 years and an even more attractive prices, renewable energy from small power plants raced toward a 10% policy target for 2015. It reached the target indeed, with 11% of electricity produced in 2015 from the combined production in 147 minihydros, 15 wind and 3 each of grown biomass, wood waste and solar parks. Unlike many countries who make headlines by stating their renewable energy contribution in megawatt, Sri Lanka’s targets and achievement are stated in kilowatthour, honestly reflecting the true benefits to save fuel and to reduce emissions.

Continuing its race for development, by 2020 (provisional figures) electricity produced from smaller private renewable energy power plants reached 12%. Adding major hydros, the energy share from all renewable energy was 37% by 2020, a share unmatched by all countries and expatriate Sri Lankans that preach Sri Lanka on how to develop renewable energy.

 

Has the price been good to the investor?

The policy of paying renewable energy projects signed over 1996-2016 was to pay the value of fuel saved in the grid, calculated and published in advance every year. Agreements signed after 2007 enjoy an even more attractive pricing formula: a technology-specific, cost-reflective price. That means minihydros are paid a price to make that a profitable investment; wind power is paid to make that technology, a profitable investment.

Once signed, price paid does not change. If costs go up or down after signing, or bank interest rates go up or down, the price remains the same. Fortunately for all who signed in 2008-2009 or later, equipment costs and bank interest rates both have been on a downward trend. Projects that borrowed at 18% in 2018 possibly borrowed at 8% this year, but still enjoy the price paid calculated at 18% interest. By way of equipment costs, solar power has seen the deepest reduction in costs. More on that later.

 

What was the benefit to the public?

Why did the government offer such attractive rates and terms to private investors? Sri Lanka did not throw Rs 10 at renewable energy investors and say “do it if you can”. The key principle in the pricing policy was: price paid makes investments profitable (not just profitable but excessively profitable). The agreement still remains the “most investor friendly agreement” in the world.

In other words, the public of this country, through their electricity bills and through taxes, have paid for the investments, bank interest, and profits (above market rates), to make privately-owned renewable energy an excessively profitable venture. Other benefits of renewable energy need not be repeated here; they are all well known. So what is the benefit to the public who fully paid (and continue to pay) for these investments, of which the ownership is private?

It should be the longer-term benefit of cheaper renewable energy. That’s why the 2008 announcement on the revised policy said as follows: “Renewable energy, which is a natural resource, belongs to the State. Developers are provided with a high tariff to cover their expenses and to earn reasonable profits for an adequately long period (in this case the first fifteen years). Thereafter, the benefit of the resource should flow to the electricity customers, while continuing to provide an operating fee to the small power producers and full recovery of maintenance costs”.

The closest example is the CEB-owned fleet of hydropower plants, which are bigger. The familiar ones are Laxapana, Kotmale and Victoria, among a total of 15 power plants. The public of the country paid for those too, starting from 1950. How? Through electricity bills (because loans and government investments were apportioned between CEB and Mahaweli Authority), taxes and benefits foregone. The major hydros today produce at a cost of Rs 3.35 per unit of electricity. True, that except for Upper Kotmale, all are 20 years or more of age. The fleet of minihydros, too, as they mature into their contracts, after 15 years of good profits to investors, should deliver benefits to electricity customers. That’s why the 2008 announcement said: Therefore, once the developers’ costs and profits are paid, it is inevitable that in the long-term, renewable energy should flow into the national grid at prices significantly lower than the cost of thermal energy.

However, information published indicates that the principles on which small power producers were enabled in 1996 and then enhanced in 2008, are indeed being followed. CEB produces electricity from mature hydros at Rs 3.35 per unit (PUCSL assessment 2019). The price for mature hydropower in the private sector was Rs 5.38 per unit (CEB publication 2019), precisely following the principle of fairness: good profits to investor for 15 years, benefits to electricity customer in the longer term.

As more and more minihydros mature, later wind, biomass and solar projects mature, we should be seeing finally, that ALL renewables produce electricity at prices very significantly lower than all the alternatives. Renewables replace thermal power and we should be paid the same price, will not be an argument, now or then, or in the future. “My power plant is not so good, it does not have water, is not an argument”, because no one defined where to build the minihydro; the investor selected it.

The argument that private renewables can produce below the price of oil, gas or coal does not hold, then, now or in the future. Renewables were allowed because fossil fuels were expensive and bad. The price of fossil fuels comprise royalties, production and delivery costs. If one needs a comparison, royalties for renewables have to be paid to the “republic” (the treasury) and production costs paid by electricity customers. Since royalties are not charged for renewables, both CEB and private, then renewable energy prices should be compared only with production costs. The investment has already been fully paid by the republic.

I conclude with a quotation from the 2008 announcement: “Small power producers opting not to migrate to the new agreement by 30th April 2008, will be offered the tier 3 tariff announced for the relevant technology in the year in which the existing agreement expires, after its full tenure of 15 years is completed”. That means, retiring minihydros should be offered prices in the range of Rs 6 per unit.

It is yet to be seen whether the PUCSL and consumer rights groups are willing to fully and comprehensively understand the issue, step-in, and ensure that “renewable energy belongs to the republic”, as stated in the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority Act 2007.

The country’s streams are now flowing in tubes, but do benefits flow to the public who have fully paid the investors with profits?

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Danger of disregarding Geopolitical Realities

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Negotiating Agreements for Foreign Investments:

By Dr. S.W. Premaratne
Attorney-at-Law

Foreign Policy decision-maker, of a state, have to take into consideration the prevailing geopolitical environment of the international system, and of the region concerned, at a given time, when there is a foreign policy aspect involved in the decision that has to be taken regarding any issue Omission, or failure to give consideration to this aspect of the issue, can lead to disastrous consequences. Several examples from the recent political history of Sri Lanka can be given to illustrate this point.

Sri Lanka’s conduct of foreign policy, in the 1980s, is a clear example of the serious consequences of ignoring India’s concerns regarding Sri Lanka’s pro-West tilt in its foreign policy. Sri Lanka’s declared policy was non-alignment in maintaining relations with other states, specially the Big Powers in the West and the East. However, the J.R. Jayewardene government, that came to power, in 1977, sought to develop a closer relationship with the Western countries, led by the USA. The nature of the interactions between the diplomats of the USA and Sri Lanka, at the time, had given the impression to India that Sri Lanka was seeking the assistance of the USA for suppressing the Tamil militant movement in Sri Lank, fighting for the rights of the Tamil community. There were also reasons for India to suspect that there was an understanding between the Sri Lankan Government and the USA to allow the Trincomalee harbour to be used by the USA. It was this perception of India that Sri Lanka was following an anti-India foreign policy, endangering the security of India that motivated India to intervene militarily in the year 1987 to thwart the progress of the Vadamarachchi operation, aimed at militarily defeating the Tamil militant movement.

After aborting the progress of the Vadamarachchi operatio, the Indian government proceeded to compel the Sri Lankan Government to sign an Agreement – the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of July 1987 – to ensure that Sri Lanka respected India’s security concerns and other interests when seeking assistance from outside Powers for Sri Lanka’s economic development or national security.

 

India’s concerns regarding China’s excessive involvement in Sri Lanka’s development projects

Sri Lanka’s political leaders and diplomats, whenever they get an opportunity, express their affection for their Big Brother, India, and express the need for further strengthening the friendship for the mutual benefit of both countries. India’s perception, however, is that, especially after the change of government in 2005, there is an evolving special relationship between Sri Lanka and China posing a serious threat to the national security of India.

Sri Lanka felt intensely isolated from the international community after adopting the Resolution A/HRC/46/L. Rev. 1 against Sri Lanka, at the UNHRC, in Geneva, in March, 2021, especially because India also decided to support the core-group indirectly by abstaining from voting.

The only consolation for Sri Lanka now is China’s expression of willingness to further strengthen its strategic relationship with Sri Lanka by extending further development assistance to Sri Lanka, within the framework of the Belt end Road Initiative. Subsequent to a telephone conversation between the two leaders, the President of China and the President of Sri Lanka, in a statement issued by the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, on March 30, 2021, it was stated that “China attaches great importance to the development of bilateral ties and stands ready to work with Sri Lanka to determine the strategic direction and achieve steady growth of the relationship. China stands ready to steadily push forward major projects, like the Colombo Port City and the Hambantota Port, and promote high quality Belt and Road Co-operation, providing robust impetus for Sri Lanka’s post pandemic economic recovery and sustainable development”. China projecting Sri Lanka as an intimate partner of the Belt and Road strategy indicates that Sri Lanka is distancing itself from the path of non-alignment and adopting an anti-Western and anti-India approach.

In the matter of obtaining foreign investments for development projects, Sri Lanka has failed to foresee the foreign policy implications of overreliance on China. The two massive development projects, initiated during the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, which came to power in 2005, were the Hambantota sea port and the Port City Project in Colombo. The amount of money invested for these two projects, by China, was so massive that Sri Lanka happened to sign an agreement for permitting the management and control of the Hambantota Port by the state-controlled company of China, under a 99-year lease agreement. The Management and control of the Colombo Port City area also has been granted to the Chinese construction company, under a 99-year lease agreement. Not only India, but also the USA and other Western countries have expressed serious concern regarding the involvement of China in strategically significant massive development projects in Sri Lanka. India’s perception now is that Sri Lanka is an aircraft carrier of China, stationed in the Indian Ocean, close to India. Hambantota Port is viewed as another pearl in the string of pearls maintained for containing India by China.

India is also concerned over the lack of interest on the part of the Sri Lankan Government to go ahead with the development projects regarding which agreement had been reached with India, during the Sirisena-Wickremasinghe coalition government. In May, 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), Japan and India proposing the development of the East Container Terminal jointly, Sri Lanka and Ports Authority retaining 51 percent shares. However, the present Government deviated from that understanding and decided to nominate one Indian investor, Adani Group, disregarding Japan. But, the attempt of the Sri Lankan Government to involve the Indian Company in this project by offering 49 percent of the shares of the ECT was thwarted by the trade union action of the port workers, supported by an influential section of the Buddhist priests and also a section of the ruling alliance. The Sri Lankan government had no alternative but to respond to the demand of the trade unions by getting the Cabinet approval for developing the ECT only by the Colombo Port Authority, without involving India or Japan.

India has also expressed concern over the attitude of the Sri Lankan Government concerning the development and management of the Trincomalee oil tank farm. The lower farm has been managed jointly by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) via Lanka IOC Private Limited. The 2003 tripartite agreement signed by the Sri Lankan Government, LIOC and the CPC covers the entire tank farm. India is now concerned about the excessive delay in granting the Sri Lankan Government’s approval for commencing the development of the Upper Tank Farm, comprising 84 tanks.

Another joint venture, regarding which Sri Lanka sought the involvement of India’s Petronet LNG Ltd. Company, and also a Japanese investor, was the proposed liquefied natural gas LNG terminal that was to be set up near Colombo. Although Indian and Japanese Investors had indicated their willingness to join this project, as partners, the Sri Lankan Government has not yet given its final approval for commencing the construction work.

India is also very much concerned over the lack of progress in the reconciliation process initiated after the end of the war. India’s concern in this regard was expressed very effectively and in very clear language in a statement made by the Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar in the course of a media conference during his two-day visit to Sri Lanka in January, this year. In his statement the Indian Foreign Minister said: “As we promote peace and wellbeing in the region, India has been strongly committed to the unity stability and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. Our support for the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka is long standing as indeed for an inclusive political outlook that encourages ethnic harmony. It is in Sri Lanka’s own interest that the expectations of the Tamil people for equality, justice, peace and dignity, within a united Sri Lanka, are fulfilled. That applies equally to the commitments made by the Sri Lankan Government on meaningful devolution, including the 13th Amendment to the Constitution”.

Sri Lanka should not consider that India’s interest and involvement in the post-war reconciliation process as a case of a foreign country intervening in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka illegally. India is guided by a mindset that there is a moral responsibility on her part to intervene and bring about a final settlement to the conflict in Sri Lanka.

 

Colombo Port City Economic Commission

Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill which was challenged in the Supreme Court, purported to establish an Economic Commission for the administration of the Port City, built by a construction company of the Chinese Government, adjacent to the Colombo Port. This Bill seeks to grant extensive powers to an institution called the Colombo Port Economic Commission, whose members will be appointed by the President of Sri Lanka. According to the provisions in the Bill, the supervisory power of the Parliament of Sri Lanka has been excluded, both regarding the manner of exercising the powers granted by the proposed legislation to the Commission, and also regarding the selection of persons to be appointed as members of the Commission.

Moreover, regarding the activities that take place within the Colombo Port City area, some institutions of the Government of Sri Lanka are excluded from exercising their authority. Dr. Wijedasa Rajapaksa, in his written submissions submitted to the Supreme Court, in connection with the petition filed challenging the Bill, makes specific reference to the Customs Ordinance. He gives the warning that there may be importation of prohibited substances such as drugs, weapons, etc. He points out that in the event of any violation of International Treaties and Conventions, within the Port City area, it is not the Commission but the Sri Lankan Government that is responsible.

 

Conclusion

In view of the intense power struggle between China on the one hand and India and other partners of the Quad, led by the USA on the other hand, for dominance in the Indian Ocean area, the Parliament of Sri Lanka passing legislation for permitting such a high degree of autonomy to an administrative authority that can be controlled by the Chinese government will be considered by India as a serious threat to its security. This pro-China foreign policy orientation will also be an obstacle for Sri Lanka to promote friendly relations with democratic countries in the West determined to thwart Chinese domination in the Indian Ocean region.

 

 

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The Philippines and SL combine

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Singer Suzi Croner (Fluckiger), who was a big hit in this part of the world, singing with the group Friends, continues to make her presence felt on TNGlive – the platform, on social media, that promotes talent from all corners of the globe.

She made her third appearance, last Saturday, May 1st, but this time she had for company Sean, from the Philippines, who, incidentally, was in the finals of The Voice of Switzerland 2020.

Their repertoire, for TNGlive, on the evening of May 1st, including hit songs, like ‘Something Stupid,’ ‘Let Your Love Flow,’ (Sean), ‘If You Can’t Give Me Love,’ ‘Your Man,’ (Sean), ‘Crazy,’ ‘Great Pretender,’ (Sean), ‘Amazing,’ and ‘Stand By Me.’

It was a very entertaining programme, and Sean certainly did prove why he needed to be a finalist at the prestigious The Voice of Switzerland 2020.

You can take in the TNGlive scene, on a regular basis, by joining the Public Group TNGlive, on social media (Facebook).

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