Will Sri Lanka’s President barter our sovereignty to India?

Since 2002, the present President has made 7 visits as Prime Minister to India. It was the present President who enabled Indian Oil to operate in Sri Lanka, who promoted the ferry service, road & rail connections and we are anxious as to what else he is likely to agree to, primarily as a result of his own situation of wanting to contest the upcoming election but requiring public popularity to come by vote, unless he follows his uncle & moots a referendum citing the economic situation. However, with Asia likely to be playing a major geopolitical role, Sri Lanka’s situation is all the more dismal and lacking the will to overcome the geopolitical pressures that prevail while balancing the economic situation.









It was India’s pro-Soviet Union stand that prompted India to take an anti-Sri Lanka line no sooner the government changed in 1978 and a pro-US friendly neo-liberal promoting government took over. This ground scenario would have been read & explains why India began illicit training of Sri Lankan Tamil youth clandestinely in India, though British & Israeli forces were also helping the training. The LTTE had assistance from both India & West purely for self-serving reasons & nothing to do with wanting to give Tamils any “homeland” or “rights”. The “concern for Tamils” was nothing but to enable them to use “Tamils” & gain greater control over the territory. “Negotiated settlement” centres around what advantageous accrues to them & the politicians assisting this claim.

LTTE openly used Tamil Nadu as its logistics hub, Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers and Politicians openly supported LTTE & India did nothing to stop it even after LTTE assassinated Rajiv Gandhi in Tamil Nadu. India evades responding to the number of lives that could have been saved (including the 2000 Indian soldiers killed by LTTE) if India had not forced Sri Lanka to halt the offensive that cornered Prabakaran in 1987 May and rescuing Prabakaran & flying him to Delhi where he was kept until the signing of the Indo-Lanka Accord in July 1987 and arrival of the Indian Peace Keeping Force.

There is always a question mark whether the GoSL was spurred to end LTTE because both India & West found Prabakaran a geopolitical headache as they were both prepared to rechart their strategy in Asia and an unpredictable Prabakaran was a thorn. They found it easier to handle the LTTE overseas heads who were living in their climes and who could be controlled under their systems.

Both US & India found advantage is using “Tamils” and IDPs as well as UNHRC to exert pressure on Sri Lanka to make the political & administrative changes aligned to their geopolitical goals. Clueless Sri Lankan politicos and policy advisors were easy bait, roped into accept policy of “appeasement” and “accepting” anything US or India demanded. While it became fashionable for US & India to spread notion amongst Sri Lankans that “China was taking territory of Sri Lanka” – it was India firming hands on virtually all of the key sectors that determined the sovereignty of Sri Lanka or use originally born Indian Sri Lankan families to do their bidding (look at the key Sri Lankan companies tying up with Indian investors)

The Indianization of Sri Lanka seems to be oblivious to the legislature or even public officials who are even promoting Indian culture via state tv giving little or no attention to promoting local culture amongst student & adults. The outcome of this will only be seen as youth become heavily influenced by external cultures that are now promoted even by education sector of Sri Lanka, primarily because these promotions are all tied to funding that has to embrace everything & anything external in order to be given funding. Legislatures & public officials have been happy to accept funding without looking at the future dangers & scenarios.

How many are connecting the dots of Indian influence over Sri Lanka – food imports are majority from India, IT & electronics MOU was signed in 2018. It remains questionable how far outsourcing will secure Sri Lanka’s sovereignty of information/data when entities like issuing of NICs/biometrics etc are given to India. India has now penetrated into every sphere in Sri Lanka – infrastructure, transportation, housing, health, livelihood, rehabilitation, education, cultural, industrial development, plantations, food & distribution, ports & harbors, airports, solar systems, energy sources, livelihood, fishing, retail-wholesale, shipping, training of Sri Lanka’s defense personnel – there is not an industry that doesn’t have Indian presence or Indian joint venture. At Government / NGO/Private Sector levels, India influences Sri Lanka.

Lines of Credit has meant that projects are to be given to India where India ensures it gets its money back with interest & infiltration into the polity of Sri Lanka- railways, transport, defense, solar, telecommunications are key areas that India has penetrated. Now using a fictional “Ramayana trail” India is subtly building the historical background to plugging Sri Lanka into a new enveloping greater Bharath project that proposes to checkmate the “Greater Eelam” project. In all probability, the creation of “Buddha was born in Sri Lanka” and the “Ravana” story aligns with their greater project.

When US-agents become our envoy to Delhi and they have close links with Indian intel cultural entities operating in Sri Lanka, this should be cause for greater concern. Nevertheless, Sri Lanka has a habit of walking into trouble when trouble is visible.

There is also a major question as to the Indian role in the Easter Attacks given the jihadi movements to India regularly. With India now a Quad partner and having invited US to Asia, India is also facing the heat. Suddenly the Khalistan movement has resurfaced, the US VP declared they would also not think twice about getting involved in Kashmir. India no doubt have the political think tanks and political advisors who are patriotic enough to ensure India protects its turf, but now that they are playing footsie with the enemy, that task is made all the more difficult, but we can be certain that India would do a far better job than Sri Lanka.

This is why we hold the forthcoming trip of Sri Lanka’s President to Delhi with apprehension. With Sri Lanka pressed against the wall with spiraling debt to repay – we are now in a situation where leaders are ready to barter anything to remain in power and little do they realize that with every unit belonging to Sri Lanka that they barter, it is Sri Lanka’s leaders who will face the first debacle. Since 2002, Sri Lanka’s leader has agreed to a plethora of proposals that serve to only dilute Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, the nation waits in anguish not know what else he is prepared to barter for political survival.


Shenali D Waduge

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