Frank Jack's Feed
Jan 27, 2015

In parting shot, Obama prods India on religious freedom

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama weighed in on one of India’s most sensitive topics as he wound up a visit on Tuesday, making a plea for freedom of religion to be upheld in a country where relations between Hindus and minorities have come under strain.

Obama made no direct reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whose rise to power last year has emboldened some Hindu groups to assert themselves in a country with a history of religious strife.

Jan 25, 2015

“We have a deal” – insurance may unlock India-U.S. atomic trade

NEW DELHI, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi
and U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled a plan centred on
insurance on Sunday that they hope will convince U.S. companies
to build nuclear power stations in India, but stopped short of
demands to soften a liability law.

With the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy still fresh in India’s
mind, parliament five years ago passed a law that makes
equipment suppliers ultimately responsible for an accident, a
deviation from international norms that the companies found hard
to swallow.

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.