Is India really Sri Lanka’s Elder brother , and are both countries the heart and soul of each other ?
Posted on August 23rd, 2009

By Charles.S.Perera

 In an, interview to an Indian magazine the Prersident Mahinda Rajapakse had said that India and Sri Lanka are actually each other’s heart and soul.  And else where he had said that India is Sri Lanka’s elder brother.

 The Minster of Foreign Affairs and the Secretary of Defence had also paid tribute to India  saying that it helped Sri Lanka to win the war against terrorism.   All that seems to be very  encouraging.  Perhaps the  Government had kept away from the people some vital  information with regard to India’s special role during its military operations against the terrorists .  Because as far as the people are concerned , from the information they were able to gather, India was far from being an elder brother to Sri Lanka, but rather a scheming distant cousin with no blood relationship.  

 When SWRD Bandaranaike was the Prime Minister it had been publicized that the Bandranaikes and the  Nehrus were family friends.  But other than that the people of Sri Lanka are strangers to India’s elder brother role at any time  in its history.  Of course  India under King Asoka was more than an elder brother, and historically Sri Lanka is close to India of King Asoka than India of today.

 There are  certain serious incidents  that took place in recent times that we know of, which take  India out of the elder brother  or heart and soul role.  We the commoners certainly  know less than the  President and his Ministers  about India’s closer connections with Sri Lanka. Therefore,  in our ignorance we beg to differ with the President , and refuse to admit  India’s elder brother role.

 We expect elder brothers to  give us advise, stand by us when we are in need, and protect and help us against our enemies.  But in 1987 when the Sri Lanka Government Forces on its Vadamarachchi Operation to recapture Jaffna from terrorist control was on the verge of winning   that military operation, India intervened trespassing into our air space to drop “parippu” to terrorists under siege, and stopped the Government Forces from pushing  the dagger of death into the heart of terrorism. 

 India’s betrayal of that year, was not second to what UK and France was trying to do interposing their Foreign Minsters seeking a cease fire, when the Sri Lanka Government Forces were on its last  lapse of the military operations closing on the cornered terrorist leadership to finish off with them. 

 In 1987 India did not only illegally drop “paruppu” to the terrorists, but also forced the  Government of Sri Lanka to sign the  Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord, agreeing to stop assistance to the terrorists, provided the Government of Sri Lanka agree  to deploy an  Indian Peace Keeping Force, merge North and East into a single Province, allow  concessions to the Tamil Community, and on top of all that left us with the sword of Democles the 13th Amendment.  Was all that an act of  fraternal love ? 

 After the fall of Elephant Pass to the terrorists in April, 2000,  and  Jaffna was cut off from the rest of the country, over 40,000 Sri Lankan troops were  trapped in the Jaffna peninsula. They were about to  be run over  by the  brutal terrorist forces.  The fear for the lives of these soldiers trapped in the Peninsula was mounting . 

 The President Chandrika Kumaratunga sought the help of  India to evacuate the soldiers under siege as Sri Lanka had no ships at its disposal to move out the soldiers.  But the “elder” brother India “”…”the heart and soul of Sri Lanka as  the President Mahinda Rajapakse describes refused to help in that calamitous situation to  provide the much needed transport. It was Pakistan our true ” blood brother “,  who  came to our help by providing the army with the military equipment to launch a successful counter offensive that halted the LTTE terrorist  advance.

 That was India, to whom the President Rajapakse and the Ministers of his cabinet are now paying tribute.

 During the latter phase of military operations the government forces were short of military equipment.  The Sri Lanka Government wanted to buy the military material from India.  But India refused the sale of offensive military equipments to the Government of Sri Lanka, the President of the Congress  insisting that no offensive arms would be sold to Sri Lanka.

 When Sri Lanka made alternative arrangements to purchase  military  items  from China and Pakistan, the Indian National Security Adviser M.K.Narayanan said, ” We are the big power in the region. Let us make this very clear. We strongly believe that whatever requirements the Sri Lankan Government has, they should come to us. And we will give them what we think is necessary. We do not favour their going to China, Pakistan or any other country. We will not provide the Sri Lankan Government with offensive capability. That is our position.”

This is how India- the elder brother  talked down to  Sri Lanka when we were really in need of help.

 Surprised  by this pompous statement of Narayanan, a former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan G.Parthasarathy, writing to Hindu Business Line stated, “”¦ Indian National Security Adviser Mr Narayanan’s statement is quite untenable. Under what treaty obligations, bilateral or international, is Sri Lanka required to acquire weapons exclusively from India? “¦”¦.Finally, why should Sri Lanka undermine the effectiveness of its armed forces by buying weapons exclusively from us if it can get better weapons from elsewhere?.”

 When Sri Lanka Government Forces with all the sacrifices it were making of its own battle weary brave soldiers, fighting the ruthless terrorists with small arms in the interest of saving the lives  of the innocent Tamil Civilians,  despite having to face the heavy artillery fire of the terrorists,  India was sending  delegations seeking  a ceasefire, just to please the racist politicians of Tamil Nadu.  Even after the Sri Lanka Armed Forces’ victory over the terrorists, India was the last to pay tribute to our valiant forces.  That was the India our President says is Sri Lanka’s elder brother.

 And it was this elder brother – India who initially trained and equipped the Sri Lanka terrorists and that is apparently no secret.  Under these circumstances, one feels Sri Lanka Government is acting under a false delusion in taking India into its confidence promoting it to the status of an elder brother.  

 Surprisingly enough, the Times of India  recently carried a news item that  an Indian Company  based in Tamil Nadu- Barnas International Private Limited, has been hired  by the Government of Sri Lanka at a cost of 30 million Rupees to provide an Island wide  surveillance Solutions.

 According to the report it is going to be a very sophisticated  project using modern thermal -imaging cameras, which can pick up images from distances nearly 20 km into the sea.

A specially-designed software will analyse the nature of the images and sound out an alarm in the central control centre when a boat or ship approaches the coast.  The Government of Sri Lanka seems to be  hiring a fox to guard a henhouse.

 This  project sounds a frightening, knowing  India’s expansionist ambition.  There is no guarantee that the Indian RAW may sneak into the project to manoeuvre India’s age old ambition of annexing North East to Tamil Nadu.  It was stated in the same report that the  said company Barnas had made a similar project to Tamil Nadu government, which has still not taken a decision.  

 With such a project and another proposal to connect Sri Lanka electricity supply to an Indian Electric Power grid, Sri Lanka may  soon be  utterly dependent on, and subservient to “elder brother” India. 

 The old racist the Poet Laureate of the  defunct Sri Lanka  terrorists Karunanidhi is waiting like an old  hungry alligator in the troubled waters of politics expecting  Sri Lanka to make a false move and put the foot in  the water to pounce upon it. Therefore, it is in our interest that we do not  go too far with this  role distribution  to India.

 India is enigmatic  there is no transparency of its relations .  At the moment, after terrorism has been eliminated in Sri Lanka, India seems to be very active and supportive. India is sending a team of Agricultural experts to assist in activation of farms in areas in the North that were liberated from the terrorists. The sudden change of India’s attitude to Sri Lanka, makes one wander whether India is planning to break up Sri Lanka’s close connection to the Peoples’ Republic of China

In the mean time India is said to have  sent 600 Metric tons of material to be distributed the Sri Lanka IDPs  in camps and distributed to those  to be  resettled in their homes.   But it is puzzling why these items have been handed over to the World Food Programme and the UN Refugee Agency for distribution among the IDPs, and not directly to the Government of  Sri Lanka.

It is also said that Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukerjee has said that India  will  participate in the reconstruction of Northern Sri Lanka to overcome the ravages of armed conflict.  The President Mahinda Rajapakse had told the visiting Indian Minister  of his intention to work together with India to enable Sri Lankans in particular the Tamil Community in the North to begin leading normal lives.  All that is good if India has good intentions, which however, reeks with doubt when we look back to what happened  during the  past thirty years.

The Tamil Civilians in IDP camps have taken the brunt of suffering  during the  30 years of terrorist war.  And every thing has to be done to improve their condition of living.  But in the meantime we should not forget that the future of Sri Lanka depends on Communal Unity and not on any disharmony caused by  pandering too much to one Community to the exclusion of other Communities.  Therefore, the Indian Connection has to be more deeply investigated, and understood, lest we fall in the night, into the deep hole we are digging in the day time, as an old saying goes.

One Response to “Is India really Sri Lanka’s Elder brother , and are both countries the heart and soul of each other ?”

  1. jana Says:

    India canot be trusted. Will MR have the balls to stand up to India. We will see soon

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