NO MORE INDIA FIRST! A RATIONAL AND BETTER FOREIGN POLICY – BALANCE
Posted on November 17th, 2020

Stanley Gunaratne

THE POLICY OF THIS COUNTRY SHOULD NOT BE “INDIA FIRST”, NOR GIVING PRIORITY TO INDIA. THEIR CONCERNS ARE OF NO CONCERN TO US. IT IS THE HEIGHT OF FOOLISHNESS FOR GOVERNMENTS OF THIS NATION TO PANDER TO INDIA AND ISSUE SUCH RIDICULOUS STATEMENTS.

In order to be a global hub and connect to the world, one does not prioritise a single regional country. That is completely incompetent, lacking in business sense and given India’s hostile nature and recent history of them trying to destroy us, it is high treason.

Singapore believed that maintaining a balance of power, rather than becoming a de facto vassal of some larger power, would provide Singapore with freedom to pursue an independent foreign policy. The interest in the Great Powers in Singapore would also deter the interference of regional powers. It believed in leapfrogging the region and connecting with the entire world. It believed in a meritocracy and the rule of law. It believed in national defence and did not prioritise its neighbours over others or common sense! Remember the only nation which thinks India is a superpower is India.

FOR CEYLON TO SUCCEED:

1. We must re-establish the kind of foreign policy we had in the 1940s and 50s. Secure our defence. In those days we had the Anglo Ceylon Defence Agreement which protected us from regional players and simultaneously entered into the Rubber Rice pact with China (which proves our independence and destroys the ridiculous leftist argument that we were not fully independent). If no arrangement is made with someone to guarantee assistance in the event of attack, then like Singapore we should ensure discipline, national service and operational readiness of the nation with a well equipped armed forces such that someone (especially India) will think twice, thrice and more about even contemplating any skullduggery.

2. There should be ZERO priority to India. The illegal Indo Lanka Accord must be scrapped. It is pointless claiming “non alignment” when “India first” contradicts that. Ceylon should not be a satellite state, or vassal state of India. The Indo Lanka Accord has stripped us of our sovereignty and India currently has control of our Ports and foreign policy. 

3. We need THE RULE OF LAW, zero tolerance for corruption and a meritocracy ensuring beneficial tenders and agreements are entered into with all on a level playing field in an open tender.

4. We can engage in a friends with all approach and enmity with none. However, that does not equate to a naive “neutrality” at any cost. The Netherlands professed neutrality in 1940. That did not stop Nazi Germany invading them anyway. We should of course pursue the national interest and aspire to a friends with all policy promoting goodwill amongst all nations as well as the principle of non interference in the internal affairs of another civilisation, or the normal development of any other society. The foreign policy for our region should be a “BALANCE OF POWER” in order to prevent any one regional power from establishing a hegemonic status in this region.

5. We must make up for lost time to strengthen relations with South East Asia. We were invited to join ASEAN at its founding. This was a major missed opportunity. We must attempt to join at the earliest available opportunity.

6. By establishing the rule of law, Ceylon can take advantage of a multi polar world and gain a monsoon shower of investment and blossoming of trade with East and West. That will include private investment funds and firms from the US and Europe as well as South Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, South Korea, Japan and China based on merit. There will be zero priority to India. If there is no rule of law, there will be no massive FDI. 

7. We must benchmark against the whole world and not just South Asia. Like Singapore, New Zealand, Estonia, South Korea and Finland, we should aim to be the best on global benchmarks pertaining to anti corruption, ease of doing business and physical and digital infrastructure. Therefore, all available funds thus far that have been squandered including future borrowings must be used to build up Ceylon’s infrastructure to be EQUAL or BETTER than the likes of Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Japan. We must aspire to be a FIRST WORLD OASIS IN A THIRD WORLD REGION. Building Indian style infrastructure will get us nowhere.

8. We must utilise and strengthen our historical friendship with China. They have not forgotten how we stood by them at a time of need with the Rubber Rice Pact. China is one of the richest nations on Earth willing to invest. They also possess technological expertise and an ethos of efficiency which can help us build first world infrastructure FAST.

May Ceylon rediscover and realise her potential as a truly resplendent isle and bastion of excellence in the world. 

I cite this classic dialogue very applicable to our situation:  
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Minister, Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last 500 years: to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Germans and Italians. Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now when it’s worked so well? 
Minister James Hacker: That’s all ancient history, surely. 
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Yes, and current policy…. it’s just like old times. 
James Hacker: What appalling cynicism. 
Sir Humphrey Appleby: We call it diplomacy, Minister.  

Ceylon’s policy therefore must be a disunited India and most certainly NOT “India first”.

It is foolish to pander to India. This nation is not part of India, was never part of India (a nation that came into existence in 1947) and thankfully never will be part of India. Let all those who believe that India must have sole priority over the rest of the world go to India, starting with the useless political class who have no vision, no self respect and certainly no understanding of the world. 

One Response to “NO MORE INDIA FIRST! A RATIONAL AND BETTER FOREIGN POLICY – BALANCE”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    BEST FOREIGN POLICY IS A STRONG AND DISCIPLINED MILITARY!

    We must beef up our military to suit the changing balance of power equation in the Indo-Pacific arena. Any International Interloper must be made to understand that Sri Lanka is not a ‘cake walk’ in the future. We have remained a sovereign nation for many thousands of years because we fought back. The pain of fighting back will be less if we are sufficiently strong to defend ourselves. It need not be sophisticated high level military. Low level AK47 deterence is all what we require!

    Let us begin with national service / compulsory national conscription for all adults of a certain age. Not only we will end up with a disciplined nation we too will be able to demonstrate that we are the ‘poison prawn’ in the Indian Ocean with which no nation with belligerent intentions will dare to interfere with!

    France, China and Singapore still have National Conscription.

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