by a special correspondent
From time to time, organizations and individuals have attempted to examine measures taken by Sri Lanka relating to international relations and national security through the social media. The current hype about the role played by former minister Milinda Moragoda in relation to foreign relations and national security is one such example. Those who are trying to dissect what took place decades ago in the sphere of international relations and security could very well mean well. However, it is debatable whether the knowledge of events, at least some of them possess, match the interest they have on the topic of discussion.
With the advent of the Internet and social media in the 20th century, such as the ‘You Tube’, ‘Face Book’, Twitter etc., those who have access to smart phones with Subscriber Identity Modules, popularly known as SIM cards, desktops or laptops with access to the Internet, suddenly found themselves empowered, which provided them with platforms to comment on any subject, irrespective of their knowledge, expertise or experience. The end result of this phenomenon is that the general public is being subjected to relentless bombardment of news, points of view, solutions to issues of national importance, as well as mundane matters. In this process, the public is also being supplied with ‘fake news’ or manufactured news by interested parties. This is an entirely a new phenomenon that surfaced during the latter part of the last century and seems to be thriving in the 21st century.
One of the issues that has recently surfaced is the Sri Lanka – US agreement signed in November 2002 relating to the International Criminal Court (ICC). ICC is a permanent judicial body established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in1998 to prosecute and adjudicate individuals, not states, accused of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. On July 1, 2002, after ratification by the requisite number of countries (60), it entered in to force .
There are two avenues for prosecution by the ICC. One, a State Party may invite the Court to prosecute an offender, and the other is for the UN Security Council to initiates a case. However, it is also possible for Office of the Prosecutor to initiate an investigation. In doing so, there is a need to satisfy whether the offender/s are being prosecuted by the national government. Only if there are shortcomings on the part of such national processes that the ICC has the authority to extend its jurisdiction.
On May 6, 2002, the Bush Administration announced that the United States does not intend to become a Party to the Rome Statute of ICC and informed the UN of its decision, despite the fact Washington had signed the Rome Statute on December 31, 2000. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka too decided against becoming a Party to the Rome Statute.
ICC Statute is not a legal instrument adopted and implemented by the United Nations. Instead, it is a legal instrument that has been negotiated by individual states, who later signed and ratified it. The treaty has neither enforcement powers, nor a police force to implement its judgements. Such responsibilities are entirely in the hands of the signatories. This may be the reason why one of its judges (Italian) described the ICC as a “giant without hands and legs”. Consequently, Sri Lanka was within its rights to decide not to become Party to the Rome Statute.
Following bilateral consultation Sri Lanka had with the United States, both sides signed the Agreement by which they agreed not to transfer a person of the other Party to a third country, when each country decides to extradite, surrender or otherwise transfer a person, without the expressed consent of the government of the United States or Sri Lanka.
It may be recalled that this bilateral agreement was signed in November 2002, at a time when Sri Lanka was having robust political, security and economic relations with the US. Signing of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) was one of the important developments that took place around that time, which gave rise to the expectation that the US would look favourably at concluding a Free Trade Agreement with Sri Lanka. It is a well-known fact that Moragoda played a pivotal role in concluding the TIFA. That was also the time when Colombo was trying to free itself from restrictions imposed by the US Congress against sale of military hardware, including spare parts to service SLAF aircraft.
Cascading effects of the improved relations between Washington and Colombo resulted in the decision taken by the Bush administration to gift Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) ‘USS Courageous’ in early 2005, a coastguard cutter that was once part of the US 7th Fleet. It is no secret that that warship became a useful asset during the final confrontations the SLN had with LTTE several years later, thousands of nautical miles away from the Sri Lankan shores. Congressional restrictions against sale of military hardware to Sri Lanka were also lifted soon thereafter, which facilitated Sri Lanka Navy to acquire 30 mm Bushmaster cannons to be mounted on Navy platforms, which provided an advantage over the LTTE firepower at sea. Finally, intelligence provided by the US and India enabled SLN to locate and destroy LTTE vessels that were used for storage and transport of military hardware.
These developments were taking place at a time when the LTTE was taking steps to move away from the peace process alleging that the government was casting an international safety net designed by Minister Moragoda to restrict freedom of operation by that organization. It is therefore clear that the government in Colombo, realizing the machinations of LTTE, recognized the need to improve political, military and economic relations with Washington. One step in that direction was to build a like-minded group of countries that would take steps to assist each other, when cooperative action was required to safeguard their national interests. Credit of establishing that likeminded group has also been rightly assigned to Moragoda.
It may be against such a backdrop, when Sri Lanka was accused of alleged human rights violations, Minister Moragoda, who was closely associated with the peace process, saw the merits of signing an agreement with the US refusing to extradite alleged offenders to be tried by the ICC, based on biased and spurious allegations brought out by outfits such as Diaspora groups that supported LTTE. However, since the Ranil Wickremesinghe administration suffered an electoral setback at the general election held in 2004, the kind of coalition his administration was trying to build up with a group of likeminded countries failed to materialise. The idea behind the thinking could have been not to counter the policies of the Non-aligned Movement, but to build a new coalition that would give priority to national interests of the nascent group.
Is the so called…
At the time of signing the bilateral agreement, Colombo may not have expected the UN system to bring members of the armed forces etc. before international tribunals or engage services of international prosecutors etc., to try them as demanded by the Human Rights Council years later. If the policy of building a ‘like-minded group’ pursued by Colombo had succeeded, Sri Lanka would have stood a good chance in signing bilateral agreements with several other countries, such as the one it signed with the US on surrender of persons to the ICC. All that is now long forgotten, as the adage says, ‘water under the bridge’.
It may be recalled that from time to time the US administration assisted Sri Lankan armed forces in a number of ways. Way back in 1994, the Office of Anti-terrorism Assistance of the US Department of State undertook a ‘Survey and Evaluation of Dignitary Protective Security’. Years’ later, in 2002 the US Department of Defence undertook a study on SL’s military preparedness and submitted a report to the government. However, it was looked at seriously only during the tenure of Gotabaya Rajapaksa then Secretary of the Ministry of Defence. It was the time when Sri Lanka depended on the intelligence provided by the West, particularly the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the US. Small wonder then, why the US intelligence personnel sat down and conferred with their local counterparts. Their support and cooperation were sought by the government and in providing such cooperation, the US intelligence officials developed a close working relationship with their local counterparts. Such close cooperation with the US intelligence services continued during the presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, coming as he did from a military background, would have understood the importance of military to military relationship with the US. Signing of the Acquisition and Cross Service Agreement (ACSA) in 2007 by Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the result of the close rapport Sri Lanka enjoyed with the security apparatus of the US.
Sri Lanka is indeed a ‘land like no other’. Velupillai Prabhakaran, Thamil Chelvam and Anton Balasingham who took Sri Lanka on a three-decade long roller coaster ride are no more. Karuna Amman, the chief Lieutenant of the LTTE leader, ended up as a Junior Minister in the Parliament. Prof. G. L. Peiris, who led the Sri Lanka delegations to the peace talks with the LTTE left the UNP, rejoined the SLFP and later helped establish SLPP, which won the 2020 general election handsomely, is a minister in the current parliament. Milinda Moragoda, once credited with creating a standoff between LTTE supremo and Balasingham and many other developments associated with the peace process will be Sri Lanka’s next envoy to New Delhi. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who fought the war to a conclusion and defeated the LTTE, has once again become the Prime Minister of the island and his brother and former Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa has become president of the country with wide popularity. Strangest of all is, after a lapse of 45 years since the assassination of Alfred Duraiappah, a SLFP member has been elected by the voters in Jaffna, the former bastion of the LTTE, as their member of parliament. Much has definitely changed. However, those who made a living by disseminating scurrilous and frivolous news and fake stories, continue to ply their trade with gay abandon.
Sri Lankans are no better. Myopia is something that they all seem to have been afflicted with. One decade after defeat of the LTTE, they appear to have forgotten the wretched three-decade long war the country had to face and the endless sacrifices the people of Sri Lanka and members of the armed forces had to endure. The cease-fire agreement Ranil Wickremesinghe administration signed with the LTTE may not have been the smartest move of that administration. However, Sri Lankans seems to have forgotten that that agreement was the first nail on the coffin of the LTTE, which turned the tide against that organisation. The second was Karuna Amman’s estrangement with V. Prabhakaran and his defection, which made the LTE held Eastern Province vulnerable to the extent it fell into the hands of the government forces lead by Rajapaksa brothers. The rest is history. Not surprisingly, Sri Lankans seem to have forgotten the root causes of the armed conflict as well. They suffer from short memory as well, as amply demonstrated by the forgetfulness of the critical support Sri Lankan military received from India and the US, during the closing phase of the Eelam war.
Deteriorating rural economy, and food security
By Dr. C. S. Weeraratna
Sri Lanka is a land of villages. There are around 14,000 of them. According to the Dept. of Census and Statistics, around 80% of the Sri Lankan population live in villages and estates. Most of them are farmers who are supposed to be suitable to be kings if the mud on their bodies are washed out. According to recent estimates, about 30 percent of the total households, in therural districts of Sri Lanka, live below the poverty line. A socio-economic survey, conducted in the recent past, indicates that although the rural sector has the ability to engage in productive activities, there are many constraints.
Wild elephants roaming in some of the dry zone villages,causing death to many and destroying property, aggravate the socio-economic hardships the rural sector has to face, affecting their health, education and many other aspects of the lives.
Chronic Kidney Disease:
Around 70,000 people of the country are affected by a chronic kidney disease (CKDu) . They are mostly in the rural areas of the country and are affected socially and economically. The patients in the final stages of CKDu have to go for dialysis which again affects the economy of rural people . In some families both parents have died and their children are helpless.
In spite of the country receiving around 100 billion cubic meters of water, annually, there are frequent water shortages, mostly in the rural areas where there are around 12,000 tanks. Most of them are silted, reducing the water holding capacity of these tanks, causing rural communities to face shortage of water which seriously affects crop production and various domestic activities.
Lack of reasonable transport facilities, in the rural areas, is one of the main setback to Sri Lanka’s overall prosperity. People living in some rural areas have to cross rivers, using inflated rubber tubes, as there are no bridges. A large number of rural roads remain in a dilapidated condition but, the authorities were more interested in constructing highways.
Fertilisers are a major input in crop production. During the last two cropping seasons, inorganic fertilisers, and pesticides, were not available due to the utterly foolish decision of the former government. Currently, fertilisers are available but they were not available at correct times.
Farmers are forced to obtain seeds at a high cost. For example, a kg of chilli seeds is around Rs. 170,000 and a kg of cabbage seed is sold at Rs 400,000 in the market.
Pest attacks cause considerable problems to farmers. Last year there was the sena caterpillar called “Fall Armyworm” (Spodopteria Frugipedera) which destroyed large extents of cultivated crops. According to press reports, the same pest destroyed thousands of hectares of maize in Ampara causing severe difficulties to the farmers. Brown Plant Hopper tends to destroy paddy.
Those farmers who manage to harvest the crop of rice/vegetables are unable to sell it for a reasonable price. Currently, paddy farmers are unable to sell their Yala paddy crop to cover the costs. Often vegetable farmers are forced to destroy their produce due to inability to market their produce at reasonable prices. Marketing of agricultural products, at a profit to the farmer, is an issue which the authorities need to take cognizance of.
Unemployment is rampant in the country. As a result of government-imposed restrictions on imports, commercial activities of thousands of companies are slowing down, seriously affecting the private sector in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of those companies have been compelled to reduce employment, non-renewal of employment contracts, and halting new recruitments, resulting in an increase in unemployment. Thousands of workers, in the construction sector, have already lost their jobs. These business enterprises are currently facing liquidity issues due to a loss of revenue and difficulties in the importation of raw material. Thousands of SMEs have closed down mainly due to lack of inputs, resulting in an increase in unemployment.
As a result of these limiting factors, rural economy is deteriorating. For the success of any development programme to improve the rural economy, it is essential to address the problems of the rural communities. However, the previous governments did not give priority to these critical issues, faced by farmers, who continue to live in abject poverty as a result. Most of them have to pawn their jewellery, or resort to some other ways ,to obtain finances to obtain agricultural inputs, such as seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and labour. Some of them have become prey to micro-credit companies.
All these issues cause untold hardships to thousands of farmers and have a negative impact on the rural economy. No effective actions appear to have been taken, by the relevant authorities, to implement appropriate solutions to these problems, except appointing committees. Those representing the farming community, in the Parliament, appear to be not concerned about the plight of our farming population who have voted them to power.
There is no centralized planning in farming in the country which, sometimes, leads farmers to cultivating the same crop/s, ultimately resulting in gluts. Previous governments attempted to solve this problem by implementing programmes, such as Api Wawamu-Rata Nagamu and Divineguma. But we continue to spend nearly Rs.300 billion, annually to import food. If the authorities are genuinely keen to improve the rural economy, they need to address these issues.
Food Security is closely related to rural economy. According to the United Nation’s Committee on World Food Security, food security is at maximum level when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food, to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. According to World Food Programme’ s latest food security assessment, about three in 10 households (6.26 million people) in Sri Lanka are food insecure. Cost of essential foods has increased during the last few months hindering the population’s ability to consume nutritious food in sufficient amounts. The food security situation is worst among people living in the estate sector.
Nutritious food to meet the dietary requirements of people need to contain mainly carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. The local production of carbohydrates (mainly rice and sugar), and proteins (fish and milk) is inadequate to meet the demand. Hence, these food items are imported. During the last few years, we have spent nearly Rs. 300 billion, annually, on food imports, although it has decreased during the last few months, mainly due to restrictions on import of some food.
Availability of rice locally has decreased mainly because of inadequate availability of plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) through inorganic fertilisers. This has caused large amounts of rice to be imported. There appears to be no effective programmes to increase sugar production in the country. About two decades ago, in the1990s, sugarcane was cultivated in about 25, 000 hectares. At present, only about 12,000 ha are under sugarcane. The sugar factory, in Kantale, remains out of production, for nearly 15 years.
Availability of fish and milk has reduced due to a number of factors which the government appears to be not taking appropriate measures to increase the production of these items. According to press reports, the government is planning to import cattle from India and Pakistan to increase local milk production. It is foolish to import cattle to enhance milk production in the country without implementing an integrated programme to upgrade local cattle, making available cattle feed and improving veterinary practices in the country.
In Sri Lanka, during the last two decades, perhaps a few thousands of research studies, related to food security, involving billions of rupees worth of scarce resources, have been conducted. It is important that we utilize these research findings to find solutions to the pressing problems of the country. But there appears to be no effective system to make use of the research findings. Lack of an integrated plan is a factor responsible for the decline in food security. There has been rhetoric on rural economic development during the last few years. It is meaningful and effective actions that are necessary.
A first indication of readiness to go on a new path
By Jehan Perera
None too soon, President Ranil Wickremesinghe appears to be putting the brakes on the government’s policy of repression in dealing with public protests. His decision to initially sign the Gazette notification declaring key areas of Colombo to be High Security Zones was roundly criticised by human rights organisations including the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka. The business sector also complained that this decision which appears to have been made by the security establishment would be injurious to business. Revoking the High Security Zones made practical sense in view of the dubious legal basis of the declaration. The High Security Zones were to be set up under the Official Secrets Act which has hardly anything in common with the purpose of the new regulations.
The High Security Zone concept, which was practiced in the North and East of the country during the time of war, would have made it difficult for vehicles to even park on the roads without first obtaining special permission. There were also legal cases filed in the Supreme Court alleging violation of constitutional rights. The president would also have been aware of the resolution on Sri Lanka that is about to be presented for a vote at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. As many as 26 countries have agreed to co-sponsor the resolution, of which 10 are current members of the UNHRC. Sri Lanka is finding itself isolated in terms of human rights in the eyes of the international community which can have costly consequences in terms of reducing the international sympathy and support that the country needs at this time.
The president’s early resort to the security forces to clamp down on the protest movement came as a surprise as his prior track record would have suggested a more nuanced approach to dealing with public agitation. As a follow up to the revocation of the High Security Zones, the president needs to consider revamping government policy on addressing the protest movement. So far the government approach has focused on suppressing the protest movement, on the justification that it will destabilise the economy through strike actions and by chaos on the streets. However, in Sri Lanka’s democratic system a policy of repression is unlikely to be workable. A government that is reluctant to go to the polls must not use the security forces as its prop. The president’s withdrawal of the High Security Zones in Colombo may be understood as an acknowledgement of this reality.
There is general acknowledgement that the President is the most suitable for the task of negotiating with, and making the political case, for more international aid to come to Sri Lanka. During his recent visits to foreign countries he met with top world leaders and would have made his mark. However, it is also important that the president should make his mark on the Sri Lankan people. He needs to win the trust of the people who did not vote for him. Having consolidated himself following his election by parliament to be president, he needs to take a more pro-active role in addressing the roots of the protest movement and not simply quashing its manifestations. There is a need to inform the people what the government will be doing to directly address the terrible impact of the economic crisis on the poorer sections of the population.
There is a widespread sense that those arrested for being members of the protest movement ought not to be subjected to the heavy hand of the law. At the present time, both in Geneva and in Sri Lanka, government spokespersons are denying the severity of the problems that exists. Successive governments denied the excesses that occurred during the war period, both in Geneva and at home. In Sri Lanka the majority of the population were prepared to go along with the denials of war time excesses due to the nature of the ethnic conflict that pitted the ethnic communities against one another. However, a policy of denying the impact of the economic crisis on the poor will not be able to garner similar support from any community in Sri Lanka and will end up pitting the majority of people against the government, just as happened during the height of the Aragalaya.
A declaration of an amnesty for all those accused and arrested for being part of the protest movement would be an act of follow-up statesmanship considering the controversy these arrests are causing both internationally and nationally with the human rights groups and the general public. The ongoing arrests of some who have been part of the protest movement have been justified on the basis that they engaged in violence or supported it. Others are accused of having burnt down the houses of government ministers, including the president’s own ancestral house which contained his family library and valuable works of art. Some have been arrested without being charged before the courts.
Magnanimity, empathy and fairness are very powerful in binding the community together. This is an opportunity for the president to show his empathy with all those others who down the years have lost their own homes to violence, during the two JVP insurrections and during the long period of the ethnic war. The government plans to compensate its members who lost their houses. It needs to also compensate those who lost their lives due to government failure, the most recent being those who died standing in long lines, or when their substandard gas cylinders exploded.
At present, the government is denying the veracity of studies done by international organisations, including UN organisations, on the extent of the malnutrition and stunting that affects children. They are also denying the veracity of claims of corruption in the procurement of fuel and other large contracts, even in the midst of economic crisis. It is also doing little to ameliorate these problems. The government points to the restoration of reasonable supplies of petrol, diesel, cooking gas and electricity which can create an impression of normalcy, but only for those who can afford the much higher prices at which these commodities are available. The government denials of the unequal distribution of the burden will ring hollow with the masses of people, whose support is needed if the government is to govern in a stable political environment.
Instead of denying the existence of problems, the government needs to accept their existence and take measures to address them. This applies to both the problems within the country and that are being discussed internationally. It needs to recognise that its denials have got no traction in Geneva, which is why Sri Lanka has had to face nine resolutions, each one getting more difficult to respond to. The resolution that will be voted on in the UN Human Rights Council later this week will call for greater support for the UN’s evidence gathering mechanism that has already been set up and to provide more support to those countries that pursue universal jurisprudence for crimes committed by Sri Lankan political and military leaders anywhere in the world.
The government needs to use every opportunity it can to seek the support of the international community. With the draft resolution now presented, the eyes of the international community are upon Sri Lanka. While it is too late to change the draft resolution, which will be soon voted on, the government can still seek to restore goodwill among those that are pursuing the resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva. An amnesty for those who participated in the protest movement could send a positive signal that the government is willing to heed the concerns of the international community regarding human rights and democratic freedoms. The possibility of amnesty to be part of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in which there is acknowledgment of past violations, expression of regret and accountability for them can also be explored.
Treaty for a Lost City – inconvenient facts or legal myths?
By Andrew Sheng
Asia News Netowrk
Is Hong Kong a lost city or being re-born after its baptism of fire? Hong Kong was always a “borrowed place, borrowed time”, to quote the legendary journalist Richard Hughes (1906-1984), immortalised in John Le Carre’s novels on the intersection of media and espionage in cities like Berlin or Istanbul located at the borderlands of great power conflicts. Having returned the city on 1 July 1997, can Britain hold China to the terms and conditions of the 1984 Joint Declaration with China?
Chinese University of Hong Kong Law Professor CL Lim’s book, ” The Sino-British Joint Declaration” is a meticulously researched legal history of how the Joint Declaration came into being and whether it still has the force of law on both parties. There is a presumption that the Joint Declaration granted democratic rights to Hong Kong. The legal story is much more complex. This book draws on the British National Archives and study of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (1990), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) [ICCPR], United Nations Charter, etc., to lay out the facts and opinions for the reader to judge who is right or wrong.
Cities and states are defined by their Constitutions, communal values, geography, cultures and histories. Prior to 1841, Hong Kong was a barren rock that was indisputably part of China. Hong was ceded under the Treaty of Nanjing after the First Opium War (1839-42); but the expiry of the 99 year New Territories lease meant that Britain could not hold onto Hong Kong after 1997. The People’s Republic of China (PRC), following earlier Chinese governments, has never recognised any “unequal treaty” with the Western Powers, but adopted the face-saving principle that “a sovereign may delegate under international law such control or authority to another for a limited period.” Once that sovereignty is resumed, the PRC will not brook any interference in its internal sovereign matters.
This book reads like a series of Queen’s Counsel briefs, densely argued on complex and subtle points presenting different opinions and perspectives. In normal legal disputes, the arbiter would be an independent court, but there is no final decision between China and United Kingdom, which are the five members of the UN Security Council that can veto any rulings at the United Nations level. The only appeal left is to the court of global public opinion, which is today dominated by the English-speaking media. As media today becomes more and more ideologically driven, it is unlikely that deeply held views will be changed by legal or rational arguments.
The genesis of the Joint Declaration was the need to ensure a smooth return of Hong Kong to China. In 1983, when the New Territories lease (covering 92% of Hong Kong) was running out, Britain initially sought to renew the lease, but found that China under Deng Xiaoping was adamant that China would resume sovereignty over Hong Kong. With confidence slipping, the Hong Kong currency was under attack, only to be restored by a peg against the US dollar. This gave impetus to settle the terms and conditions of return. As the book painstakingly pointed out, British negotiators were operating from a weak hand, wanting to retain as much influence and economic benefits as possible post-1997.
As described in Chapter 3, democracy under colonialism was never part of the negotiations. Hong Kong representatives played no part in the discussions between two sovereign powers. The Joint Declaration itself did not mention the word “democracy”. It basically stated that the Hong Kong SAR “will enjoy a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs” (Article 2) and that rights and freedoms will be ensured by Hong Kong SAR law (Article 5). Since the Basic Law, HKSAR’s constitution, is PRC law, the final interpretation falls to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, not necessarily by the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeals.
The real point of dispute lies in the National Security Law, which was passed by the National People’s Congress in 2020, after the Hong Kong legislature was unable to enact Article 23 of the Basic Law. As public disorder arose with violent protests, the practical issue was whether HKSAR government could handle them without a National Security Law. Hong Kong was uniquely handicapped because in every other international financial centre, there exists very draconian national security laws that protect the integrity and security of the financial system, economy and sovereignty. Hong Kong was deeply polarised. No compromise seemed possible, and continued protests and violence would have destroyed Hong Kong. Between a rock and a hard place, the National Security Law was the least painful alternative barring more physical violence.
Treaty on a Lost Place highlighted the absurd situation of two sovereigns signing one piece of paper having different points of view. Such constructive ambiguity papered over destructive alternatives. The last British Governor Chris Patten was successful in persuading some Hongkongers that one man-one vote was what they deserve. Whether that is a cure all for Hong Kong’s ill is another matter. That his Conservative Party leadership was elected opaquely by of British people shows that different systems may not always practice what they preach. Hong Kong elites failed to correct the injustices that many young faced in not providing them affordable homes with meaningful, well paid jobs. Beijing’s mistake perhaps was to trust that Hong Kong could on her own resolve these contradictions within the larger struggle between China and the West on many fronts.
A Treaty is only a piece of paper. A city is not lost to Britain or China, but lost in its own direction, which must be re-found. The answers will not be found in international law, because that is itself being rediscovered in a new age of multipolar contestation. This book is a major contribution to our understanding of how international law is only one of many guides to the future. Hong Kong has to rediscover her own identity inside a larger identity. That is the tragedy and opportunity facing all islands within the grand ocean of mankind.
22A: Jayasumana asks govt. to stick to SC ruling, warns against moves detrimental to unitary status
Defeat bid to protect the corrupt
Deteriorating rural economy, and food security
‘Dates have the highest sugar content to fight Coronavirus’
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