– by Shenali D Waduge –
A daily problematic issues faced by Sri Lanka as a result of its hegemonic neighbour India are many and have continued through history. When we thought our heroic forces ended the Indian trained and financed LTTE terrorism and brought peace, we now find ourselves facing far more calamities than LTTE suicide missions and bombs. When we thought developing the North, giving freedom to LTTE-enslaved Tamils would bridge divisions, we find TNA the LTTE proxy manipulated by India thinking that securing Northern Provincial Council victory equates to the right to dictate terms to the country’s President. Of course we do not deny that Sri Lanka has flawed in giving India stakes in North Sri Lanka and Trincomalee which ideally should have gone to China and it is only a matter of time that India will betray Sri Lanka’s leadership as token of thanks.
TNA and its Chief Minister has touched on every aspect concerning the Tamil people but conveniently left out the most important, namely the incursions and daylight robbery of Sri Lanka’s maritime resources by India inside Sri Lanka’s own territorial waters.
TNA claims it wants its people to live with ‘dignity’ and ‘self-respect’ so why is it reluctant to question puppeteer India and its Prime Minister who used the same words when endorsing the resolution against Sri Lanka?
Let us remind the TNA and Chief Minister Wigneswaran that Sri Lankan Tamils cannot eat self-determination and given that livelihoods of Sri Lankan fishermen is immaterial for India’s strategic interests, what TNA and Chief Minister should do as priority is to make a clear stand and statement on Indian fishermen poaching on Sri Lankan maritime waters denying livelihood to the Sri Lankan Tamil people.
The Sri Lankan Tamil people can test where exactly TNA and its Chief Ministers’ loyalty lies.
Scenario is more than ‘fishy’
Sri Lanka’s renowned strategic thinkers Mr. N Q Dias predicted the need to deploy Sri Lanka’s armed forces in large numbers in the North of Sri Lanka considering multiple threats from India vis a vis Indian state-sponsored illegal immigration and smuggling.
These dual threats enabled LTTE to use Tamil Nadu as a transit hub while illegal immigration is taking place in the guise of repatriating Sri Lankan refugees and it is mind boggling as to how freely Indian traders travel to and from Sri Lanka. It has resulted in a major population demographic change and calls for immediate GOSL action to determine how many are ‘Sri Lankan’ Tamils through DNA study.
LTTE’s smuggling network needs no special mention at local and international level and it takes no genius to conclude what came in fishing boats from India to Sri Lanka over the years and why 400 fishing boats come daily to Sri Lankan waters!
Whilst aware of the real scenario with Indian fishermen when the Indian Government brings its fists down simply for election ploys to impress Tamil Nadu we are not naïve to buy these stories.
It is time advisors of the Sri Lankan Government discard the unwinnable war promoters who are misleading the leadership and accept that the fishing issue is a new ball game deviously being used to flood the north with arms in a run up to March elections giving the TNA the needed ammunition to go crying to the world that the Sri Lankan army is massacring innocent Tamils the perfect replica of the Syrian R2P foreign intervention!
A separate homogenous Tamil state is one which both Tamil Nadu and Sri Lankan Tamils share yet the parties claiming to assist them to create the new state may not necessarily create one for Tamil Hindus given that the nations, organizations and groups pushing for Eelam self-determination are Church/Christian and Catholic and associated Western Governments.
Formerly we though India did not wish to divide Sri Lanka. This was so in an India run by Hindu majority India. Today India has been hijacked by multiculturalism and secular ideals and Hindu India has ended up usurped by Maino Chairperson ruled Congress turning Indian into a modern day ‘Sepoy Empire’ pulling West’s agenda in Asia and turning India against its Asian neighbors. There are many Indian bureaucrats who do not espouse to selling India to the West knowing it would lead to an ultimate showdown with the West and China-Russia (SCO block). Sri Lanka needs to weigh its odds.
Warnings to India have been in vain because India suffers from a severe inferiority complex of ‘craving for acceptance’ by ‘impressing the West’ a syndrome India has suffered since British succeeded to drive wedges between and amongst its own neighbors. Having fallen for the bait, India will end up suffering no different to what the US does to Pakistan by unleashing all types of extremists to create anarchy.
If under a Western-influenced Congress, India does concur to carve a new state in Sri Lanka, we are in a precarious situation unless Sri Lanka’s leaders have lobbied with the Modi camp to ascertain whether they think the same too. Yet, Sri Lanka cannot bite its fingers waiting for Congress or BJP decisions and must be aware of its own strategic options aligning with real friends with real power.
Sri Lanka must annul Sampoor deal
Sri Lanka must realize how foolish it has been to give India stakes in all key industrial infrastructure, access to oil when India is now pushing a corrupt Sampoor power plant deal aimed at securing Sri Lanka’s most vital asset and entry point close to Trincomalee port where FOUL POINT is located – in modern naval warfare the place is perfect to park nuclear submarines undetected. It is our key strategic state and we question why we are allowing India to take over this through a bogus power plant project that will end up dumping toxic type of coal to eventually control Sri Lanka’s power sector.
Sri Lanka’s geopolitical asset is this focal point and it is the ultimate wish of any nation aspiring to dominate the Indian Ocean Rime to secure this strategic advantage. Sri Lanka would be committing hara kiri by dumping its most strategic leverage on a country that cares not a penny for us. All the friendly nations that have been helping Sri Lanka like Russia and China will simply walk away and ignore Sri Lanka if we give our strategic asset to India and its Western friends.
This would lead to the desired regime change, Sri Lanka would turn into a vassal state, its people would declare the leaders as having betrayed the nation and the armed forces and the leaders will find themselves handcuffed and taken to the Hague for war crimes no different to what happened to Milosevic of Serbia.
These scenarios given in black and white is all that is really left to say for Sri Lanka’s leaders for it is baffling why Sri Lanka would wish to walk on a thin line falling prey to a nation dangling dollars and ministry officials offering to give incentives for the deal being struck with India on Sampoor. This deal will sacrifice Sri Lanka’s territorial sovereignty and will take the whole country to be sacrificed in Geneva and no magic rabbits can be pulled out thereafter. Sri Lanka’s leaders should not play too much with fire or luck.
Thus the Indian fishermen, smuggling, covert RAW operations are all part of a perfectly connected scenario for which the TNA manifesto has artfully laid the groundwork. It is just a matter of time that incidents will occur, weapons will emerge, and India with stakes of NIOC and Sampoor will immediately arrive to control Trincomalee claiming its security concerns. The Tamils on their part will carry out the sob story of North being historical Tamil areas, Sinhalese oppression, military harassment , accusations of racist supremacist triumphalist Sinhalese and the West that is watching India under Maino do its dirty work will simply get its stooges at the UN to carve out that Tamil nation.
If we know the agenda and the scenario – what are we doing about it? We are at a stage that incidents and issues cannot be used anymore for political advantage. We ought to learn lessons by the swift manner in which Kosovo and Sudan were divided.
The Government of Sri Lanka has only a few hours to rectify all its strategic mistakes before the arrival of the Indian External Affairs Minister and the people of Sri Lanka asks its Government to
1. Not give in to Indian illegal poaching.
2. Cancel Sampoor deal as it will be the greatest betrayal by a Sri Lankan Government far more dangerous than the Indo-Lankan Accord or the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement.
3. Ask Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran to issue a statement on Indian fishermen’s incursions into Sri Lankan territorial waters and robbing the maritime resources of the Sri Lankan people so that the Tamil people in Sri Lanka will know where TNA’s allegiance really lies. (West or India it is now one and the same)
If Congress wishes to ‘impress the West’ Sri Lanka should find out what the Modi camp feels given that Narendra Modi’s vision is for a Hindu India instead of neo-colonial India.
If India is being tested on how far India wishes to belong to Asia, Sri Lanka is now being tested on how far Sri Lanka’s leaders are willing to barter the sovereignty that the armed forces sacrificed to save.
India under Modi would certainly put India back on the Asian map and Sri Lanka needs to align itself with super powers that do not betray.