Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pakistani Arms Enabled Lanka Defeat of LTTE

President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka celebrated victory Tuesday after defeating the LTTE's 25-year long and bloody insurgency against the Lankan government. LTTE terrorists' main contribution to the world of terror is their invention of the dreaded explosives belt that unleashed the scourge of world-wide suicide bombings.

Initially trained and supported by Raw, the Indian intelligence agency, in the 1980s, the Tamil Tigers met their bloody end at the hands of Lankan military using arms manufactured and supplied by Pakistan.

Alarmed by reports of Pakistani arms supplies to Sri Lanka in 2008, India said it wanted Sri Lanka to treat Tamils with dignity and also voiced concern that Colombo’s arms purchases may upset New Delhi’s “pre-eminent position” in South Asia. “We are facing a situation where the ceasefire (in Sri Lanka) could collapse. This could lead to a flashpoint,” National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan said while delivering the 25th Air Chief Marshal P.C. Lal memorial lecture.

India refused to supply what it considered "offensive weapons" to Sri Lanka and opposed any military solution of the "ethnic conflict" while urging Colombo to devolve autonomy to the minorities.

According the News quoting reliable sources in Pakistan, military cooperation between Sri Lanka and Pakistan has grown significantly in recent years as Islamabad, unlike New Delhi, has had no problems supplying Sri Lanka's army state-of-the-art weaponry to accelerate its counter-insurgency operations against the LTTE which finally ended with the killing of the most wanted Tamil guerrilla fighter Vellupillai Prabhakaran. The sources say it was exactly a year ago in the first week of May 2008 that Sri Lankan Army Chief General Fonseka came to Pakistan with his shopping list of high tech arms for the Lankan armed forces, who were engaged in an intense battle with the Tamil Tiger rebels at the time.

After Fonseca's visit, Pakistan sold 22 Al-Khalid tanks to Sri Lanka in a deal worth over US$100 million. Sri Lanka also purchased Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher System (MBRLS), cluster bombs, deep penetration bombs and rockets and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) from Pakistan, according to various reports. In fact, Sri Lanka, along with some Middle Eastern nations, has now become one of the largest buyers of Pakistani arms in the last few years.

In a July 2008 interview with Pakistan's Dawn newspaper, Major General Mohammad Farooq, Director General of the Defense Export Promotion Organization, indicated that collaboration with the United States had increased in manufacturing armored personnel carriers "with transfer of technology". There have been unconfirmed reports that Pakistan is manufacturing Humvees for the US military in Afghanistan. General Farooq also claimed that Pakistan's defense exports have tripled to around $300 million because of the quality of its ammunition, anti-tank guided missiles, rocket launchers and shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles. He said exports to South Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries had increased significantly.

On Jan 19, 2009, in a meeting between Pakistani Defense Secretary Lt-Gen (retd) Syed Athar Ali and his visiting Lankan counterpart Gotabhaya Rajapakse, the brother of Sri Lankan president, in Rawalpindi, an agreement was reached to enhance cooperation in military training, exercises and intelligence sharing regarding terrorism. The agreement came amidst Sri Lankan media reports that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) pilots had participated in several successful air strikes against LTTE military bases in August 2008. These reports further claimed that a highly trained group of the Pakistani armed forces officers is posted in Colombo to guide the Sri Lankan security forces in their counter-insurgency operations against the Tamil Tigers.

Back in 2000, when LTTE offensive code-named "Operation Ceaseless Waves" overran Sri Lankan military positions in the north and captured the Elephant Pass Base and entered Jaffna, the Sri Lankans received Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher System (MBRLS) and other high tech weaponry from Pakistan on short notice.

The MBRLS and weapons and ammunition, including artillery shells and multi-barrel rocket launchers, were airlifted in an emergency operation from Karachi to Colombo in May 2000. Later, in 2006, the Sri Lankan authorities had again sought Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher System (MBRLS) and other advanced weapons from Pakistan when Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Pakistan in March 2006 along with an 80-member delegation that included some high ranking military officials. During his talks with the Pakistani leaders, the Sri Lankan President had sought military help from Islamabad to effectively put an end to the LTTE separatist movement.

Indian analyst and former RAW chief B. Raman recently summed up India's geopolitical stance toward Sri Lamka in the following words: "India's interest in the island is partly emotional and partly strategic.The emotional interest arises from the fact that India has a large Tamil population in Tamil Nadu, a southern province, who have ethnically and linguistically much in common with the Tamils of Sri Lanka. Any policies of the Government of Sri Lanka, which affect the Sri Lankan Tamils, have an echo in Tamil Nadu. Hence, the close Indian interest in the problems and the well-being of the Sri Lankan Tamils. Strategically, the Sri Lankan Government has been cultivating China and Pakistan to keep India in check. It has good political and economic relations with China. It has invited China to construct a modern port in Hambantota in southern Sri Lanka. It has invited the Chinese to help it in gas exploration in areas which are close to India. Similarly, there is a growing military-military relationship between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, which worries India."

What has happened in Sri Lanka this week is India's moment of truth, as B.Raman puts it. Sri Lanka has triumphed over LTTE terrorists in spite of India, not because of it. Pakistan, along with China, has clearly played a key role as Sri Lanka's main arms supplier and trainer in ensuring LTTE's defeat, and India is clearly not happy with how the events played out leading to Sri Lanka's win. This new reality highlights the importance of Pakistan as a regional player in South Asia and upsets what India's national security adviser called New Delhi's "pre-eminent Position" in the region.

Related Links:

How Sri Lanka's Rebels Build a Suicide Bomber

India Worried By Sri Lanka's Arms Buying

Pakistan's Defense Industry

War's End in Sri Lanka

Pakistan's Crucial Role in Death of Tamil Tigers

"Loose NBCs" in Pakistan

America's Defense Focus on Counter-insurgency

Sri Lanka: India's Moment of Truth


Naveen KS said...

Hmmm.... Its okay if Pakistan wants to claim a bit of the credit for the defeat of LTTE. If LTTE hadnt killed our former PM Rajiv Gandhi, today there would have been an Elam as wanted by LTTE. Its because of India's internal coalition politics that India cudnt supply arms and ammo to SL against LTTE and SL had to look to others for them. Now that LTTE has been wiped out India will make sure Pakistan and China influence is forever rooted out of Sri Lanka and I can assure u its only a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

Pakistan might have sold weapons fro srilanka. Still if india would have provided logistics to ltte, LTTE could never be overrun.

It is the sonia gandhi regime [ rajeev widow ] who had tighten the noose around ltte. If you go back to the history of 1971 war when pakistan was forced to leave bangaladesh it was logistic cut which lead to the defeat. In fact if you look at the taliban way they are also trying to attack the logistic support rather than the defence fort.

Jadev,India said...

This is the most ridiculous heading ever!
"Sophisticated" arms were provided by Israel like Kfir jet fighters,night vision,UAV,Drova-III attack crafts,commando training etc.Jungle warfare were imparted by India."Heavy artillary and ammunition" were provided by Pakistan(period) and China.The crucial aerial intelligence gathering,littoral combat/patrol vessels,army officer training,engineering split with Colonel Karuna faction,naval blockade to choke LTTE logistics and supplies,radars etc were provided by India.
China provided lots no-strings-attached funds,investments,F-7 fighters etc.Along with this, all the diaspora funds and smuggling networks were frozen or seized by Western countries and accomplices arrested. So it was LTTE vs The World Battle..where defeat was a foregone conclusion after Rajapaksa took over.

And plzzzzz...u r somehow under the impression that Pak is somehow an expert on UAVs..
That title goes to Israelis..!
(Americans,French,and even Russians(recently)..all
use Israeli UAVs..)

All UAVS of SLAF are of Israeli origin..Israeli Aircraft Industries(RQ-2,Searcher-II,Scout)

Riaz Haq said...


Indian analyst and former RAW chief B. Raman recently summed up India's geopolitical stance toward Sri Lamka in the following words: "India's interest in the island is partly emotional and partly strategic.The emotional interest arises from the fact that India has a large Tamil population in Tamil Nadu, a southern province, who have ethnically and linguistically much in common with the Tamils of Sri Lanka. Any policies of the Government of Sri Lanka, which affect the Sri Lankan Tamils, have an echo in Tamil Nadu. Hence, the close Indian interest in the problems and the well-being of the Sri Lankan Tamils. Strategically, the Sri Lankan Government has been cultivating China and Pakistan to keep India in check.It has good political and economic relations with China. It has invited China to construct a modern port in Hambantota in southern Sri Lanka. It has invited the Chinese to help it in gas exploration in areas which are close to India. Similarly, there is a growing military-military relationship between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, which worries India."

Jadev,India said...

totally agree..
I was pointing out that almost all major international players were involved in helping SriLanka defeat LTTE.India took a U-turn about LTTE two decades ago.Finishing off LTTE is more important to India coz LTTE lately began to function as a ,mercenary force like guns-for-hire in the region. It was involved with training Al-Qaeda for attacks on USS Cole(sea-borne suicide bombing),training Maoists,ULFA in IED techniques,ties with Hizbul-Mujahideen & Lashkar-e-Toiba(gun-running,smuggling ties), taking money from ISI to assassinate Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh(foiled by Indian IB) etc. So, We needed this Frankenstein dead more than SriLanka.

Anonymous said...

This might be trouble for india. Now Tamils know their brahmin dominated government does not care about minorities. There might be a Tamil Republic in few years on subcontinent.

Anonymous said...

Brahmins are spent force in india. They are fighting for their survival. MK is a non brahmin and an anti-brahmin.

FAct of the case is that they have marriage of convenience in state and center. He is interested in getting minster berth for his kids that is all nothing else.

Anonymous said...

best of luck. An organized but with conviction ltte could not get tamil republic. We have corrup to the core mk and jaya who are holding the power till now.

They will never look at any revolution.

Anonymous said...

This article is a big joke.
Even if pakistan has supplied some wepons to SL.But still it cant compare it self with India,which has always supported SL gov. on the tiger issue.Here Pakistan is just a arm dealer not a stratigic partner.

Riaz Haq said...


Do you think Sri Lanka government officials are joking when they acknowledge Pak help and support in defeating LTTE?

Here's an excerpt of the relevant news:

ISLAMABAD, 01 June, 2009 (Balochistan Times) -- The Sri-Lankan High Commissioner, Air chief Marshal in the SL air force Jayalath Weerakkedy has expressed his governments extreme gratitude over full technical and other services rendered by PAF to suppress Sri-Lankan Tamil insurgency. During a press briefing on Monday at the Sri-Lankan High Commission on Monday evening, he thanked technical and logistics support, especially regarding training and technical support for Chinese F-7 jet fighters and C-130 aircraft, around 2006. He said that both Pakistan and Sri-Lanka faced similar circumstances, while only background and circumstances differed; offering, that Sri-Lanka was willing to share experiences. He also informed that due to a long and protracted civil war Sri-Lanka faced massive number of displaced persons, amounting to more than 200,000 affectees, scattered across the length and breadth of Sri-Lanka. He informed that Tamil Tigers Tamil Tigers
or Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Guerrilla organization seeking to establish an independent Tamil state in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. had delivered massive damage to Sri Lanka since their insurgency in 1975, with external support which also included Indian Tamil community. He thanked the Pakistani military training support, especially in countering terrorism, since Sri Lankan military operation against Tamils had become inevitable in face of sheer stalemate in dialogue process.

sunil said...

Mr. Riaz Hag

you didn't answered Jaydev's last comment. I agree that Pakistan have helped them a lot in the war against LTTE but India also wanted LTTE's end. India played a neutral role in the war.
It is true that Indian RAW trained LTTE initially but from last 2 decades Indian government is not giving any support to LTTE. They also assassinated Rajiv Gandhi. & India was the only country to send Peace Keeping force in Srilanka.
If Pakistan's weapon are so gr8 then why haven't they won any war against India. In almost all the war India's victory was very swift. & one more thing India is never been an aggressive country but Pakistan always tried to attack India & I am sure they will be planning some attacks....But I assure you the results will b the same as before.
After going through your post it seems like you have no hope towards India & your Pakistan is still better than India. If this makes you feel good then good for you I don't mind But I am sorry to say that you will get over with this illusions in years to come.

one sher for you:-

"Dil ko khush rakhne k liye 'galib' khayal acha hai"

Jai Hind

nauman said...

Pakistan got a great sucess in Sri lanka to defeat Tamil tigers.Now india is making lame excuses that we were not behind tigers and we did'nt trained tamil tigers. All these excuses by the india is to hide his shame for defeat in srilanka . But Pakistan proved a great Muslim nation with the true spirit of Islam and I assured you Pakistan will over come India soon.I am not joking,we will prove it . INSHAALLAH

Riaz Haq said...

Here's India Today on Pakistan helping Sri Lanka build its first nuclear power plant:

Pakistan is all set to begin consultations with Sri Lanka to help set up a nuclear power plant in Trincomallee's Sampur, it is believed.

The development is being viewed with concern in New Delhi since the Indian embassy in Colombo reported the development to South Block.

The strategy is part of Pakistan's grand design of increasing influence in the island nation by Pakistan, actively backed by China.

Indian high commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok Kantha was in New Delhi last week and is believed to have briefed senior officials on Pakistan's recent advances in Lanka. Islamabad also wants to expand defence trade with Colombo.

Even as the Congress-led UPA government comes under intense pressure from its allies in Tamil Nadu on its defence relationship with Lanka at the expense of India, Pakistan is quietly making inroads.

The assessment also suggested that Pakistan is believed to have discussed upgradation and rebuilding of T-55 tank engines, incorporation of rubberised tracks on tanks besides modernisation of the fire and tank gun control systems.

Pakistan made inroads into the defence sector in Lanka when the government was pushed back by its Chennai allies not to provide any defence aid or hardware to Colombo. Under pressure, it also put a defence cooperation agreement on hold.

The recent vote against Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council has also created a wedge between the two countries.

Read more at:

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report from Sri Lanka about President Rajapaksa acknowledging Pak help against LTTE terror:

President Mahinda Rajapaksa noted that Pakistan extended unflinching support to Sri Lanka during the three decade internal conflict and immensely helped in the elimination of the menace of terrorism from Sri Lankan soil.

He said Sri Lanka would not have eliminated the scourge of terrorism without the help and support of Pakistan. He said Pakistan has proved to be a true friend of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan government as well as public have deep affection for Pakistan.

President Rajapaksa was speaking when a Pakistani Parliamentary delegation led by Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan and Chairperson of National Commission for Human Development Dr Nafisa Shah paid a courtesy call on him at Temple Trees in Colombo.

Other members of the delegation included the Speaker of Pakistan’s Punjab Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan and Senator Muzaffar Hussain Shah.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Seema Ilahi Baloch also accompanied the Pakistani delegation.

Dr Nafisa Shah conveyed appreciation of the Pakistani government,Parliament and people to the President for the hospitality extended by people and the Government of Sri Lanka towards the Pakistani delegation.

She also commended the arrangements made by the Sri Lankan government for organizing the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in an impressive manner.

She said Pakistan and Sri Lanka are historically bonded in a relationship of trust, mutual respect and deep friendship which is manifested at all the phases of their histories.

The two sides agreed to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two friendly countries and stressed upon the need to work closely in the regional and global context.

The 22 member Pakistani Parliamentary delegation is currently visiting Sri Lanka to participate in the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference in Colombo.

Riaz Haq said...

Hindustan Times: Rajapaksa blames RAW for situation in SL, Pak

In his first comments after losing power in early January, Sri Lanka’s former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has pinned the blame on India’s external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), for the situation in his country as well as in Pakistan. Rajapaksa was speaking to a journalist from the Pakistani daily, Dawn.

When the reporter told him that many Sri Lankans had mentioned how Pakistan helped in quelling the Tamil insurgency, and asked how this was the case, Rajapaksa said, “See the US, Europe, the west, they are not our friends. Pakistan helped us, especially Musharraf. What happened in my country and the insurgency in your country, RAW is behind it.”

Rajapaksa’s charge comes in the wake of a Reuters report in mid January, which said that a RAW official had been asked by the then Rajapaksa government to leave the country before the polls. This was in response to the perception of the old government that RAW had helped cobble up the opposition alliance, which eventually ousted Rajapaksa. The Ministry of External Affairs had rubbished the report, and said no movement of diplomatic personnel had taken place from the Indian embassy in Colombo before their scheduled tenure was over.

MEA did not respond to Rajapaksa’s charge immediately. But a serving intelligence official, speaking to HT, said, “Did we spawn terror in Pakistan? Did we alienate Tamils and Muslims and the Sinhalese opposition? It is easy to blame external actors when you are responsible for the internal mess.” He called it ‘cheap nationalist stunts’.

Riaz Haq said...

#SriLanka President's #Pakistan visit: Editorial "What a friend we have in #Pakistan"

Sri Lankan newspaper editorial on Sri Lankan;s new president's visit to Pakistan titled "What a friend we have in Pakistan": "There were times when the Pakistan Army was even asked to release armaments from its own stocks due to exigencies that had arisen in the armed conflict in this country. Mid-level officers were trained in Pakistan’s Defence Academies from the nascent stages of the separatist insurgency till its extinction.
Pakistan would have had its strategic interests in offering that help, which country doesn’t, but one could affirm without fear of contradiction that the saying ‘a friend in need – is a friend indeed’ goes for it."

Riaz Haq said...

BBC News - #India opposes #Nepal's new constitution …

Nepal's adoption of a new federal constitution has led to a souring of ties with its giant neighbour India.
The document defines the majority Hindu nation as a secular republic divided into seven federal provinces.
Although Delhi was one of the major backers of the process over the past decade, it believes the new constitution is not broad-based and is concerned that it could spur violence which could spill over into its own territory.
India's reaction in the past few days to events in Nepal has been quite remarkable.
On Friday, just a couple of days before the constitution was formally adopted (but after it had been passed by the Constituent Assembly) India's top diplomat was sent to Kathmandu at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar held discussions with Nepal's president and prime minister and leaders of all the major political parties including those who had opposed the constitution in its current form.
He is believed to have pressed the Nepalese government to delay the adoption of the constitution and hold discussions with political groups opposed to it.
Reports in the Indian media say that India's ambassador in Kathmandu spoke to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala hours before Sunday's constitution ceremony to express Delhi's disappointment at the process going through.

Riaz Haq said...

Opinion: After #Pakistan, #India's #Modi Isolates Another Neighbour: #Nepal … via @ndtv

Modi's propaganda machine, never far behind Goebbels', swung into action when Modi visited Nepal in August 2014, proclaiming that Modi had visited neighbouring Nepal within weeks of becoming PM whereas Dr. Manmohan Singh had failed in ten years to go to Nepal even once.

Saner voices tried to explain that this was because Nepal was engaged in a delicate Constitution-building exercise and an Indian PM wandering the hills and plains of its tiny neighbour would be misunderstood and mischievously portrayed as India seeking to interfere in that country's tangled, seven-year-long Constitution-making process. But saner voices are always drowned out in the cacophony of crowing hype. And the fact that little Nepalese children (the cutest in the world) waved back at Modi as the 56-inch giant strolled barrel-chested down their roads was played up as a huge diplomatic success.

The truth took another three months to hit home. On his way to Kathmandu for the SAARC summit in November 2014, Modi sought to make a stop-over at Janakpur in the Madhesi plains to address a huge public gathering there as if he were on Indian, not Nepali, soil. The principal Constitutional gridlock was over the plains people seeking proportional representation in the proposed Nepal parliament and the hill people's demand for equitable not equal representation. Modi, by stopping-over and speaking at Janakpur, was trying to tilt the balance in favour of the Madhesis. A more blatant interference in Nepal's internal affairs could not be imagined. The Nepalese shrewdly saw through the game. And refused Modi permission to hold a public meeting in Janakpur. This was covered up in polite noises about security issues - but was an unambiguous signal from the self-respecting and sovereign Nepalese that while friendly advice might be welcomed, there could be no stepping on sensitive, sovereign corns.

Modi passed up Janakpur but remained determined to remain the final arbiter in Nepal's constitutional processes. Why this unwarranted interest in Nepal's internal affairs? Two reasons - one, ideological; two, electoral.


Instead of partisan (indeed, let's face it, racial) bickering with the Nepalese, Modi needs to recognize that there are not just two or three communities in Nepal with ethnic ties to India, such as the Madhesis, Tharus, Janjatis and Muslims: Nepal is trying to strike a just balance between 125 identified communities stretching from remote, sparsely habited mountain outposts to the teeming plains. It is doing so through a combination of 240 first-past-the-post directly elected seats and 335 proportionately elected seats; special provisions for ethnically cohesive provinces for the plains' people; 33 percent reservations for women; and other such progressive provisions that India ought to be applauding, not sulking over.

Alas, good grace is not one of Modi's virtues. The best the rest of us could do is to apologize to the Nepalese for the atrocious behaviour of our establishment and wish them all the best for a stable future. Otherwise, Nepal, like Pakistan and Sri Lanka, will keep meandering for a Constitution with which it can live.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Assists #Nigeria with Ammunition, Aircraft Maintenance in War Against #BokoHaram | THISDAY LIVE: …

The Pakistani government has disclosed that they have been assisting Nigeria’s counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations against Boko Haram terrorists, in the area of ammunition supplies and maintenance of military aircraft.

This disclosure was made on Tuesday in Abuja by the Pakistani Ambassador to Nigeria, Agha Umar Farook, during his meeting with the Minister of Defence, Mr. Dan-Ali,
Farook said that both countries with shared history have sustained their defence ties for over five decades.

He noted that the relationship in the area of security is further strengthened in the equally shared experience of terrorism and insurgency.
He said: “The two nations have certain similar challenges and opportunities that we share. Over the decades, we have built some tangible cooperation not only in defence, but also in agriculture and science and technology, as well as education.

“But the cooperation with the ministry of defence has been in the area of training, and capacity building among our military, the intervention has been tangible and we will sustain it over the years.”

“I am sure you are aware that Pakistan not only supports the entire anti-terrorism efforts anywhere in the world but most recently in Nigeria and we have been doing a good job in terms of the ammunition supply and maintenance of aircraft and operational worthiness of platforms.

“I am very much aware of the efforts being put in place for defence cooperation. A high level military delegation has been visiting Pakistan and vice-versa,” he added.

Farook, also stated that “Pakistan is willing to cooperate with the Nigeria military in fighting Boko Haram, and also because of Nigeria’s position in the African Union (AU).”

According to him, Pakistan is not only willing to cooperate in building security but also in the power and education sectors.

In the same vein, Dan-Ali said the cooperation between Nigeria and Pakistan has lasted more than four decades, adding that “a lot of things are common to all of us. We also know that we have very common thing especially with insurgency, you have long experience of fighting insurgency in your country, and we look for assistance in that direction.”

The minister revealed that a security team from Nigeria had visited Pakistan to access how Nigeria can train its personnel in fighting insurgency in the country.

“We need to borrow things like the border monitoring and intelligence gathering that you have, with guards looking after the borders. We share a common determination and we share common problems
“On the defence industry, we are working towards bringing you to come and access and assist us in that direction,” he said.

Riaz Haq said...

#SriLanka thanks #Pakistan for help in wiping out #LTTE #terror. #India …

The Sri Lankan president thanked Pakistan on Tuesday for helping the island nation root out terrorism from its soil, saying the government and its people were thankful to Pakistan for its assistance.

Sri Lanka is said to be the only country in the world to have defeated terrorism. Pakistan was a key supplier of weapons and aircraft for Sri Lanka’s military in its decades-long, bloody war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam that ended in May 2009.

Pakistan seeks closer military ties with Sri Lanka

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is in Sri Lanka on a three-day visit and met President Maithripala Srisena to discuss bilateral issues and trade cooperation. The two leaders also interacted with the media after leading their respective delegations for the signing of bilateral accords at the President’s Secretariat.

President Maithripala appreciated Pakistan’s cooperation in carrying out development projects in Sri Lanka. He said he would visit Pakistan to attend next the Saarc summit to be held in Islamabad. The two leaders agreed to reinvigorate ties between the two friendly countries with a focus on enhanced cooperation in trade, science and technology, defence production and tourism.

They stressed the need of exploiting the countries’ friendship for the development and prosperity of their people.

PM Nawaz mentioned the two sides agreed on pursuing multi-faceted interactions.

He said Sri Lanka had been a strong and steadfast friend of Pakistan and stood by it in difficult times. The island state enjoys the exceptional position for being the first country Pakistan entered into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

PM Nawaz said the current volume of bilateral trade did not reflect the true potential between the two countries and called for steps to achieve the target of $1 billion by the end of 2016.

Pakistan, Sri Lanka to sign MoUs for trade and training

Eight accords signed

Earlier, Pakistani and Sri Lankan officials signed eight bilateral agreements in the fields of business, finance, science and technology and healthcare.

An agreement on cooperation in the field of health was signed between the Pakistani government and Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine.

PM Nawaz also called for closer military cooperation with Sri Lanka. “I conveyed our desire for more frequent port calls, participation in military exercises and defence seminars and training of military personnel,” he stated in a statement issued following the official welcoming ceremony.

He also reiterated Pakistan’s offer to setup cement and sugar plants in Sri Lanka on mutually agreeable terms for the long-term benefit of the Sri Lankan economy.

Dispute-free zone

Speaking at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies in Colombo, Nawaz said he envisioned South Asia as a dispute-free zone where all the nations jointly fought against their common enemies of illiteracy, poverty and malnutrition.

“South Asia needs strategic stability,” he said while delivering a lecture. “We should build convergences and need dialogue for the better of region.”

Modi urges Pakistan to take ‘immediate action’ after base attack

Addressing a gathering of intellectuals, parliamentarians and diplomats on the topic “Pakistan-Sri Lanka Relations”, he said it was time for South Asian countries to focus their energies on better preparing themselves to handle global challenges.

He said he was also deeply touched by Narendra Modi’s decision to fly to Lahore last month on his way back from Afghanistan and in the next few days, the foreign secretaries of two countries would meet in Islamabad.

He added Pakistan had consistently been supporting an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned government and was ready to support the resumption of peace dialogues between Kabul and Taliban.

Riaz Haq said...

#Asia's sweetheart: Why the region's giants are wooing #SriLanka? #China #India #Japan #US

Situated almost in the middle of the Indian Ocean, there is no escaping Sri Lanka's centrality.

The country lies just a few nautical miles away from the super-busy east-west shipping route, through which an estimated 60,000 ships pass every year, carrying two-thirds of the world's oil and half of all container shipments.

Now, with Asia's economic rise, experts say Sri Lanka's location has become even more alluring. Not only are three Asian powers - China, Japan and India - playing dominant roles in the global economy at the same time for the first time, there are also increasingly attractive markets and trade opportunities in Asia.

"Sri Lanka is the pivotal point for a global grand strategy," R. Hariharan, a retired Indian army colonel and specialist in South Asian geopolitics, told CNBC. "Sri Lanka's geography gives it an advantage disproportionate to its size."

The small island nation with a population of 22 million has been rediscovering its strategic location for the past few years as it comes out of a 26-year civil war that depleted government resources and held back development. As Sri Lanka looks for assistance to reboot its economy, a largely two-way tussle for influence in the country and, in turn, the region is on.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan sends 30-bed field hospital to #SriLanka, 17 doctors coming to help flood victims- The Hindu …

Hospital has operation theaters, and x-ray laboratories, two special cargo aircraft carrying relief items also expected.

Even as relief and rescue operations continued in Sri Lanka, the government of Pakistan sent a 30 bed fully-equipped field hospital and relief materials.

A release of the Pakistan High Commission here stated that the field hospital had operation theaters and x-ray laboratories. Two special cargo aircraft, carrying relief items, were also expected to reach Colombo shortly. Besides, 17 Pakistani doctors would be arriving in Sri Lanka for providing health care assistance.

Oz announces contribution

The Australian government said it would contribute $5,00,000 to UNICEF for humanitarian assistance, including the provision of clean water and sanitation for children in shelters.

On Sunday afternoon, the number of deaths in the country went up to 84 with the recovery of 11 more bodies. Toll in Aranayaka, the site of last week’s landslip, stood at 32 and the district of Kegalle accounted for 50 deaths. As of now, 2.37 lakh persons were kept at relief camps. President Maithripala Sirisena visited Wellampitiya, Meethotamulla and Kolonnawa, all located in Colombo district, and met the flood-affected people.

3.4 lakh people affected

Of about 3.4 lakh affected people in the country, the Western Province accounted for around 2.43 lakh persons. There were about 94,151 persons hit by the floods in the Kolonnawa division and 24,824 – Kaduwela, both in the district of Colombo. In the neighbouring Gampaha district, Wattala had 35,407 affected persons; Biyagama – 21,302 and Kelaniya – 16,202, according to a report of the government’s Disaster Management Centre.