DEFENCE OF THE ISLAND – Difference between 1948 and now -PROPOSAL FOR NEW CONSTITUTION
Posted on November 23rd, 2020

Stanley Gunaratne 

1. Abolition of Indo Lanka Accord. Adoption of a Foreign Policy of Balance to counter regional players. Adoption of a “Total Defence” policy based on Psychological, Social, Economic, Civil, Digital and Military Defence.

The following two sections should be included in a future constitution and national policy:

A lesson in history:

2. It was a catastrophic, incompetent, foolish and UNMITIGATED DISASTER to have abrogated the Anglo Ceylon Defence Agreement (of 1947) in 1957. This led to a loss of a guaranteed ally and assistance in the event of foreign attack. Had we kept it in force, then India would have been kept at bay. It was a mutually beneficial agreement and provided an indirect export to Ceylon also. During that period we had an independent foreign policy as proven by the simultaneous existence of this Defence Agreement with Britain and the Rubber Rice Pact with China.

It is absolute FOOLISHNESS and revisionist history of leftists to claim that this was somehow a flaw, or “not independence” or a bad situation to be in. Ceylon was FULLY independent and its status akin to what Singapore enjoys today in terms of defence. It is furthermore, INSANE for many of these same “critics” to remain silent on the Indo Lanka Accord which BLATANTLY strips us of our independence and ability to engage with whomever we damn well please. This so called “non alignment” and “neutrality” that we have suffered (not enjoyed) has sadly been nothing more than Indian subservience and the restrictions of a vassal state status, to third rate India to add insult to injury!

Under the original Defence Agreement we enjoyed from 1947:

1. It was not constitutionally objectionable (unlike the Indo Lanka Accord)

2. It was for an indefinite period and allowed for any modification by agreement

3. A commitment by the United Kingdom to provide defence against external aggression and for the protection of essential communications

4. Military assistance included naval and air assistance.

5. Bases for forces required for the purpose of defending Ceylon would be provided as may be MUTUALLY AGREED and only if required for said defence.

6. The Government of Ceylon would receive military assistance in the training and development and equipping the Ceylonese Armed Forces.

7. Unlike other nations at the time like Australia, Ceylon would not have to pay Britain for the upkeep, maintenance and equipment for any forces provided (that were mutually agreed) to defend us. This provided us with an indirect export.

8. Ceylon would have no obligation to pursue the foreign policy of its partner, nor was it a commitment to any alliance. Indeed, Ceylon was protected from the more noisy antics of the Americans and Soviets as well as the hegemonic ambitions of its third rate neighbour India.

It is sad that when one views historical footage of our Independence Day celebrations of the past in the 1940s-60s, that we had more planes/jets then than we do now! How is this acceptable?

The removal of this Defence, the failure to make up for this by arming the country to the teeth, the complete incompetence at developing the country left us open to India to force itself on us leaving us in this dismal state today.

This must be reversed and a competent Defence and Foreign policy pursued!

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