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Sri Lankan PM moots Indian Ocean maritime security summit

ECONOMYNEXT Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has proposed holding an Indian Ocean maritime security summit to address emerging threats and consider action against maritime terrorism. Sri Lanka was willing to hold the summit in order to establish ways to promote peace and freedom of navigation in the Indian Ocean, he said delivering the Deakin Law School s annual oration in Melbourne, Australia. The proposed summit should have the participation of countries located around the Indian Ocean, member countries of the United Nations Security Council and major maritime organisations.

A code of conduct should be introduced for warships sailing in the Indian Ocean, Wickremesinghe said.

Wickremesinghe visited Deakin University as part of his state visit to Australia and received an honorary doctorate from the university.

He also travelled to Canberra to meet Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull.
(COLOMBO, Feb 18, 2017)

First-Ever Tracker Of Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans Launched

After years of declining numbers, hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are rising exponentially. But good statistics are hard to come by. After years of declining numbers, hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are rising exponentially. A report from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations[1] found that crimes targeting Asian Americans tripled in that county between 2014 and 2015. In addition, the FBI found that the number of hate crimes against Muslim communities rose dramatically between 2014 and 2015 (67 percent). That’s the biggest increase of any other group listed in the Hate Crimes Report[2]. However, national statistics on hate crimes against people who fall under the AAPI label are still scanty. Two days before the inauguration, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), a civil and human rights nonprofit, launched a website to rectify the issue. The website,[3], documents hate incidents and crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by tracking stories about hate incidents received from people around the country. The stories are vetted by AAJC staff and posted anonymously.

“We’ve always recognized that hate incidents have been an issue,” said AAJC executive director John Yang. “We realized that we really needed a better tracking tool.”

Documented hate crimes against Asian Americans extend as far back as the 1800s when the white supremacist group, Arsonists of the Order of Caucasians, murdered four Chinese men who they blamed for taking away jobs from white workers, by tying them up, dousing them with kerosene, and setting them on fire. In 1987, a Jersey City gang who called themselves the “Dotbusters” vowed to drive Indians out of Jersey City by vandalizing Indian owned businesses. They used bricks to bludgeon a young South Asian male into a coma. In a headline-grabbing case[4], two men from Queens, NY were charged with a hate crime for attacking four Asian men, including one left with a possible fractured skull in a then predominantly white neighborhood. “There’s an undercurrent of suspicion of the new immigrant what are they doing, what are they building, what are they putting in that store?” Susan Seinfeld, the district manager, told The New York Times at the time. In recent years, law enforcement bias has also surfaced: in 2014, video footage showed an NYPD cruiser running over and killing 24-year-old Japanese American student Ryo Oyamada. The court later ruled in favor of the police department, stating that the incident was unavoidable. In January of this year, a 60-year-old Chinese American man playing Pokemon Go in his car at night was shot and killed by a security guard in Chesapeake, Virginia. The guard was charged with murder.[5][6]

Hate crimes targeting AAPI often stem from the fact that they’re seen as the “perpetual foreigner,” said Yang. That anti-foreign sentiment has only increased under the new administration, he said. In one of the stories posted on the new AAJC website, an older white gentleman approached an Asian American woman in downtown San Francisco and pretended to hit her over the head with a book, yelling, “I hate your f*cking race. We’re in charge of this country now.” The anonymous submission added, “He was not intoxicated.” In another entry, a Muslim teacher in Georgia was told to “hang herself” with her headscarf.

As disturbing as these stories are, they often don’t show up in national data, said Yang. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders frequently underreport hate incidents because they feel intimidated by law enforcement or afraid of being seen as overly sensitive. Unfortunately, their silence on the issue makes them an even more attractive target for hate crimes. Racially motivated incidents that are reported are often filed as generic offenses and don’t show up in national data about hate crimes.

AAJC plans to share data gathered from its website with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate crimes through its Hate Map[7] and Hatewatch blog. The Center began segmenting out their hate-crime numbers for Asian Americans last December and relies on grassroots organizations like AAJC for that data.

“We need to raise public awareness that hate incidents against AAPI are not one-off incidents. They happen in much greater numbers than we’d like to admit,” said Yang.


  1. ^ A report from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (
  2. ^ Hate Crimes Report (
  3. ^ (
  4. ^ headline-grabbing case (
  5. ^ running over and killing 24-year-old Japanese American student Ryo Oyamada (
  6. ^ The guard was charged with murder. (
  7. ^ Hate Map (

Aero India 2017: Rafael scores big in airborne SDRs

Digital Battlespace

Aero India 2017: Rafael scores big in airborne SDRs

17th February 2017 – 12:58 by Gordon Arthur in Bangalore

Aero India 2017: Rafael Scores Big In Airborne SDRs

Rafael is getting ready to supply its BNET-AR, part of the Israeli company’s software-defined radio family, to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in serious quantities. Speaking to Shephard at Aero India 2017 in Bangalore, a Rafael spokesman said a contract should be signed by the end of March after the company was earlier selected to supply the BNET-AR for the IAF’s Sukhoi Su-30MKI (pictured above), Jaguar and airborne early warning aircraft fleets. When units for both aircraft and ground stations are counted, the quantity amounts to 1,000 radios, each of which weighs 7kg and measures 130 x 250 x 250mm. Rafael noted that there is potential for the IAF to later fit this family of SDRs onto other aircraft platforms too.

BNET[2] is a self-healing, mobile, broadband ad hoc network (MANET) system, and the radios provide both air-to-air and air-to-ground functionality. BNET-AR will replace the existing Integrated Radio Communication (INCOM) set on aircraft.

To comply with Indian procurement regulations, Rafael is working with local partner Astra Microwave via a joint venture. Meanwhile, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will perform integration of the radio system, while Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) is responsible for the ground stations. In related news, the Indian Army issued an RfI for SDRs a couple of months ago, and Rafael will respond to this also. Other areas of focus for Rafael in India are air-to-air missiles and surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems.

Yaniv Rotem, business development and marketing manager for the air superiority systems division, said Rafael is offering a suite of weapons for India’s indigenous Tejas light fighter[3]. These include Derby Mk III and Python-5 missiles plus the SPICE family of guided munitions (250, -1000 and -2000). The IAF already operates the SPYDER[4] SAM system, so outfitting the Tejas with the same Derby and Python-5 missiles would allow each other’s stockpile to be fully exploited. The Derby Mk III is an Indian version of the beyond-visual-range I-Derby ER. The improved missile with longer 100km range was unveiled two years ago at Aero India, and it features a dual-pulse rocket motor and software-defined radio frequency seeker.

The Tejas has already been successfully configured to carry baseline Derby missiles, and it is believed that the IAF is evaluating this missile type in competition with the MBDA Meteor and Raytheon AIM-120D. The SPICE 250, mounted on a quad rack and offering a 100km range, is currently undergoing acceptance testing in Israel. Rotem said it offers better range, accuracy, penetration and frangible effects than the 500-pound Mk 82 bomb. It can be used independently thanks to a data link and automatic scene-matching, or it can combine with a Litening pod to hit moving targets on land or sea. Both the Litening 5 navigation and targeting pod and the Lite Shield[5] electronic attack pod for close protection and escort jamming are on offer to India.

In terms of SAM systems, Rafael was promoting Iron Dome[6] at Aero India 2017, with the famous system performing more than 1,700 interceptions to date. Pini Yungman, head of the missile defence systems directorate, said Iron Dome could be combined with the Barak 8 missile[7] that India will be inducting in significant quantities. C-Dome is the shipborne variant of Iron Dome, giving naval vessels an area defence capacity. Yungman said it would make a good replacement for the older Barak 1 missile currently installed on Indian Navy vessels. The Indian Army has already selected the Spike anti-armour missile[8] and a contract for 321 launchers and 8,356 missiles is approaching.

A company executive stated, ‘I would like to emphasise that we are seeking to enlarge our partnerships in India, and we are negotiating with the local industry to make this happen.’

As well as the aforementioned tie-up with Astra Microwave, Rafael also has partnerships with Bharat Forge, Reliance Defence and Engineering (formerly Pipavav) and Bharat Dynamics Limited.

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  1. ^ Gordon Arthur (
  2. ^ BNET (
  3. ^ Tejas light fighter (
  4. ^ SPYDER (
  5. ^ Lite Shield (
  6. ^ Iron Dome (
  7. ^ Barak 8 missile (
  8. ^ Indian Army has already selected the Spike anti-armour missile (
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