by Ashley de Vos Courtesy The Island
January 25, 2016, 7:30 pm
At the present, India is being used by the forces that be, with the different carrots offered and held up in its direction. However, with the new government suddenly becoming overly ambitious to expand in the neighbourhood, and Delhi’s inborn tendencies coming from the ever present historical Brahmanical onslaught, according to Naresh Kumar in his ‘Disappearance of Buddhism From India: An Untold Story’ argues, “They were not as greatly opposed to the Buddha’s philosophical teachings as they were to his message of universal brotherhood and equality for it directly challenged their hegemony and the scriptures that they had invented to legitimize this,” all comes to the forefront. Fundamental Hinduism is on the march, and it casts its hungry eyes in the direction of this island, the acknowledged true depository of original Buddhist thought in the immediate neighbourhood, even willing to dedicate the bridge to destruction,heavily smeared with religious fervour, the Hindu-Buddhist Bridge.
Today, this same tendency begs India to be recognised as the only force in the surrounding great ocean with a single minded intention to over-run and colonise Sri Lanka and its SAARC neighbours. India’s ownership of the International continental shelf is limited and what better way to increase it. It would be done under a heavy blanket of subtlety that would become obvious only after all is achieved. But for the moment this may not suit the aspirations of the greed driven selfish west who still want to operate and project themselves as the new colonial masters. Everything is being manipulated to entice India to create diversions, so that in the process the western powers could achieve their own end. Wow! Since the recent elections, many creatures of different shapes and hues, have all suddenly crawled out from under the wood work and are seen flapping about like hungry vampires. It would satisfy India as well, as a western base outside and not within Indian soil would find favour with its billion population.
Every country that has a common boundary with India has had problems with the Indian Agency RAW due to the constant interference in the internal affairs of its neighbouring countries. What happened to Sikkim and the present embargo on Nepal are cases in point and India-locked Nepal is being brought to her knees. This also confirms the prediction made by Prof Basham in his inaugural address at the Senate hall, to the University of London, given in 1956, almost sixty years ago where he predicted that the ‘disintegration of India was eminent.’ He referred to ‘the problems faced by ‘Post Independence India’ and ‘the difficulty of maintaining its unity in such diversity.’
‘A fragile unity that could be held together only through continued conflict, with its immediate neighbours’ he said. Something that ‘Modern India’ will desperately and shamelessly continue to engage in and the ‘friendly fire’ will affect this sovereign nation, and Sri Lanka should take note of. While Sri Lanka respects the sovereignty of India, India only respects the sovereignty of Sri Lanka by word and not by deed, understandably, India is primarily interested in herself only. The corridors of power are on a focussed path. What an Indian Prime Minister states outside the system carries little weight, as all decisions are made in Delhi, andDelhifinds the present hiatus in Sri Lanka’s politics as being the ideal moment to strike, and try hard, she will.
She will even go to the extent of promoting ex ambassadors, posing as our friendly invited guests, to run down this country in open forum, unfortunately, it showed the uncouth levels to which India will stoop, to achieve its ends. Sri Lankan politicians showed breeding, a sense of decorum and watched in shocked silence. After all we have been taught that we do not insult guests who come to our home. Or is this the level of hate our politicians have for this country? An unfortunate reflection of the country or of the political apparatus in place. No self-respecting country will ever permit this to happen on her own soil. Why! has the media gone to sleep? Or is it in support of the Brahmanical onslaught that India has unleashed, that will soon get worse?
The late D.S.Senanayake, in the Hansard of 9th December 1948, Column 427, stated, “We consider India to be one of the greatest nations in the world, but we do not expect India to play the role of trying to establish rights where they have no rights, or privileges where they have no privileges, or trying to deprive other countries of their rights.” The D. S. Senanayake foreign policy was very clear, he understood his neighbour or did he.
Though connected in geological time to the sub-continent, this island has always existed as a separate entity. Though the agglomeration and build-up of a compacted layering brought about by the movement of sand in the south west and north east monsoons crashing together, has created a visual connection even visible from space, while Sri Lanka is progressivelymoving further apart due to plate action.
Sri Lanka has stood isolated and proud for thousands of years and in historical times, even though she was subjected to constant invasions by the Pandyans, the Cholas and the Rakshasa Kalinga Magha with Chola support, including the Portuguese and the Dutch invasions have all been effectively repelled by the Sri Lankan leadership. This was possible because the populace and its strong leadership were proud of and respected the exquisite repository, the culture inherited from their ancestors, and Sri Lanka had the continued privilege of remaining an island nation, a concept that was continuously fought for,ensured and protected even with their lives.
Following the scorched earth policy adopted by the British during the Uva rebellion, when”every male above the age of 15 was put to the sword, cattle in excess of the British army requirement were killed, every village burned and infrastructure destroyed.” The British on false promises, removed and banished the King and in 1815 the British crown took over the whole island, thus bringing a two thousand five hundred year old recorded monarchy to an end. Throughout the thousands of years’ of existence, there has been a great need to ensure that the population maintains and safeguards this island status at any cost. This is what the long history of this island demands.
Anything short of this would be totally unacceptable and seen as treason in the eyes of every right minded citizen of this great country. This should be our stand today and in the future as well, even if we have to disappoint the hegemony of India due to our proud island stand. The way Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike stood up to Indira Ghandi and India is a case in point, she was simply brilliant. Is there anyone who can match her strength of conviction for her Island state, in existence today?
We as a nation, should design our own long term future, the future for our people, we are capable of it,should do it and not be willing to accept anything that is foisted on us by any power for their own benefit, especially, and certainly not, if it includes the loss of our integrity and island status. The implementation of the 13th amendment forced on us by the Government of India and RAW intended to disintegrate and destroy the country, should be rejected on these grounds. Our leaders should stand tall and they should fight for the sovereignty of Sri Lanka.
Unfortunately, the latest information coming out of India is that we have already concluded an agreement with India on the draconian one sided CEPA agreement now under another name, ‘Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement’ (ETCA). The service industry would also be brought under it, and an agreement that is loaded heavily and tips the scales in favour of India would be finally signed.
Let’s face it, it is only after everything has been determined,that official time tables are advanced and they are confirmed when successful conclusions are at an advance stage and finality is assured. The Prime Minister of India will arrive in June 2016 to officially put the final stamp to what may be a series of one sided documents. As this signing would affect every Sri Lankan citizen alive today and yet to be born, it is the duty of a responsible government, preaching transparency to bring the document before the people of this great country and get their permission through a referendum before anything is finalised and signed. Rather than leaving the decision making to a group of amateur, yes men. But why the rush to sign a document that is disadvantageous to Sri Lanka?
There is much denial on the Sri Lankan side that an initial signing of the CEPA / ETCA and that of the physical bridge connection did not take place, but, the coming events in 2016 will bring all to light and then it may be too late for this island state. Unless, while the bureaucracy in India looks after its own interest, Sri Lanka will egotisticallylook after hers. Unfortunately, the pressure to conclude is turned on and the experts who have studied the problem from a Sri Lankan point of view and in great detail, are wilfully kept out of the picture.
In early January 2016, Sri Lanka signed a number of agreements with Pakistan. The details of which are mostly unknown. Is one of the agreements similar to the CEPA proposed by India or something worse? Does it include the service sector? No leader has the right to sign short term agreements that include long term repercussions with anybody, especially if it would jeopardise the sovereignty of Sri Lanka and its people. Prior to signing, the agreement should be very carefully and minutely scrutinised by expertise and offered for public review. Do we have the people to do it, yes, but they are usually kept out.
The proposed physical bridge connecting the south of the subcontinent with Sri Lanka being pre-positioned by India is a contentious item. The President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Mithripala Sirisena has opposed it, but it is supported by other ‘Sri Lankan’ Politicians. Many reasons why the bridge connection should never happen have been raised in the past.
The uncontrollable illegal or legal immigration, the smuggling of drugs, the smuggling of commodities, the destruction to the natural environment, the uncontrolled raping of the precious fisheries resources, that belong exclusively to Sri Lanka, by Indian fishermen utilising unsustainable and destructive drag net fishing methods, that the European Union deliberately and knowingly views through blinkered and shaded eyes.The bridge will provide the final permission for every Indian fishermen to exploit the Sri Lankan fish resource in what will be designated as a common water.Thank you to political naivety.
Then India may want to implement the Indo – Sri Lanka Federation, the grand plan visualised by Past President, the late Julius Jayawardena as recorded in the Ceylon National Congress and Nationalist Politics in Ceylon 1929 – 1950, Vol lV, Edited by Michael Roberts (1977) in page 2802, 149. “An Indo-Lanka Federation”, through the CEPA / ETCA, excluding the essential conditions he prayed for. This to some extent defines the need for a bridge that India and some ‘Sri Lankans’ want. While India will view “a land like no other” and its tremendous natural assets, its pure water and access to the extensive ocean resources with tremendous pride, millions of innocent Sri Lankans who have so far been kept in the dark will suddenly awake to being forced to spend sleepless nights languishing in an ‘Apaya’ over run by an unruly hoard. In fulfilling his dream one will sleep well, having achieved his goal.
The monsoon driven shifting sands will cause excessive siltation and erosion,increased a thousand fold, by the location of a permanent bridge across the straits. It will erode the fragile eco system on either side of the land mass destroying important and crucial breeding habitats.
In addition, logical erudite minds with hundreds of years of combined medical knowledge and expertise have raised fear of the re-introduction and transfer of deadly diseases, like Malaria, Tuberculosis & especially the virulent Dengue that has been re-introduced by the more recent visitors.
At present in excess of 20,000 workers from India live and work in Sri Lanka, and they may introduce other mutant strains that we have no immunity for. This uncontrolled disease borne influx along a bridge will completely destroy the fundamental research conducted by dedicated Sri Lankan medical officers who through decades of committed hard work have effectively eradicated many of these diseases from the island. Could the Sri Lanka government continue to fund the ever increasing cost of medical bills and the expertise and the infrastructure required to control this pandemic?
A suggestion has been made by members of the medical fraternity that every Indian and other visitors from infected countries arriving in Sri Lanka should be tested, to ensure that the possible introduction of deadly diseases is detected early and curtailed.
But some agencies like the tourism sector, only interested in their own profits, would protest against any pressure or interference brought on the arrivals. They need to count numbers 1000 persons paying $10 instead of 10 paying $1000. 10 paying $1000, OK, at least $150per day and a back packer contingent at $50 per day, is the only realistic way forward for sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, the present tourism concept that will introduce a brand based on counting numbers is what Sri Lanka chases. While the individual states of India, the Maldives, Malaysia, Bali, Indonesia and even Australia have branded their country product, Sri Lanka has still not done so. Forcing individual tour companies to separately brand themselves dilutingtheir effective marketingstrategy by the need toinclude their foreign owned or managed products in the package.
Tourism is an industry, as such, it should be judged on quality of the product and income generation. The proliferation of tourism products created around the island, and many of them are good. Unfortunately, a tourism product is not a hotel only, there is no infrastructure to maintain a uniform standard of quality service.
The tourism industry should be developed at least cost, to the natural resources and not at the exponential cost to all our unique cultural heritage and fragile environment, the cultural sites are over visited and Yala is a ‘zoo’. Why it is our bureaucracy is unable to and remains unaware of the holistic picture and does not consider the country or where Sri Lanka should be in 2050 as the goal? Certainly not a barren desert landscape with the cultural matrix, with food and water security ruined and totally depleted and the precious environment irretrievably devastated by unsustainable visitation? Leaving behind a few individuals with dollars in their pockets and a starving nation that will stone the buses.
Sri Lanka also lacks a national country vision, we have had several political visions introduced by every new entrant that hardly makes the five years of existence, all shrouded in a personal agenda. India has worked to a national vision since independence. Politicians come and go but the vision stays intact through the secretariat.
Do we suffer from such an inferiority complex that we are totally incompetent of achieving a strong Sri Lankan vision, our own vision, a vision that is devoid of foreign intervention, foreign propping up and or foreign help? The wealth of a country cannot be judged by a piece of paper sold on the stock exchange but only by its production. Remember those who invest would want more than their pound of flesh, returned in the shortest possible time. It is unfortunate that we have to enlist and depend on war criminals and highway robbers to help.
The west has failed, but we still run after it. Most western funding agencies want Asia to remain the factories forgoods manufactured cheaply. It will cost the west nothing to pay one dollar more for the products we produce, but their greed does not permit it. They want our quality goods produced even more cheaply to further enhance the exuberant life styles in the west. Sri Lanka should chart its own course based on its own capabilities, not on out-dated and hackneyed theories. We are proud to partake of the scraps that are discarded off the table and eagerly await to be applauded for our achievements. We forget that even the ‘Noble’ is founded on blood money. Never a question of Human rights?
India urgently desires the bridge connection and the economic agreements as it would be more advantageous to India and less to Sri Lanka. Every road India has built into a neighbouring country has been a one way street. This together with the continued and permanent interference in the affairs of the island by RAW, will prove to be the destruction of this proud island nation.
This decision to succumb to the wishes of India, Pakistan or others,requires a referendum as it will affect all Sri Lankans for ever and cannot be a unilateral decision by a couple of individuals. But will it?All decision should benefit Sri Lanka first. There are diverse opinions being voiced by different spokesmen, each claiming to beright. This would confuse the population, unless it is intentional. Should we not speak with a single voice, loud and clear, and at least refute the statements made by Indian and ‘Sri Lankan’politicians who may be playing to their own agenda.
The railway to Jaffna that the Indians took many years to build, replacing the original infrastructure systematically demolished by the LTTE, was recently reported, to be under a cloud due to various issues, now worsened with India’s lack of confidence in its own Indian manufactured rolling stock. Recently it was reported that India concluded a contract with GM to provide $ 1 Billion worth of rolling stock to carry forward the Indian railway system into the next couple of decades. This should be of even greater interest to Sri Lanka. The fact that the Indian produced infrastructure and stock is not up to even Indian standards is highlighted and confirmed in its rejection by the Department Sri Lankan Railways.
The railway line constructed by the Indians through Mannar Island does not endat the Thalaimannar station but goes beyond and has been raised sufficiently to marry into the possible future bridge head at Thalaimannar.
Did the Department of Sri Lanka Railways request the railway line to be taken further up to the beach head?Or was it a unilateral decision taken by the Indian Contractors keeping to the wishes of the Government of India to facilitate the plans of RAW who are working to a common agenda to destroy the island status of Sri Lanka?
The Sri Lanka government should have terminated the railway on the mainland and accessed the island by bus. This would have left the sea open to Sri Lankan Naval movement from north to the south and easy movement for other sea going craft as well.The introduction of a rail bridge between the mainland and the island of Mannar would block this?Or has this movement been adequately addressed.
It is crucial that Sri Lanka rethinks its stand and decides first for Sri Lanka only. If what is carried in the media is true. India is going to dictate and control, what we buy, who we buy it from, and how we should use it. We cannot even decide what is good for us. “Lankani ladi ho ghogarne wer,” Why the brides from Lanka for the men from Ghogar.If this is the way the mother-in-law behaves during the engagement, one wonders to what level she would stoop to, after the marriagein June. The killing of the Bride by the mother-in-law at the slightest provocation, is a common occurrence in most States in India and it is reported that the disease has spread to other parts of the world. The destruction of Sri Lanka and its traditional pivotal role at the centre of the Indian Ocean will involve other International players or ‘Halp Karayas’, as well. Please wake up my dear docile Sri Lanka, you and your progeny do not deserve this fate. This madness is not part of your karma.
The eagerness is obvious. From Hell to Paradise. Sri Lanka ‘a country like no other.’