Aftermath of war

The brutal manner in which the Sri Lankan military brought an end to the civil war with the LTTE in 2009 has led to accusations of war crimes. Diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks revealed that US officials in Colombo privately believed President Rajapaksa was responsible for the massacre of thousands of civilians, when the army fired on people who had gathered at what they believed to be safe points. A UN panel will advise secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on allegations of humanitarian law violations.

China’s Blue Water ambitions

While Beijing sees the South China Sea as key in its Blue Water ambitions it doesn’t have the same military prospects for the Indian Ocean. Not yet at least.

The String of Pearls theory, which maintains that the People’s Liberation Navy is gaining a stronger foothold by the day in locations across the Indian Ocean, is popular in India, but China insists it is building ports for commercial reasons, not military ones.

That’s not to say that these commercial ports couldn’t be used for military purposes in the future. “It’s inevitable that China will develop into a major naval power,” says James Hardy, Jane’s Defence Weekly’s Asia-Pacific editor. For now though, there’s not much to worry about – Hardy points out that China doesn’t even have a functioning aircraft carrier yet.

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