Continuous Indian Interference in Sri Lanka’s domestic affairs
Posted on June 23rd, 2021

S. AKURUGODA

As per the media reports, the Indian High Commission has quoted Indian High Commissioner Gopal Bagley as having told a bunch of local politicians led by R. Sampanthan, who recognized the LTTE as the sole representative of the Tamil speaking people and promoted its terrorism for three decades in Sri Lanka, that India remained committed to devolution within a united Sri Lanka on the basis of full implementation of the 13A, which would be in line with Tamil aspirations for equality, justice, peace & reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

While responding to the Indian High Commissioner’s statement, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Myanmar Prof. Nalin de Silva quite correctly pointed out the relevant Section of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961 – Article 41.1 which clearly says “Without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State. They also have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State.”

As per the Prof. de Silva’s statement, the deputy HC of the Indian High Commission too reported to have had similar meetings with former LTTE cadres to discuss the matters related to 13A which is a blunt violation of the Vienna Convention. 

The above behavior of the Indian HC is nothing new to us. We remember the days how India interfered blatantly in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka through its High Commissioner J. N. Dixit (1985-1989).

India became the first country, since independence, to interfere blatantly with the internal affairs of Sri Lanka. We also remember the reports describing how India trained Tamil terrorists and launched a terrorist war against the Sri Lankan people and how the Indian government later went all out to coerce Sri Lanka into submission. When the Sri Lankan security forces were about to destroy the same terrorists, Indian cargo planes invaded Sri Lanka’s air space undermining her sovereignty, and almost forced Sri Lanka President JR Jayewardene (JRJ) to ‘invite’ Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to sign an agreement and to accept the accommodation of Indian military on Sri Lanka soil under the name of IPKF. JRJ had no alternative but to give in to India and to sign the document hurriedly prepared and enforced by the Tamil separatist groups including the LTTE. The JRJ-Rajiv agreement thus signed led to 13th Amendment which made both Sinhala and Tamil official languages and to establish Provincial Councils (PC) or a Federal system of government. Provincial Councils set up under Indo-Lanka agreement are, if fully implemented, State Governments with Governors representing the Central Government in all but name, Chief Ministers, Ministers with wide powers (even more than those exercised by State governments of India).

Although the Indian government undertook to disarm the terrorists group in return of implementing the constitutional amendment imposed on the Sri Lanka government, India has failed miserably to fulfill its obligation as per the agreement. On the other hand, Sri Lankan people had to bear the huge cost of war against terror abetted by India and the cost of implementing the constitution amendment, thus imposed under the failed agreement, in addition to the loss of lives since 1987.

As per media reports the government’s expenditure for maintaining PCs has gone up from of 22,128,000 LKR million in 1996 to 286,031,000 LKR million in 2017. (https://www.ceicdata.com/en/sri-lanka/provincial-councils-revenue-and-expenditure/provincial-councils-expenditure). It would be interesting to find out whether there is any benefit to the general public on spending such a large sum of funds, and how many millions of rupees have been saved from the public funds for not activating the PCs during the last two and half years.

Since it is the Sri Lankan Security forces who ultimately disarm the terrorists, the moral rights of the Indian government to ask the government of Sri Lanka to implement 13th amendment is highly questionable. Former Indian diplomat and analyst of international politics M. K. Bhadrakumar (MKB), in one of his article titled ‘Geopolitics of Sri Lankan Tamil Problem’ appeared in Newsclick.in dated 30th September 2020 (https://www.newsclick.in/Geopolitics-of-Sri-Lankan-Tamil-Problem), quite correctly identified, it is likely that India will continue to interfere with the internal affairs of Sri Lanka, not only due to the internal politics of Tamil Nadu, but to satisfy the geopolitical interests as described in the said article titled ‘Geopolitics of Sri Lankan Tamil Problem’.

Full implementation of the 13th or any other Amendments, or the complete overhaul of the entire Constitution of Sri Lanka, is a matter for the Citizens of Sri Lanka and its elected leaders. Continuous insisting of how we should solve our problem and to push Sri Lanka towards Indian solutions is simply a gross violation of our rights as a sovereign country and a clear example of how powerful states are bullying the weak and small states to achieve their own geopolitical interests.

S. AKURUGODA

5 Responses to “Continuous Indian Interference in Sri Lanka’s domestic affairs”

  1. aloy Says:

    Can anyone explain why the Chinese filtering the excavated mud in Tissa lake?. Are they testing equipment brought for Ruwanpura highway gem exploration?.

  2. Ratanapala Says:

    India has always being an hostile, aggressive and pugnacious nation forever destablizing neighbouring countries. At the time of thier independence from the British there were Indians in high places intent on taking in Sri Lanka as another state of India. This mentality still exists among a few of them. These mandarins of the Indian Administration are constantly plotting to destablize Sri Lanka. At the moment it is mentioned that RAW agents are all over the island looking at ways and means to strike when necessary.

    Sri Lanka’s only option is to get ready for a low-level guerilla resistance and protracted warfare if ever India decides to bring their Jawans to desecrate Sri Lanka again. For over 70 years the level of militarization in Sri Lanka has been subjected to Indian control. Today we are at the very bottom of this slippery slope with nowhere left to go than to go over the precipice.

    This is why Chinese backing for Sri Lanka is of paramount importance if Sri Lanka is ever to rise up as a developed nation. Whether one likes it or not, Chinese are in the Indian Ocean and its environs and that includes Sri Lanka. It is worthwhile to note that it is India and the Western Christian nations who are to blame for this situation.

    The more Sri Lanka gives in to the Indians, the more they make our living difficult.

  3. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    These comments by Ratnapala are very profound and meaningful apart from his usage of the term Western Christian Nations’ which is irrelevant to the case in point:-

    ” This is why Chinese backing for Sri Lanka is of paramount importance if Sri Lanka is ever to rise up as a developed nation. Whether one likes it or not, Chinese are in the Indian Ocean and its environs and that includes Sri Lanka. It is worthwhile to note that it is India and the Western Christian nations who are to blame for this situation.
    The more Sri Lanka gives in to the Indians, the more they make our living difficult”
    India needs to be given a wide berth as at present from more than one perspective it is a seemingly disoriented and unstable country and has for generations caused immense problems for Sri Lanka in the guise of ” a wolf in sheep’s clothing ” if I may use the adage.

  4. aloy Says:

    Indian interferance is only one side of the coin to my mind. The other is the western and Arab combine. They all want a piece of our land for them; they will not fight among themselves on our soil for it and will achieve their objective with the help of our own set of imbeciles. If they fight they will get involved in a situation not second to Vietnam.

    There no Christian western nations. Only two blocks in that region who fought eight crusades. If they were western true Christians would they have killed 6000 odd innocent children hoarded into Catholic boarding schools in Canada and kill them in an inhuman way just to clear that land of one ethnic group?.

    These people would try same here. The 4/21 and poisoning of sea and the Sinhalas by various means is that attempt using the political imbeciles. They are all involved (the Chinese included as they supplied sword made in their country) in this attempt, to my mind.

  5. aloy Says:

    The fortunes of India and Sri Lanka moves like a seesaw. When we are down they are happy. The most recent example is the ship catching fire in our waters. Immediately the Indian stock market rallied. 4/21 was created to send our economy down the precipice and that happened destroying tourism as well as livelihood of so many people. Earlier they created LTTE to destroy the market driven economy JR created and we have not been able to come out of it up to now.

    So, give a wide berth to the Indians.

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