Sri Lanka is in need of friends
Posted on July 12th, 2018

N.A de S. Amaratunga 

Sri Lanka is badly in need of a friend. There are big powerful countries, some nearby and others far away, who say they are our friends, but going by what they are doing to us,  if they are our friends we don’t need enemies. We  know that these countries have their geopolitical imperatives and that we must not rub them on the wrong side. We don’t need to make enemies unwittingly. Yet in this time and age a country needs independence and sovereignty. Colonialism is dead and gone and imperialism is being fought against in every front. We also fought against it quite successfully in our glorious past and also recently when we defeated the LTTE. Further several times in our history we have also capitulated to the diktat of foreign powers and similarly now we have surrendered and are almost a subject nation courtesy the government. It is true that if we elected the government we are the cause of our predicament though it is more probable that it was installed by the same powers that exploit the country now.

Now the country seems to be in great peril due to the actions of our so called friends. The most serious and far reaching problem is the proposed constitutional changes which the Prime Minister presented to the parliament recently. This constitution is not of our making. It is probably made in USA in consultation with the Tamil diaspora. Though Mr Jayampathi Wickramaratne claims authorship , he may have fine tuned it but the basic concepts must have originated in the USA. Mr.Wickramaratne must have crafted the deceptive clauses in order to hide the federal nature. The unitary status has been deceptively altered. His claim that the unitary status has not been changed cannot hold water because in that case there is no need to change the existing clauses that describes the nature of the state as unitary. Land and police powers are also to be devolved to the periphery. Further the concurrent list is to be removed which would further weaken the controlling powers of the central government over the provincial councils. Moreover the presidential powers would be further pruned or totally removed and the governor who is the representative of the executive president would also be removed thereby delinking the periphery from the centre. The result would be a federal state for all practical purposes.

The government was forced by the imperialist West, who had helped it to come to power,  to cosponsor a UNHRC resolution against its own country, the first time in the history of the UN such a thing has happened. Our friendly countries China et al  were bemused and had felt betrayed for they had always voted in support of Sri Lanka and against such resolutions in the past. Our friends were further spurned by verbal denigration and stopping of their big projects like the Colombo Port City project. Ironically the government was forced to go on its knees to China  and beg for assistance as their new friends in the west were not raising a finger to help the government to overcome its financial difficulties. China graciously obliged but the relations were not the same. As long as the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 remains in force the western countries via the UN could interfere in our domestic affairs. The Resolution is not binding and the government need not implement its proposals if it doesn’t want to but this government is in no mood to refrain from doing what the West wants it to do. It has started the process, the constitution reforms are on track, the proposals of the Resolution are being implemented, the Office for Missing Persons  Bill has been passed and its Commission has been packed with LTTE sympathizers, Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance was passed hurriedly on the 7th March 2018 while the country was in turmoil due to attacks against Muslims, and several other similar laws are in the pipeline. These when in place would complete the noose round Sri Lanka’s neck. The country would totally lose its independence and with a federal constitution  may even undergo separation into pieces. This is the design the West has on Sri Lanka. The West has done this kind of destabilization in several countries which are strategically important to them, to make them fall in line with their neo-conservative agenda.

Sri Lanka could avoid this fate if it can get back to its earlier foreign policy frame work which the previous regime put into practice to good effect. The leaders of the previous regime had correctly understood the global geopolitical situation and also who Sri Lanka’s true friends are and who are just pretending and working against our interests. They knew who was helping our enemies the LTTE and trying to destabilize our country and why. They knew if they were to win the war and develop the country they have to stop obeying the orders of the Western countries and strengthen the relations with the opposite camp China et al which was rapidly developing as a world power and changing the global balance of power equation. This policy worked quite well for the previous regime as results show, the war was won and a huge development programme was undertaken. The previous regime of course earned the wrath of the Western powers for finishing off the LTTE  and tilting towards China. The local political opportunists with personal vendetta colluded with the West to topple the previous government. The results are on display, the economy is in ruins and we are fast becoming a subject nation.

The Chinese cannot be called non-imperialists, they have their agenda, they do not give free lunches. They do not, however, interfere in the internal affairs of countries with whom they develop close economic and cultural relations. What they want in their dealings may be raw materials and such. They are not hegemonic and domineering. One may argue this is because China is not interested in human rights concerns, minority rights and justice and fair play while the West is. For this argument to hold the actions of the West in this regard has to be above suspicion and not inimical to the countries they deal with. We know that the West uses the human rights issue as a bludgeon, an imperialist tool to force countries to fall in line with their geo-political agenda. The West has put in place in the UN their armament such as the Right to Protect, the Transitional Justice process etc which they use to destabilize and dominate countries. They themselves, however, seem to be immune to these measures and they commit the world’s worst human rights violations. On the other hand China does not engage in such practices and their foreign relations are designed for mutual benefit and not domination or exploitation. China in this sense is a  friend in deed.

If Sri Lanka is to be secured for its people before it is too late our foreign policy has to be completely overhauled. In the present context of geo-politics and global power play no small country could strictly adhere to a non-alignment policy. At present, though our government including the president claim that with the advent of the present government we have established good relations with all countries what has happened is we have been taken in a hegemonic grip by the western powers. This relationship is not good for the country as shown by the adverse effect it has in the areas of the economy, security, constitution etc. It is the Western powers who had caused all this damage. The government is helplessly obeying the orders of the West in all its important activities. This is not non-alignment but enslavement. Non-alignment cannot free us from this bondage. On the contrary alignment with powerful good friends may help us to be independent and develop our country the way we want.  Countries like ours which are strategically important for the world powers must design their foreign policy carefully. It could have a non-alignment facade but must have a strong relationship with the lesser evil so to speak, an evil who would protect us from the greater dangers and help us to live and develop our country keeping it in one piece. However the people of this country must realize that that would not happen as long as this government lasts.

N.A de S. Amaratunga

One Response to “Sri Lanka is in need of friends”

  1. Christie Says:

    Very interesting.

    Ghosts of the West.

    Nothing about the gods from India.

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