Tuesday 18 Jan 2022 | 06:31 | SYDNEY
What's happening on

Sri Lanka

Indian Ocean step-up

Like Australia in the Pacific, India has been pursuing its own Indian Ocean island step-up, largely driven by concerns about China’s growing influence in the region. This has included increased bilateral aid, investment, and security assistance to the island states. India is also trying to develop

India’s answer to China’s ports in Sri Lanka

On 30 September, Adani Group, India’s largest private port operator, signed what has been reported as a US$700 million agreement to build a new container terminal in Sri Lanka. The deal to jointly develop the Colombo West International Container Terminal (CWICT) with Sri Lanka’s largest listed

Debunking the myth of China’s “debt-trap diplomacy”

Against the fear and distrust that increasingly characterise Australia’s relationship with China, the Belt and Road Initiative looms large. Australian politicians from both major parties rarely agree on much openly, but nearly all agree that China uses the BRI to achieve geopolitical goals. Many

Where to for Sri Lanka’s foreign policy?

A much-anticipated general election in Sri Lanka last month ended with a resounding victory for the Sri Lanka People’s Front (Sri Lanka Podujana Party), which was spearheaded by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. The party secured 145 seats – obtaining a near two-thirds majority in parliament.

The curious case of the US Sri Lanka sanctions

In February, the United States imposed individual sanctions against Sri Lankan military chief Shavendra Silva, who is presently both the Acting Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Sri Lanka Army. The move essentially means that Silva and his family cannot enter the United States “due to

In Sri Lanka, the Rajapaksas will rule ruthlessly

Gotabaya Rajapaksa was sworn in as president of Sri Lanka on 18 November. He served as secretary to the ministry of defense when his brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, ruled the country, from 2005 to 2015. The Rajapaksas are inveterate authoritarians, and the country is about to take a troubling,

In Sri Lanka’s election, bumps ahead

The race for Sri Lanka’s presidential election is heating up, with the vote slated for 16 November. On 11 August, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, brother of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, became the candidate of the Sri Lanka People’s Front (SLPP). The SLPP is a Rajapaksa-backed political party that

Maybe Australia should donate a warship to Sri Lanka

The Royal Australian Navy is about to take two highly capable guided missile frigates out of service. But they are not just surplus equipment, but they are important strategic assets that Australia can use for continuing strategic benefits. We should think seriously about giving them to our

Sri Lanka attacks: Still many puzzles to solve

It is very early in the aftermath of the Sri Lanka terrorist attacks and like all such attacks, more information will emerge in the coming days and weeks.  But a few early observations: 1. This was a well planned and coordinated attack: seven suicide bombers attacking six targets on the west

Sri Lanka: politics overthrows justice

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recently released a report on Sri Lanka. The document assesses the island nation’s compliance with previous commitments – pertaining to human rights and transitional justice – that it made at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). Sri

Post-war justice in Sri Lanka inches forward

Sri Lanka’s government – a coalition based on an awkward power-sharing arrangement between political parties that have historically been rivals, the United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party – has made big promises about transitional justice and healing the wounds of a civil war