Frank Jack's Feed
Jan 24, 2015

Unlikely buddies Obama and Modi aim high on India trip

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – In a fresh bid to make India an enduring strategic partner, U.S. President Barack Obama lands in New Delhi on Sunday for a highly symbolic parade and to nurture friendship with a prime minister who until last year was persona non grata in Washington.

Obama will be the first U.S. president to attend India’s Republic Day parade, a show of military might long associated with the anti-Americanism of the Cold War, and will host a radio show with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Jan 21, 2015

As Obama visits, signs that India is pushing back against China

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – When Sri Lanka unexpectedly turfed out President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an election this month, it was the biggest setback in decades for China’s expansion into South Asia – and a remarkable diplomatic victory for India.

Despite New Delhi’s protestations, diplomats and politicians in the region say India played a role in organising the opposition against pro-China Rajapaksa.

Jan 16, 2015

Sri Lanka to review China port deal amid security concerns

COLOMBO, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s new government on
Friday said it will review a $1.5 billion port deal with China
Communications Construction Co Ltd over concerns
about the Chinese company getting land on a freehold basis in a
high security zone.

Sri Lanka’s neighbour India has also raised security
concerns over the project as a large portion of cargoes bound
for India are transhipped through Colombo port.

Jan 14, 2015

Pope Francis to give Sri Lanka its first Catholic saint

COLOMBO (Reuters) – Pope Francis will give Sri Lanka its first Catholic saint on Wednesday, ending a 300-year campaign to recognise the sanctity of an Indian-born missionary who was captured as a suspected spy after he crept into the tropical island in disguise.

Joseph Vaz was born in 1651 in India’s Goa, then a Portuguese colony. He travelled south at the age of 36, dressed as a poor labourer, to a country then known as Ceylon after hearing about the persecution of Catholics by the Dutch.

Jan 13, 2015

Pope says Sri Lanka should seek truth over civil war

COLOMBO, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Pope Francis called on Sri Lanka
to uncover the truth about its long civil conflict and bring
religious communities closer together, as he began a visit to
the island nation whose wartime leaders were voted out of power
only days ago.

Francis, 78, looked tired at an evening meeting of Buddhist,
Hindu, Muslim and Christian leaders, and earlier on Tuesday he
cancelled a meeting with bishops after a long flight from the
Vatican and a sun-baked ride in a jeep along packed roads from
the airport.

Jan 13, 2015

Pope calls for pursuit of truth over Sri Lanka’s violent past

COLOMBO (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Tuesday Sri Lanka needed to find out the truth of what happened during its long civil war in order to consolidate peace and heal scars between religious communities.

Francis appeared to make the case for a truth commission to investigate the Buddhist-majority nation’s 26-year civil war, an election pledge of the government voted into office on Thursday.

Jan 12, 2015

Pope heads to Sri Lanka at rare moment of island harmony

COLOMBO (Reuters) – Pope Francis arrives in Sri Lanka on Tuesday for a visit expected to add to a new harmonious atmosphere in the Buddhist-majority nation that last week elected a government promising increased respect for long-suffering religious minorities.

The visit to Sri Lanka is the first leg of a Jan. 12-19 tour that also takes in the Philippines and is the Pope’s second Asian excursion, part of his outreach aimed at shoring-up the Church’s presence in developing nations.

Jan 11, 2015

Sri Lanka’s new government promises end to repression

COLOMBO, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s new government
promised a tolerant era of harmony and political freedom after
years of mounting repression under a decade-old administration
that unraveled in electoral defeat this week.

In a speech on Sunday, President Maithripala Sirisena vowed
to end corruption and nepotism that marred the reputation of his
predecessor Mahinda Rajapkasa, who stepped down on Friday after
his shock election loss.

Jan 11, 2015

A new era for Sri Lanka as government vows end to repression

COLOMBO, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s new government
promised a tolerant new era of religious harmony and political
freedom for the Indian Ocean island nation after years of
mounting repression under the decade-old regime defeated in an
election on Friday.

In an address to the nation on Sunday, President Maithripala
Sirisena vowed to put an end to the corruption and nepotism that
marred the reputation of his predecessor Mahinda Rajapkasa, who
stepped down after his shock defeat.

Jan 6, 2015

Kashmir shelling, spat over Pakistan aid mar run-up to Kerry trip

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Reports of a $500-million Washington aid package to Pakistan and a period of intense border shelling in Kashmir have overshadowed the run-up to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s expected visit to South Asia in the next few days.Kerry is due to attend an investment summit promoted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the weekend, and media reports say he will then travel to Islamabad.

President Barack Obama will make a second official trip to India later in the month, seeking to strengthen ties between the world’s two largest democracies.