Genocide prevention enters US military thinking

The United States has launched a high-level initiative to make its military more ready and able to respond to potential mass killings in future , the Wall Street Journal reports. A senior Department of Defense official told the WSJ that the project, which is at an early stage, would help develop "a complete set of options that the leadership can consider in the preventive area before it comes to sending in the military, or not sending in the military." The emerging doctrine is a blueprint for an interventionist foreign policy that places such ideas as "responsibility to protect" on a par with...

The inescapable point ...

British Tamils joined the May Day gathering in London. Photo Oru Paper.

TYO extends 'Boycott Sri Lanka' to cricket

Using as context the quarter final of the Cricket World Cup between co-hosts Sri Lanka and England, the TYO-UK (Tamil Youth Organisation) on Saturday conducted an awareness campaign on Sri Lanka in London, on a day marked by huge protest by the TUC (Trade Union Congress) against public spending cuts.

Fishy relations

With Tamil Nadu due to go to the polls within weeks, the issue of Indian fishermen being attacked in the waters between India and Sri Lanka has once again made the news. The oceanic border between India and Sri Lanka has no visible demarcations and fishermen often find themselves on the wrong side. While Sinhala fishermen (often seeking tuna) have been arrested in Indian waters and later released, there has also long been a history of the Sri Lankan navy attacking and killing Indian fishermen.

IMF: Sri Lanka’s exports/GDP falling ‘for years’

"[Sri Lanka’s] export earnings , as a percentage of GDP, have been falling for years . So the first thing for Sri Lanka is to boost its exports to where it was 10 years ago .” - IMF Asia Pacific Director Anoop Singh . (See The Island’s report here .) Interestingly, ten years ago Sri Lanka was gripped by high-intensity armed conflict. And, as the IMF’s chart (click more below) shows, Sri Lanka’s export/GDP ratio today is the same as in 1987 - when the JVP’s second insurgency erupted, and the IPKF intervention began. While Sri Lanka’s Central Bank says export earnings would grow strongly in 2011, the National Chamber of Exporters recently said it would not be able to deliver half of the Central Bank’s expectations. The exporters blame growing energy costs (for their production) and the strengthening rupee (making their products expensive in the global market). See ‘ Why Sri Lanka’s exporters are gloomy ’ Meanwhile, what exactly does the IMF want Sri Lanka to do? Diversify export destinations (to Asia from US and EU), and export products (from garments and tea to more sophisticated ones).

Tamil Nadu wants stronger Indian naval presence

As India again warned Sri Lanka that the killing of Indian fishermen by the latter's navy was damaging bilateral relations, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Tuesday called for a stronger Indian naval presence, “The coastal waters of south need to be paid some attention through resources and personnel [just] as land borders in north, west and east are being attended to,” Karunanidhi said. “It is requested that our demand for more vessels, police stations and manpower, and better air surveillance capabilities may be considered favourably,” he said. [See also related posts: ' Terror in Jaffna II: blocking international efforts ' and ' Sri Lanka's fishy story '.] Delhi Tuesday rejected Sri Lanka's claim a 'third force' was to be blamed for the attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen and noted that such incidents don't happen even on the Pakistani border.

Bank lending and ethnicity

Figures released recently by Sri Lanka’s Central Bank reveal an increase in bank lending to the private sector (see p6 here ). But an industry body said this week major exporters were not borrowing as they are gloomy about economic prospects. What could this contradiction mean?

Secession and peace: lessons from Sudan

A Sudanese voter casts a ballot as others wait in line. More than 99 percent are predicted to have voted in favour of separation from the north. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images

Hawaii temple joins Thai Poosam celebration

The Kadavul Temple in Hawaii was amongst the thousands of Saivite temples celebrating the festival of Thai Poosam this month. The Kadavul temple is attached to the Kauai Aadheenam or monastery, which traces its guru lineage directly from Jaffna’s well known sage Yogaswami . The guru lineage is named Kailasa Parampara, after the Kailasa mountain range in the Himalayas where the earliest of these yogis is said to have meditated. Kauai is the oldest of Hawaii’s main islands. The Kauai Aadheenam was established in 1973, by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, an American priest initiated by Yogaswami in Jaffna in 1949. In 1986, the World Religious Parliament in New Delhi honored Sivaya Subramuniyaswami as one of the five Hindu spiritual leaders outside India who had most dynamically promoted Hinduism in the previous 25 years. He passed away in 2001 .