Posted on August 2nd, 2016

Sugath Samarasinghe

I learn that the Sri Lanka Tourist Board under the Minister of Tourism and Christian Affairs(a curious combination!) has signed an MOU with the Government of India to create Ramayana Tourist Trail in Sri Lanka. I recall that such an effort came up when the last UNP government was last in office in early years of year 2000 and later went down either due to opposition locally or after the change of government later. It seems to have raised   its ugly head again.

It is fairly well known in this country the type of Indian tourist who comes here on such religious kind of tourism live a frugal life here and spend as little money as possible thus bringing little revenue to this country. It also appears that this matter has been initiated by the Foreign Minister of India on her last visit here. Why is India pushing this matter? I think we have to look at the larger picture here. There is more to it than meets the eye. It is high time that our policy makers take a hard look at it.

It appears that Indian policy makers are looking at acquiring a hegemony over all its neighbours following the doctrine spelt out by Panikkar, to make all its small neighbours vassal states of India. The strategy appears to be through signing various MOUs and Treaties with these countries in different fields including trade, cultural and social services etc. leading to their free access to and presence in these countries with a view drain their economic resources and exploiting whatever other resources they have and make them their economic consumers.

This could well be seen in the manner India has progressively achieved this objective with its land locked neighbours, Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan since Independence in 1947. After a series of Treaties between the two countries, Sikkim was annexed to India as the 22nd state of India. It is important to note that the leader of that country who facilitated these treaties ended up as the first Chief Minister of this State. Similarly India signed altogether 14 such treaties and MOUs since 1950 with Bhutan exploiting all its economic resources disempowering her into submission through bullying tactics. Bhutan has virtually become a vassal state of India.

It is well known how during the last few decades India bullied Nepal, latest step by not supplying Nepal fuel in terms of the agreements between the two countries. India’s bullying has reached such a state that India dictated to Nepal what should be included in their Constitution.

Sri Lanka being an island separated from India by sea, enjoying some extent of isolation, we have been able to exercise some degree of independence. But since 1977 India has been making clear inroads to influence this country violating our independence ignoring the Panchaseela Principles originally enunciated by Jawaharlal Nehru. We should recall that India sought to brazenly destabilize this country by training and providing succor to the Tamil Terrorists, interfered with aggression when Sri Lanka government forces sought to deal the final blow on the Terrorists, illegally forced a Peace Accord with a 13th amendment to our Constitution creating Provincial Councils that have become a white elephant. The only resentment to this dastardly act was by a lone Naval Rating who tried to assault Rajiv Gandhi with his rifle butt, followed of course by the countrywide insurrection lead by the JVP. India was then taught a lesson by the LTTE that they were not pushovers whom India anticipated to vanquish them in 72 hours. LTTE then went on to kill Rajiv Gandhi in his own country. Anyway, Sri Lanka could only defeat the LTTE because India did not interfere this time probably having learnt a lesson. However, no sooner than the LTTE was defeated India sought an established two consular offices, one at Jaffna, and other, of all places, at  Hambantota,  no doubt watch posts. They then grabbed the contract to rebuild the Northrn Railway line when it could have been done cheaper and better by the Sri Lanka Railway. Now they secured another contract to build houses for the homeless in the Northern Provinces despite the fact that the homes so planned to build are not suitable to this country climatically. India has already acquired the rights in the distribution of oil by the IOC depriving the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation a return of Rs.525 billion. In the meantime India is planning to build a Bridge across the Palk Strait at their own expense, for whose benefit? Sri Lanka did not ask for such a bridge. Then they are foisting on this country an ambulance service, unasked by Sri Lanka when Sri Lanka’s ability to deploy its Health Department fleet in a network as has already been demonstrated by the NP Provincial Health Minister. It is obvious that by this means India is going to run a spy service all over the country. The peculiar situation is that, it is India that is deciding what Sri Lanka needs!

At the moment, the Northern Fishermen are deprived of their catch by intruding fishermen from Tamil Nadu using prohibited fishing gear, so blatantly that some arrests of these intruders have been made as far down as Kalpitiya. India, whilst violating law of international waters, is urging Sri Lanka to negotiate with them to accommodate the Indian poachers!

Apart from all this, we are now confronted with an ECTA initiated by India. Sri Lankan government appears to be trapped into it already. All this, in spite of the disadvantages suffered by this country with the already signed CEPA. And now a cultural invasion in the form of a bogus Rama Trail, signing an MOU with the SL Tourist Board in order to  bring down hordes of Indian tourists here. Now as said before, it is common knowledge here that Indian tourist are such a frugal set that they spend hardly any foreign exchange here. What the SL Tourist Board does not seem to realize is that it is not the number of tourist arrivals that matter but the foreign exchange that they spend here. Hence it is to be surmised as to what India is expecting out of such an MOU. Judging by what came about to Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan with such treaties, it is not difficult to see what India is upto. We must be smart enough to see that India is slowly but surely closing on us on all sides.

If our governments do not realize this danger even at this late stage and withdraw from these MOUs, Treaties and other seemingly benign traps, we are going to deprive our future generations the space to live in an independent country for which our ancestors fought and died for two millennia, we are destined to fall into the same trap that Sikkim, Bhutan and Nepal have fallen.

Sugath Samarasinghe


  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    The Ramayana is a great epic Mythological tale, similar to the Greek mythology of ancient times. The Greek people let go the myth for what it was about 2,000 yrs ago, INDIA has yet to do so. INDIA has yet to let go of her 3,000 yr old Caste System too. Wake up INDIA !
    We love certain aspects of INDIA, but not the none acceptance of myth & Caste for what it was. Time to Modernise in INDIA, not go backwards and drag Lanka too downwards. INDIA has to EARN back her trust with Sri Lanka. There is trust lost with INDIA. Real Life Values must be brought back to rebuild trust.

    Myth is Myth – please take it for what it is, however splendid and awesome.

    Let go the Ramayana Trail and let Lanka move forward.


    Herewith excerpts from the Ramayana mythical tale, told in ancient times to enhance human life values for survival.

    “Battle with Surasa” !

    (Ref Valmiki
    Sundarakanda Slokas

    “His name is Hanuman, you provide a momentary obstruction ”

    Battle with Surasa:

    Surasa is the mother of all great serpents. Devas ask Surasa to provide a momentary obstruction to Hanuman and test his resolve.

    Then Surasa bars Hanuman’s path saying that he has been sent by Gods as her food and that he must enter her mouth.

    Hanuman ever reverential, cups his hand and tells her about his mission.

    “Rama , the son of Dasaratha, entered Dandaka forest with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana. He is an implacable foe of the Rakshasas . When Rama was away Ravana abducted Sita. On Rama’s command I am going to Sita as his messenger. I will promise you this. Once I have completed my service after seeing Sita , I will return to enter your mouth”.

    Surasa does not relent and Hanuman and says “ Hanuman , no one can escape me such is my boon “.

    Upset with her, Hanuman challenges her to open her mouth wide enough for him to enter. Surasa expands her mouth to accommodate ten Yojanas long Hanuman. The challenge proceeds with each increasing their sizes.

    Seeing Hanuman of grown to ten Yojanas , Surasa stretched her jaws to twenty yojanas. Then Hanuman increased his size to thirty yojanas. In turn Surasa opened her jaws to forty Yojanas. The Hanuman expanded his size to fifty Yojanas and Surasa opened her jaws to sixty Yojanas. Then again Hanuman increased his size to Seventy Yojanas. Then Surasa opened her jaws to eighty Yojanas and Hanuman increased his size to ninety Yojanas. Seeing Hanuman of the size of a mountain Surasa increased her jaws to hundred Yojanas.

    It is then Hanuman , known for his intelligence and his ability to change his form at will , made himself to be the size of a thumb. In a moment flew into the mouth of Surasa and flew out as quickly .

    Then staying up in the sky Hanuman addresses Surasa.

    Saying “ Dakshayini , the boon given by Brahma has been fulfilled in as much as I entered your mouth and came out.”

    Surasa too, pleased with the act of Hanuman outwitting her , wishes Hanuman all success.

    The gods who sent Surasa too were pleased with the battle of wits and happy that Hanuman came out on tops.

    Hanuman continued his journey to Lanka!

    Battle with Simhika

    Seeing Hanuman flying across the ocean A Rakshasi by name Simhika started thinking

    Simhika thought that after a long time a large creature has come with her grasp. And thinking like that she caught hold of the shadow.

    Hanuman too realized that he is held back by some force not moving forward very much like a ship caught in unfavorable winds on the ocean.

    Looking back he saw the huge creature Simhika rising from the ocean floor. Immediately Hanuman realized that it is the same shadow catcher mentioned by Sugriva. The intelligent Hanuman having already overcome Surasa , seeing Simhika , realized the open jaws and the vital parts of the demon as an invitation. He contracted his body to enter her mouth and came out slashing her vital organs and flew up again. Then Simhika fell down dead.

    Seeing the fallen Simhika all the beings roaming the heavens were delighted and addressed Hanuman.

    “In killing the mighty creature today you have accomplished a formidable feat . Now you may accomplish the chosen task without hindrance”

    Then Valmiki adds using the heavenly beings

    “One who possesses the four virtues firmness, foresight, intelligence and skill never fails in his undertakings”

    Having accomplished one more feat Hanuman moved on towards Lanka in search of Sita .

    om tat sat

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    The Ramayana is an Allegorical Tale. It is a story of the eternal battle Within each person, of the human Heart vs the human Mind. The Heart waits silently for recognition and love, whilst the human Mind is active and busy all the time.

    In this tale, Ravana is the active and busy Mind, stealing Sita, the Heart, but does not harm her. Hanuman has been ordered by his king to take Sita back to Rama who is the godhead, and thus crosses over to Ravana’s kingdom (Mind) to find her.

    To the simple minded uneducated and unsophisticated people, Ravana is a real person, and is a bad person. Rama too is a real person and a good person. Therein lies the hitch. “Ravana in LANKA” is bad. “Rama in INDIA” is good.

    That is the reason why the Ramayana Trail in Lanka is a bad idea, particularly at present times.

    What ought to be encouraged in Lanka are the Four Great Yogas of Hinduism (Bakthi, Gnana, Karma & Raja) – these aspects are akin to Buddhism which also came from INDIA.

    Comments/corrections welcome.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    The Ramayana Trail, the Valluvar statues, the Hanuman Monkey Bridge, the ETCA, the Language Institutes, Multiple embassies, Indian Ambulance Service, etc etc ad infinitum, ad nauseam are steps to insert and embed TROJAN HORSES deep within Sri Lanka to complete the INDIANIZATIO and ANNEXATION to India of our ONCE SOVEREIGN Motherland!

    Aiyooo ….. Sirisenaaaa, Ponnaya, Chour Rajina, and Avamangalaya … how will you ATONE for this?

  4. Dilrook Says:

    I agree with these comments. Ramayana is a vulgar and spiteful collection of work relating to ancient Hindu beliefs that are total absurdities. Severe discrimination against women and fellow humans based on low caste is found in it. On the other hand selected animals are uplifted above humans based on their usefulness to aliens. It demonizes Lanka and keeps Indian marauders in a pedestal. Ramayana should be totally rejected by Sri Lanka. It is an insult to human dignity.

    If it is considered just a myth as the myth of the lion story, etc. then it is less harmful. However trying to trace the Ramayana track and considering characters involved in it to create reverence, worship and hate is despicable.

  5. SA Kumar Says:

    Aiyooo ….. Sirisenaaaa, Ponnaya, Chour Rajina, and Avamangalaya … how will you ATONE for this?
    Do not worry too much my Sinhala sakodaraya Ananda-USA We Demil sakkiliya with you last 2,500 years or more & will be 2,500 years more … Mother Lanka is safe for ever .

    eg: remember We- kicked out IPKF

    You know what we-Tamil need now Give to us We will kick Indian out soon than we can sort out our outstanding Mulli vaikkal ( Nanthi kadal) account (Eelam war V)

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