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Watch: Why is China taking over a port in Sri Lanka (and should India be worried)?

The Hambantota Port and a large tract of land around it will be owned primarily by a Chinese company for the next 99 years.

Why does Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port matter to India?

Simple: the Sri Lankan government has just handed over a 70 per cent stake in the port to a Chinese company, China China Merchants Ports Holding Authority, for 99 years. Which means that, besides in Pakistan, China will now have a base in another neighbouring country of India’s, namely, Sri Lanka.

As the video above Sri Lankan media house Roar Reports explains, Sri Lanka has a debt of $64 billion, of which it owes China about $8 billion. This is money that China had lent so that Sri Lanka could improve its infrastructure.

Now, the country is doing a deal, which also includes 12,350 acres of land, over Hambantota port for $1.1 billion. Some of that money will go towards repaying the debt.

But India is worried that this could provide the Chinese navy an opportunity to set up a base nearby. However, the Sri Lankan government has averred that there will be no military set-up. For China, the port is apparently part of the controversial One Belt One Road initiative.

Analyst Harsh V Pant explains China’s strategy thus: “Sri Lanka’s case is a textbook example of the Chinese modus operandi in pursuing its strategic interests...Using its own brand of ‘debt trap diplomacy’, China is now forcing smaller states to abide by its dictates.”

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.


2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.