• Monday, January 21, 2019

Now Indians have a problem with the Colombo Lotus Tower...

Discussion in 'Central & South Asia' started by samv, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. samv

    samv SENIOR MEMBER

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    SRI LANKA: CHINA’S LISTENING POST IN INDIAN OCEAN

    By Bhaskar Roy*

    When Sri Lanka’s new President Maithripala Sirisena recently visited China he was literally squeezed by the Chinese leaders not to review the Chinese investments and infrastructure projects in his country and secure Chinese interests.

    Sirisena had little room to manoeuere Sri Lanka is in a difficult financial situation. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) rejected a request from the Sri Lankan government for a US $ 4 billion loan to restructure debt payment on Chinese loans.

    Obviously, Sri Lanka has been caught in a Chinese debt trap. Parts of the country seem to have been mortgaged to China to assist Beijing in its advance into the Indian Ocean (see Robert D. Kaplan’s article in March 2009 issue of the Foreign Affairs magazine).

    In writings on Chinese capture of strategic infrastructure projects one that has missed attraction is the Lotus Tower in Colombo. The tower funded by the Chinese Exim Bank, is 26 meters higher than the Eiffel Tower. This US $ 103 million tower is being built by the China National Electronic Import and Export Corporation (CNEIEC) and the Chinese Aerospace Long – March International Trade (CALMIT).

    A brief look at the background of these two Chinese Companies reveal facts that the previous Sri Lankan government, led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa should have examined. According to CNEIEC’s profile, the company is involved in defence electronics system integration, construction of defence electronics system, integration of public security responding to international anti – terrorism demand among others.

    The CALMIT is involved in the aero – space industry, according to its company profile. It also specializes in export and import of defence equipment, technology and services, export of anti – terrorism, anti – riot equipment, technologies and services among other activities.

    It is, therefore, intriguing that these two companies which are involved in military and quasi – military business are building South Asia’s tallest tower in Sri Lanka, covering the gut of the Indian Ocean on the one side, and India on the other. There is no doubt that the Lotus Tower is an electronic surveillance facility.

    It may be argued that nothing like that is visible to the naked eye on the tower. That would be challenging the advancement that technology instruments are imbedded, and Sri Lanka does not have the technological capability to locate such hidden assets, which are known as “assassin’s mace” weapons. The tower, if allowed to complete construction will be a threat to the security of the Indian Ocean and South Asia.

    Add to this the Colombo port city, the Colombo port and the Hambantota container port, three other strategic Chinese encroachments in Sri Lanka, and a much larger picture emerges. China’s 21st century maritime Silk Road is calculated as very important, if not central, to the success of this project. This Silk Road is projected as a commercial and developmental enterprise with a win-win situation for all. But what China is doing in Sri Lanka questions the ultimate design of the Silk Road.

    China has suggested to the Sri Lankan president and foreign minister a trilateral arrangement between China, Sri Lanka and India for the development of Sri Lanka. Sirisena appears to have given a nod to the Chinese suggestion when he was in China. But India has to be brought in.

    How would this work? China is aware of India’s concerns about its activities in Sri Lanka some of which are perceived as a security threat to India. What role would China like India to play in such a trilateral arrangement? Should India look aside when it builds a listening tower in Sri Lanka, have its submarines visit Sri Lanka, and finally turn the country into a dual use platform for civilian and military use? This sounds like a trap, pushing Sri Lanka to work on India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be acutely aware of it when he visits China in May.

    *The writer is a New Delhi based strategic analyst. He can be reached at e-mailgrouchohart@yahoo.com

    Sri Lanka: China's Listening Post In Indian Ocean - OpEd - Eurasia Review
     
  2. damiendehorn

    damiendehorn SENIOR MEMBER

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    Paranoia!
     
  3. Dr Gupta

    Dr Gupta FULL MEMBER

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    No listening towers will be permitted to spy on India, as India can reactivate Tamil cells to cause mass trouble in Lanka if they do not take heed of our security concern.

    India has much more clout to China in Sri Lanka

    Sameer Lalwani | China Tries to Woo Sri Lank But India Keeps Its Grip | Foreign Affairs


    Nope its a legitimate security concern if such a listening tower was built with Chinese technology which could be used to spy on India.
     
  4. damiendehorn

    damiendehorn SENIOR MEMBER

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    Its a telecom tower, an Sri Lanka has every right to build it with whos evers help they want. If you have a problem with the Chinese building it then you should have offered to build and pay for it, like the Chinese did.
     
  5. Dr Gupta

    Dr Gupta FULL MEMBER

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    And you know that for a fact? :rolleyes:

    I think you fail to realise where Sri Lanka is located, if they do anything which undermines the security of India with BJP in power things are not going to be a okay like with Congress.
     
  6. damiendehorn

    damiendehorn SENIOR MEMBER

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    What you know for certain the tower is a secret spy tower? Your paranoia has no bounds, if China needed a listen post they could build dozens in Pakistan.....they prob have....not a lot india can do about it.

    The Lotus tower is already 3/4s done, too late to do much about it.

    Sri Lanka originally first offered india the chance to build the port, india declined so Sri Lanka went to the Chinese. Now india starts bitching about the Chinese build infrastructure in neighbouring countries...if india has a problem with the Chinese investing in neighbouring countries it should make better offers to them then the Chinese do...put your money where your mouth is.
     
  7. Dr Gupta

    Dr Gupta FULL MEMBER

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    I think you fail to grasp geography, the location is a problem but time shall tell if it is a telecoms tower or could be used for another aspect. Sri Lanka has stated it's soil will not be used for anti India activities and now with the new president in power the ties are warming.

    We have no problem with investment but we have a concern with Chinese military aspirations in the Indian Ocean as does many powers such as Japan, USA and others.

    Japan, India Vow to Deepen Defense Ties as China Tensions Rise - Bloomberg Business
     
  8. Dandpatta

    Dandpatta FULL MEMBER

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    Sri Lanka is a sovereign country. Indians need to understand this !!
     
  9. Dr Gupta

    Dr Gupta FULL MEMBER

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    Yes but if they start to pose a threat to India it's a issue
     
  10. damiendehorn

    damiendehorn SENIOR MEMBER

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    Dude your fighting against the inevitable, the Chinese are expanding throughout the globe, not just the IOR. In Pakistan they are building ports, roads and multitude of other ifrastructure, in Bangladesh they are helping to build our new naval base, deep sea port etc...even in Argentina they are about open one of the largest satellite tracking station.
     
  11. HeinzG

    HeinzG SENIOR MEMBER

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    Already there is a US listen station in Sri Lanka. It had operated for 30 or so years now. I bet India couldn't do anything about it.

    And for the empty threat of Tamil cells. Sri Lanka or Sinhalese care less about the so called Tamil terror cells. Sri Lanka army is not the ceremonial army that was in 80s. Today SLA is one of the top armed forces which has combat experience and capability to operate in urban/jungle warfare.

    No Tamil cell will be strong enough to replicate the forgone LTTE.
     
  12. damiendehorn

    damiendehorn SENIOR MEMBER

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    If you have such an issue, then why dont you offer what the chinese do instead of just bitchin?
     
  13. Supply&Demand

    Supply&Demand FULL MEMBER

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    so does India dude...If India is threatened, it has right to defend itself
     
  14. HeinzG

    HeinzG SENIOR MEMBER

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    India can do what ever it feel good. Sri Lanka can also counter what India does. Sri Lanka is not like Nepal or Bhutan.
     
  15. Dr Gupta

    Dr Gupta FULL MEMBER

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    Investment is based on a return we do not invest to appease you or China :rofl:

    Yes you can counter what you like but if you use your soil for anti Indian activities you Sinhalese will get more than what you dished out. :rolleyes: