Isha khan’s Weblog

India’s Sri Lanka role
August 8, 2008, 10:23 am
Filed under: India, Sri Lanka

India’s Sri Lanka role: Then and now 

By Janaka Perera in Colombo
 Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe’s remarks over Isira Radio Channel this week on India and his reminiscences of the events of July 1987 seems to have highly disturbed some quarters.
Copies of the Tamil Nadu Tamil publication Ananda Vikatan (that conducted a survey claiming that over half the TN population is pro-LTTE) have surreptitiously found their way into Sea Street, Pettah, according to Samarasinghe. The issue he says carries a huge photo of Prabhakaran and runs an interview with Tiger ‘Peace Secretariat’ Chief Nadesan where he has the audacity to say that the Sri Lanka Government should listen to the LTTE since it is they who represent the Tamil people!
Samarasinghe has termed in Sinhala the interview as a ‘Vigadama’ (joke) of the Vikatan.
He said it was intriguing to know how this anti-Sri Lankan journal was smuggled into Sri Lanka. Both he and TNL Chairman Shan Wickremesinghe expressed the possibility that the magazine may have been smuggled in CD format and printed in Colombo.
Those who are displeased over Samarasinghe’s so-called tactless remarks forget that it is India’s failure to tame Tamil Nadu’s rabble rousers and pro-LTTE elements (some of who assaulted Sri Lanka film Director Thushara Peiris in Chennai) that evoked his comments. India’s mixed signals on the national crisis here during the past decade have made it impossible for the majority of Sri Lankans to have any confidence in Delhi unless it gives unconditional and unstinted support to GOSL to suppress the Tigers which are an Indian creation in the first place.
As Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal wrote in the Asian Tribune of April 18, India is a nation of contradictions not only in words and deeds, but in reality and propaganda. It is indeed an unfortunate development for both Sri Lanka and India that the latter has failed to win the confidence of the Sinhala majority because of its lopsided foreign policy. In this context and in view of the suspicions that the JVP, JHU and others have raised over Sri Lanka-India commercial agreements it is worth recalling what the late Minister Ranjan Wijeratne said shortly after the Indian Peace Keeping Force left the shores of Sri Lanka in early 1990.
He made his observations during an interview with the Sinhala monthly Kalpana (May 1990) that was then edited by former Lankadeepa Journalist Nandasiri de Alwis. The minister was asked for his comments on the Indian Deputy High Commissioner’s claim that the IPKF had accomplished the task of protecting Sri Lanka unity and territorial integrity.
Said Wijeratne, “Two and a half years after their arrival the IPKF a large number of their troops died. An equal number was injured. The Indian Government spent around 1050 billion US dollars. We have to accept these. The IPKF came here to disarm young Sri Lankan militants. But what they did was to give back their weapons to them before leaving Sri Lanka. The occurrence of clashes between the LTTE and the EPRLF is a result of the Indian Army’s presence. In fact we can say that the Indian Army made a mess of it. Instead of taking back the surrendered weapons with them they gave them to people here.”
It is however and irony that the very Tamils who welcomed Indian troops and jeered at the Sri Lanka Army when it was being confined to barracks under the Indo-Lanka Accord, had to suffer at the hands of the IPKF when the Tamil people’s so-called sole representatives and ‘liberators’ turned their guns against the foreign army.
Four years after Sri Lankan sailor Vijitha Rohana attempted with his rifle to attack Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in seething anger over the accord, the same PM had to die at the hands of the LTTE to which his mother Indira had given arms and training. Now her grand daughter Priyanka visits Nalini, one of the conspirators in her father assassination as election year is round the corner. And some Tamil Nadu politicians (and perhaps Priyanka too) think that Nalini should be pardoned.
This is Indian politics. And we smaller nations are expected to have faith in them. The next blow from India to Sri Lanka will come in the form of dredging the Sethu Samudra. It will not only cause serious environmental damage but also deprive Sri Lanka of many trade benefits and cause serious economic losses since foreign ships that are calling today at Colombo will instead call over at Indian Ports.

Posted by Isha Khan,


1 Comment so far
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Whatever any nation does to anyone is the present or future interest of that nation and not to Sri Lanka or Sri Lankans.

Same applies to the government of Sri Lanka.

It is bribe in a different name Aid, Grant or Facility.

Comment by Sie.Kathieravealu

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