Subramanyam Jaishankar and pounds of flesh
Posted on January 7th, 2021

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E

The Indian Foreign Minister arrived in Sri Lanka on Tuesday. His schedule includes discussions with the President, Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister.  Any visit by any Indian minister or senior official is important, this is undebatable. Not because ‘we are old friends’ or ‘have a long, shared history’ (the ‘friendship’ is debatable and the ‘history’ has been by and large sordid).

That said, things can change (very slowly, yes). Prime Minister Modi is not exactly a clone of the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who thought the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987 would be the Bhutanization of Sri Lanka. Nothing wrong in hoping that he has abandoned the age-old Kautilyan foreign-relations ‘non-negotiables’ of fighting with closest neighbors and being friends with those beyond. India is not friends with China (despite the massive volume of trade between the two countries). India is more than cosy with the United States of America and Jaishankar has had a lot to do with improved relations.

The USA is not Sri Lanka’s friend. Let’s get that straight and out of the way. So when the USA gets pally with India after showing disappointment that Sri Lanka wasn’t interested in the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact, Sri Lanka should be wary of any Indian moves. The USA’s ideological and political allies in Sri Lanka (including ex-Deputy Governors of the Central Bank, SJB parliamentarian Harsha De Silva, and the [un]thinking tank Advocata) appear to be more upset than the US Ambassador over this non-event. Some have screamed, ‘repercussions!’

Well, India has buddied with the USA to set up the ‘Quad’ or the Quadrilateral Security Dialog which includes Japan and Australia, which is clearly a move to contain China’s rise in the region and of course the world. Some call it the Asian NATO. The Indian Defense Secretary recently insulted Sri Lanka during a visit to Nepal, warning (yes!) that country from getting assistance from China. China, by the way, is not Sri Lanka’s best friend in terms of aid. That ‘distinction’ goes to Japan.

This is not all the context there is. There’s the impending UNHRC sessions in Geneva. The by now par-for-the-course surrounding noise has been made by the Washington-led media and of course the Washington-dependent rights outfits. Sri Lanka is set to be hauled over the coals. Yes, the USA has pulled out from that ‘Cesspit of bias’ but that hasn’t stopped Uncle Sam from leveraging its allies to get the dirty work done. It’s an ideal time for India to play ‘friend!’ If there is a resolution against Sri Lanka, India won’t object. India might not even support it. However, India is most likely to do the friend-thing: dilute the resolution. And Sri Lanka would be required to applaud.

The big-deals will take place in this context. The Eastern Terminal for example. India is actively sabotaging the Colombo Port already through an Indian company and taking control of the terminal would put Sri Lanka at India’s mercy. India, once its port operations in the Andaman Islands are done, will ‘gracefully leave.’ And Sri Lanka would be required to applaud. Again. And again.

Subramanyam Jaishankar is no baby. He’s a seasoned operator. A career diplomat, Jaishankar was once the Secretary, Foreign Ministry. He knows India, Indian interests and how the world operates. No wonder that Tata made him ‘President – Corporate Affairs’ when he retired. Before that, though, he had already established excellent relations with the USA, playing a key role in hammering out the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement. And just a few months ago on behalf of India he inked the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement on Geospatial Cooperation (BECA) with the USA.

So, friends, this is no routing courtesy call. It’s business. As usual. For India. Or anyone else for that matter. Jaishankar is taking care of Indian interests. As always there’s give and take, more of the former as far as Sri Lanka is concerned. We are not in the right market here, so we can haggle only so much about the price.  

Jaishankar will no doubt come with some sugar because deals often have to be sweetened. Going from the sound bytes we’ve heard or rather been made to listen to, it’s like to be something to do with a vaccine to combat Covid-19. India can easily spare a few pricks and offer the rest on a concessionary loan. Sri Lanka would be required to applaud.

So, friends, once the joint statement is released or when India or Sri Lanka or both issue statements, let’s resolve to read them carefully. Let’s read between the lines. Let’s keep context in mind. Let’s remember histories that have left bloodstains behind and whose shadows will invariably fall on Sri Lanka come the UNHRC sessions.
Does India want to start on a fresh page? Well, India would like us to believe they do. Will they? Will they? Unlikely. If that were the case, the Indian Defense Secretary wouldn’t have tossed around disparaging comments. If it’s about give and take, no-free-lunches and such, then India should not have any problem with the paid-for lunch or the lunch-on-credit (as per their preferred narrative) that China offers.
Subramanyam Jaishankar is a professional turned politician. That’s good for India. How good is it for Sri Lanka? Let’s not bet on such things, shall we?

malindasenevi@gmail.com

One Response to “Subramanyam Jaishankar and pounds of flesh”

  1. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Crafty, two faced, untrustworthy indians want to make Sri Lanka a colony of them and keep its arch enemy
    China away from us. How do they go about it? Promote tamils, built them 1000s of houses to expand the tamil
    population, force 13, 13A down our stupid, treacherous dithering deshapaluwas. Traitor alugosuwa (to Sinhalese Buddhists only) thambi mudiyanselage jr@ did the unforgivable and implemented 13, 13A without thinking twice since it was an out and out traitor. Only thing it had to do was to threaten align us with the Chinese or Russians
    and indian bull would’ve backed off. JR nana couldn’t be bothered and did whatever the bullies asked. Indians realised how easy it is to bully us and paved the way to keep us under their thumb.

    Most Sinhala modayas have forgotten thambi mudiyansealge jr@
    *created diasporats all over the developed world who are hell bent on breaking up Mother Lanka
    *dragged the war by their catholic buddy barrel man hitler mala paharan’s catholic tigers of tamil drealam to
    please india, tamils and the west and finally to break up Mother Lanka
    *all that is while massacring Buddhist jaathidhrohee vermins’ party jvpers mercilessly
    *scrapped Sirima-Shasthri Pact and gave citizenship to 650,000+ estate tamils for their votes. Today, they must
    be numbering 3-4 millions and aspire for a greater drealam (up country also destroyed after dutch bar stewards destroyed N&E by importing most ungrateful, never happy two legged creatures from tn to work in tobacco farms).
    *replaced the Constitution with its treacherous one to promote tamils and mussies and make Sinhalese pariahs
    in their own land
    *introduce 13, 13A to please tamils, mussies, india and the west and to put foundations to break up the country
    (nana forgot Sri Lanka is only 350-mile long island not 3,500 miles to have provincial governments).
    *thambi mudiyanselage jr@ also introduced pathalayin to silence the opposition. Even since it has been the MO
    UNPatriotic_rats aka GooandPee.
    *GooandPee killed 60,000+ Buddhist jaathidhrohee vermins’ party aka jvpers and sacrificed another 100,000+,
    mainly Buddhists, to catholic tigers of tamil drealam saying war was unwinnable in order to stay in power and
    eventually break up the country. All these irreparable damages done by these traitor thieves. Still Sinhala
    modayas go after them. Sinhalese are a peculiar lot and soon will surrender the country to the two foreigner
    lots.

    Our deshapaluwas should take leaf out of Taiwan. Under enormous pressure from China to accept their will on
    them, they totally reject the advances and aligned with the US for protection. This is what we have to do. Get the
    Chinese involved more and the indians quietly fade into background. Nobody dares to mess with the Chinese
    nowadays and all the countries in the world just stay away from any trouble with them. While indians have
    the welfare of the never happy, never enough, never grateful, never a good word, never Sri Lankan ever south
    indian where their loyalties, hearts and minds are, the Chinese don’t have any obligations to them. This is the
    simple option our deshapaluwas have. But who is going to be bold enough to tell them stay away. You don’t
    even have to tell them, show some Chinese presence they back off. Remember recent skirmishes in Chinese/
    indian borders? Even though the indians suffered a lot of losses, they didn’t want to admit or take drastic action
    against the Chinese. They just kept mum about it.

    These ungrateful traitor foreigner lots are getting ready to kill us all to achieve their drealam and mussiesthan.
    While fastest breeding religion aka religion of violence mussies breeding (votes) at an industrial scales with their
    baby machines wives, tamils and muslims while enjoying more benefits than the natives always mourn about
    discrimination to get more and more. These all coming from the religion of conveniences which don’t regard
    sins as sins they all follow. Sinhalese should unite and save our country before it’s too late. We should petition
    the Government to send these undesirables who are getting ready to kill us all. After all, Mr Modi asked all the
    indians to come home. Why these unhappy, never Sri Lankan ever south indian traitors are still here. Mussies
    also can go back to where they came from start farming babies at industrial scale there. This way the traitors
    don’t have to kill any Sinhalese and will realise it is the best solution avoid eternal bloodbaths in our beautiful
    country.

    Thanks to our treacherous deshapaluwas of the anti Buddhist, anti Sinhalese, anti Sri Lanka, minority
    worshiping, Mother Lanka dismembering UNPatriotic_rats aka GooandPee have destroyed a beautiful country
    since thambi mudiyanselage jr@ times. But there are still a lot of Sinhala modayas (dhrohiyas) who support
    these murderous (Sinhalese Buddhists only of course), lying, thieving, Buddhism destroying, Mother Lanka
    dismembering GooandPee deshapaluwas!

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