US-India-China and the indian ocean: impact on Sri Lanka
Posted on July 14th, 2012

By Neville Ladduwahetty Courtesy The Island

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A section of the diplomats who participated in the Residential Workshop for Heads of Sri Lankan Missions, at Diyatalawa .File Photo

The resolution on Sri Lanka at the recently held UNHRC secessions in Geneva has caused Sri Lanka to reassess the effectiveness of its investment in the deployment of diplomatic capital – its soft power. A direct consequence of this assessment has been to summon Heads of Sri Lankan Mission for a briefing by the President who emphasized the need to focus on Public Diplomacy and to realign its missions abroad. This has resulted in opening new diplomatic missions in Africa and South America while closing established missions in parts of Europe. While realignment of missions in keeping with evolving global trends would be beneficial, awareness of developments in the ‘near abroad’, namely developments in the Indian Ocean itself and in the countries in the Indian Ocean Rim, would complement the benefits because of their potential to affect Sri Lanka’s national interests .

The US initiative on the UNHRC resolution and the considerable diplomatic capital expended to ensure its passage could be due to the influence and ‘persuasions’ of the Tamil diaspora. On the other hand, the last minute reversal by India despite assurances by Finance Minister Mukerjee in Parliament that India would oppose the resolution on account that it was country specific is being explained by some as a joint effort by US and India to teach Sri Lanka a lesson for China’s increasing engagement in Sri Lanka. Others explain the reversal as capitulation by the Union Government to threats from Tamil Nadu that it would withdraw its coalition support unless India supported the resolution.

Regardless of the motivations for the US and India to act jointly, China’s increasing presence in Sri Lanka and in other countries in the India Ocean Rim is of concern to the US, but of considerably greater concern to India in view of the often touted concept of “string of pearls” conceived by a US Naval officer as being a calculated attempt by China to encircle India. India is concerned that Sri Lanka has the potential to become one of the pearls in this string. Therefore while developments within Sri Lanka are of interest to the US and India, developments in the Indian Ocean and in the Indian Ocean Rim countries are of interest to Sri Lanka, the US, India and China.


CHINA’S ENGAGEMENT in  SRI LANKA

If Sri Lanka’s harbour at Hambantota was by design to be one of the pearls of China’s string of encirclement it was an afterthought, because the offer to build a harbour at Hambantota was first offered to the US, and later to India before China got involved. In fact, prior to getting involved in Hambantota, China was already building harbours in Gwadar in Pakistan, Chittagong in Bangladesh and Sittwe in Myanmar. These projects have more to do with pumping oil from the Indian Ocean overland to the South of China through Bangladesh and Myanmar, and West of China from Gwadar through Pakistan rather than strategic encirclement. On the other hand, China’s engagement in India’s North could be for reasons of strategic security and access to resources. Large investments amounting to billions of dollars in Afghanistan’s minerals, such as copper and iron ore along with access to oil and natural gas resources in Central Asia, also confirm China’s relentless search for resources to sustain its development drive and regain its lost stature in the world; a trend that prompted Kissinger to refer to China “not as a rising power but as a returning one, predominant in its region for two millennia and temporarily displaced by colonial exploiters taking advantage of Chinese domestic strife and decay” (Kissinger, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2012).

After the 1962 war between China and India over claims to Arunachal Pradesh, China lost interest in the region, giving preference to Aksai Chin because of its proximity to the rebellious Xinjiang in the West. Since then, China is reviving its interest in Arunachal Pradesh because of its rich water resources. In fact China recently unveiled a plan to build a dam more than twice as big as the Three Gorges dam near the Tibet/Arunachal boader (U.S. – China Relations: Asian Perspective, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2012).

The overwhelming bulk of imports to and exports from China have to pass through the Straits of Malacca and Lombok/Makassar Straits with bulk of it passing through the Straits of Malacca. The vulnerability of this narrow passage has been an ever increasing anxiety for China because the cargo going through these Straits have increased exponentially spurred by China’s booming economy. These threats have been exacerbated by India’s maritime related developments in the Andeman and Nicobar Islands. Under the circumstances, the search for alternative routes for the resources needed by China is a natural outcome of existential realities, with Sri Lanka’s harbour at Hambantota being an essential component of the logistics involved.

A fact that is lost is that the Hambantota harbour is an extension of the bilateral relationship between China and Sri Lanka’s Maritime Agreement of July 1963 “which had provided for most favoured nation treatment for the contracting parties’ commercial vessels engaged in cargo and passenger services to and from these two countries or a third country”(R.N. Das, Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis, 2010). Therefore, whether Hambantota Harbour development was the outcome of Sri Lankan or Chinese initiative would remain an open question.

US ENGAGEMENT IN SRI LANKA

The US strategy in Asia is influenced by a combination of balance of power and containment to prevent being “pushed out of Asia” by a China that sees itself as “consolidating Asia into an exclusionary bloc deferring to Chinese economic and foreign policy interests” (Kissinger, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2012). In an article titled “America’s Pacific Century, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated: “The Asia-Pacific has become a key driver of global politics” hence the need to “pivot to global realities”(Foreign Policy, 2011). With regard to India the Secretary stated: “the relationship between India and America will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century, rooted in common values and interests” (Ibid).

‘Pivot to the Pacific’ is because of the increase of China’s economic and military capabilities. Consequently, the US hopes to improve its balance of power capabilities by strengthening its bilateral relationships with its traditional allies in and around the South China Sea, the Yellow Sea and in the Pacific, and with regional Asian organizations such as ASEAN and AREC. To strengthen its containment capabilities the US has plans to establish new bases, and even return to former bases in Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines and Japan (The Washington Post, June 23, 2012); a strategy that is opposed by Kissinger.

As far as US is concerned its interests are for a secure India Ocean free of piracy and other threats. However, US interests in Sri Lanka relate to non-strategic issues and is influenced by Tamil diaspora pressures; an influence that has prevented the US from engaging with Sri Lankan Governments in power.

The resolution on Sri Lanka at the recently held UNHRC secessions in Geneva has caused Sri Lanka to reassess the effectiveness of its investment in the deployment of diplomatic capital – its soft power. A direct consequence of this assessment has been to summon Heads of Sri Lankan Mission for a briefing by the President who emphasized the need to focus on Public Diplomacy and to realign its missions abroad. This has resulted in opening new diplomatic missions in Africa and South America while closing established missions in parts of Europe. While realignment of missions in keeping with evolving global trends would be beneficial, awareness of developments in the ‘near abroad’, namely developments in the Indian Ocean itself and in the countries in the Indian Ocean Rim, would complement the benefits because of their potential to affect Sri Lanka’s national interests .

The US initiative on the UNHRC resolution and the considerable diplomatic capital expended to ensure its passage could be due to the influence and ‘persuasions’ of the Tamil diaspora. On the other hand, the last minute reversal by India despite assurances by Finance Minister Mukerjee in Parliament that India would oppose the resolution on account that it was country specific is being explained by some as a joint effort by US and India to teach Sri Lanka a lesson for China’s increasing engagement in Sri Lanka. Others explain the reversal as capitulation by the Union Government to threats from Tamil Nadu that it would withdraw its coalition support unless India supported the resolution.

Regardless of the motivations for the US and India to act jointly, China’s increasing presence in Sri Lanka and in other countries in the India Ocean Rim is of concern to the US, but of considerably greater concern to India in view of the often touted concept of “string of pearls” conceived by a US Naval officer as being a calculated attempt by China to encircle India. India is concerned that Sri Lanka has the potential to become one of the pearls in this string. Therefore while developments within Sri Lanka are of interest to the US and India, developments in the Indian Ocean and in the Indian Ocean Rim countries are of interest to Sri Lanka, the US, India and China.

This could be due to the US not having commercial interests in Sri Lanka considering that it passed up the opportunity to build the harbour in Hambantota. Under the circumstances, the US is in a position to berate and lecture Sri Lanka on post conflict short comings to the delight of the Tamil diaspora, because the US is secure in the knowledge that its defence related interests are covered by the Acquisition and Cross-Service Agreement between US and Sri Lanka signed on March 5, 2007. Therefore, Sri Lanka has to be prepared for the long haul to cope with strictures by the US regarding minority and human rights issues for the foreseeable future.

INDIA’S ENGAGEMENT IN SRI LANKA

As with the US, India’s engagement with Sri Lanka is also compromised by Tamil minority issues in Sri Lanka. The reason being a combination of kinship between the Tamils of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu and the physical proximity of each other; two conditions that do not exist with Tamil minorities in other countries. Therefore, India-Sri Lanka relations would be determined by how Sri Lanka manages to handle Tamil minority/majority relationships. This relationship reached a point that prompted India to militarily intervene and establish its footprint on Sri Lanka with the Indo-Lanka Accord with the 13th Amendment in 1987 as a solution to resolve minority aspirations.

Despite all the rhetoric as to how solid and unshakable the relationship is between India and Sri Lanka, this intervention has caused deep apprehension among the Sinhala majority, primarily because it has enforced an unacceptable political arrangement – the 13th Amendment – in the form of devolution to provinces. This has been compounded by the constant interference of Tamil Nadu politicians in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka with some of them openly calling for the creation of a Tamil Eelam. Such hostility is possible because Tamil Nadu is a vital coalition partner in any Union Government in India. This gives them influence over issues relating to Tamils in Sri Lanka; a reality that compromises relations between the India and Sri Lanka. Collectively, these tensions have affecting and would continue to affect the evolution of mutually fulfilling bonds between the two countries which could at least secure India’s Southern flank. The strained relationship and the ‘trust deficit’ that exists between India and its Southern neighbour is no different to that which exists between India and its neighbours to the East, West and North. Consequently, although India is the elephant in the room as far as South Asia is concerned, India is today surrounded by countries which have deep apprehensions about India’s intentions.

CONCLUSION

While US plans are to ‘pivot to Asia’ to retain its sole super power status, India and China are searching for resources to sustain their drive to become global powers. Historically, it is the search for resources that has led to the creation of Empires. The US, China and India are not looking for territorial conquests but to bring States under their influence to support their economies and geo-strategic interests. It was this that led the last Foreign Secretary of the British Raj ,Sir Olaf Croe to advocate the creation of Pakistan because they could not depend on Nehru to support them in getting access to the oil resources in the Middle East; a concept that came to be known as “wells of power” (Economic and Political Weekly, February 25, 2006). Today’s strategy is to gain access to countries to build pipelines to deliver resources; a strategy that is referred to as “pipelines of power”- hence the presence of harbours in the Indian Ocean, and access to countries in Central Asia.

 

How Sri Lanka navigates through this geo-strategic triangle of US-India-China in the Indian Ocean would test its diplomatic skills. Sri Lanka’s relations with China are likely to be smooth for the foreseeable future because by policy China does not interfere in the internal affairs of countries, and its strategic interests are covered by the 1963 agreement. On the other hand, Sri Lanka’s relations with the US and India would be influenced more by pressures from the Tamil communities in both countries than by geo-strategic interests since they are covered by the Indo-Lanka Accord and by the Acquisition and Cross-Service Agreeement with the US. Consequently, how Sri Lanka manages majority/minority issues relating to the Tamil community in Sri Lanka is of interest to both the US and India. As a result, issues relating to human and minority rights would continue to be the weapon for the US and India to grate Sri Lanka notwithstanding their own dismal record. But, one issue that could offer some relief is a political solution acceptable to all communities, which incidentally has been the stated policy of both the US and India. Insistence on the implementation of the 13th Amendment is a contradiction of this policy and a violation of the very core of Democracy, because the 13th Amendment is unacceptable to the overwhelming majority in Sri Lanka..

Under the circumstances, the task for the Government is to evolve a political solution that is acceptable to all communities. This solution cannot be the 13th Amendment. This must be stated unequivocally by the Government and conveyed to member states by Sri Lanka’s Missions. And having so stated, the Government should outline the trajectories of a political solution that would be acceptable to most; that being to devolve political power to peripheral units that are small enough, such as Districts, which would not threaten the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, and for all communities to share power at the Center in proportion to their representation in Parliament. Such a strategy would help Sri Lanka to be stable and prosper while Titans compete in their scramble for global power.

37 Responses to “US-India-China and the indian ocean: impact on Sri Lanka”

  1. Naram Says:

    I hope Sri Lankans would remember that theUS attempts to discipline Sri Lanka and sbvert her to the status of a US client state started from the starting days of Independence. US stopped aid to Sri Lanka for signing the Rubber Rice agreement in the D S Senanayake days.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    “Under the circumstances, the task for the Government is to evolve a political solution that is acceptable to all communities.”

    This will NEVER happen.

    The ONLY solution acceptable to NE Tamils is federalism or Tamil Elam.
    Unfortunately the political solution (if any) MUST be acceptable to Tamil Nadu!! Otherwise those clowns will push India again and again. Isn’t it? This is why political solutions won’t work.

    Their political solutions are against others and SL.

    As the writer says, this is NOT a LOCAL issue or a diplomatic issue. It is a GEO POLITICAL issue. It CANNOT have a local or diplomatic solution that plays into India or USA.

  3. Geeth Says:

    With due respect I must say that the following statement is a gross underestimation of the reality and is far from truth. Not only that, it takes away the gravity of everything else what author says. It says…” As far as US is concerned its interests are for a secure India Ocean free of piracy and other threats. However, US interests in Sri Lanka relate to non-strategic issues and is influenced by Tamil diaspora pressures; an influence that has prevented the US from engaging with Sri Lankan Governments in power.”

    This statement would be true if we are living in the end of 70s and in the beginning of 80s when ambassadors like Riggins or John H. Reed were heading the US embassy. Amb. Reed was the last of those political appointments sent to Sri Lanka to maintain just friendly relationship between two countries. Then the carrier diplomat James W Spain replaced him. And he was heading the mission during the heights of political upheavals of our history like Indo-Lanka Accord and was the US counterpart of then Indian envoy Jothindra ‘nasty’ Dixit.

    From that point onward all the US ambassadors were career diplomats and well experienced to handle affairs in hotspots in the globe. Now if someone looks into their CVs to find who these ambassadors are, where they come from and where they are going after their missions accomplished in Sri Lanka, then we can realize that SL is not another insignificant location to run just another US mission.

    Our logical faculties never allow us to believe that a Tamil person like Navil Pillai’s sudden taking over the reins of UNHRC as a coincidence, nor Nambiar in the UN. Even former US ambassador Robert Blake taking the high office of Assistant secretary position, directly answerable to secretary of state Hilary Clinton to handle entire region of the Central and South Asia covering the periphery of the pivot (Russia) was a coincidence. No they are not coincidences.

    Now some people think US’s short term strategy of their increased corporation with India as a shift in the long term regional policy of the US. this is another fallacy. This policy can be only a short term strategic position. India was a target of the west, and still is a target and will be a target in the long run. Proper reading of the history of modernity and its ideology, will tell us that modernity cannot walk along with India or China, Africa and Latin America. If emerging global order can turn the corner, then of course, that new world order will never be a modern world to begin with.

  4. Geeth Says:

    Please see this movie. It depicts how westerners use colonized people at times to gain what they want and then abandon them, if not eliminating them in the next moment. This is a well-tested old game and nothing new in it at all. Enjoy this movie, a classic of Marlon Brando. I saw this at Savoy when i was a teenager. I didn’t understand the politics in it then. But now i understand it in full, including what that doesn’t revel in the movie.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EY4q_j8qChA&feature=relmfu

  5. nandimitra Says:

    Both america and her hand in crime india are more interested in dominating and subjugating Sri Lanka for economic reasons. For this immoral situation to proceed as usual disunity among Sri Lankans is a must. Propaganda and myths about discrimination is a must to creat this disharmony. To day the Sinhala Buddhists are the most discriminated.Economicaly ethnically cleansed from economic centres, Health acre and education the subsidies reduced to such a degree that social mobility has been brought to a stand still,etc. The discrimination of the sinhala buddhists poor are no different from the poor tamils or worse. The canard of tamils been discriminated is continued, to achieve the economic and geopolitical interests of the west and its ally India. Whilst 300million of its citizens are living on less than 1 dollar a day India is building houses for the poor in SL are unexplainable . The only answer to this problem is justice and FairPlay for the many both tamils and sinhalese> The question is does the government have a vision to provide that FairPlay. Until such time Sri Lanka would a political football for India and the west

  6. Dham Says:

    “Unfortunately the political solution (if any) MUST be acceptable to Tamil Nadu!! Otherwise those clowns will push India again and again. Isn’t it? This is why political solutions won’t work.”

    Very true. Therefore ANY POLITICAL NONSENCE WILL NOT WORK.
    For Tamils to obey, they should be convinced that there is a big brother behind holding a gun. That is the only practical solution. Regardless of India, China, US or Russia – we ourselves must become powerful.

    Every time we obey India, stupid Tamils misunderstand due to lack of brain.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    Agree with Dham and Geeth.

    Political solutions are a bottomless toilet pit. If we fall into that we will die of the stench!

    See what DISASTER the bloody 13 amendment has created!

    NO MORE POLITICAL SOLUTIONS BASE ON RACE, HOMOLANDS AND OTHER BS.

    LEARN TO LIVE IN A MULTI CULTURAL SINHALA BUDDHIST MAJORITY SOCIETY OR BUGGER OFF (or I can arrange a one way ticket to hell).

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    USA has HUGE strategic interests in SL.

    e.g. VOA

    e.g. USA held 4 military exercises with SLN and SLAF since 2009.

    If there is no significance, USA will not be bugging us for FAKE war crimes.

    Tamil Dias-pariah is not that powerful. They are 0.1% of US voters. Their financial contribution is the LOWEST among all contributors. How many toilets they had to clean for that, how many credit card frauds, how many illegal work? Some of their contributions were even rejected for this reason!!

  9. Dilrook Says:

    Well researched.

    If China is taking the land route to the Middle East, Afghanistan becomes key. Across Afghanistan is Iran where China is now developing a $ 20 billion oil project. That may ease Indian and US concerns after 2014 when US troops pull out. But that means less importance of Sri Lanka. However, given the US-Indian stranglehold on Afghanistan, it will not be easy.

    I have to disagree USA has [Quote] non-strategic issues and is influenced by Tamil diaspora pressures.

    John Kerry’s team of senators produced a report detailing Sri Lanka’s strategic importance. If Tamil diaspora pressure dictate US policy, we have to engage the Tamil diaspora. But that will not lead to anything sensible. Even if we engage them, they will not demand anything short of Tamil Elam. Sixth Amendment is not effective against them.

    Agree with the assessment of India which has emerged enemy number one.

  10. AnuD Says:

    China is well aware about western thought. Chinese learned that lesson after the “OPIUM” war. They know the destruction and vandalism British did during that and they consider that as a great humiliation. China is determined not to let that happen again. China has investments in South India and has direct road-connection to Delhi via Tibet. China also has built a road connecting northern Pakistan and It is very clear that US is concerned about China’s presence in the Indian Ocean.

  11. nilwala Says:

    Some commentators here disagree with the author’s point that the US had few strategic interests in Sri Lanka and that thus far US pressures have been mainly due to the Tamil diaspora.
    However, it must be pointed out in this context that the Hambantota harbor was first offered to the US during the time of Ambassador Ashley Wills, but the US was not interested. It was then offered to India which also did not show interest. Finally, it was China that took it up.
    If Sri Lanka was of important strategic interest to the USA, would they not have jumped at the opportunity to build the Hambantota harbor? Any explanations?? Thanks!

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    Nilwala,

    Hambantota was always planned to be a commercial port. US government does not invest in developing new commercial ports outside USA in this era. US companies had little interest too given that the bulk of cargo passing through are not destined to USA. Had we offered a navy base, USA would have jumped at the opportunity. But that would have made SL a pariah state in the region.

    Immediately after the Chinese engagement USA came up with the STRING OF PEARLS nonsense. It proves strategic importance!

    USA has HUGE strategic interests in SL.

    e.g. VOA

    e.g. USA held 4 military exercises with SLN and SLAF since 2009.

    e.g. A US funded Yankee Dickie was helped to become the president with dictatorial powers assumed without an election! Human rights violations by JR, Premadasa and Run-NIL were TOTALLY disregarded because they helped US strategic interests.

    e.g. USA funded and promoted Gonzeka to become the president. Tamil Dias-pariah FOLLOWED. Tamil Dias-pariah would never have liked the idea of Gonzeka who according to them killed Tamil tigers but pawns have no choice.

    USA doesn’t dance according to the Tamil Dias-pariah. If so USA would have lifted the LTTE ban by now.

    Tamil Dias-pariah dances according to USA just like how Syrian/Libyan, etc. “rebels” do!! They are pawns in US strategic interests in SL.

    “From a strategic point of view, Sri Lanka is the most ideal location to fulfill a plethora of tasks in furthering not only the security interests of the US, but those of Sri Lanka and India. Whether it is maritime security, nuclear proliferation, piracy, control of terrorism or even the mitigation of the spread of Chinese influence, Sri Lanka is a most ideal location for a naval base.”

    A fantastic analysis in smallwarsjournal. Please read it. I must admit (with due respect to the writer) that it is a way better. It concludes:

    “Sri Lanka would most certainly welcome the support of the US in this endeavor, maybe in exchange for a naval base–with the consent and/or collaboration with India. Can either the US or India otherwise withstand the ambitions of China within the region, particularly its growing interest in Sri Lanka posed by its geographic advantage?”

  13. Lorenzo Says:

    The link.

    http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/us-naval-basing-in-sri-lanka

    Please read this. It contains plenty of information on SL’s strategic importance to USA.

    So much so that USA may demand a naval port (in addition to helping the SLN and holding joint military drills).

  14. Lorenzo Says:

    I can’t share the link. The comment goes to moderation.

    http : / / smallwarsjournal. com / jrnl / art/us-naval-basing-in-sri-lanka

    Delete the spaces.

  15. Lorenzo Says:

    About the Authors from the same link.

    David A. Anderson
    Dr. David A. Anderson is a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer. He is now a professor of Strategic Studies and Odom Chair of Joint, Interagency, and Multinational Operations at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he teaches strategic and operational studies, as well as economics. He is also an adjunct professor for Webster University, where he teaches various international relations courses including, International Political Economy and Globalization. He has published numerous articles on military, economics, and international relations related topics.

    Anton Wijeyesekera
    Major Anton Wijeyesekera is a serving Armor officer in the Sri Lanka Army. During his 18 years in the Army he has held various command and staff and instructional appointments. He served as S2 in 55 and 53 Infantry Divisions in the year 2008. He graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 2009. Presently he is serving as a senior Instructor at the Sri Lanka Military Academy.

    Why USA is training senior Instructors at the Sri Lanka Military Academy? Because of HUGE strategic importance.

  16. Geeth Says:

    Nilwala,
    To say something about diaspora, I must say that the Tamil diaspora is an absolutely insignificant political factor in American politics, not even worth to mention in influencing American political machinery in the capitol or white house, unless if the US policy makers willingly let Tamil Diaspora to be active, so they can maximize their presence in the advantage of regional politics. That is the exact situation in my assessment. So I will keep TD (Tamil Diaspora) factor out of our argument for it is just only a cosmetic feature that covers up the ugliness of the real face. So the historical duty of true analysts/journalists of SL is not to get trapped in this cosmetic feature, but to penetrate it to expose the real face of US policy makers’.

    Firstly we must recognize our problem proper, and we must be clear about all the intentions of the stake holders of that problem. If not, we won’t be able to formulate a proper counter strategy. Not only misinterpretation of a problem in this gravity is tantamount to a crime, but also it will keep the masses in the dark of the most important problem of modern history of SL. On the other hand, although it is not the case here, misinterpretation is also a useful strategy of the enemies of the nation, and today it is a good source of income as well.

    Why we must say we have no problems with US when we have plethora of problems with US policy toward Sri Lanka? Who are we going to deceive? Are we deceiving ourselves? Permanent diplomatic goodwill-grin usually common in the face of third world foreign offices in dealing with powerful nations won’t work in this case at all. Nonetheless, whitewashing US beyond the limit will help none. But definitely it will embarrass the US for obvious reasons. If anyone says that US has no hidden agenda in South Asian affairs, then that means it indirectly approves and legitimizes the entire diplomatic/propaganda ugly game currently played by the west against Sri Lanka, with the auspicious leadership of the US; in which west wants to take the military and the political leadership of SL to Hague for war crimes. It makes western countries of saints of mankind, guardians of human rights. Isn’t that embarrassing entire west? Knowing the ugliness of the entire game, still US wants to give leadership into it.

    Under such circumstance, if we declare complete normalcy knowing well that there are whole lot of evidence to prove something fishy in US policy, then that analysis is not a balanced at all.

  17. Geeth Says:

    Nilwala,
    Your argument about Hambantota actually strengthens my argument of the existence of big Indian factor in US south Asian policy. Why USA did not want to develop Hambantota? Probably the reason could be the same like their previous denial of interest in Trico harbor in the 80s.

    So you think this refusal to fund Hambantota proves that US didn’t have any interest in SL. It is so naive argument.

    USA has nicely laid a trap. The beauty of the trap is that ManMohan can’t say ‘no’ to it for the sake of staying in power. Tamilnadu political leadership dictates the terms to New Delhi with diplomatic and moral backing of the US. In the dealing between two countries, USA doesn’t limit their dealing with New Delhi along, they also directly deal with Tamilnadu politicians. USA very wisely use the Tamil factor in trapping Colombo and Delhi. Delhi trying to have a plan within the plan, a drama within the drama. They are trying to swallow Washington from the tail knowing verywell that Washington is swallowing from Delhi’s tail end.

    Don’t forget, US India relationship is not completely a honeymoon for Manmohan Singh. Each and every time Secretary Clinton or Assistant Sec. Blake visit Tamilnadu, that thorn of the TP Trap (Tamil political trap) firmly laid by the Assistant Sec. Blake in the butt of Delhi leadership begins to spike.

    For that reason, I think vesting time to understand US policy must be diverted to understand the New Delhi strategy. For me it seems they envisioning to annex NE to Indian union; because leaving NE divided but without annexing, will leave a vacuum for other to enter into the scene.

    Under this condition, currently it seems Delhi is trying to outsmart US while US already holding the Tamil thorn in the butt of Delhi.

  18. Geeth Says:

    Nilwala,
    For historical reasons, Delhi may be thinking of conducting a quick military intervention in future to establish a Tamil autonomy in the NE. West has never interfered India in the past in similar events. During the post independent history, although India was in the Soviet bloc, USA never wanted to antagonize India in any case and handled issues delicately. At the event of the invasion of Goa, the US reaction was extremely mild and it was limited to issuing public statements and reduction of 25% of American aid to India.

    Under such situation then US president Kennedy had made a well-known historical remark…Referring to the perception, especially in the West, that India had previously been lecturing the world about the virtues of nonviolence, Kennedy told the Indian ambassador to the US,
    “You spend the last fifteen years preaching morality to us, and then you go ahead and act the way any normal country would behave…. People are saying, the preacher has been caught coming out of the brothel.”
    (India and the United States: Estranged Democracies, 1941-1991 By Dennis Kux (Wikipedia)

    That was not the only time India got caught coming out of the brothel. Apart from Bhutan, Indians got caught red handed in Sri Lanka. But USA never uttered a word especially when India violated international law by violating our air space. At that time there was no Tamil diaspora. But Washington was silent why? Through American perspective, don’t you think Indian hand is a cat-pow?

  19. Dilrook Says:

    Link shared by Lorenzo is very informative. Reading between the lines, I think USA is already pushing for a US navy base in Trincomalee through India.

    [Quote]The distance from Sri Lanka to the Strait of Homuz and the Strait of Malacca is approximately 2,000 miles; this means Sri Lanka is located in the most central maritime route between the Persian Gulf and Indonesia.[7] It is also the most central location to reach troubled spots throughout the Indian Ocean’s littoral.[8] It can also readily support operations in the Middle East, Afghanistan or South East Asia. Positioning a naval force in Sri Lanka would also eliminate the need to shift military assets from other geographic areas as was done during the Gulf war of 1991 and during the Iran and Afghanistan crises of 1980.[9]

    ………………….
    During the Cold War, United States (US) and the Soviet Union competed for naval supremacy over the Indian Ocean. Both nations considered the Indian Ocean as an important waterway to further their political, military and ideological interests.[11] Both wanted to establish a naval base in Sri Lanka because of its location in the Indian Ocean. However, Indian pressure and the non-aligned political stance of the Sri Lankan government prevented the superpowers from gaining that vital advantage.[12][Unquote]

    What is most striking is [quote] Positioning a naval force in Sri Lanka would also eliminate the need to shift military assets from other geographic areas as was done during the Gulf war of 1991 and during the Iran and Afghanistan crises of 1980. [unquote]

    Add to that South East Asia from the western flank as South China Sea heads for a confrontation.

    That also explains Neville’s information on China opening a land route to its west.

    But the link article fails to mention the most crucial factor – Russia. Though Russia has not made its presence felt, an Indian-US joint military base in Asia will be anathem to Russian interests. India buys most weapons from Russia. That prevents India from going too far into US interests. USA has no choice in the Indian Pcean to have a navy base as most countries are Islamic countries; India refusing to allow a base to USA and others are too far from the centre.

    Many would disagree with me on this but I think we should seriously look at allowing USA to establish a navy base in the island. That should be done without Indian interference. India is anyway held back by Russia so it cannot land on the US lap. If there were a US base in the island in 1987, Indians would never have invaded.

    If the Tamil diaspora has any clout on US politics, the best and permanant way it can be set off is by having a US navy base. Clinton called GL Peiris to New York around the time NATO summit was held. Was he given the opportunity to participate in it had he agreed to join US interests?

  20. Geeth Says:

    Nilwala,
    Ambassador Ashley Wills must be the first to mourn when the ceasefire agreement with the LTTE was collapsed; because it was realized largely due to his hard labour. He knew it was a decisive breakthrough demolishing the line of Sinhalese defense against any form of secession.
    At that point, in a way of diplomatically comforting Sinhalese sentiments, he wore a Sinhala national dress for his official farewell. So Chandrika and Mangala were very happy.

    Why USA must accept such a proposal like building a harbor at that point to begin with? At a time when the Elam project was wonderfully inching toward Elam without any decisive hindrance, for what reason USA must spend their good money to build a mammoth inshore port in Hambantota? Can you explain why they should do that when Trinco is just in their arm’s length in near future?

    But history does strange things.

    On the other hand, when Ambassador Ashley Wills was in Sri Lanka, China was not a significant factor in Sri Lankan politics. But Chinese enter the dragon into SL politics took place only during MR’s administration. That was also due to pushing MR to the wall by US and India. Then only India and USA realized that they had committed a historical blunder. Actually USA had several chances to get a foothold in Sri Lanka. But it must be prevented by their long term strategy over India, they preferred anticipating and using India to deliver their cake rather than jumping into the middle.

    If not for Prabhakaran’s congenital idiocy, west had taken Elam project wonderfully to its final realization. Proving the fact that typical Tamil mentality can never rejoice triumphs modestly , like in Tamil movies, where good guy throwing all his weapons away at the end to beat the bad guy physically by hand, satisfying the audience to applaud it for thirty forty minutes, Prabhakaran also wanted to have a sensational end to his beating the Sinhalese. Actually the “Hathara waram Deiyo” in this case exactly was the bird brain of Prabhakaran.

    Under that situation, the rejection of Hambantota (if they did so) never confirms that US never had any strategic interest over Sri Lanka.

  21. nilwala Says:

    Geeth:

    I am not convinced by your arguments since if you trace the history back, India’s efforts to train and help the LTTE were in fact a result of their being unhappy with Pres. JR Jayewardene’s pro-US stance. It was India that wanted Trincomalee, and succeeded in tying it into the Indo-Lanka Accord which was signed by JRJ. The US was out of it and the US and India were not operating in cahouts against Sri Lanka…at least at that time.

    The “friendly” developments between India and US began with their nuclear deals and have ramped up more recently with India getting nervous about China. Both US and India no doubt thought they could use Prabhakaran to do the needful and get the North East as a federal state (US advisors to the State Dept. often talked of a confederal solution), and their realization that Prabhakaran had no intention of handing Trinco to them came late in the day. However, Tamil political leaders in SL were and are still available to comply. The US-India connections soared by leaps and bounds under Sec. Hillary Clinton’s direction, as she has had personal connections with both Indian and Sri Lankan Tamil citizens in the USA,. This led to her visit to Jayalalithaa in mid-2011 and the plans were laid for the UNHRC debacle in March 2012 which perhaps even Delhi did not suspect until things fell apart for the Congress Party staying in power without the support of Tamil Nadu.

    That the US was first offered Hambantota is correct. India when offered showed no interest as their interests were centered in Trinco. The current agreements between Sri Lanka and the US provide the US with the facilities and services they need in the Indian Ocean. It is India that is more interested in Trincomalee and may have turned to US for assistance to get this. It is India that has a contract for building a coal-power station in Sampur (Trinco), which is worrying. It is India that is asking the Naval base to leave Mullivaikkal. It is India that is interested in establishing itself as a power over Sri Lanka’s northern region in guise of protecting the Tamils, even though they know the Tamils of Sri Lanka are better off than their own.

    But finally, and a little late in the day, Delhi may have come to realize the threat to India itself from the LTTE-supporting Tamils (LSTs), both global and in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, with their lingering aspirations for Eelam. This may explain its very recent actions to extend the ban on the LTTE in the realization that the territorial integrity of India is at risk due to LST actions.

  22. Geeth Says:

    You are not convinced. That’s ok. But eventually you will.

    It’s true, due to JR’s pro US stance, India crashed into the scene to help terrorism in SL. Can it be an intended result? You only have to wave a red curtain- the result is written on the wall- the bull will attack. JR was set into a trap; or JR was encouraged to act certain way display pro US stance until the intended result occurred- and then abandoned him. From western point of view, he was just another worthless ………………. like Sadam or Mubarak.

    Nilwala, Sri Lankan politicians are so naïve when it comes to handle complexities of global espionage operations.

    But however Indian intervention never marked the beginning of separatism in Sri Lanka. Separatism was older than that. It was very tacitly grooming in western embassies before 80s, including in some aid and development programs, such as ‘Redbana;’ NORAD, SEYNOR and even some NGO giants had already began projects of channeling public opinion with lavish funding from Norway like countries- such as Godfrey Goonathilake’s MARGA. These things began in 70s much earlier than JRJ took over the power.

    The separatist product was designed in the west, but assembled by Indians. Indians are very good at it. They are the ones built best warships for Brits in 19th century. And so obedient servants, so including the military, the Brits needed only 40000 Britishes to rule entire India.
    So when separatism was imported to Sri Lanka, it had the Indian seal. If you think the west is innocent in this entire thing, then I think you must do some thorough study.

    However your words …..”But finally, and a little late in the day, Delhi may have come to realize the threat to India itself from the LTTE-supporting Tamils (LSTs), both global and in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, with their lingering aspirations for Eelam. This may explain its very recent actions to extend the ban on the LTTE in the realization that the territorial integrity of India is at risk due to LST actions” tells the true intentions of the west. India is playing with fire.

  23. Neville Ladduwahetty Says:

    To All,
    Thank you for your comments.
    The main thrust of my article is to emphasize that the strategic interests of the US, India and China are already covered by agreements signed with successive Sri Lankan and that US and Indian policies towards Sri Lanka are compromised by the influence of the Tamil diaspora and Tamil Nadu. This is clearly stated in the conclusion.

    As for the political solution, it should not be tailored to serve Tamil interests only. Instead it should serve two vital national interests. The first is that the physical size of the peripheral unit should not threaten the territorial integrity of the country. Since the province is a threat to the integrity the unit should be smaller, preferably the District. This is why the 13A should be opposed. The reason for a second tier of government is that Sri Lanka cannot be administered from the Center- a certain degree of power needs to passed on to a second tier as it is already with Municipalities to administer local government issues. This is so with County Governments within the US as well. In short Local Governments need to be empowered to handle local issues.

    US interests in Trincomalee were explored with the J.R. Jayewardene Government. These developments were conveyed to India by the Russian Ambassador. This is what prompted India to start training the LTTE to subvert Sri Lanka. With all due respect to the two authors of the article to which Lorenzo provided a link, US strategic interests are already taken care of (see below), in my view.

    Attached below are copies of the letters exchanged between President Jayawardene and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi which establish India’s strategic interests in Sri Lanka, and a copy of the Acquisition and Cross-Service Agreement with the US, to convey that their strategic interests are already covered. The 1963 Agreement with China is quoted partly in the article itself.
    —————————————–
    Exchange of letters
    between the President of Sri Lanka and the Prime Minister of India
    July 29, 1987
    Excellency,
    Please refer to your letter dated the 29th of July 1987, which reads as follows:-
    Excellency,
    Conscious of the friendship between out two countries stretching over two millennia and more, and recognising the importance of nurturing this traditional friendship, it is imperative that both Sri Lanka and India reaffirm the decision not to allow our respective territories to be used for activities prejudicial to each other’s unity, territorial integrity and security.
    2. In this spirit, you had, during the course of our discussion, agreed to meet some of India’s concerns as follows:-
    I) Your Excellency and myself will reach an early understanding about the relevance and employment of foreign military and intelligence personnel with a view to ensuring that such presences will not prejudice Indo Sri Lanka relations.
    II) Trincomalee or any other ports in Sri Lanka will not be made available for military use by any country in a manner prejudicial to India’s interests.
    III) The work of restoring and operating the Trincomalee Oil Tank will be undertaken as a joint operation between India and Sri Lanka.
    IV) Sri Lanka’s agreement with foreign broadcasting organisations will be reviewed to ensure that any facilities set up by them in Sri Lanka are used solely as public broadcasting facilities and not for any military or intelligence purposes.
    3. In the same spirit, India will:
    I) Deport all Sri Lankan citizens who are found to be engaging in terrorist activities or advocating separatism or secessionism.
    II) Provide training facilities and military supplies for Sri Lanka security services.
    4. India and Sri Lanka have agreed to set up a joint consultative mechanism to continuously review matters of common concern in the light of the objectives stated in para 1 and specifically to monitor the implementation of other matters contained in this letter.
    5. Kindly confirm, Excellency, that the above correctly sets out the Agreement reached between us.
    Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
    Yours sincerely, sgd Rajiv Gandhi
    His Excellency,
    Mr. J.R. Jayawardene,
    President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,
    Colombo.
    This is to confirm that the above correctly sets out the understanding reached between us.
    Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
    sgd J.R.Jayawardene President
    His Excellency, Mr.Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, New Delhi.
    ————————————————————————
    US Gets its Long After Foothold in Sri Lanka
    B. Ram
    12. On March 5, 2007, the US Embassy in Colombo issued a statement announcing that the Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapakse and U.S. Ambassador Robert Blake signed the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) that day. Gothabaya Rajapakse, who is the brother of Mahinda Rajapakse, is presently co-ordinating the counter-LTTE operations. He is reportedly a US citizen. Thus, two US citizens have signed an agreement with serious implications for the future of Sri Lanka and this region.
    13. A press release by the US Embassy said: “The agreement will increase interoperability between the two countries. This (the agreement) allows the United States and Sri Lanka to transfer and exchange logistics supplies, support, and re-fuelling services, either in kind or at cost, during peacekeeping missions, humanitarian operations and joint exercises.” It was clarified that the agreement would allow exchange of food supplies, petroleum, and transportation services, but expressly prohibits the provision of weapons systems or ammunition. “ACSA will facilitate the exchange of non-lethal equipment, increase cooperation in the field and reduce the paperwork involved,” US Ambassador Blake was quoted as saying by the statement. The US Embassy said that the logistics support allowed under this agreement cannot be transferred beyond the forces of the receiving party without the consent of the providing party. The agreement is to be valid for ten years.
    14. In a commentary the same day, the British Broadcasting Corporation quoted the Sri Lankan defence affairs spokesman, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella as stating that the details of the agreement would be revealed “in due course”. “We have informed India about this agreement and they are very supportive,” he added.

  24. Fran Diaz Says:

    We think that the Cold War has been transformed into a ‘War’ for Resources.
    Sri Lankan ports (sea & air) ARE important to all trading countries. We are still in a sort of ‘Silk Route’.

    India is a friend, but not always a reliable friend. India will sway to the tunes of regional affiliations, as proved during
    the Cold War times (JRJ times), and also to the affiliations with the west, for tech support and to keep her balance with her home region. At the end of the day, India will seek her own survival, but will mostly try to balance all forces in a relative peace.

    Tamils are using the whole scene to step out of low caste/Dalit origins. Vellalas will try to rule over Tamils everywhere.
    Tamils are being used by various parties for their own gain.
    Tamil Nadu is caught in a bind, not well respected by her own adjoining regional states, and also due to earlier secession problems with Delhi, not well trusted in India. TN has one foot in with the west, with one foot in India. Straddling giants for just this one state in India is an uncomfortable position, politically speaking.

    What a soup for Lanka to swallow !

  25. Lorenzo Says:

    Committing suicide to avoid being murdered by USA and India is NOT the solution.

    If we allow USA or India to build a military base in the island, we will be in war with OUR TRUE FRIENDS!!

    That is DOUBLE destruction. USA and India will put us in danger and wash off their hands.

  26. nilwala Says:

    Lorenzo… Absolutely NOONE writing in these comments thread has advocated permitting India or the USA to build a military base in Sri Lanka.!!

  27. Lorenzo Says:

    Nilwala,

    One commentator did.

    Dilrook Says:

    July 15th, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    “Many would disagree with me on this but I think we should seriously look at allowing USA to establish a navy base in the island. That should be done without Indian interference. India is anyway held back by Russia so it cannot land on the US lap. If there were a US base in the island in 1987, Indians would never have invaded.

    If the Tamil diaspora has any clout on US politics, the best and permanant way it can be set off is by having a US navy base.”

    BTW this is not a personal attack. All commentators are respectful and respectable people. By commenting on this VERY important issue, they have shown they care. Just stating facts AS THEY ARE.

    We should NOT AT ALL even consider such a move. It is total disaster. After that no one will ever vote for us at the UNHRC or UN.

    USA didn’t defend us in 1987 and they never will. China defended us but if we join China’s enemies, we will lose China too.

    Please read the ANALYSIS of the link I shared, NOT the UNSUPPORTED conclusion. This is a common trick. Describe the situation very well. Grab the attention of the reader. Then push a BS solution. Solution should solve the problem.

    I only shared the link to prove there are US strategic interests in SL NOT to FOLLOW those interests.

    Same with that African looking Sivaram terrorist (called to Tamil Eelam in 2005). Read his geo political news but no need to follow his LTTE “solutions”.

  28. Lorenzo Says:

    OK.

    After reading what Neville Ladduwahetty, Dilrook, David A. Anderson and more importantly Major Anton Wijeyesekera (a senior Instructor at the Sri Lanka Military Academy) have written, it is OBVIOUS USA has already done it!!

    “A press release by the US Embassy said: “The agreement will increase interoperability between the two countries. This (the agreement) allows the United States and Sri Lanka to transfer and exchange logistics supplies, support, and re-fuelling services, either in kind or at cost, during peacekeeping missions, humanitarian operations and joint exercises.”

    The US operation in Afghanistan that kills women and children is called OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM!!

    US supply of weapons to AQ in Syria and Libya is called “humanitarian operations”!!
    So we are part of it!! And we agree to refuel their killer machines to kill civilians. Fantastic!

    And what did USA do in return?
    They grilled us at the UNHRC!! Just 5 years later. It cannot get any better.

    Isn’t it the same thing repeating? In 1980s we fell into the US trap but in 1987 when India attacked us USA refused to save us!!

    Why did GR sign it with bloody Blake? We all know who Blake is. So we should be blaming the govt for the UNHRC defeat. They chose the WRONG friends who backstab us every decade! Suicide.

  29. Lorenzo Says:

    “re-fuelling services, either in kind or at cost”

    So we have agreed to refuel US warships free of charge (IN KIND)!! :))

    Even if we refuel AT COST it is a loss because selling price (poor SLs pay at the petrol station) is higher than the COST.

    And the govt blames USA after the UNHRC thing.

    We are like Pakistan. Supporting US wars and destroying the country. At least Pakistan gets 10 billion dollars for it every year. We pump them free.

  30. Dilrook Says:

    These matters cannot be approached with bias or kneejerk reactions.

    USA is the biggest export destination of our goods. The other main forex earner is the Middle East which is getting more dangerous to human civilisation by the day. Until new trade partners, products and services are found, we have to stick with USA as the biggest buyer. China and Russia do not follow invasive approached. Unfortunately USA does. But USA is unstoppable in the war front, UNHRC or in other UN agencies. Best is to join USA in fullfilling mutual interests. There is little choice left.

    India is the biggest enemy of Sri Lanka not USA.

    USA maintains the LTTE ban and so does India. But don’t get confused. LTTE is an irrelavent entity today. However, the Tamil Elam movement is a thousand times more powerful, relevent and influential than the LTTE. India supports it. LTTE was only a very small manifestation of the large Tamil Elam movement hatched by India.

    Tamil Nadu people don’t want to seperate from India because they are part of world’s 4th largest economy and 6th superpower. They can get all their aspirations by being part of India. All they want is a nation for them to control and take Tamil matters to the international arena. Tamil Elam is their ideal target. It offers them the benefits of an independent nation and the benefits of being part of India.

    LTTE on the other hand fought for a Tamil nation that would not bow down to India. Now the LTTE is no more but the Tamil Elam movement is as strong as ever.

    The Indian threat (Tamil Elam threat) cannot be overcome alone. It is India (and USA, EU, Japan) that are behind the Tamil Elam movement, not Tamil Nadu or the Tamil diaspora alone. Synchronising US strategic interests can manage the US, EU and Japanese threats. That in turn can be used to contain India. This is the same strategy India follows against other South Asian countries.

    That is why we should seriously consider a naval matters understanding with USA bypassing India. Faced with the Chinese threat and without the Soviet Union or Russian support (as it used to be), India has no choice than to follow USA. For USA it is better to deal with Lanka and India separately.

    Existing agreements with USA does not involve direct military matters and therefore pose no threat.

    USA seems uninterested in the UPR in October as Hillary and Nuland are happy about LLRC matters. But it is India that is trying to make a big hue and cry about the UPR against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. If USA changes its stand, it will be due to India.

    The Defence Secretary and Basil are US citizens. If USA is serious about war crimes investigations, it can proceed against them. But USA has not done so. Even they know the absurdity of it. But India keeps instigating USA for war crimes allegations against Lanka to use it as a stick to get Tamil Elam for influential south Indian voters.

    Note that India tried all the tricks in the book to stop the war than USA. Only after the fall of Kilinochchi did India stop its demands to stop the war. Air Force dependency on India must be ended by discontinuing MIG27 jets and having more Chinese jets. MI24 expertise is available in the country. Sri Lanka has already held more navy drills with USA than India.

    Guiding ideology in geo-political matters should be the protection of the nation and the natives (Sinhalas), not anti or pro US attitudes or ideological dogma.

  31. Dilrook Says:

    Dear Neville:

    TNA, TULF, India will not agree with district level devolution. End result is they will continue to agitate for a broader unit. India’s attempts to take Trincomalee through Tamil Nadu proxy rule in parts of Sri Lanka becomes impossible with district unit. It is much better for Sri Lanka but it will not have the support of Tamils (who demand devolution), UNHRC or NGOs.

    The best solution is the total abrogation of the 13A and follow a fresh approach to the so called ethnic problem. Either way TNA, TULF, India will be unhappy but the risk of harm will be reduced. Even the district offers ample opportunity to follow self determination at the district administration level (individually).

    What we should focus is how not to share power with TNA.

  32. Fran Diaz Says:

    Dare we suggest an International Peace Zone (PZee) in Sri Lanka (or best, the whole of SE Asia) plus the Indian Ocean ? Is SAARC up to realising such a Goal ?
    Such a Goal will have to go hand in hand with Family Planning, Birth Control etc. done through understanding of the world situation of limited resources, climate change, etc.

    Yes, the TNA must reform or GO. Will they ? They are the Vellala stranglehold on the Tamils of Lanka & abroad.

  33. Geeth Says:

    There are some fundamental questions that need our scrutiny before we jump into any conclusion.

    Questions about USA factor.

    1. Why and for what reason USA willingly goes extra mileage, even out of the way, to endanger unity and integrity of Sri Lanka? Is it purely due to declared reasons of minority rights, human rights etc.?

    2. What advantage does USA have by promoting secessionism in Sri Lanka since late 70s?

    3. Why and for what reason USA is more inclined to Tamil political aspirations of division than the Sinhalese aspiration of unity? Is that because USA virtuously standing for global human rights and universal justice or something else.

    4. Why and for what reason USA willingly utilizing all its resources and influences in the international arena clearing the path toward that end (the division of the country).

    5. Why and for what reason USA is channeling its millions of aid money into the hands of NGOs that are hell-bent on undermining sovereignty and unity of SL and supporting separatism?

    6. When India was in defensive mood in the post IPKF era, why USA decided to drag her back into the scene rejuvenating and re- coupling Tamilnadu politics into SL politics??

    7. Why USA pursued Tamilnadu political intervention into SL internal affairs during Elam war IV to stop military operations in NE?

    8. Why USA offered unwarranted recognition to US based Tamil nationalist organizations supporting separatism in the SL?

    9. Why USA trying to keep the iron hot, means separatism alive in the region without allowing it to die?

    10. Is USA doing all these things to support its regional strategic partner India?

    11. If the answer is yes, how that answer could be justified?

    12. If the answer is no, then what is the true motive of the USA in the region.

    13. Is there a covert plan #2 in US regional strategy to pull out in any event of success in separatist project of NE?

    14. If SL and TN Tamils can organize a cypress style solution for the NE. would they satisfy with that solution or go for a greater Tamilnadu in S.Asia?

    15. In such event, would USA still be the strategic partner of India to crush such Tamil struggle?

    16. Or would they play the same game they played against SL?

    17. If Tamils were able to establish greater Tamilnadu combining NE and TN, then who would be the security guarantor of such an infant nation with two hostile neighbors in the north and the south?

    18. Why USA never had any serious discussion with Sri Lanka to have a naval base here in SL?

    19. Does that mean USA doesn’t have any geopolitical or strategic interest in Sri Lanka?

    ________________________

    Questions about Indian factor.
    1. What was the ultimate Indian motive of the Indo-Lanka accord if the agreement and action plan was a 100% successful endeavor?

    2. Did India have any intention of annexing NE into the union?

    3. Does India still entertain a motive of secession in Sri Lanka under their control- like in the pre-87 era?

    4. If the western nations have a different agenda in the region of taking the advantage of Tamil issue, then what could be the Indian counter strategy?

    5. What would be the consequence if we resist India and western pressure?

    6. Can we depend on NAM, China and Russia in any event of such resistance?

  34. Dilrook Says:

    Geeth:

    US factor

    USA wants its military presence in the island mainly to choke Chinese shipping if needed and relax when needed. If Lanka is not allowing that, USA plans to create a puppet nation that allows it. A link shared by a commentator says it all.

    Indian factor

    India wants to create Tamil Elam at any cost. It is totally unwise to argue against this reality.
    USA on the other hand is happy to save unitary Lanka if US interests are looked after (not otherwise).

    We cannot depend on NAM, China or Russia. They follow a strict no confrontation (diplomatic or military) approach to USA. The only way out is to entertain US strategic interests (we have already done so according to the details provided by Neville) bypassing India. Giving into India is total disaster. A strong independent relationship with USA can contain Indian pressure and avoid UNHRC 2012 type situations.

    USA allowed new GSP facilities to Lanka recently. It is on record Blake had requested assistance from the defence secretary on Afghanistan before any war crimes move was made. We refused for good reasons. The point is to try to accommodate US interests as much as we can instead of outright rejection. USA is our largest export destination. However, local value addition in garments is less than 5%. Most value addition comes from China supplying most material. If USA stops importing Lankan garments, the balance of payment with China enhances in favour of Lanka. In other words, China becomes what USA is to Lanka in terms of exports. This is also avoided by USA by allowing benefits to Lankan exporters.

    We really have Hobson’s choice. A dignified strategic partnership with USA can save the unitary nation and extortionate demands by UNHRC.

  35. Geeth Says:

    Hello all,
    This is the comment I posted in HLDM’s article. I decided to post it here due to its relevance to the subject discussed here. Following is the link for HLDM’s article.

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2012/07/29/continuing-the-series-on-what-happened-in-the-history-of-jaffna-blaming-the-sinhalese-for-the-insane-fury-of-jaffna/

    Dear HLDM,
    Please pardon me for diverting from the main theme for a moment. Your writing has resonated to some other aspect of the problem. Actually this must be posted in the article of Neville Ladduwahetty under the caption US-India-China and the indian ocean: impact on Sri Lanka.

    Yes “Hatara waran deiyo” was residing in the bird brains of Tamil politicians. They kept taking the wrong turn at the proverbial fork junction in their political path at all times. That in-turn created a default belief among Sinhala folks to believe that the Tamil issue meant to culminate in a defeat to Tamil racism, and it will be resolved through some unspecified divine intervention. They had enormous faith in Prabhakaran to do the “RIGHT THING” more than they had their faith in Sinhalese leaders to do the same. I mean the “RIGHT THING” from Sinhalese perspective. And Prabhakaran did it in innumerable times.

    As you have mentioned, if not for the “crass stupidity of insane Tamil leaders,” the nation of Sinhalese might have ended their existence entirely from the world map once for all due to the actions of the stupidest of all known political varieties, the “Colombian Sinhala leaders. “If Tamils were wise enough, the fate of Sinhalese could have been reduced to a keyword in Wikipedia for future researchers, similar to that of Chagossians, another Indian Ocean nation in Diego Garcia that has been wiped off the map.

    The Chagossian struggle of reclaiming their country back has been stranded without success in foreseeable future. To the new developments of geopolitics in the Indian Ocean, Chagossians wouldn’t even have a remote chance of getting their land back from western nations either.

    Now the question is, if the west desires only hegemony in the Indian Ocean and its sea routes, then how on earth Tamils have become their favorite partners (of the west) to achieve their said goal, although logically it should have been Sinhalese that would have delivered their hegemonic aspirations much easily? And given the fact that Sinhalese are the majority of the land and supposedly not antagonistic to the west, logically west must have approached the Sinhalese to get a foot hold in the country rather than messing with them by abetting separatism in the island?

    But above logic, which is based on the thesis of “ west is only desiring to control Indian Ocean sea routes” doesn’t answer this question of “why they have chosen Tamils instead of Sinhalese?” There is no viable answer for it in this article.

    Then we must understand that the question must be wrong…we must ask the right question. To ask the right question we must change our thesis. So the new thesis will be “for western countries to control the Indian Ocean sea routs as well as to contain India as an emerging power that historically had the potentials of challenging the west” needs a partner in the Indian Ocean to deliver those goals. The Sinhalese has the potential of delivering one aspiration of the west, that’s of controlling the sea routs, but Tamils have the potential of delivering both western aspirations of controlling Indian Ocean as well as containing the future of India. Therefore Tamils will be the useful western partner in the region. Under this condition, not only Tamils in Sri Lanka, but also Tamils in Tamilnadu have become actors within the sphere of the strategists of the west. That is the reason why Obamas and Clintons visit Tamilnadu more frequently than any other state in India such as Bihar where most of Indian farmers commit suicide due to the actions of Monsanto, an American agro chemical company.

    Therefore, nowadays Karunanidi, Jayalalitha, and Sambandan are singing like “Kohas” “කොහා” sensing the imminent down of a political New Year, but Delhi got freaked hearing this terror songs because if they allow Karunanidhi to sing his songs of Tamil nationalism, then the Indian general public will come to know that the current Sri Lankan policy of Delhi is stupid and suicidal to India’s future.

    What Sri Lanka must do now is to form an espionage agency capable of countering foreign espionage agencies including RAW and reaching out Indian general public to educate them about the disastrous politics of their leaders. It is worth to spend few millions of SL tax payers money for that end in India.

  36. Geeth Says:

    Hello all,
    This is the comment I posted in HLDM’s article “Continuing the series on What Happened in the History of Jaffna – Blaming the Sinhalese for the “insane fury” of Jaffna.” I decided to post it here due to its relevance to the subject discussed in HLDM’s article.
    Dear HLDM,

    Dear HLDM,
    Please pardon me for diverting from the main theme for a moment. Your writing has resonated to some other aspect of the problem. Actually my comment is more suitable to be posted in the article of Neville Ladduwahetty under the caption US-India-China and the indian ocean: impact on Sri Lanka.

    Yes “Hatara waran deiyo” was residing in the bird brains of Tamil politicians. They kept taking the wrong turn at the proverbial fork junction of their political path at all times. That in-turn created a default belief among Sinhala folks to believe that the Tamil issue meant to culminate in a decisive defeat to Tamil racism, and it will be resolved through some unspecified divine intervention.

    Aprt from that, they had enormous faith in Prabhakaran to do the “RIGHT THING” more than they had their faith in Sinhalese leaders to do the same. I mean the “RIGHT THING” from Sinhalese perspective, which means, “politically stupid thing”. And Prabhakaran did it in innumerable times.

    As you have mentioned, if not for the “crass stupidity of insane Tamil leaders,” the nation of Sinhalese might have ended their existence entirely from the world map once for all due to the actions of the stupidest of all known political varieties, the “Colombian Sinhala leaders. “If Tamils were wise enough, the fate of Sinhalese could have been reduced to a keyword in Wikipedia for future researchers, similar to that of Chagossians, another Indian Ocean nation in Diego Garcia that has been wiped off the map.

    The Chagossian struggle of reclaiming their country back has been stranded without success in foreseeable future. To the new developments of geopolitics in the Indian Ocean, Chagossians wouldn’t even have a remote chance of getting their land back from western nations either.

    Now the question is, if the west desires only hegemony in the Indian Ocean to control its sea routes and to keep it out of sea piracy, then how on earth Tamils have become their favorites in the region to deliver that goal rather than Sinhalese? How and on what basis Tamils have become partners of the west to achieve their said goal, although logically it should have been Sinhalese that would have delivered their hegemonic aspirations much easily? And given the fact that Sinhalese are the majority of the land and supposedly not antagonistic to the west, logically west must have approached the Sinhalese to get a foot hold in the country rather than messing with them by abetting separatism in the island?

    But above logic, which is based on the thesis of “ west is only desiring to control Indian Ocean sea routes to keep it out of piracy and trouble” doesn’t answer this question of “why they have chosen Tamils instead of Sinhalese?” to achieve the said goal? There is no viable answer for it in this article.

    Then we must understand that the question must be wrong…we must ask the right question. To ask the right question we must change the thesis. So the new thesis should be “to control the Indian Ocean sea routs as well as to contain India as an emerging world power that historically had the potentials of becoming a competitor of the north Atlantic coalition”, west needs a partner in the Indian Ocean to deliver those goals.

    The Sinhalese has the potential of delivering one aspiration of the west, that’s of controlling the sea routs and fighting against piracy, but Tamils have the potential of delivering both western aspirations of controlling Indian Ocean, escalating or stopping sea piracy as well as containing the future of India. Therefore Tamils will be the useful western partner in the region. Under this condition, not only Tamils in Sri Lanka, but also in Tamilnadu will be within the spheres of western strategists. That is the reason why Obamas and Clintons visit Tamilnadu more frequently than the state of Bihar where most of farmers commit suicide due to the actions of Monsanto, an American agro chemical company.

    Therefore, Karunanidi and Jayalalitha, and Sambandan are singing like “Kohas” “කොහා” sensing the imminent down of a political New Year, but Delhi got freaked hearing these terror songs because if they allow Karunanidhi to sing his songs of Tamil nationalism, then the Indian general public will come to know that the current Sri Lankan policy of Delhi is stupid and suicidal. And that will deliver a decisive political blow into the northern political leadership of Indian politics.

    What Sri Lanka must do now is to form an espionage agency capable of countering foreign espionage agencies including RAW and reaching out Indian general public to educate them about the disastrous politics of their leaders. It is worth to spend few millions for that end in India.

  37. Geeth Says:

    Like I said, Karunanidi, Jayalalitha, and Sambandan are singing like “Kohas” “කොහා” sensing the down of a political New Year on the horizon with the auspicious support of the west. But Delhi got freaked out hearing this terror song because if they allow Karunanidhi to sing his songs of Tamil nationalism, then the Indian general public will come to know that the current Sri Lankan policy of Delhi is stupid and suicidal.

    So Manmohan did the obvious…he used American Duct tape to seal Karunanidi’s mouth. It’ is pretty obvious; that the duct tape he used was not Indian but American, because Manmohan’s Duct Tape is not strong enough to seal Karunanidi’s mouth, but at the moment American Duct Tape only can do it, and it worked.

    Yes, politics is an ugly game and Manmohan knows it very well.

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