Sri Lanka holds the key to regional stability or volatility.
Posted on July 21st, 2010

  Geethanjana Kudaligamage

Rajapakse, regional politics, “Eurocentric Developmentalism” and the western hegemony (Part 12-B)

 “Those who have one foot in the canoe and one foot in the boat are going to fall into the river.” (Native American proverb, Tuscarora tribe)

 As I discussed in the previous article, currently the entire world is undergoing a drastic reality change in which, the traditionally oppressed nations in the global south are getting organized to tackle the challenges posed by the neo-colonial policies of the west.

In this global political atmosphere, Sri Lanka also shares the collective view of the nations in the region that India and China need to improve their bilateral relations for their mutual benefit as well as for the benefit of the entire regional stability and security. Under prevailing conditions of the region, although India trying to avoid it, the recent events have proved that India has no any other option rather than fulfilling this said obligation. On the other hand, if Sri Lanka develops Hambantota port facility into a full scale regional maritime and energy supply hub with wide range of facilities as well as to have underground storages of oil reserves to facilitate a major distributing center capable of energy reshipping, then the regional security issue becomes the highest priority in the strategies of Sri Lanka. Who can fulfill this security void? Can India fill it? Have Indian military demonstrated the required skills to face twenty first century state of the art strategic warfare? Or do we need a larger cooperation among nations involved in the regional cooperation in defense of Indian Ocean, because Indian Ocean is the center of the Asian system. Tiny Sri Lanka is too little to handle that mammoth responsibility. To the scale of the involvement of world superpowers in the region and especially in Sri Lankan affairs, we cannot ignore the fact that in any event of future military conflict in the region, firstly it will be conflict between nations and secondly Sri Lanka will definitely be a prime target in any such event. Whoever holds this natural center of the rich traffic of southern seas Sri Lanka, will hold sway in entire India Ocean region. That is a fact well known to entire world.

 We are not living in 18th or 19th centuries, or not even in twentieth century in which, the global attention was in North Atlantic region and the world was under the dominance of Europe. Now we are living in a period of transition. A transition that transfers the concentration of economical dominance from one center to another, if not, a forceful split and a shift in the traditional power centers in the north Atlantic to Indian Ocean. Transitions are always painful and conflict ridden. We learned that from the lessons of First World War and the second. Despite the western claim of democracy in the reasoning of those calamities in the history of mankind, we all know both the wars were fought for the re-division of the world resources among European nations. Both wars fought as a result of the bottomless greed of Europe. Read Chris Bambery’s wonderfully researched article of “Was the Second World War a War for Democracy” http://pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/isj67/bambery.htm

 Now this new contender of the upcoming world system is concentrated around Indian Ocean. World focus is not in the Pacific theater or in the China Sea, but in the Indian Ocean. The reason is, if the 15th century transition from old world of Asia to new world of Europe taken place in North Atlantic, this 21st century transition of the split of existing world system is taking place in the Indian Ocean. We Sri Lankans are in the center of it. If our strategists do not sense the volatile and hot-blooded air around us, we must be the greatest of all fools of all times. In regard to the significance of having a stable regional system toward Asian progress, “ƒ”¹…”The Hindu’ observes that, Asian passivity of energy as a major obstacle to progress of Asia. It reveals, although Asia hosts the world’s largest producers and fastest growing consumers of energy, Asia still relies on institutions, trading frameworks, and armed forces from outside the region in order to trade with itself, a debilitating heritage from the imperial era. The key to end the Asian passivity in energy sector, it observes, is “India-China cooperation.” This Indo-China cooperation is equally valid in terms of regional security.  

    Considering the series of regional political and economical formations, Indian annalist Aijaz Ahmad observes, that “Iran also could emerge as virtual lynchpin in the making, over the next decade or so, of what China and Russia have come to regard as an absolutely indispensable Asian energy security grid, for breaking western control of the world’s energy supplies and securing the great industrial revolution of Asia”; (Chomsky)

 This is the key to stable regional system that which Sri Lanka also about to perform a major role. South Korea and South East Asian countries are likely to join this partnership, possibly Japan as well. The crucial question is how India will react, asks Chomsky. Chomsky doesn’t raise the same question regarding China or Russia, but India; because India is the unreliable and unpredictable partner in this reliance.

 In the bilateral front, however India had rejects US pressures to withdraw from an oil pipeline deal with Iran. Again on the other hand, upsetting relations with Iran, India joined the USA and EU in voting for an anti-Iranian resolution at the IAEA. As Chomsky viewed, it was due to utter hypocrisy of the part of India (colonized Delhians of the callous Indian ruling class, [writer]) since India rejects the NPT (Non proliferation treaty) regime to which Iran, so far, appears to be largely in compliance with.

 As a result, the negotiations of oil pipeline deal had been ceased. Aijaz Ahmed believes that India might have secretly reversed its stand under Iranian threats to terminate a $20 billion gas deal. Washington also on the other hand warned India that its nuclear deal could be abandoned if India could not meet US demands. (Chomsky) In counter balancing US threat, as I mentioned in the previous part of this article, India signed another civilian nuclear deal with Russia later on. And also she had appealed Iran for recommencing the disrupted negotiations of their energy pipeline deal again.

 This whole scenario reveals the ugly face in the approach of Indian foreign policy principles. In such backdrop, no wonder why she behaves in similar callousness toward Sri Lankan relations as well. However one can argue that India’s whole intention was to take the US for a ride to secure their tacit approval to India’s nuclear program. However such possibility cannot be cast aside.

 Due to the role in the Indian Ocean regional security, the position of Sri Lanka has gained much greater significance in the global arena in this period of transition. With upcoming Hambantota port facility, for certain extent, Sri Lanka will hold the capacity to regulate or facilitate a larger part of maritime exchange of trading goods, raw materials and energy in the region. This is too an important a role of Sri Lanka for someone to push Sri Lanka all over. Due to the important role Sri Lanka plans to perform in the region, “ƒ”¹…”isolation’ of her never will be a productive move for its adversaries.

The fundamental and undeniable fact is that, as far as regional security is concerned, Sri Lanka carries a greater burden in it. The regional security has been relying on three principle players in the southern part of Indian Ocean region. The major stake holders in the task are India, Sri Lanka and, due to the emerging cooperation among nations in the region, China also will be a part of it. Although China is ready to acknowledge the due reverence to Sri Lanka’s position in the region as the main key holder to stability or disability, India seem to be taking its power and our passivity/weakness for granted. India, while denying our significance in status-quo in her own security as well as the security of the region, is ignoring the value of friendship. Instead, she appeared to be thinking that intimidation is the only key to get things done through Sri Lanka. But from Sri Lankan point of view, Indian hegemony toward her and her passivity to it must be ended ASAP for a healthy regional partnership to prevail.

The emergence of greater Eurasian regional cooperation and Indian duplicity                              

The other important fact that India trying to deny is that the day Sri Lanka plays the regional game incorrect; that will mark the day of the end of Indian union, if not at least will disturb the stability of India. With all western divisive political involvements entrenched in the region, especially in the state of Tamilnadu, Indian union is hanging on by a thread. All western secret services and related institutions are busy, not only manipulating political future of Indian union, but also even they busy in channeling Tamil consciousness in particular direction for them to take advantage of it. The story is not ending there. The west already has taken over manipulating the knowledge production and its distribution in the region to support a historical justification into the further partitioning of India. (Like the revival of the defunct historical theory of Aryan conquest in the sub continent) They were well entrenched in Archaeology and anthropology research departments of Universities in the related disciplines in India and in the west. This channeling public consciousness is valid even for Sri Lankan situation.

The Tamils are the centerpiece on the table of south Asian experts in western administrations. The irony is, even though India has never been reasonable toward us, still we can never risk Indian security for our own security reasons that has been interdependent on Indian unity. We can hate India for her callous role in the history, but we cannot undermine Indian territorial integrity in any form of reaction.

Indian ruling elite, the Indian counter part of Colombians, is full of strategists and experts in the caliber of Mr. Bean, usually coming up one after another with million dollar worth wonderful ideas to tell us “how magnificently they can dig India’s own grave” in best possible manner with glittering effects. They are different from each other only by their proposals of different width, breadth and depth of the grave they are digging, whether it should be six feet or nine feet; or with collaboration with the west or single handedly. And as I said, in this undertaking of digging the grave, they have taken our serious considerations of safeguarding Indian security for granted.

India being the loosest link in the regional cooperation, (Chomsky quoting Ahmed) Mr. Bean type strategists in the Indian camp still believe that their real threat is coming from China. Today this pre-modern super power is resting in the hands of wrong bunch of adminis-traitors of that nation. This ideological trap of “China fear” has created far-reaching economical and political effect in the regional and global scale. And also it is the same ideological fallacy that has become an advantageous artifact in the hands of policy planers and South Asian strategists in the west. That is the same ideological fallacy that USA to envision a nuclear deal with India in the first place to interrupt the emerging Eurasian partnership. This is the same ideological entrap India trying to keep Sri Lanka under its close scrutiny. This is the trap that west is trying to take maximum possible advantage in the region.

India from its part, has done very little to undo this trap. Should we have any more examples to prove that Indian policy planning is not less shallow than Indian movie scripts? Just reassess Indian ruling class’s political legacy from Nehru’s greatest achievement of partitioning India up to Manmohan Singh’s Indo-US nuclear deal. For the regional security and cooperation, one can argue that Indian ruling class is a big fat liability and the biggest obstacle in the region. But we still hope she will patch up the cracks she has caused in the region.

Through their idiotic and irresponsible policies in regional and international affairs, India has opened the flood gates for an influx of a “ƒ”¹…”fourth dimension’ into the regional political domain, namely a permanent western hand with their substitute tools of a myriad of NGOs and espionage agencies, which now have become an indivisible permanent element of the regional politics. Not only that, their biggest post independent foreign policy investment, the “ƒ”¹…”Tamil separatism’ in Sri Lanka has gone out of hand and has ended-up in the hands of the above said “ƒ”¹…”fourth dimension.’ At this stage, India has lost her authority in the Tamil project and it has been ended amongst the manipulative global devices of the west, and kept safely in their tool boxes of regional leverages, to take out in any moment as they wish. If Sri Lankan is a Kavum eating stupid, then the Indian must be doubly considered as a fat Samosa eating stupid with no senses at all.

In such back drop, current Indian policy on Sri Lanka seemed to be entrapped in between short sighted policies of her Anglophone colonized Delhi mercantile class’s greed of “ƒ”¹…”fishing in the troubled waters’ policy,’ and a policy of “ƒ”¹…”broader regional corporation’ tainted by “ƒ”¹…”China fear’. In other words, between a policy of earning extra buck through enforcing unfavorable trade agreements upon Sri Lanka by means of blackmailing her through amplifying western slogans against Sri Lanka time to time, and the policy of “ƒ”¹…”responsible regional power’ through wide rang of regional corporation, crippled by their western manipulated fear of China.

In terms of regional security issues in the Indian Ocean, none can argue to support India’s past record of her idiotic, strategically suicidal role in the region. While having umpteenth number of problems inside her own house, she still tries to export more problems to her neighbors as well. Her role has worsened the security situation in the region by intensifying tensions between ethnicities that has gone out of control and eventually have boomeranged on them. Not to mention, this intensification of racial politics has become an effective tool in the hands of TNC “ƒ”¹…”octopus monster’ directly jeopardizing her own security. Sri Lanka paid the highest price for India’s adventurism in the region. Due to India’s amateurish strategic failures, nearly one hundred thousand lives and millions of dollars worth of property has been lost. Will she take the responsibility for that lost?

At the end, when she looks into her balance sheet, India must be able to realize that this whole period of time wittingly or unwittingly she has been busy carrying-out a burden of somebody else’s chore of digging her own grave. No one can argue that it was not the case of Indian foreign policy achievements in the past three decades.

First of all, India created the existing situation ignoring the fact that the Tamil problem was cultivated since the colonial time for the future manipulations of the colonialist’s regional agendas. India was unable to take into notice, that there was a “ƒ”¹…”fourth dimension’ of external forces manipulating the ethnic issues in the region as well. Westernized colonial remnants of the Indian ruling class never saw that India was the ultimate target of these arrangements. For that deadly political and ideological error, India was performing the donkey doing dog’s chore for last three decades. It is unbelievable that Idiotic Indian ruling class could not grasp that they were digging their own grave by promoting terrorism in Sri Lanka.

(To be continued)

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