“INTERVIEW”- “CHINESE AMBASSADOR HAS ACTED WITHIN THE AMBIT OF DIPLOMACY”
Posted on November 14th, 2016

Sarath Wijesinghe former Ambassador to UAE and Israel

VIENNA CONVENTION

Powers functions and the conduct of the Diplomats Missions and the working procedure is enshrined in the Convention on Diplomatic Relations ratified on 4thnApril 1961 subsequently developed by the member states with diplomatic skills and practices. There is uniformity on the practice and procedure through the Ministries of Foreign Affairs headed by experts on the subject irrespective of the political inclinations of the member nation. Ambassadors follow the directions and instructions of the Head of the State and the Foreign Ministry. The mandate of the Ambassador of the sending country is to look after political, trade, and economic interests with the host country with no confrontation and interference of internal affairs, however powerful the sending country is. Non-interference is a cardinal principle as enumerated in the UN Charter authorizing sovereignty of member states and treated equally. Article 2(1) of the UN Charter states that the organization is based on sovereign equality of its member states, and Article 2(7)  that nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction”. But it is a  blot in the annuls of diplomatic practices in Sri Lanka that High Commissioner  Dixith” in 1987 interfered in the internal affairs paving the way for the Indo Sri Lanka accord and establishing Provincial Council based on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which is a white elephant today. Ambassadors and High Commissioners in the West including UK, USA, and EU satellite countries directly involved in Sri Lankan affairs and criticized with the NGOs on the Human Right Issues and the conduct of successive Sri Lankan Governments blatantly violating the Vienna Convention when Sri Lanka helplessly watched with no protest or remedy until the UN took the upper hand in bringing resolutions against Sri Lanka backed by India – our giant neighbour. It is only Russia, China, Pakistan and Non Alignment countries that came to our rescue in defeating the most powerful terror group that engulfed the nation for three decades with hundreds of thousand deaths, destruction and murder of world leaders including two Sri Lankan and Indian leaders. It was China our special friend” that assisted Sri Lanka with Pakistan, and non ligned nations at the UN presenting Western Powers from using the security Council to stop the war en the LTE wa about to be wiped out.

FINANCE MINISTER SHOULD BE CAREFUL, RESPONSIBLE, AND BALANCED

It is unbecoming of a Finance Minister repeatedly an Ambassador via media with colloquial statements such as wires crossed” and undermining the massive and unprecedented assistance to Sri Lanka based on traditional and long relationship runs over thousands of years on cultural religious and economic bonds. Friendly historical and traditional bods that existed is in the public domain and contents of the exchange of words initiated by the  Minister and the Ambassador that  should not have taken place which are undiplomatic and contrary to principles of Good Governance. Good News is that the Chinese Ambassador is prepared to forget and forgive in the name of closeness with the two great Nations in the world family. Chinese Ambassador has spoken the truth based on facts and figures and the silence on the part of the Finance Minister is a good sign on reconciliation of the unfortunate saga.

DIPLOMACY AND INTERNATINL ERLATIONS

Article 3 of the Vienna Convention sates Promoting friendly relations between the sending state and the receiving state and developing the economic cultural and scientific relations” as a main mandate of the representative to the host country. Today Ambassadors are given the responsibility of promoting economic interests as the main priority and the Ambassadors stationed in Sri Lanka work round the clock on promotional work. Promotion of the sending country  on economic to promote trade and business interests , when the Chinese Embassy offering Sri Lanka the most needed economic assistance not forthcoming from western economics struggling and seeking assistance from China for financial assistance. China has the entire world to invest including the western countries including UK, USA, EU, and Africa. China has the right to turn back and seek legal redress via traditional arbitrations and international tribunals to seek redress to recover damages on breach of contract. Is such a situation Sri Lanka will be helpless and no country or organisation will come forward to help as many economic blocks are heavily indebted to China. Fortunately the tone of the Chinese Ambassador at the interview is the willingness to continue the traditional and historic friendship leave the disputes aside initiated erroneously by the Sri Lankan Finance minister who is now silent on the remarks made and the issues raised on public media. On 7th November government owned Daily News reported that the Foreign Minister is contemplating to summon the Chinese Ambassador who on 11th November went through the Interview conducted by Bandula Jyasekra on Pathikada. It appears that Finance Minister is warned and

INTERVIEW BY THE AMBASSADOR

The contents of the words exchanged between and Finance Minister and the Ambassador spells out the magnitude of the assistance by China and the impact on the diplomatic relations between the two friendly nations. Despite the news items send the threat to summon the Chine ambassador on the statements made to the media, fathers interview on Pathikade on 11.11.16 by the Ambassador probably to clarify matters in dispute. It is reported that President has advised the Minister of Frogin Affairs and the Finance Minister’s dead silence on the dispute indicates that he too world have ben warned to be diplomatic and act within the ambit of a powerful and responsible Minister. Chinese Ambassador is within the ambit of the Convention in clarifying issues diplomatically in order to maintain and protect the long cherished diplomatic relations between the two friendl nations.

WAY FORWARD

Ambassador’s role in the modern world is transformed from the traditional ambassadorial duties to promotional exercises on Economy, Internal trade, Agriculture and International Trade by promoting the sending country which is the main assignment and the task given to an ambassador as the sole representative of the sending state. China has given the highest FDI ever to Sri Lanka in addition to the – Millions invested with the potential and intention of investing other….Sri Lanka is lifelong friend of all seasons  over thousands of years and wishes to continue the beatifically island strategically situated in the Indian Ocean. Attracting direct FDI to Sri Lanka is not easy in this competitive world with many countries awaiting for assistance. It is not forthcoming from the west as they are economically unstable and depends on China for financial assistance. Loans from IMf, World Bank and other lending bodes ae stringent and linked to bonds, conditions and regulations on recovery and interest rates. Chinese loans are straight, with no links or strings attached with flexibility. It is on the best interest that Sri Lank maintains and enhances close and warm friendly relations existed for thousands of years. China is a friend need helped us when we were in assistance to end the 30 year war and in the international arena when the west was gunning at us with UN resolutions. It is time that the government be careful not to add fuel by making irresponsible statements and interviews. Former President Chandrika Kumaranatunga’s interview to ITN implicating the Chinese Ambassador is is worrying as it may lead to further complications on China sri Lanka relations. Therese are matters to be avoided and we presume the Finance Minister’s silence as the end of the unfortunate diplomatic saga. We must remain the closest friends and relations with both China and India in our own interest. We need to ensure that one will not be a the expense of the other. Chin will not do anything to give any country reason for an excuse to destabilise another country and will not interferes in internal affairs. India is our close relation and neighbour and we are grateful to her and the great son King Asoka who gave us Buddhism and initiation of our culture and heritage with the advent of Buddhism. Relationship with India will depend on our own conduct with a proper foreign policy with mutual benefit and trust on each other. We have had close bonds and relations with India except for few instances due to the mistakes of some rulers with no vision on international relations. It is time Sri Lanka have a correct and coherent foreign policy and for the leaders to speak to the world with one word.

Writer could be reached on [email protected]

8 Responses to ““INTERVIEW”- “CHINESE AMBASSADOR HAS ACTED WITHIN THE AMBIT OF DIPLOMACY””

  1. aloy Says:

    Perhaps the reply to the ambassador was given by no other than former president Chandrika herself. She stated in an interview that the loan agreement she signed at $280 million for Norochchalai was increased by MR’s government to $540 million for just one person to get a kickback of 50%. Is it fair for a country like China who has been a friend of SL to put so much of a burden on its people on an unreliable power plant?.
    To my mind it is fair for our country to cancel all unreasonable deals entered by previous government irrespective of the country involved. This should apply to future contracts of the current government as well. The opposition (not MR’s faction) should tell in no uncertain terms that the people of SL will not honour them if they are not reasonable.

  2. S.Gonsal Says:

    Sarath,
    You said,
    “Former President Chandrika Kumaranatunga’s interview to ITN implicating the Chinese Ambassador is is worrying as it may lead to further complications on China sri Lanka relations”.

    Why ? Norochchalai debacle was acknoledged by Chinese by visiting, inspecting and promising to correct when previous governement was in power. Clearly there were many implications that the builder was cheating or not experienced. This is what she said. If such thing happened, as they promised China should correct it. Obviously they have not done it and our governement ( not only ex-president) should question it by summonong Chinese embassidor. Current government is not taking any action being scared of Chinese.
    In fact what she said should be investigated and corrupt shall be punished. That is called diplomacy, not keeping silent and absoubing the loss like “neechayo”.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Norochchalai was DISRUPTED by Endian agents.

    MR increased the Chinese loan because the CAPACITY of Norochchalai was INCREASED to provide MORE electricity!! When CBK was president instead of FIXING the power problem she turned the clock forward!!!

    Current UNP govt. ministers made BILLIONS from coal deals of Norochchalai!! Even the politicized supreme court cancelled it but the CABINET disregarded it and went ahead.

    Why CBK is not talking about that?

    CBK always DELFECTS corruption to PREVIOUS govt. She played the same trick when she was president. Ravi K the finance minister called CBK Bandit Queen then. Now he calls her goddess. Kabaragoyya ———-> Thalagoyya.

  4. aloy Says:

    CBK should divulge how many megawatts the plant she signed for $280m and MR has to come out how big was the plant he delivered at $900 odd millions. Whatever it is we should not get involved in arguments with a nation that stood by us at the time of our need. We should thank his excellency the Ambassador for clarifying the matters.

  5. S.Gonsal Says:

    I am copying from our governemnet website. “http://powermin.gov.lk/english/?page_id=1517”

    Start Date 23rd July 2007
    Current Progress Completed
    Fund 450 million US$
    (Loan from China)
    300 million @ 2% interest
    150 million @ 6% interest
    GOSL Contribution Rs. 5300 million
    Capacity 300MW

    Background
    Norochcholai Coal Power Plant was envisaged to be commissioned in late 1980’s, but due to pressure from various organizations was kept on held. However, His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksha decided to go ahead with the implementation and negotiations started in 2005 and the Contract was signed in 2006

    To meet the increasing demand of electricity in the country, and to diversify the power generation mix a major coal plant of 900 MW has been implemented in Norochchole. The Phase I of the project with the capacity of 300 MW was commissioned March 2010 and the Phase II with capacity of 2X300 MW is under implementation. The first 300 MW of Phase II is scheduled to commission in October 2013 and the second 300 MW Phase II will be available from May 2014. The phase I and phase II of the project has been funded by a soft loan of 891 Million USD provided by EXIM Bank of China.

    The first stage of this Coal Power station inaugurated by the President cost $ 450 Million, while the second stage is estimated to cost $ 891 Million. The Ministry of Powrr and energy stated that the funding for this project was provided by the Chinese Government on a long term low interest rate to the Sri Lankan Government. The Construction work is carried out by CMEC while the funding is provided by the EXIM Bank of the Republic of China. As local investment the Sri Lankan Government has invested Rs. 5300 Million for the first stage and Rs. 11,000 Million for the second stage of construction.

    Conclusion

    Cost
    Stage 1 = 300 MW $450 + $50 (taking Rs 100= US $ 1 old rates) = $ 500 million
    Stage 2 = 600 MW $ 891 + $110 = $1000 million

    Total Cost Us $ 1500 million.

    CBK says (300 MW) costing $ 540 million was actually signed for $280 during her times. She did not talk about inncrease capacity ( 3 times ) with 3 times 500 million cost.

    I don’t know what she said was correct or not, I am saying if there were commisions of 50% involved there is nothing wrong questioning but there shall be a massive investigation by both governements.

    We don’t need politicians names, who is good and who is bad but increased capacity by last government came ( correctly ) at 3 times cost, not at originally signed $500 million.

    Regardless of the above, there is a big problem in this plant and it is basically OUR FAULT of not handling it correctly to fully benifit our motherland, to hell with Chinese or Indians.

  6. plumblossom Says:

    Donald Trump: How the media created the president
    Posted on November 14th, 2016

    By David Sillito Media correspondent Courtesy BBC

    What part did the media, both mainstream and alternative, play in Donald Trump’s election success?

    On 30 September 2016, the San Diego Union Tribune made history. For the first time in its 148-year history it endorsed a Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton.

    It was also a first in 126 years for the Arizona Republic.

    Donald J Trump was not popular with America’s newspapers. Of the 100 top circulation print newspapers, two endorsed him.

    More than 200 newspapers supported Clinton, while Trump received the backing of fewer than 20.

    And even some of this support was half-hearted, to say the least. The best the Fort Wayne News Sentinel could come up with was “Thank God for Mike Pence”.

    The Washington Times declared Trump imperfect and acknowledged his “vulgarity and coarseness”.

    What they did like was the fact that he had “all the right enemies: the pundits, the ‘social scientists’, the Beltway insiders, the academics and the righteous mongers of failed policies.”

    His image, they felt, was being painted by a “one-party media”.

    Trump’s victory, then, was a brutal kick in the teeth for those loathed pundits, insiders and “righteous mongers”. But it was also a humiliation for the thousands of journalists who had spent months trying to warn the public about Donald J Trump.

    This was one almighty, two-fingered salute to much of the “mainstream media”.

    ‘The failure of journalism’

    Prof Jeff Jarvis – of the Tow-Knight Centre for entrepreneurial journalism, City University New York, and an enthusiastic and active supporter of Hillary Clinton – stated it simply.

    “The mere fact of Donald Trump’s candidacy is evidence of the failure of journalism,” he believes.

    He, like many other members of the liberal media class, feels Trump’s success is a sign that the media failed to communicate the truth with enough force.

    Image copyright Reuters

    Image caption Running mate Mike Pence got a tacit endorsement from the Fort Wayne News Sentinel

    He believes equating the issue of Hillary Clinton’s email server with all of the criticisms of Donald Trump in the name of balance was misleading.

    The frequent comparison is with the climate change debate and the “balance” of expert opinion. A second (liberal) view is that the media gave Trump far too much unfiltered airtime.

    Rather than being appalled, large parts of the audience liked what they were watching. In essence, it’s felt that print journalism failed to tell the real story – and that TV gave Trump a free pass.

    Whether you agree, it assumes two things. First, that the news industry has a moral purpose. Second, that TV is still the most powerful medium.

    Whatever you make of the first statement, the second seems to be truer than many of the digital evangelists would have you believe.

    The triumph of television

    In 1968 Roger Ailes, the future boss of Fox News, had a problem: how to get Richard Nixon on television without it being controlled and filtered by what he felt was a hostile media.

    His solution was to create his own staged Nixon TV specials and offer them to TV stations. Forty-eight years later, CNN was effectively doing the same for Trump – free of charge.

    The enthusiasm for Trump at CNN was simple: ratings. Jeff Zucker, the boss of CNN, is also the man who employed him to present The Apprentice when he worked at NBC.

    Image copyright Getty Images

    Image caption Jeff Zucker made Trump a TV star by hiring him for The Apprentice

    Zucker, perhaps more than anyone else, turned Trump into a TV star.

    Trump’s repeated denunciations of CNN following a documentary he felt was deeply flawed rather overlook the success of their relationship. Trump brought CNN ratings in a tough TV market, and he got exposure in return.

    No-one knew what he was going to say, so the cameras were never going to cut away. We now have an unpredictable and telegenic president, whom the cameras and ratings will follow wherever he goes.

    However, what’s strange about Trump’s speeches is how much of what he says refers to issues and topics that are not part of the mainstream news agenda.

    The ‘alt-right’ movement

    During the summer of 2016, Donald Trump stated again and again that Hillary Clinton “invented Isis”. It’s not a claim that receives much support in most newspapers or websites.

    On Alex Jones’ Infowars site, though, it was big news. The site also features claims that Clinton has a secret “Satanic Network” and has Parkinson’s disease, as well as dozens of other conspiracy theories.

    Analyse Trump’s speeches and there are references to dozens of stories that are dismissed by most mainstream media but have enthusiastic support in the growing world of alternative news sources.

    Image copyright AP

    Image caption Steve Bannon (right) was at Trump’s side throughout the campaign

    And this “fringe” is generating large amounts of traffic. The online analytics company Tubular Insights identified in the middle of the campaign that when it came to online news, the site creating videos that were generating the greatest levels of engagement (likes, shares etc) was Infowars.

    Another star of what has become known as the “alt-right” is Breitbart, a news website with an agenda opposed to anything it deems politically correct or multicultural.

    It’s Alexa online ranking puts it above the LA Times, the New York Post, Vox, Slate and the New Yorker, not to mention CBS, NBC and ABC’s news sites.

    If you want to understand how close Breitbart is to Trump, look at Steve Bannon, an executive chairman of Breitbart who became the Trump campaign’s chief executive.

    Bannon is a former employee of Goldman Sachs and has a Harvard MBA. But politically he is at the heart of the anti-establishment, anti-mainstream media right wing of America.

    Bannon is a man who also shares all the right enemies. But how do we know people believe him any more than other parts of the media?

    ‘Share of voice’

    In the midst of the election campaign, the social media analysts Impact Social studied posts on Twitter and other social media platforms in Florida.

    Once they’d stripped out the pundits, journalists and the rest of the chattering classes, they saw Trump was well ahead of Clinton when it came to positive comments. This ran counter to the polls, which were giving Clinton a small lead.

    Pollsters would dismiss social media as a self-selecting group that doesn’t reflect the whole voting population. But it does perhaps give a clue to the emotional impact of a candidate.

    Trump was giving people more to talk about and saying it in a way that resonated. When it came to “share of voice” online, he was winning.

    The need for headlines that bring clicks and stories that get shared has changed everything. Dull, balanced articles (like this one) don’t provoke fury, laughter or much in the way of emotion.

    Trump was simply more entertaining and generating more passion. In a news environment moving from a world of subscriptions and long-term appointments-to-view to the vagaries of clicks, friends’ recommendations and Facebook news streams, that makes him a winner.

  7. plumblossom Says:

    The new constitution is nothing but a federal state or even worse Eelam. The treacherous Ranil, CBK, Mangala and Sirisena and the godfather of the federal or Eelam constitution Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne are going to abolish the concurrent list. Even India and Pakistan which are huge countries and which have federal constitutions have a concurrent list. Even South Africa which is huge country but is a unitary state have a concurrent list. However small Sri Lanka is going to get rid of its concurrent list as per the wishes of the TNA, other separatists, the US, EU,UK, Canada, Norway, Sweden etc.

    The godfather of the new federal or Eelam constitution the treacherous Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne is going to set up a constitutional court which is above the supreme court to deal with constitutional issues which arises which will be manned by foreign funded NGO lackeys. Not only that, the Governor of a Province who is the executive at the provincial level, his powers will be given over to the Chief Minister of the Province.

    Not only that, land and police powers will be given to the provincial councils which means there will be nine different police forces in the country. Vigneshwaran will then use his police force to ethnically cleanse the North of Sinhala people. Giving land powers to Vigneshwaran means he will ethnically cleanse the entire North of Sinhala people using his Eelam police force. Giving land powers to provincial councils in equivalent to handing over Eelam.

    Not only this, the subject national planning is to be handed over to the provincial councils. This is similar to handing over an Eelam if the provinces can draw up their own national plans. The public service commission will be turned into nine public service commissions with each province having their own public service. There will be nine different police forces in the country with each police force being under the chief minister of each province. Even worse, certain fiscal powers will also be handed over to the provincial councils. Therefore the provincial councils will be able to raise funding via taxes etc. This is highly dangerous since this is yet another move paving the way towards Eelam or a separate state. All fiscal powers should be with the central government not the provincial councils.

    Worst is that at present sovereignty lies with the people with the executive being the presidency, the legislative the parliament and the judiciary being the judiciary that is there at present. This will be converted to sovereignty lies with the people with the executive being the presidency but the legislative being not just the parliament but the provincial councils and the local councils too. This is extremely dangerous and can be used in a court of law to argue for a separate state in the North.

    This new constitution is highly dangerous and equivalent to handing over an Eelam. It should be rejected in total by the Sinhala people and all patriotic Sri Lankan people if they have even an ounce of sense. Let us keep what is there at present which is more than sufficient as per the centre periphery relations.

  8. S.Gonsal Says:

    I did further research on this,
    If the figure CBK said $280 million for 300 MW is correct, China, as a big country, has done a big crime in the case of Norochcholai by exploiting a small country.
    $280 add 50% alleged commision = $420 then x 3 = $1280 – we had to spend $1500 thus the commision could be even more.
    Please visit
    “http://www.china-power-contractor.cn/Government-finance.html” you too can be a miilioner soon.
    It says
    We are looking for these foreign agents of partners who have close connection with President, Prime Minister, Power or electricity Ministers, Governors, Finance Minister, or other Industrial Ministers to work with us for infrastructure projects on government-to-government financing basis. If you these connection, please contact us at: [email protected] for billions USD projects, you as our local agents or partners, we are EPC contractor and financing arranger/facilitator from China.

    On the other hand our Engineers, Adminstrators, Auditors and Politicians have done an unforgivable crime, giving us defective product with double the price. These are called “HENA GAHANA APARADHA”.

    There are allegations of
    . Trips to China for Engineers
    . Other gifts
    . Opening the plant ( 1st stage) without the builder was ready to complete all the tests.

    It is also 100% TRUE that the Chinese builder has NO ACCEPTABLE EXPERIENCE to award this project, at that time. China has 2000 plus coal powered plants. CMEC has only built 5 or 6 in total, this being the largest. All their projects were small and thye list none in China.

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