September 15, 2014
Sanctions Against Sri Lanka

Sanctions Against Sri Lanka

September 15, 2014 
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG for Tamils) has requested the UK government to consider all actions including sanctions against Sri Lanka, until the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) agrees to cooperate with the investigation led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the war crimes allegations.
British Prime Minister David Cameron Colombo Telegraph
British Prime Minister David Cameron
The APPG for Tamils in a statement has called upon the UK Government to condemn the GoSL for rejecting the probe led by the OHCHR (OISL) and for refusing to cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
The group’s Chair Lee Scott and Vice ChairSiobhain McDonagh in the statement have remarked that it is completely unacceptable for the GoSL to declare non-participation in the investigation and its continuation to find ways to regularly prolong and avoid the probe, even after the resolution mandating the investigation was passed in March at the 25th UNHRC sessions.
Meanwhile, they had also welcomed the speech by the new UN Human Rights Chief Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in which he pledged his commitment to the OISL .
The APPG for Tamils has also called for an urgent moratorium on the deportation of Tamil asylum seekersand the potential witnesses to the OISL, pointing out the probe is being conducted outside of Sri Lanka due to lack of access and has urged the UK Government to ensure the safety of very vulnerable war crimeswitnesses and rape victims who are already in the UK and under threat of deportation.
Moreover, they have also requested the UK Government to take up the matter of Sri Lanka proscribing organisations and individuals abusing the UN Security Council resolution 1373 and to work with others in the international community to ensure the proscription is rescinded.
“Give the GOSL a clear messaging denouncing their defiance against an inquiry for accountability and justice,” the statement further read.

September 15, 2014
2009 was a genocide says former UK home secretary

2009 was a genocide says former UK home secretary
15 September 2014
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.”

He went on to express “disappointment at Sri Lanka’s obstruction of the currently ongoing UN Human Rights Council mandated investigation into alleged human rights abuses in Sri Lanka” and adding his support “to the need for an independent international investigation on abuses that have happened in Sri Lanka.”

Mr Blunkett, who is currently the Labour MP for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough, was the UK home secretary from 2001 to 2004.

The Tamil community representatives, also members of the British Tamils Forum (BTF) said they had met with Mr Blunkett “to garner support for UK Tamil organisations and individuals that have been targeted by Sri Lanka’s efforts to silence dissent through the use of UN Security Council Resolution 1373.”

Mr Blunkett meets with the Tamil community 
In March, the BTF was proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the Sri Lankan government, along side 14 other diaspora organisations and over 400 Tamil diaspora individuals.

Warning that the ban should not be used “to prevent of stifle free speech and legitimate criticism”, a spokesperson for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) told the Tamil Guardian at the time: 

"The UK government has good relations with a wide range of NGOs and civil society organisations with an interest in Sri Lanka including the Global Tamil Forum and British Tamils Forum both of whom publicly state that they work through democratic means [and] the UK will continue to engage with organisations focused on achieving a lasting and equitable peace in Sri Lanka through non-violent means,"

September 15, 2014
Lawyers Collective Condemns Death Threats to Attorneys Namal Rajapakshe and Manjula Pathiraja

Lawyers Collective Condemns Death Threats to Attorneys Namal Rajapakshe and Manjula Pathiraja

lawyers collectivedeath-threat1
 Monday, 15 September 2014

The Lawyers Collective strongly condemns death threats to two of it’s leading members, Attorneys-at-Law, Mr. Namal Rajapakshe and Mr. Manjula Pathiraja. Mr. Rajapaske and Pathiraja have been leading human rights activists and lawyers with long experience in public interest litigation. They appeared in series of sensitive cases challenging arbitrary actions of all organs of the Government, including the Defence Authorities.
Around 6.20pm on 13th September 2014, two unidentified men with full faced covered helmet and jackets, had rushed to the legal office of Mr. Rajapakshe, situated near the Thorana junction, Kelaniya, in the Colombo district. One of them had been armed, and he had taken Mr. Rajapakshe to a corner, and threatened that he and Mr. Manjula Pathiraja would be killed, if they appear in “unnecessary cases”. They particularly mentioned about several cases where Mr. Rajapakshe and Mr. Pathiraja had appeared against a controversial Buddhist monk. The two individuals had then fled on an unidentified motorcycle. Mr. Rajapakshe had made a complaint at the Peliyagoda Police Station bearing number CIB/III - 230/123.
On 4th August 2014, Attorneys Mr. Rajapakshe, Mr. Pathiraja and Mr. Lakshan Dias were intimidated by a group of thugs inside the Maradana Police station, in front of the Head Quarters Inspector. The three of them were making representations on behalf of their clients, on the breaking up of a peaceful private meeting and criminal trespass. Mr Rajapakshe had made a complaint regarding this incident on 5th August 2014. No actions have been taken by the Police in respect of this intimidation.
Mr. Rajapakshe, Mr. Pathiraja and Mr. Dias have frequently appeared for victims of human rights violations across the country, irrespective of ethnic and religious backgrounds, often pro bono. They have made themselves available for emergencies at all times and days. While upholding the highest traditions of the legal profession, all three of them have been well respected and committed human rights defenders who have been taking forthright and courageous positions on issues of democracy, rule of law and human rights in Sri Lanka.
We urge the Inspector General of Police to take immediate steps to ensure the protection of all three of them and to take all possible steps to hold accountable, all those responsible for these threats and intimidation.

September 15, 2014
President worst than Tangalle chairman – JVP

lankaturthMONDAY, 15 SEPTEMBER 2014
The President who violates election law by participating at propaganda campaigns of UPFA candidates for the Uva PC election is participating in opening ceremonies that are usually carried out by chairmen of pradeshiya sabhas as he has come down to the level lower than the chairman of Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha says the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva.
The Information Secretary of the JVP Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath too was present.
Speaking further atthe media briefing held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta today (15th) the General Secretary of the JVP said, “At the moment violence unleashed by the government in Uva Province is intensifying. Despite the Commissioner of Elections being made aware at several discussions held with him, there has been no reduction in the continuous violence which is a specific characteristic of this election.
This election creates several records in the electoral history of this country. This is the election where state power was used for the maximum; the largest number of election violations was recorded at this election, the most number of state officials and resources were used in this election. Despite the attempt to distort public opinion by utilizing state power, the UPFA government is confronted with the possibility of not getting a majority to form the provincial council for Uva. The JVP would get considerable power at the election. Most probably the JVP would be the decisive factor in the PC.
Another record this election would create is that it would be the election the President would lose. It is the President who is in UPFA campaign. At this election, in which the President is in the forefront of the campaign, the government would lose votes and seats. As such, it is the President who would be the loser.
The Ministers and MPs of the government boasted that they would win this election. However, the truth is that the government finds it difficult to win Uva. If they could win the election, as they try to make people believe, they need not unleash so much violence. They need not deploy state resources, vehicles, officials or use state media for propaganda and mudslinging if they could win the election easily. Why do they have to give bribes fromf sil cloths to deputy ministerial posts if they could win easily? If the government had worked for the people the people themselves would have worked for the government. However, the President who had not been seen in Uva for 5 years has now got to stay in Uva and carry on the election campaign. Whatever it is, the defeat for UPFA cannot be avoided.
We have complained to the Commissioner of Elections and the IGP regarding incidents of election violence and violations. Now, the President himself is violating election laws. He is spending public money to open projects done with public money. He gets UPFA candidates to participate in the opening ceremonies. The whole district is decorated for the ceremonies; motorcades are held. The police cannot do anything about them. Certain opening ceremonies demean the position of presidency. He is having opening ceremonies that should be carried out by pradeshiya sabha chairmen of local councilors. The President is taking part in opening of the Bandarawela bus stand, 7 light posts at Mahiyanganaya and school laboratories. This is a very regrettable as well as a hilarious situation.
At this election the President will have to come down from his throne. The UPFA has not held any main rallies in Uva Province yet. They held the convention transporting people from everywhere in the country. There were more buses than people. Now election meetings are held by having opening ceremonies in schools forcing children and parents to participate. On the other day the President spent only 10 minutes at a meeting held in a school at Bandarawela. However, the staff of the school and parents had to spend for the whole ceremony. The children had to buy the flag for Rs.20 to wave when the President arrived. The parents who are forced to participate in these ceremonies go back home referring to the mothers of government leaders. The President has come down to the level of chairman of Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha.  All this indicates the government has no courage to face the election.
The government is attempting to carry out a serious election violation deploying state employees. Officials of the Ministry of Economic development were deployed on the 6th, 7th and the 8th to carry out a survey. The Ministry had told the Commissioner of Elections that it was not carrying out a survey. However, the survey carried out deceitfully had to be abandoned prematurely when people protested. Also, candidates of the UPFA use state vehicles without any shame. ‘SriLankan’ vehicles travel about with the preference number of President’s nephew. He has no shame to use vehicles with ‘Srilankan’ symbol to display his preference number.
According to information we have received a Navy squad has been stationed at Diyatalawa Army Complex to be deployed for UPFA election campaign. Also, Army personnel have been deployed for Maj. Denipitiya’s election campaign. They hold displays with racing bikes as a part of the election campaign. They wear clothes with Denipitiya’s preference number. Also, army vehicles are present with his vehicles carrying out his campaign. The government, without any shame, deploys security personnel in its election campaign. It indeed indicates a defeat for the government.
At the meeting with the Commissioner of Elections the IGP promised to stop acts of violence. Even after this thugs of the government have destroyed several election offices of the JVP. No one has been arrested. In Kovulara area a vehicle of the Port Authority drove over the legs of one of our sympathizers breaking both his legs. The vehicle was one that had been used for government’s election campaign. State vehicles are deployed for ruling party’s election campaign so that pedestrians cannot use the public roads. In all these attempts is a psychological move to stop anti-government voters coming to polling stations.  However, we invite voters not to be intimidated by government moves but to come to the polling stations. This is indeed an election that would defeat the government. Hence, we ask state officials not to yield to government orders.
The government suddenly prepared an Army tataoo in Monaragala. UPFA leaders promised the Commissioner of Elections that it would not be held at Badulla. However, according to information we receive, arrangements are being made to hold it at Badulla on the 16th and 17th. The government is engaged in shameful acts in a bid to win the election. Whatever the government does it will face defeat.
At present ‘leadership training’ is being held for students who have been selected to universities. It is reported that an attempt is being made not to allow students from Uva to go to cast their votes. These youths’ votes are anti-government votes. The government is attempting to prevent these votes being polled. The government has come down to the level of depending on such vile acts. We ask voters not to be scared of the acts carried out by the government but to go to the polling stations. We, of the JVP, without power of thugs, money and state and confronting repression more than the UNP does, is marching forward without any fear. This government could be defeated if all anti-government voters go to the polling station. Martin Luther King of the US once said, “The tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” Don’t be disheartened, come to the polling station. The people were let down by the government. We could make amends only by our vote.
The UPFA candidates, using the authority of the President, continue to violate election laws. The Commissioner of Elections has said in public that candidates who violate election laws would lose their seats even if they are elected. We are prepared to make available information we have to the Commissioner of Elections. We ask all voters to go to the polling stations on the 20th without any fear. We would do our best to protect the votes that are polled. Many election officials are making an attempt to hold a free and fair election.
The President is preparing to come to power for a third term. The government hopes to use the Uva PC election as a base for this. The people too could take the political decision of ending the dictatorial path of the government from Uva. Also, all should condemn government’s illegal campaign and undemocratic moves. We invite voters of Uva to come to the polling stations on the 20th to defeat government’s attempt of plundering the election. We are prepared to bring victories to the people and the country through the victory the JVP receives at the Uva PC election.”

September 15, 2014
Japan- Lanka Relations: Shotaro Noda’s Meeting With Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala

Japan- Lanka Relations: Shotaro Noda’s Meeting With Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala

| by Laksiri Fernando
( September 15, 2014, Sydney, Sri Lanka Guardian) After I last wrote about “Shotaro Noda’s Visit to Colombo from Japan in 1980” (Sri Lanka Guardian, 8 September 2014) some interesting comments and dialogue ensued. These were important in mapping Japan Sri Lanka relations from a true historical perspective, preferably a student/researcher of history should follow up. Those valuable comments were by Manel Fonseka and Dr. Janaka Goonetilleke. 

September 15, 2014
Ranil’s security detail injured

Ranil’s security detail injured

Ranil’s security detail injured logoSeptember 15, 2014
Four police officers were wounded and hospitalised after a vehicle transporting officers assigned as Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe’s security detail was involved in an accident. 

The Police Media Spokesman’s Office said that the vehicle, a SUV, had veered off the road and fallen into a precipice at around 10.20pm last night (14) in the Springvalley Estate area in Badulla.

The injure police officer have been admitted to the Badulla Hospital, however they are not in critical condition, police said. 

September 15, 2014
PAFFREL Files Motion In SC Against Basil’s Manipulation

PAFFREL Files Motion In SC Against Basil’s Manipulation

September 15, 2014
Election monitoring body – the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) filed a motion in the Supreme Court today over the distribution of drought relief to families in Moneragala, which Basil Rajapaksamanaged to get sanctioned by the judiciary overriding directives given by the Elections Commissioner to halt the distribution since it could amount to voter bribery.
Mahinda, Mohan and BasilColombo Telegraph
In the motion filed today, PAFFREL has requested the Courts to consider varying the orders made in the case heard on September 12 that permitted the distribution of drought relief, to be completely stopped and to be resumed once more when the election concludes.
Pointing out the distribution of drought relief in the form of Rs. 2500 per family in the Moneragala district has undermined the integrity and impartiality of the Uva Provincial polls, PAFFREL has requested the SC to also consider distributing drought relief to families in all drought affected districts in the same manner like Moneragala as an alternative to putting a complete stop to the distribution of reliefs.
In the motion PAFFREL has asserted that considering the Uva PC polls are to be held on September 20 and the heavily contested campaigning that is continuing and the initial plans of the Economic Development Ministry to distribute Rs. 2500 per family, singling out Moneragala creates doubt that these reliefs are being used as a political tool by the UPFA since no such relief has been provided to any other drought affected district to which includes Batticaloa, Polonnaruwa and Hambanthota.
PAFFREL has noted that vital material relevant to the distribution of drought relief to Moneragala residents had not been disclosed before the Courts while also stating that the petitioners have failed to make the necessary parties such as the Elections Commissioner and the Disaster Management Ministry Secretary, included in the application.
Against such a backdrop, the election monitoring body has noted that the permission granted by the SC to distribute the drought relief has undermined the powers of the Elections Commissioner who is vested with the authority to give directions to maintain a free and fair election.
While also requesting the Court to instruct the Respondents to outline the criteria adopted in selecting the beneficiaries to distribute the respective reliefs in the district, PAFFREL has requested the SC to direct that in the future elections no such reliefs – whether relating to any disaster or not – be distributed during an election campaign without prior approval obtained from the Elections Commissioner.
Read the full petition here

September 15, 2014
UNHRC Probe And Moneragala Polls

UNHRC Probe And Moneragala Polls

| by Tisaranee Gunasekara
“Most sovereigns are afraid of enlightened people.”
Baron d’Holbach (Christianity Unveiled)
( September 15, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) On September 11th, a team of STF officers was deployed in Moneragala to control election violence .
Less than 48 hours later, on September 13th, five JVP campaign offices were attacked . As ever, the perpetrators got away scot-free.

September 15, 2014
Chinese loans will bleed country dry: Harsha de Silva

Chinese loans will bleed country dry: Harsha de Silva

Sri Lanka Brief15/09/2014 
3(242)Speaking to ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Sri Lanka, United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian and leading economist Harsha de Silva revealed that the Government was poised to sign loan agreements –amounting to a staggering US$1.258 billion (or Rs.164 billion) at a high interest rate — with China during its President’s visit. Dr. De Silva highlighted the fact that with our external debt already at a high level, the new loan agreements will place Sri Lanka on the fast-track to disaster.
Q Can you give a background about loans and borrowing trends in Sri Lanka?

September 15, 2014
Farmers file FR against drought relief only for Monaragala

Farmers file FR against drought relief only for Monaragala

Farmers file FR against drought relief only for MonaragalalogoSeptember 15, 2014
The All-Island Farmers Federation (AIFF) today (15) filed a petition at the Supreme Court seeking an order to pressure the authorities to provide Rs 2,500 as relief for drought affected people in the island nation, which is currently being suggested to provide only for the Monaragala district.
The petitioners argued that the Fundamental Rights (FR) of the drought affected people have been violated with the authorities have allocated money exclusively for the Monaragala district. The petition has named a group of people including the Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development as respondents in the case.
Last week the government had halted the programme, which provides drought affected people in the Monaragala District with Rs 2,500, due to a request made by the Election Commissioner. The Commissioner citied it as an obstruction for a free and fair election as the province preparing for polls in next week.
However, the Supreme Court gave the green light for the recommencing of the program, and instructed the government to carry it out without any political interference, on 12 Sept. 
While instructing that the relief distribution be carried out without any political interference, the SC also informed the Monaragala District Secretary to avoid involving any candidates or political party representatives in the process.

September 15, 2014
Sri Lanka’s asylum seeker expulsion plans to be challenged in Supreme Court

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

Posted Sat at 9:40pmSat 13 Sep 2014, 9:40pm
ABC NewsSri 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.
"We feel that some of the people who are being sent back face real danger. They have life-threatening conditions if they go back. That is why local rights defenders decided to file this case."
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in a statement on Friday urged Sri Lanka to stop arrests and deportations of those who have filed refugee claims with the agency’s Colombo offices and sought access to those already detained.
Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal, which is one step lower than the Supreme Court, earlier this month overturned an order suspending the deportations and cleared the way for the authorities to continue expulsions.
The UNHCR said Colombo had initially responded to its appeals and released 71 Pakistanis and two Iranians earlier this month, but 102 people - 38 Pakistanis and 64 Afghans - remained in custody and fresh arrests were taking place.
Between September 3 and 11, 62 Pakistanis and three Iranians had been arrested and 40 of them had already been deported, the UNHCR said.
The refugee agency has maintained the deportations go against the principle of no forced return, or non-refoulement, enshrined in international law.
The agency has also noted that returning an individual to a country where they face the risk of torture was prohibited under the UN’s Convention Against Torture, which Sri Lanka has ratified.
Hundreds of Pakistani Christians and Afghans fleeing persecution in their countries have been arriving in Sri Lanka seeking UNHCR protection.
Sri Lanka earlier defended the action taken against the asylum seekers and said that a state’s responsibility to international obligations had to be “nuanced and balanced in the context of domestic compulsions”.
Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry also accused the UNHCR of processing asylum claims too slowly, and of not taking responsibility for repatriating those whose refugee claims were rejected.

September 15, 2014
Canada slams door on Govt. officials

Canada slams door on Govt. officials

The Sundaytimes Sri LankaSunday, September 14, 2014
Two senior Sri Lankan Government officials nominated to attend an international conference in Canada have been denied visas to enter that country. The two were to travel to Canada for the International Prison Conference from September 7 to 14, but could not make it due to the visa denial. The two Prisons Department officers who were denied visas are Industrial and Skills Development Commissioner Tissa Jayasinghe and Welikada Prison Superintendent Emil Ranjan, Prison Department spokesman H.M.P.N. Upuldeniya said.
Eighteen countries were attending the conference but Sri Lanka could not send a representative due to this issue, he said. An appeal was made after the first visa denial but that too was rejected, he said. The spokesman said he believed the reason for the denial was Canada’s perception that prison officials were involved in rights violations.
Last year the conference was held in India and one Sri Lankan representative attended.

September 15, 2014
Ebola: Dabiri Bemoans Stigmatisation of Nigerians in Diaspora

Ebola: Dabiri Bemoans Stigmatisation of Nigerians in Diaspora

Daily Times NigeriaSEPTEMBER 15, 2014
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa at the weekend decried the stigmatisation of Nigerians in the Diaspora due to the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
Hon Dabiri-Erewa made this known in a statement, noting that the stigmatisation of Nigerians travelling abroad due to Ebola “is one which must be addressed instantly before it spirals out of control.”
According to her, our citizens continue to witness in great measure the ills of this disease, chief among is the stigmatization of Nigerian internationally due to EVD.
She explained that in many instances, there “are hardly any medical checks, tests, verification or otherwise to ascertain the condition of our citizens.
“Our citizens are mainly harassed and unfairly treated for the fact that they are Nigerians, and in some case sent back from the airport. This act is very predatory and must be checked immediately.”
She cited the example of Mr. Adeseye Adeyemi, a Nigerian who decided to wed his Sri Lankan heartthrob in Sri Lanka, with his family in attendance.
She added that Adeyemi’s tale of joy was unduly turned “to sadness by the terrible treatment received from the Sri Lankan authorities.”
She said all family members “were quarantined in the airport lobby for about 18 hours with no access to food or water, not even toilet facilities were granted causing the children present to answer the call of nature in that state and the family ultimately deported (with no single medical check) after the prolonged wait.
“This unfair treatment is for no other reason than the fact that these individuals are proud holders of the Nigerian passport. This sort of behavior is highly discriminatory and is a clear violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

September 15, 2014
China and Modi’s relationship building with Japan

China and Modi’s relationship building with Japan

Hariharan’s Intelligence blog

My Photo
Col R Hariharan
[This article written on September 4 was updated on September 13, 2014.]
Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Japan probably achieved less than what India desired, it did achieve handsome results.  Japan promised $ 34-billion investment in India in the next five years. Though the much awaited India-Japan civilian nuclear deal did not come through, the two leaders agreed to accelerate talks on a nuclear energy pact.[i] Both the countries have already agreed upon strengthening their strategic cooperation which would be intensified now. 
But more than all these, Modi made a mark in Japan more strongly than any of his predecessors had done. It went well beyond the warm personal equation he enjoys with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He put through a well orchestrated programme to appeal to all sections of Japanese society.  Overall, the visit was a success as it has paved way for speeding up multifaceted cooperation between the two Asian powers. and it was uncannily timed before China’s President Xi Jinping’s visit to India.
 Even though Indian TV scribes were debating Modi’s 100 days performance rather than analysing the strategic implications of  his visit to Japan, China was paying close attention to it. And they had every reason to be concerned if we go by the outpouring of articles on the visit in China’s media.
China’s ‘scant comfort’ with Modi-Abe bonhomie seen during the visit probably led the Global Times’s to call its editorial as “Modi-Abe intimacy brings scant comfort.”[ii][ii] The Communist Party web magazine’s editorial apparently tried to read between the lines in Modi’s call on both the countries to strengthen strategic cooperation to promote peace and prosperity in Asia and counter an expansionist mind-set.  
However, the trigger for the Communist Party magazine’s irritation was perhaps Modi’s remarks while addressing the business leaders in Tokyo. Modi had said: “Everywhere around us, we see an 18th century expansionist mind-set: encroaching on another country, intruding in others’ waters, invading other countries and capturing territory.” 
Referring to the remarks the editorial added: “Japanese and Western public opinion views his remarks as a clear reference to China, although he did not mention China by name. This interpretation made some sense because Modi is more intimate to Tokyo emotionally. Therefore it is perhaps a fact that he embraces some nationalist sentiments against China.” And probably this is what makes China very uncomfortable with Modi. 
The Global Times tried to rationalise the advantage of India’s relations with China by saying, “The increasing intimacy between Tokyo and New Delhi will bring at most psychological comfort to the two countries. What is involved in China-India relations denotes much more than the display of the blossoming personal friendship between Modi and Abe. After all, Japan is located far from India. Abe’s harangue on the Indo-Pacific concept makes Indians comfortable.”
It reminded that it was South Asia “where New Delhi has to make its presence felt. However, China is a neighbour it can’t move away from. Sino-Indian ties can in no way be counterbalanced by the Japan-India friendship….Both as new emerging countries and members of BRICS, China and India have plenty of interests in common. Geopolitical competition is not the most important thing for the two countries, at least at present (emphasis added).” 
Such comments in the op-ed showed China’s difficulty in coming to terms with Modi’s readiness to improve India’s relations with China to do business while showing equal keenness to improve strategic cooperation with Japan. This is compounded by Modi inviting Japanese investments in infrastructure, particularly railways, and manufacturing industries many of which would be in direct competition with China’s trade and investment interests in India. And more than these, Japan’s readiness to ease export restrictions to allow Japanese defence firms to participate in India’s huge weapons market is an offer that China cannot match.
The irony of Prime Minister Modi’s trip to Japan was it coincided with the 69th anniversary of Japanese surrender celebrated with all pomp and show in China.Even as Modi was completing his five-day visit, Chinese President Xi Jinping addressing symposium on the occasion urged Japan “to admit and reflect on its history of militarist aggression.” At the same time he sounded an ominous warning to Japan: “With the utmost resolution and effort, we will join with people all over the world to safeguard the victory in the Chinese Peoples’ War of Resistance against Japanese aggression and the world war against fascism.”
With the battle lines drawn between China and Japan, both Prime Minister Modi and  President Xi will be a little cautious while discussing each other’s strategic concerns when they meet for formal talks for the first time in the next few days. While Modi has to keep in mind the fractious Sino-Japanese relations, Xi will have the more difficult task to soft sell China’s rapidly escalating involvement in strategic cooperation with Pakistan.
Chinese analyst Liu Zongyi writing in the Global Times aptly summed up Modi’s dilemma: “Modi’s biggest challenge is to kick start a lagging economy. India needs Japan’s investment and technology, but it also needs economic cooperation with China.” [iii]
And Global Times editorial advice: “Maintaining strategic independence is India’s diplomatic tradition. It’s also in the Indian interest to be a balancer in the international system,” is probably more apt for China. It is not exactly known for balancing its international relations with nuance.[iv] 
One of the key objectives of President Xi’s talks with Modi will be to wean away India from the lure of Japan. So it is not surprising Beijing is holding out a carrot of $ 100 billion Chinese investment in India. And the huge delegation of leading lights of Chinese business and five major banks accompanying the Chinese President underscores President Xi’s serious efforts to win over Modi.[v]
But the reported Chinese troops’ intrusion into Indian territory in Ladakh (in Demchok sector) on September 11, even in the midst of all media hype on Xi’s visit, exposes the soft underbelly of India-China relations. And this is where Japan has an edge over China in dealing with India.
[Col R Hariharan, a retired Military Intelligence specialist on South Asia  is associated with the Chennai Centre for China Studies and the South Asia Analysis Group. E-Mail:   Blog:]  

[i] PTI/BBC September 1, 2014, Abe’s gift to Modi: Japan pledges $33.8 bn for Indian infra projects,
[ii] Global Times, Editorial, Modi-Abe intimacy brings scant comfort, September 2, 2014
[iii] Global Times September 1, 2014, Modi knows China relations more important in long run,  
[iv] Global Time, Editorial ibid September 2, 2014
[v] ‘China to invest $100 billion in India over 5 years’, September 13, 2014 Times of India, Mumbai  
Posted Yesterday by R. Hariharan

September 15, 2014
Secretary-General’s Message on International Day of Democracy 2014

Secretary-General’s Message on International Day of Democracy 2014

Voting in Haiti''s Presidential Elections. UN Photo/Logan Abassi
Voting in Haiti”s Presidential Elections. UN Photo/Logan Abassi
Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth15 September 2014 – As we observe this year’s International Day of Democracy, the world seems more turbulent than ever. In many regions and in many ways, the values of the United Nations, including some of the most fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the UN Charter, are being tested and challenged.
Recent outbreaks of violence reinforce a truth we have seen time and again: that where societies are not inclusive, and where governments are not responsive and accountable, peace, equality and shared prosperity cannot take hold. We need to do more to empower individuals, focusing on the billions of people who are underprivileged, marginalized, jobless, hopeless and understandably frustrated. We need to ensure they are heard and can take an active part in their future.
That is why my message today goes out to those who will be at the forefront of the world beyond 2015, and who by nature are at a turning point in their own lives: young people. One person out of five today is between the ages of 15 and 24. Never before has the transition from youth to adulthood been so weighed by challenges, yet so blessed by opportunities. You have powers to network that would have been unimaginable when the United Nations was founded nearly 70 years ago. You are connecting about issues that matter. Injustice. Discrimination. Human rights abuses. The discourse of hate. The need for human solidarity.
I call on members of the largest generation of youth in history to confront challenges and consider what you can do to resolve them. To take control of your destiny and translate your dreams into a better future for all. To contribute to building stronger and better democratic societies. To work together, to use your creative thinking, to become architects of a future that leaves no one behind. To help set our world on course for a better future.
On this International Day of Democracy, I call on young people everywhere to lead a major push for inclusive democracy around the world.
For more on news and events related to International Democracy Day, visit their website.

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