– by Shenali Waduge –
The plot thickens. The “friends” of Rajapakse’s are increasing and their baits are not hard to read into. The choices before Rajapakse seem few and their lobbies appear in the form of India and Japan on the instructions of the US. Essentially the President must be mindful of the traps being laid before him. These are no “friends” – The Presidnet must remember the fates of one time “friends” of the US – Saddam, Mubarak and Gaddafi.
Let us look at some of these options Rajapakse is being lured into accepting.
For eliminating a terrorist movement the challenges before a President seems a bit profound but it is not difficult to see that the entire LTTE chapter was a mere whitewash of a mercenary functioning as an international proxy – first taking instructions from India and upon the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi taking instructions from Western forces.
India has become a vassal state as a result and today it is an Italian that dictates India’s policies. Its very manipulation of Sri Lanka has now being hijacked to the advantage of the West and is on track to create a Christian Pakistan out of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka’s North combined on a bogus “eelaam” ticket.
The 13th amendment, northern elections and a popular President are the only barriers to this objective. Aligning Tamil Nadu despite 72million Tamils has been a cakewalk for the West – there is no nationalism in Tamil Nadu. But there is nationalism in Sri Lanka and plans are already set to break that nationalism up. People need to be alert and throw aside petty politics and agendas. The country is at great risk.
With India’s popularity in Sri Lanka at an all time low, the US now turns to its other strategic partner in Asia and alternate decoy – Japan.
Enter Japan – again
68 years after US dropped 2 atomic bombs on the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima killing over 250,000 Japanese in 1945 Japan-US ties are unbombable – Japan is one of America’s key strategic partners inspite of objections by Japanese in view of the rise in rapes and crimes by US troops stationed in Japan.
Japan is aligned to America’s China containment policy that must open President Rajapakse’s eyes to the reality that Japan-SL ties or “friendships” presently shown have a greater objective behind the symbolism in the welcome afforded to President Rajapakse when he arrived days prior to the UNHRC sessions last month – the Emperor means business.
Therefore, whatever links are being currently pursued by the former peace envoy Akashi with Sri Lanka’s envoy in Japan needs to be looked with caution given US-Japan obsession is China and relations with Asian nations are with a behind the scene plan to counter China in Asia.
The sea lanes of the Indian Oceans are too important to ignore – the geographical position of Sri Lanka is realistically a modern day curse made worse by the inability of local politicians to use that to the country’s advantage. More than 80% of the world’s seaborne trade in oil is said to transit through the Indian Ocean choke points of which 40% pass through the Strait of Hormuz, 35% through the Strait of Malacca and 8% through the Bab el-Mandab Strait.
Ironically more than half of the world’s armed conflicts are located in the Indian Ocean region. It is these conflicts that the West use as stepping stones to advance their agendas on the excuse of “security” deploying forces in nations as has taken place in Diego Garcia and the US has over 1000 such military presence globally.
What unnerves the US and West with their gun boat diplomacy and human rights caning mechanisms through the puppet of the UN is the soft power approach adopted by China and China has meticulously found itself great opportunities in both Africa and Asia and subtly surrounded India with its string of pearls of which Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka is one. In no time China built a magnificent Lotus Tower another gift to show its presence in Sri Lanka. Into this blooming relationship has always been a thorn – India.
So the diplomatic space is now taken over by Japan and Akashi is back at what he is known best to do. Incidentally, Akashi as Special Representative for the UN Secretary General in Yugoslavia is said to be the architect of the disaster in Bosnia.
That India and Japan are taking turns to woo Rajapakse to contain China and both are now using fears of war crime and US Resolution to push Rajapakse into snubbing China which is probably why like Santa, Japan is offering plenty of aid knowing the weaknesses of our politicians who lack any desire to think nationally. Let us not forget that US-India-Japan and Australia have a Quadrilateral Security Dialogue partnership signed between them and that is far more powerful than we can imagine.
The lesson for Rajapakse in wooing Japan too close and probably accepting a proposal to slightly diminish China’s role in Sri Lanka is a dangerous option for Rajapakse to even think over. He may well like to turn to the events of Libya and Gaddafi to see how the US went out to strike deals with Gaddafi’s sons and also suggested to distance from China which ended with China simply abstaining when the Resolution to strike Libya came to the UN Security Council vote. However, China and Russia together are using their full force in Syria because whatever pressures the US is bringing, Syria remains firm and resolute and sooner than later the US and NATO will have to accept that even arming rebels and sending mercenaries to Syria has not worked so far. Sri Lanka cannot lose China – China is needed for Sri Lanka’s political survival. US can’t do without China and China can’t do without US either – but that doesn’t stop either from attempting to gain global supremacy.
What Akashi has been sent to do possibly is what India has been unable to do thus far – implement the 13th amendment and go ahead with elections in the North. Probably this suggestion may be mooted as a possible bargaining tool to promise to get the block members to vote in favor of Sri Lanka at the periodic review of the UNHRC in September following the Resolution against Sri Lanka. Agreeing to such a proposal is hara kiri for President Rajapakse.
No sooner President Rajapakse agrees to hold elections and implement the 13th amendment the dual objective of creating the new “state” and overthrowing President Rajapakse by his own folly would be set into motion. So the obvious plan is to ahead of the Presidential elections coming in 2016 to make a once popular President fall from fame by getting him to implement the 13th amendment, carry out elections in the Northern provincial council that is likely to kickstart an islandwide anti-Rajapakse campaign to project him as a traitor to the Sri Lankan nation and most of all to the valiant armed forces who sacrificed their lives to save the nation.
India is no friend of Sri Lanka
What baffles most is why Sri Lanka’s leaders continuously go behind India to offer investments that will end up putting Sri Lanka and its people in great difficulty in time to come. Can we not learn lessons from the parippu drop in 1987, the Indo-Lanka Accord, the forced signing of the 13th amendment, the insistence on the 13th amendment, then the economic leverage Sri Lanka’s leaders have given India is bordering the absurd. All these economic agreements are detrimental to the nations and inspite of warnings even the Sampor Coal Power Plant is going ahead or probably has been signed in secret as most of the detrimental deals signed thus far by successive Governments have been done in secret.
The phenomenal rise in deals struck with India and the BOI incentive of offering Indian Labor into Sri Lanka as well as professional expertise already shows a flood of Indians now living in Sri Lanka. It is nothing that Sri Lanka’s Government can hide. Soon the people whose jobs are likely to get affected, the cost of living spiralling because of mismanagement and the useless deals that afford no return on investment to the people will make a once popular Government fall from grace to disgrace – this is the overall plan to get the leaders to cut their own grave and they are doing a splendid job of it by keeping a bandwagon of traitors around them from whom advice is sought and who take advice from the West.
If the leaders think that by offering these leverages India now a partner of the US strategic objective will say “Let them off the hook” – they are our “friends” – our leaders are certainly dreaming. Once targeted – all the other offerings of compromise are simply to secure the stakes in the country in competition with China.
Whilst maverick advisors have got Sri Lanka’s leaders to consent to engaging US PR firms to build better rapport with the US and that would be like giving the fox (US) all the chickens for have we not learnt how the UK firm openly claimed on Channel 4 that they wrote President’s Speech at the UN!!!
The writing on the wall is clear enough and what needs to be next asked is do the policy makers of Sri Lanka seriously think that by giving India this that and the other – giving Japan this that and the other – giving the West this that and the other and most of all agreeing to sideline China – will President Rajapakse not be taken for War Crimes?
Removing or snubbing China will be the greatest damage President Rajapakse can do to himself and the entire nation. THIS IS NOT AN OPTION TO CONSIDER whether it comes from India, Japan or even the US.
President Rajapakse is doing hara kiri by listening to the peace envoys of both India and Japan who are obviously working in partnership with the West in a gameplan to keep China at bay and no sooner China is distanced by Sri Lanka, the country would have lost an ally that treated a friend as a friend. Let the President not be fooled to take this option – ever.
Preparing Sri Lanka for unilateral sanctions
The next plan that needs to be carefully thought out is to prepare for unilateral sanctions. These will mostly target the Rajapakse family and friends with freeze on assets, travel bans etc.. nevertheless the country needs to be prepared. We need to immediately plan a proper marketing plan to extend our exports to the real friendly nations and China’s middle class can provide a great economic match for the export commodities. With our short-sightedness in giving India leverages in imports – we need to quickly devise new tax schemes to keep the currency afloat. The supermarkets are selling Indian onions and potatoes at a rate almost Rs40/- price difference to the Sri Lankan onions and potatoes – why are we knowingly killing our farmers. How hard they are toiling to provide the food for us to eat. Why should we import the commodities that we can grow in Sri Lanka? There are enough of politicians who have been jumping from one party to the other with federalist thinking who even say that people prefer Indian fish? In an island with fish around us are we insane to bring fish from India? Bottomline is our agriculture needs far more attention than it is being given and the State must have total control of the nation’s food production and supply. There has to be a proper policy.
Foolhardy decisions that have cost us dearly need to seriously stop and we need to get back to basics.
The plan is obviously clear – the West is using India and Japan as peace doves to bring in de-ropes to fool Sri Lanka’s leaders and get them to distance themselves from China. This is a detrimental move and one that will bring them closer to the noose.
All these gameplans have a target – that is the next Presidential election and these buildups are all timed to make President Rajapakse dig his own grave and that of the country’s too. There is a shield for the President but he has neglected that and he needs to re-align with it and fast because that is the only factor that will save him. It brought him to power – it gave him the support to win an “unwinnable war” and it will protect the person who eliminated terrorism. They do not want him to turn himself into a national traitor by agreeing to the de-ropes being offered.
It is time for President Rajapakse to think wisely sans his advisors.