Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Russian Roulette A Gun to Sri Lankan Sovereignty.
Posted on March 16th, 2014

Prof. Hudson McLean

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Russian Roulette A Gun to Sri Lankan Sovereignty.
Russia / USSR has been a good supportive friend of Sri Lanka from the days of Ceylon. And to add to that, Sergei Lavrov the Russian Foreign Minister, who was attached to the Embassy of USSR in the days gone by, and speaks Sinhala.  Under any circumstances, Russia deserves the fullest support of Sri Lanka. However the current situation in Crimea on Sunday 16th March 2014, draws a line, due to the adverse effect it might have on Sri Lanka.
A simple question: What would be the reaction of the SLG, should India next door encourages three million Tamils from North & East of Sri Lanka, and Colombo, into Jaffna Peninsular and offloads a few boat loads of Tamils from Tamil Nadu and sets off a Referendum within one month, to gain independence from Sri Lanka, supported by Indian troops?
This is definitely an Illegal Act according to International Law.
However, should the Government of Sri Lanka decides to hold a referendum in the entire Island, to seek a mandate, whether Jaffna Peninsular should be an independent State or a Province of India or remain within Sri Lanka, and the entire Sri Lankan electorate vote in favour or in majority, then the result may conclude that cessation or otherwise, should be legal. The most likely result is that, the majority Sinhala would favour a unified Island.
This is where Russia went wrong.  Vladimir Putin the President of Russia got the Monkey-by-the-Tail!
Putin should have in the first place, should have encouraged a Ukrainian Referendum, before the former (legally elected) President Yanukovich decided to run with his 40 billion dollars to Russian safety.
Most probably the Referendum may have been in the favour of Western-EU favoured Ukrainian politicians. However, if the Referendum was based on three separate regions, East, West, and Crimean Peninsular, the results would have a far beneficial effect towards Russia. At least, it would provoke a break-up of the entire Ukraine into two or three regions, with two most likely in favour of Russia.
Should the Ukraine government play a game of brinkmanship, civil riots might lead to both UN Peacekeepers and possibly Russian peace keeping troops entrenched within the country. USA or EU are highly unlikely to get involved deeply into the quagmire but the Russians with their only warm water port in Crimea, would take a different aggressive offensive position to protect their military asset.
The current situation has global repercussions on Sri Lanka-India, Tibet-China, Spain-Gibraltar, Malvinas (aka The Falkland Islands)-United Kingdom, Russia (Kurill Islands)-Japan, and several other disputed territories. All major powers have an axe to grind.
Tamils may run-riot in Malaysia, Singapore, Canada, Australia, Great Briton demanding Tamil-Nadu-Territories. And other nationalities-ethnic groups would follow suit. A global bloody mess.
This also present a question on the possible independence of Scotland. Should a Referendum be held in the United Kingdom to allow the cessation of Scotland as an independent Sovereignty or can the Scots have an UDI, as late Ian Smith of Zimbabwe did?
Hope my good Sri Lanka & Russian readers react in an active debate on this issue.
 Express Your Opinion – Read What Others Say!
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18 Responses to “Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Russian Roulette A Gun to Sri Lankan Sovereignty.”

  1. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Dear Prof Hudson,
    You are wrong this time. As Moscow’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said “Some dispute the legality of such a referendum, but it is unacceptable to manipulate individual principles and norms of international law, randomly pulling them out of context not only of the international law, but the specific political circumstances and historical aspects,”

    In each case, the envoy believes, one should “balance between the principles of territorial integrity and the right for self-determination.”

    “It is clear that the implementation of the right of self-determination in the form of separation from the existing state is an extraordinary measure. In Crimea such a case apparently arose as a result of a legal vacuum, which emerged as a result of unconstitutional, violent coup d’état carried out in Kiev by radical nationalists, as well as direct threats by the latter to impose their order on the whole territory of Ukraine.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Well said Prof. I’ve been saying this from the start.

    Russia is a great country and we must ALL support Russia WHATEVER it does.

    But on PRINCIPLE what Russia did was WRONG.

    Whatever happened in Ukraine is its INTERNAL matter. There is NO legal validity of what Russia did. Crimeans as Ukrainians have a VOTE and the right to JOIN or NOT join the ILLEGAL regime change thing. They have NO RIGHT to get the Russians to take over crimea BY FORCE and then hold a referendum WITHIN JUST 2 WEEKS!!

    Look at the options.

    1. Be aprt of Russia (93% will vote this way).
    2. Be an INDEPENDENT nation.

    What about REMANINING part of Ukraine as now??? It is NOT an option.

    This is WRONG whoever did it.

    But I support Russia 100% because it stuffed NULAND to the tune of $5 billion. She thought Ukraine can be toppled and bought over. FAT HOPE!

  3. Lorenzo Says:



    I must say I support Russia 100% NO MATTER WHAT it does to western interests.

    But the EXCUSE you have given (of Churkin’s) is wrong.

    1. Russian troops INVADED Ukraine.
    2. At a time when Ukraine was in crisis.
    3. There was NO DANGER to Russian speaking people in Crimea. There are MORE Russian speakers in Eastern Ukraine THAN in Crimea!! What about them?
    4. Even if Russian speaking people were in danger, INVASION is not an option.
    5. How can SUCH AN IMPORTANT referendum be held in just 2 WEEKS?
    6. Look at the HOBSON’S CHOICE in the referendum – be independent or be part of Russia. How about REMAINING a part of Ukraine as usual?
    7. Crimea port is leased to Russia and Russia many times tried to get more peacefully. Ukraine refused.

    This is MIGHT IS RIGHT at work.

    Others will COPY it soon.

    This is why China ABSTAINED from veto on the matter yesterday. Only Russia vetoed the resolution against it.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    Crimea votes to join Russia

    “With over half the votes counted, 95.5 percent had chosen the option of annexation by Moscow, the head of the referendum commission, Mikhail Malyshev, said two hours after polls closed. Turnout was 83 percent, he added – a high figure given that many who opposed the move had said they would boycott the vote.”


    MIGHT is RIGHT as always.

    But I like the way Russians handle the situation. Earlier Russian govt. websites were hacked. In RETALIATION NATO websites were hacked.

    SL very badly needs HACKTIVISTS to hack, deface, humiliate and disrupt anti-SL websites.

    MOD should have a HACKTIVISTS REGIMENT. An easy way to win the propaganda war. LTTE RUMP cannot hack GOSL websites and get away because it is a BIG CRIME in their countries. But SL can do it.

  5. mario_perera Says:

    Just a reflection on the phrase ‘principles and norms of INTERNATIONAL LAW’.

    We are inherently a law abiding nation. At least when we do wrong we know it is wrong.This attitude stems more from our religious traditions than from obsession about legal codes be they national or international.

    Unfortunately we are like children in the age of innocence in the midst of vulture civilizations corrupt to the core totally bereft of the least semblance of religious values. Without such perennial and stable values legal codes are like objects in the hands of jugglers.

    America and its EU allies do not care a tuppence for International law. International law for them is the iron in the hands of a blacksmith to be bent and shaped into the forms that suit their goals and aims.

    International law is what we are told it is by powers that tower above us politically and militarily, especially the latter.

    I see a comparison of ‘International law’ with the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 that practically and literally before the eyes of all, suddenly disappeared into thin air. Now all concerned nations are on all fours their backs in the air sniffing the spaces and oceans for clues and bringing up all the weird, surrealistic and ir-real theories and arguments to explain the event.

    That is how the power blocks deal with international law. They make it disappear into nothingness to suit their ends, and then nations such as ours delve into the depths and heights of the matter vainly attempting to put the disappeared bits and pieces together. Such exercises also suit our intellectual vanity.

    Such being the ground reality the only solutions nations can adopt to problems at home or affecting their existence have to be pragmatic. This is exactly what Russia has done.

    In contrast, that is what OUR NATION has NOT done. We are kneeling on the dotted line that we are told is International Law. At the end of the day what prevails is NOT International Law but the physical realities. This factor has escaped the grasp of our Leader.

    the Northern problem cannot be solved by bending over slavishly to power block centered ‘principles and norms’ going under the term ‘International Law’. The only physical reality that can solve the Northern problem is lumping Sinhalese and Muslims in that uni-ethnic Tamil enclave that is the North.

    The Russians understood this well. Instead of cowing down to what Obama and his allies call International law he called for and won the referendum with the physical component of Crimea. the ethnic Russian population. Putin dismissed the phantom of International Law by playing to his strength. In the end what mattered was the survival of Russia endangered by foes obtaining footholds on its frontiers.

    Our leaders have to establish ethnic parity in the North even making it predominantly Sinhalese. Then no hammer of International law wielded by unscrupulous blacksmiths can beat, bend, cleave and rupture our Unitary State. This is the lesson to be drawn from the Russian exercise in Crimea.

    Mario Perera

  6. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    A simple question: What would be the reaction of the SLG, should India next door encourages three million Tamils from North & East of Sri Lanka, and Colombo, into Jaffna Peninsular and offloads a few boat loads of Tamils from Tamil Nadu and sets off a Referendum within one month, to gain independence from Sri Lanka, supported by Indian troops?

    SIMPLE ANSWER: Sri Lankan Tamils have NEVER acted as a unit, are diverse by religion and origin, (Jaffna Tamils verses Indian Tamils who are tee pickers) and during the war by and large were not involved with the Tamil Terrorists. Throughout the war Tamils lived in relative peace with the Sinhalese across the nation and in Colombo it has been stated that the demographics was 30% Tamils, 30% Sinhalese and 30% Muslim. India or Tamil Nadu do not have the sway to dictate and accomplish such a move. The question by itself is biased for it assumes Sri Lankan Tamils take orders from India. They never have. Only a select few that became terrorist did.

    Secondly the creation of Eelam would also be the creation of one of the poorest nations in the world. Colombo will not cede the Trincomalee port to a new Eelam. That question has nagged me to point this out. Even the Tamil Diaspora that is hell bent on the creation of Eelam would definitely not leave their relatively comfortable lives in Europe to re migrate to this new land. It would be left to the hapless few Tamils who do decide to enter this land where it will be in a perpetual state of war with Colombo and be a destabilizing force for South India.

    As for the Crimea, Vladimir Putin is headed the KGB before he became President. I doubt if the move to take over the Crimea was not already a blue print in Moscow. I doubt even the elections in the Ukraine were not manipulated by Russia for Russia to make this move.

    A classic example was Sikkim’s decision to vote to join India. Now in retrospect it was not an innocent act but an act which New Delhi under Indira Gandhi planned well ahead. RAW was deeply involved in that election to favor joining India. India already manipulated the political situation in Sikkim so that Sikkim will cede to India and it worked. Unlike the Crimea the US did not say a word about that.

  7. AnuD Says:

    I also don’t agree with this article.

    In Ukraine Laws are different. Within that State, it is completely legal what they are doing. See, how they got rid of the president elected and appointed an interim govt. All did by their “parliament”.

    I don’t think Sri Lankan Rule books are written in that way.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    “The only physical reality that can solve the Northern problem is lumping Sinhalese and Muslims in that uni-ethnic Tamil enclave that is the North.

    The Russians understood this well.”

    Well said Mario.

    This is the ONLY solution. Now Russians focus on EASTERN UKRAINE where Russians are the majority!

    GOSL fools are too afraid even to keep the army camps. So no hope of civilians living in Jaffna other than Tamilians.

  9. Lorenzo Says:


    Regardless of what happened in Kiev, Russia would have ANNEXED Crimea one way or the other.

  10. Nanda Says:

    “Our leaders have to establish ethnic parity in the North even making it predominantly Sinhalese. ”

    Our fools remove even the army camps, the last pockets of Sinhalese in the North and proud of it.

  11. radha Says:

    May be Prof got this wrong. If Crimean referendum was illegal then what would you call the US instigated actions of rebels in Ukraine that toppled a legitimate government there? Was it not illegal too? I think Crimean referendum was a fair response to the US excesses in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world.

    I don’t think India will disgorge millions of Kallathonis on us to claim a majority win. Well, the diaspora terrorist sympathizers tried to fix voting in Sri Lanka by claiming dual citizenship, but thankfully GR quickly put a stop to it.

  12. Sooriarachi Says:

    I think the Professor got it wrong. In Sri Lanka there was never a Tamil republic or state or nation or even a Province in the past thousands of years, until in the recent past, Prabakaran created a nearly 100% Tamil Province, through his ethnic cleaning campaign of non-Tamils and also colonising the North with more Tamils from South India. Even so, he could not carve out a separate mono ethnic Tamil state.
    As I understand, Crimea was a Republic and a part of Russia since the 17th century, but illegally handed over to Ukraine in 1954, by Nikita Khrushchev an Ukrainian, when Ukraine was also a part of the Soviet Union. What has happened today is that the Crimeans have decided to go back to Russia, as the coup leaders in Ukraine were trying to join NATO, the arch enemy of their motherland Russia. Crimea did not have the time to wait till Ukraine elected a legal Government through an election, as the Ukrainian coup leaders were going to join NATO, even before the election of a legitimate Ukrainian government, as was very cunningly set up by the Western nations. So the two situations or completely different. India cannot use the same reasons as Russia did, but it has the military strength to annex even the whole of Sri Lanka.

  13. Lorenzo Says:


    It does NOT matter.

    One camp believes there was NO Tamil nation in SL. Other camp belives there was a Tamil nation in SL.

    Depending on the situation the international community will pick what to believe.

    Tamils say the same thing. They say in 1833 the Tamil nation was amalgamated with the Chingalam nation. What matters is NOT what we believe or the TRUTH but what POWERFUL countries WANT to beleive.

    Endia believes there was a Tamil traditional homeland in SL. Read the Endia-SL pact 1987. Available in internet.

  14. Lorenzo Says:

    Endia cannot take whole of SL. That will lead to MASS MURDER of Endian interests. Too costly. It will show Endia in a very bad way to the world and invite China to take more Endian land by force.

    But Tamilians (Endians) LOVE Endia despite HORRIBLE crimes IPKF did to them. 90% of northern people will say YES to join Endia or become independent if a referendum is held.

    As with Crimea referendum, staying with SL will NOT be an option!!

    USA doing military drills in Black Sea now. Russia will soon retaliate by doing military drills near Alaska, Cuba or Venezuela.

  15. Sooriarachi Says:

    You are right, the nations that believe in “Might is Right” , have no principles and as they also have budgetary control over the various Human Rights NGOs an UN bodies, they will interpret the law to suit their needs, like what was done in Kosovo, Libya, Iraq etc., which nations are today in utter chaos and must be now regretting for joining the West to capture power.
    However, in Crimea’s case, the claim is, it was always a part of Russia before the 1954 merger and now they have voted to keep out of NATO and instead re-join Russia. In the case of Tamils, whether their claim is true or false, we know that India never ever claimed that North East was a part of India at any time in the past and nor did the Tamils claim, they were a part of India. So India cannot legally merge the North East, though they can, together with the West, create a Tamil Christian state in the North but eventually lose their own Tamilnadu, to this new state. This is my belief, having observed the frequent visits paid to South India by American leaders.

  16. NAK Says:

    Russia did the right thing the right way at the right time. A referendum covering the whole of Ukrain would never have been allowed any way by those who knew the out come as well as Dr. Mclean. They didn’t even wait for the agreed and scheduled elections.
    Break up of Ukrain is not going to end with Crimea, all the industrially and agriculturally prosperous eastern states will ultimately end up in Putins lap with out a shot being fired. Obama the loser he is will end up with a massively debt ridden unproductive western Ukrain and F**k (the EU) Nuland!

  17. Lorenzo Says:

    Sanctions tit for tat. Russia imposes sanctions on US officials!!

    “Russia’s Foreign Ministry has published a reciprocal sanctions list of US citizens, consisting of 10 names, including: House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, Senator J. McCain; and advisers to President Obama D. Pfeiffer and C. Atkinson.”

    – rt

    Russia should immediately GO BACK on Syria and Iran.

    Israel has INCREASED defence budget by $ 3 BILLION for the coming year to ATTACK IRAN. Russia must defend Iran.

  18. Lorenzo Says:

    More fun. Endia vs China. SL should INVITE China to do investigations from SL waters.

    “After objections raised by the defence forces, India today rejected China’s request for permission to allow its four warships to enter Indian maritime zone to search for the missing Malaysian airliner.

    China, whose 150 nationals are on board the aircraft, had yesterday sent a formal request to India to allow their warships including a salvage vessel and two frigates to enter Indian waters in the Andaman Sea to locate the plane.

    The request was politely declined and the Chinese Navy was told that Indian Navy and the Air Force were already scanning the area and there was no need for anybody else to search the area, sources told PTI.

    The defence forces had raised objections over the entry of Chinese warships into the Indian waters and that too in an area in Bay of Bengal where India’s military assets are mainly to guard against China and these could get exposed if the Chinese warships are allowed in, they said.”


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