Connect with us

South Asia

After Rohingya Genocide; Facebook Now Apologizes To Sri Lanka Over Anti-Muslim Riots

Published

on

Facebook has acknowledged and apologised for its part in the deadly 2018 communal attacks in Sri Lanka that led the government to impose a nationwide emergency in the island nation.

The social media mogul, Facebook released a report earlier this week, where it was confirmed with an investigation that the hate speech and rumours spread on the platform may have caused the violence against Muslims in the 2018 religious riots of Sri Lanka.

While referring to the Sri Lanka report, the company stated that they deplore such misuse of their platform and said that “we recognize, and apologize for, the very real human rights impacts that resulted.”

In response to the situation that had risen, Facebook aimed to draw attention towards the steps that it had taken to further prevent any such misuse. The report showcases that Zuckerberg’s firm had taken serious actions such as, including hiring content moderators with local language skills, inculcating technology that automatically detects signs of hate speech and stops the abusive content from reaching more people, and steering towards forming stronger ties with local civil society groups.

In 2018, Sri Lanka witnessed a series of religious riots where mobs of Sinhalese Buddhists thrashed Muslim residents and destroyed their places of worship, similarly, the mobs of Muslims attacked people belonging to the Sinhalese community and damaged their Buddhist temples.

The situation that lasted no less than 10 days and caused a few fatalities turned out to be so grave that the government of Sri Lanka had to impose a nationwide emergency and deploy the Army to assist the Police in the affected areas to curb the rising instances of religious violence.

The communal colour of the hatred behind the violence was reportedly due to a viral video on Facebook that falsely depicted a Muslim restaurateur admitting to mixing “sterilization pills” into the food of Sinhala-Buddhist men.

Facebook’s failure to detect and rapidly respond to the fake video formed a major role in inciting violence and causing unrest in the island nation.

The social networking giant’s grim record on human rights has not gone unnoticed by the world. Joshua Brustein writes that “as it(Facebook) expanded rapidly, it staffed local operations in far-off countries with skeleton crews or not at all, making it unresponsive to the specific forms of local manipulation, according to the reports. Facebook’s decision to design algorithms that encourage more engagement also made it vulnerable to disinformation and incitement to violence.”

While Facebook accepts and apologises for its role in Sri Lanka, it hasn’t been the first time that Facebook has apologised for its poor operation services in Asia.

In 2018, the firm had to offer an apology for the violence in Myanmar that was caused due to hate speeches amid the Rohingya crisis, where thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed, raped and assaulted, villages were demolished forcing over 700,000 Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh and other regions.

The New York Times called the violence “A Genocide Incited on Facebook, With Posts From Myanmar’s Military”

The increase in the intensity of the cases has put Facebook’s other products like Whatsapp under question since they have also been linked to spreading misinformation online leading to violence offline.

Advertisement

South Asia

Instigated by China, Sri Lanka could end port deal with India?

Sri Lanka recently announced that Colombo will review the port agreement signed between India and Sri Lanka at an estimated cost of $700 million.

Published

on

Amid India’s growing tensions with China, Pakistan and Nepal, there are signs that ties with Sri Lanka could also turn sour as Beijing could instigate the island country to terminate a port deal with New Delhi. 

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa recently announced that Colombo will review the port agreement signed between India and Sri Lanka at an estimated cost between $500 to $700 million.

Experts see this move as an effort to distance itself with ‘QUAD’ nations, especially India, which is trying to counter China’s growing geopolitical influence. The “QUAD” nations include the U.S., India, Japan and Australia who currently have turbulent ties with China.

“We heard that there is a lot of pressure from India over this project. But we are not a province of India, we are a sovereign nation and we do not need to dance to their tunes,” said Shyamal Sumanarathna, secretary of the Ports, Commerce Industries and Progressive Workers Union. “Following our strike, the prime minister assured [us] that he will sort this issue out,” he added.

The previous government of Sri Lanka signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India and Japan to develop the new East Container Terminal (ECT). According to the terms, Sri Lanka holds 51% stake while India and Japan share the remaining stake.

However, the Trade Unions fear that it will cede the ownership of the ECT to India. They are demanding a guarantee that the project will be fully owned by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, a government entity. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has assured them that there is “no final agreement” yet.

“About two-thirds of Sri Lanka’s international cargo traffic is with India. There are opportunities for win-win cooperation among India, Sri Lanka and Japan in developing the ECT to promote prosperity in our maritime region,” stated a representative of the Indian High Commission in Colombo.

Rajapaksa has formed a five-member committee to review and report on the concerns over the project in 45 days and also to recommend steps ensuring the terminal delivers the maximum benefit for Sri Lanka.

However, it is important to note that Sri Lanka has turned to China several times for bailouts when the country went down on lockdown for two months amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

As reported earlier by EurAsian Times, Sri Lanka had relied heavily on China to construct $1.5 billion port in Hambantota in the country’s south. After the port was operating at a loss and couldn’t generate enough revenue to repay the loan to Beijing, the port was leased to China for 99 years in return for $1.1 billion which eased its position.

Beijing further granted $500 million to Colombo to fight the pandemic to help the looming financial crisis.

Sri Lanka has also requested various foreign governments including India for a postponement of repayment of the debt as the island nation is reeling under major economic crisis. “The matter has progressed and technical level discussions are presently underway,” Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said.

Rohan Masakorala, a maritime shipping expert and CEO of the Shippers Academy Colombo disputed the trade union’s claim calling them “nationalistic” and politically motivated with views, not in line with the global business strategies.

“South Asia Gateway Terminal has been running for over 20 years with a number of international partners, and similarly the Colombo International Container Terminal has been operating for seven years with a Chinese company,” he said.

Sri Lanka’s government has also recently halted the Japan-funded Colombo Light Railway project and a $480 million Millennium Challenge Corporation grant from the U.S. Harin Fernando, a Member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, accused the current administration of turning Sri Lanka into a “banana republic” under Chinese rule.

“In 2014, before we toppled the government, this is what we highlighted. But now we see [the Chinese] doing this much more strategically,” he said. He is also of the view that China now has a complete monopoly on Sri Lanka’s development projects and that Sri Lanka is “under debt” of China.

Continue Reading

South Asia

India-China Tensions: India launches solar power plant to stop China imports

China is a major exporting nation of solar equipment to India. However, border clashes last month which resulted in the killing of 20 Indian troops have triggered a trade war between the two Asian giants.

Published

on

As tensions between India and China grow, Indian PM Narendra Modi on Friday launched a solar power plant with the aim to stop reliance on imports from neighbours – China and Pakistan

The 750-megawatt power plant in the central state of Madhya Pradesh is being dubbed as the largest in Asia by local media. The project is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.5 million tons each year.

“Several steps are being taken to increase domestic manufacturing and it has been decided that government’s departments and institutions will only buy domestically manufactured solar cells and modules,” said Modi, in the wake of recent border tensions with China.

China is a major exporting nation of solar equipment to India. However, border clashes last month which resulted in the killing of 20 Indian troops have triggered a trade war between the two Asian giants.

In the virtual launch of the Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Power Project, Modi highlighted that India’s progress in the field of solar energy will garner international interest.

“Hopefully very soon India will be a major exporter of power. The International Solar Alliance was launched with the motive to unite the entire world in terms of solar energy.” The project is a step toward India’s ambitious target of installing 175 gigawatts of renewable energy by the year 2022.

Cheena Kapoor

Continue Reading

Asia Pacific

Indian Rafale Jets Would Have Been Useless Against Chinese Airforce – Russia Experts

Published

on

Rafale jets would have been useless against the Chinese Airforce (PLAAF) – Russian aviation experts have claimed. Rafale fighter jets belong to the 4 ++ generation would not have been of much use had an aerial conflict broken out in Ladakh again the PLAAF.

JF-17 vs Rafale: Why Pakistani JF-17 Thunder Poses A Serious Threat To Indian Rafale Fighter Jets?

As reported by EurAsian Times, India and China had been engaged in a brutal conflict in the Himalayan region of Ladakh. Troops of both countries have exchanged blows and even lost soldiers in the conflict that began more than a month ago.

Kulbhushan Jadhav Will Not Be Hanged; Could Be Swapped With India: BBC Report

Keeping in mind the situation in Ladakh, France said that it would accelerate the delivery of Rafale fighter jets to India. Aviation experts believe that the arrival of Rafale fighter jets will significantly boost the combat capability of the Indian Air Force (IAF). However, according to Russian experts, who did not wish to be named, the French fighter would not help India much incase the conflict turns hot.

Instigated by China, Sri Lanka could end port deal with India?

The astronomical cost of Rafale fighter jets is one of the reasons the French 4++ fighter jet would not help India. In the deal struck with Paris, New Delhi agreed to purchase 36 Rafale Jets. The total cost of the deal was an estimated Rs 59,000 crore with each jet costing around Rs 1,646 crore.

The cost of a Rafale is about three times higher than the Chinese J-20 stealth fighter jets. In other words, for 36 French-made Rafale fighters that will appear in the Indian Air Force, China can respond with three times as many of its fifth-generation J-20 fighters – for the same money.

CPEC Project A ‘Trillion-Dollar Blunder’, Pakistan Calls It ‘Outstanding Initiative’

Even if, in some ways, the characteristics of the Chinese combat aircraft lag behind the French 4 ++ fighter jet, then the Indian air force could get overwhelmed by what is called “capable of crushing by quantity”.

And the cost is not the only reason why Rafale jets would not help India much. Compared to another Chinese jet – J-16 (an analogue of the Russian Su-35) which Beijing is also using in its airforce, the Rafale jets will find it extremely challenging to outgun the Russian Su-35s operated by the Chinese.

Rafale vs Chengdu J-20: How Will Indian Rafale Jets Compete Against Chinese ‘Stealth’ J-20s?

The maximum speed of the Rafale jet is about Mach 1.8 and the J-16 is Mach 2.2. The Rafale’s practical ceiling is also lower than the J-16s. Even in engine thrust, the Chinese J-16s aka Russian Su-35s are far superior to the French combat aircraft.

Even if the IAF was to deploy all 36 of its newly acquired jets, the technical superiority would still be on the side of China, claims the Russian expert.

China Fighting India With ‘Sticks & Stones’ Cheaper, But Confronting The US Can Bankrupt China: Experts

The IAF has been on high alert in Ladakh and is closely monitoring all Chinese activity near the Line of Control.  As reported by EurAsian Times, New Delhi has inked a deal with Moscow to buy 33 new fighter aircraft including 12 Su-30MKIs and 21 MiG-29s along with up-gradation of 59 MiG-29s. The addition and up-gradation of jets have been approved to strengthen India’s air power.

Rafale vs F-16: Can The Indian Rafale Jets Overpower The Pakistani F-16s In Aeriel Showdown?

The air defence systems of both the Indian Army and the IAF have been deployed in Ladakh to prevent any misadventure by the Chinese Air Force fighter jets or the People’s Liberation Army choppers there.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

FEATURED

Tayyip-Erdogan Tayyip-Erdogan
Featured10 hours ago

Hagia Sophia: Turkey turns iconic Istanbul museum of Hagia Sophia into mosque

The court ruled that Hagia Sophia was owned by a foundation established by Sultan Mehmet II, also known as Mehmet...

Apache-Helicopter Apache-Helicopter
Featured17 hours ago

Indian Air Force Receives Complete Delivery Apache, Chinook Helicopters

Boeing India also tweeted: Thank you, @IAF_MCC, for your partnership. We’re happy to have completed the deliveries of the 22...

BEST-CANCER-HOSPITAL-IN-DELHI-NCR BEST-CANCER-HOSPITAL-IN-DELHI-NCR
Featured21 hours ago

COVID-19 Exposes India, Philippines To Higher Risk Of Cancer; Australia, Malaysia Safest – Index

According to an index prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Australia, Malaysia and South Korea are most prepared to meet...

US-China-Trade-War US-China-Trade-War
Americas1 day ago

China Fighting India With ‘Sticks & Stones’ Cheaper, But Confronting The US Can Bankrupt China: Experts

The news of relentless India-China border tensions and all other dispute that China has with its neighbours like Taiwan, Japan,...

Indian-TV-Anchors Indian-TV-Anchors
Featured1 day ago

Nepal Bans All Indian News Channels Except National TV – Doordarshan

The move to ban Indian news channels came hours after former Deputy Prime Minister and spokesperson of the ruling Nepal...

kulbhushan-jadhav kulbhushan-jadhav
Featured2 days ago

Kulbhushan Jadhav Will Not Be Hanged; Could Be Swapped With India: BBC Report

Kulbhushan Jadhav was ‘’arrested’’ in 2016 from Balochistan on charges of terrorism and spying for India’s intelligence agency. India maintains...

Worlds-Strongest-Army Worlds-Strongest-Army
Americas2 days ago

Turkey Shocked Over US Decision To Conduct Military Drills With Cyprus

The Press Release Read - The United States is pleased to announce our intention to provide International Military Education and...

eurasian-times eurasian-times
Featured2 days ago

Vikas Dubey Arrested: Uttar Pradesh Gangster Vikas Dubey Accused Of Killing 8 Cops Arrested In Ujjain

Vikas Dubey Arrested: Dubey was caught in Ujjain around the same time two of his aides were killed in separate...

CHINA-TAIWAN CHINA-TAIWAN
Americas2 days ago

Taiwan Now Under ‘Deep Control’ Of The US; China Vows To Get It Back

China and Taiwan have been in a position of stalemate. The troops from both sides have been demonstrating their muscle...

Iran-Israel-War Iran-Israel-War
Americas3 days ago

Attack On Iran’s Natanz Nuclear Facility Not A Cyber Attack, But A Bomb Blast – Reports

The recent explosion at Natanz nuclear facility in Iran has set back its nuclear program by more than a year....

Advertisement

Trending