Modi Can Better Defend India by Shedding Tamil Interests and Engaging with Sri Lanka at the National Interest Level
Posted on October 2nd, 2020

Dilrook Kannangara

Unfortunately for India, PM Modi follows the outdated approach of using Tamil problems as a negotiation tool with Sri Lanka. It never worked and does not work today. Tamil interests are neither in Sri Lanka’s nor India’s favour. Rajiv Gandhi did manage to gain some temporary leverage in 1985 and 1987 at a time when China played a minor role beyond its boundaries and USA was the biggest threat to India. Even then Sri Lanka reached out to Pakistan and China to counter Tamil interests. In 2009 India made another 1987-style last ditch attempt to save Tamil terrorists but having learned from 1987, Sri Lankan military very cleverly checkmated India. Had India invaded Lanka in 2009 as it did in 1987, a large number of Tamils in Menik Farm and Jaffna would have died in the crossfire. It couldn’t have saved the LTTE anyway and would have implicated India in war crimes.

India’s real interests are in safeguarding maritime trade routes, keeping Indian territory safe from attacks and warding off separatism. Sri Lanka’s national interest perfectly aligns with that of India in all these aspects. Therefore, India must engage Sri Lanka at the national interest level only which will be a sustainable win-win for both countries.

India is basically an island with no land trade routes. This is because India has offended all its neighbors! A sad plight due to India’s appetite to interfere in domestic affairs of neighboring countries. If war breaks out, India will be totally isolated with only sea routes taking and bringing in trade. An adversary only has to attack India’s few ports and Delhi will be forced to surrender (or suffer massive economic and social upheaval). Given these facts, India must not get distracted with wayside issues like Tamil problems.

India’s reliance on USA is not as rock-solid as its past reliance on the Soviet Union. USA will not defend India against an attack but will use India to achieve US interests and then leave it high and dry. The same happened to Pakistan, Iraq, South Vietnam, Georgia, Ukraine, etc. US interests are best served by dividing India. Southern states have the largest economies, most pro-US views, biggest business with USA and no border wars. Splitting India into north and south works best for USA.

Another headache India has is the role of nuclear-armed Pakistan. An India-China war will sufficiently ruin India that it will struggle to face off against Pakistan if another war breaks out over its Pakistani border.

Should India make another enemy towards its south?

If India wants dependable and sustainable safety from its south front, it must shed Tamil issues and negotiate with Sri Lanka on the basis of national interests only. Tamils are without a nation for a very good reason. India must not take it upon itself to change Tamil destiny. All those who attempted it before ended up in the rubbish bin of history.

One Response to “Modi Can Better Defend India by Shedding Tamil Interests and Engaging with Sri Lanka at the National Interest Level”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    Golden words from Dilrook! Bloody right!

    India should know what will be in store for her when America moves to reside next door! India should know that India is a colonial construct of the British Raj and nothing more. It does not have definitive borders on many fronts which are not British made. India is a collection of nations held together so far by the very notion of Indian-ness. This has many fault lines which will be used by the Western Christian nations led by the US and now by newly rich Middle Eastern nations to balkanize India into sizable linguistic and religious states of their choosing. The Islamic womb bombs are rapidly changing the demographics in some States!

    The formation of Eelam is only the stepping stone to balkanize India. It is very much in India’s interest to see that they think long and hard about the security of South Asia as a whole and not just their selfish India only interests.

    The roots of plans for bifurcating Sri Lanka goes a long way to the establishment of Missionary Schools in Jaffna and the creation of an educated minority against the less endowed Sinhala Majority in the South. That is over hundred years ago. Imperialists plan well in advance. The fact that Sri Lanka still remains a sovereign state is a wonder – thanks to the Guardian Deities who look after Sri Lanka.

    To add, Sri Lanka was and has been a sovereign geographical and political entity for the last 2600 years. Our borders are marked by the seas around us and our lineage of sovereignity well documented and cast in stone. We had invaders, plunderers and looters but we have so far remained intact. We aim to do so far into the future!

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