Home Contact Us  

South Asia - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#5173, 10 November 2016

Dateline Colombo

Securing Sri Lanka's National Interests
Asanga Abeyagoonasekera
Director General, Institute of National Security Studies (INSS), Sri Lanka, & Columnist, IPCS

One set of rules for Mosul and another for Aleppo; there are double standards when it comes to Syria. The international community justifies one bombing while condemning the other. Russia’s operation in Aleppo against extremist groups are denounced by some Western officials and media as “war crimes.” In contrast, the civilian casualties  as a consequence of the US-led operation to recapture Mosul in October this year are defined as unavoidable collateral damage.

While innocent children and civilians in Iraq and Syria fight for survival, double standards seem to prevail everywhere. For example, the furore over the email scandal involving Hillary Clinton. If a junior US government officer with less power was caught, they would have been treated in a different way.

In Sri Lanka, meanwhile, a  Committee on Public Enterprises report on the Central Bank bond issue has been the topic of discussion. The well-known bond issue has created tremors in the political arena of the prime minister’s party. The report, which was meant to be confidential, is now under strict public scrutiny. Apparently, the watchdog, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, has done its duty. Hopefully, global double standards that rule to protect a few powerful people will not be used in this situation if the key people involved are found guilty. The trust deficit between the government and public will widen if the corrupt are not punished, especially since battling corruption was a central electoral theme for the government during the election campaign. According to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, investigations into the Central Bank issue will be free of political interference, and he will initiate an impartial and independent judicial process.

Recently, President Sirisena presented gallantry awards to war heroes. At the award ceremony, many recipients were young children who have lost their fathers at a very young age. This was a clear reminder of the sacrifices made by Sri Lankans for the next generation's better future. The state should give top priority to assist these young victims and ensure they receive proper education.

Major domestic developments and an ever-challenging economic situation looms ahead. This will be further highlighted on 10 November, when the national budget is announced, marked by a rise of debt stock with high level of fiscal sustainability risk.

Moreover, developments in Sri Lanka’s neighbourhood should also be a matter of concern. India is building the INS Arihant, its nuclear submarine propelled by a 83 MW pressurised light water reactor at its core. The 6000-tonne nuclear submarine with nuclear tipped long-range ballistic missiles in its four silos, which is capable of lurking underwater for months without being detected, is a most effective and deadly platform for a retaliatory nuclear strike.

India has already begun to utilise space for military purposes, evident from the launch of the first Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) reconnaissance satellite in 2009. In 2013 and 2015, India launched two military communications satellites. According to some experts, the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System launched in 2013 is also meant for military use. Japan will also launch in 2016 and 2017 two next generation X-band communications satellites - owned by the Ministry of Defence and Self-Defense Force (SDF) - which will enhance its capabilities in space.

With such military capabilities developed in close geographical proximity to Sri Lanka, and around the world, it is important for the Sri Lankan government to invest its time and encourage the youth’s participation, in the productive sectors. The fourth industrial revolution has arrived with self-driving cars already on the roads, to artificial intelligence defeating the human player on the ancient board game GO (wéiqí), to many other great developments.

Sri Lanka has a role to play in this hi-tech arena, and this can only happen with strong vision and by collaborating and working as a community focused on achieving targets, and not by political rhetoric.

Views expressed here are personal and do not reflect those of the Government of Sri Lanka or the Institute of National Security Studies (INSS).

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within

OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


Browse by Publications

Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Naxalite Violence 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Sri Lanka: The New Regime and the Revolution

Changing Political Horizons in Sri Lanka?

The Geopolitics of Floating Bases and the New World Order

Monuments Over Mortality?

Sri Lanka: Leveraging the Politics of Geography

The Forgotten Professions: The Plight of a Nation

Crisis and Foresight Analysis

Steering Co-operation Across Oceans

Sri Lanka: National Interests in a Globalised World

Re-building Sri Lanka: An Island at a Crossroads

Forecast 2017: Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Foreign Policy: Diaspora and Lobbying

Understanding our “Blindspot” to Make Peacebuilding Comprehensive

Oceans of (Dis)trust

Death and Democracy

The Island and the Mainland: Impact of Fisheries on Indo-Lanka Relations

New Delhi-Tamil Nadu Relations and India’s Sri Lanka Policy

Remembering Tagore in Turbulent Times

Politics of Promise: Between Sirisena and Rajapaksa

Conflict to Co-existence: Debating Heritage and Homogenisation

Forecast 2016: A Roadmap for Sri Lanka

China Prepares for a Modern War

Riot and Responsibility: Governance in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka and the World: Terrorism and Effective Reconciliation

Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome

Y! MyWeb
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2018
 January  February
 2017  2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010
 2009  2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002
 2001  2000  1999  1998  1997

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2018, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.