3 March, 2024

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Anura’s Visit To India, Its Signs & Importance

By Amila Muthukutti

Amila Muthukutti

Anura Kumara Dissanayake, leader of the National People’s Power (NPP) was officially invited for a visit by the Indian government at a time when his popularity is unprecedentedly on the rise, due to the fact that the two major political parties that were in power from time to time, have done nothing but making the nation economically bankrupt, resulting in a situation where the citizens cannot fulfil even their basic needs, that is also to the minimum standard.

Being a strategically located tiny island, Sri Lanka plays a very pivotal role in the South Asian region. Even though it is one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement, the nation’s biasedness towards China under the Rajapaksa regime had posed some geopolitical threats to its neighbor, India. Furthermore, certain Chinese investments like Hambantota port and the Port City aggravated the situation. This conflict was obvious, when China voted against anti-Sri Lankan resolution tabled at UNHRC in 2021, while India abstained. It is even at the present that Indian and Chinese companies are battling to acquire Sri Lanka Telecom PLC, the largest telecommunication provider in the country.

Needles to note that it is strategically important for India to prevent countries in the South Asian region from getting economically and geopolitically involved by its rivals, especially China. Therefore, India had launched its “neighborhood first” policy, it is, in my opinion, likely due to the fact that bigger threats can come from one’s neighbors. Nevertheless, Dr. S. Jaishankar, India’s Foreign Minister, recently stated that ties with its neighbors are not transactional, India’s aid to Sri Lanka was not contingent on any reciprocity or ‘favor’ to be performed at a later date. It was simply an effort to help a struggling neighbor.

Why NPP

It is by all accounts that India’s official invitation to the leader of NPP implies their possible victory at forthcoming elections, given their popularity among the public. People of the country seem to be ready to test the untested, as their tested experiments failed again and again. Otherwise, the leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP – People’s Liberation Front), that led Anti-Indian campaign during 1980s, called “Indian Expansionism” and also representing only three seats at the parliament is highly unlikely to be invited by India. A survey recently conducted by an organization called the Institute for Health Policy says that Anura Kumara Dissanayake is the most preferred candidate to win at the presidential election, gaining support from half of the likely voters (51%).

Criticism

Political revolutions lead to political evolution. In other words, politics changes in response to current affairs. However, MP Namal Rajapakae said that the JVP that followed anti-India rhetoric, has now reached a different view, and has engaged in a tour to India, which is a good thing. following their visit to India, the JVP will support investors coming into Sri Lanka. In my opinion, if politicians extend their support for investments conflicting with national interests, just because they enjoyed the hospitality, such politicians should never come into power.

In an interview with a YouTube channel, Anura Kumara Dissanayake was questioned about acquiring private properties, if they would come into the power. His reply was, when that policy was declared in 1980, the world was clearly divided into two camps as capitalist and socialist. When the then government followed capitalist camp, the JVP presented the policies politically in line with the Soviet Union – Socialist camp, most importantly, because of the fact that the Soviet Union helped their followers with industrial projects and technical know-how. However, that is for that time only, as the world has evolved, leaving only one camp powerful.  In my view, the same reply can be applied to this shift from “Anti-Indian Expansionism” to pro-Indian stance.

Future 

The future belongs to the people who change, not to the people who exercise the same oppression like in 1970s and 1980s, because the past is past. Strength of the relations between countries depends on the country’s profile, not on the individual’s profile. Consequently, building the nation economically is important, so that citizens can proudly say “I am Sri Lankan” anywhere in the world, in stead of a situation where citizens do not even raise their national flag even on their Independence Day.

Regardless of the political party that will come into power, ties with India should be strong, while keeping the state of Non-Aligned, as it is. Balanced foreign policy is very important for an economically less powerful country like Sri Lanka. Specially, as a political party founded based on socialism, the NPP led by JVP should build its ties with western allies, while strengthening ties with their socialist counterparties. In that sense, Anura Kumara Dissanayake’s official visit to India can in my view be considered paramount important for its possible victory at the forthcoming election and for the country at large.

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Latest comments

  • 12
    2

    The only reason that India invited Anura Kumara Dissanayake for an official state visit is because they recognize him and his party as representing the next government in their tiny bankrupt nation with a shrinking economy to the south, while India is the world’s fifth largest economy after China, the US, Japan, and Germany. Therefore, the JVP will recognize the importance of securing a good relationship, as with other regional powers.

    • 9
      2

      Lasantha Pethiyagoda

      “Therefore, the JVP will recognize the importance of securing a good relationship, as with other regional powers.”

      This is nearly 60 years too late.

      Every major policy decision made in this country has been reversed after destroying every possible resource, including development, progress, time, life, ….. .

      What is wrong with this island and its leaders?

      Don’t we ever elect leaders with brain and love for people?

    • 0
      0

      This is the POV of Dr Amarasooriya.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8WIqj8–LI

  • 14
    1

    ‘Being a strategically located tiny island, Sri Lanka plays a very pivotal role in the South Asian region’.
    I have heard of this before, many a times. We are not insignificantly located. True. But, apart from that there is not much weight in it. India has made sure of that. Despite its lower literacy rate, higher degree of poverty level, their government has risen to its global challenges. Sadly, we have missed our bus.
    In Dr. S. Jaishankar India has an astute Foreign Minister. He measures his words; India measures her leap, internationally.
    It is Leaders who make the country visible. Our Leaders have blinded us.

    • 11
      3

      Nathan

      “We are not insignificantly located.”

      Sri Lankan leaders continue to promote the country appear strategically significant in order to attract suitors. Perhaps auction into slavery, highest bidder.
      But the suitors are interested only in groping the offered item.

      Only recently the state’s stupidity was exposed.
      The diplomatic games the leader’s played (between different actors ) rendered the country bankrupt.

      Sri Lanka has no future with those leaders who believe they could continue to switch sides whenever the going get tough.

      Old JVP, AKD and his powerful old guards wasted enough resources which prevented proper development of the island for nearly 60 years. How strong AKD is to withstand storm in JVP’s tea cup?

      “It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice. -Deng Xiaoping”

      Hope AKD won’t turn this island into another Land of the POL POTS.
      Watch out SJ who once was a Pol Pot’s admirer.

    • 11
      1

      Nathan,
      “It is Leaders who make the country visible. Our Leaders have blinded us.”
      Amen. Do you think, by the way, that those who really run this country are the ones we purportedly elect?
      I would also like to know what the “strategic significance ” of the island is, in this age of cruise missiles and drones? Do these items need oil tanks in Trinco to operate?

      • 12
        1

        The future does belong to those who are willing to change. It is good that AKD has taken up the Indian invitation . He should be able to find out for himself if any goni-billas lurk in Delhi. All sane countries operate on self-interest. It is in India’s interest to create links with a party which may be within striking distance of power. In the same vein, it is wise for the JVP to distance itself from its past Indo-phobia. No party can get very far on that platform.

        • 6
          0

          OC, our strategic importance is as good as our “prosperity and splendor”. Amidst stealing and bankrupting our political crooks created this BS to keep retards happy (hyper inflated ego) . It’s them, who are causing rift and suspicion among India / China, US /Russia, West / East, for their own survival. Other than being a financial liability ( non payment of loans ), only other strategic importance is, desperate Lankans trespassing and causing headache to others. Must be because of strategic importance, we managed to get single digit support in Geneva ????.

          • 5
            0

            Chiv,
            We are very good at talking about past glories while ignoring present penury.

      • 0
        7

        No. The US Naval fleet may need. Strategy doesn’t mean military.

      • 0
        0

        OC,
        I wonder why JVP-NPP is still not updating their websites.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janatha_Vimukthi_Peramuna7

        There they still mention that they are against India.

        They are close allies of North Korea. I really don’t know why they are not serious about their websites and its content.

        • 1
          0

          LM,
          Perhaps they are too poor to pay the web designers to update their site?

    • 2
      3

      Nathan,
      .
      It is believed that 5 – principles must be respected in order to be able to join JVP as a member. Is it a joke? How would they clear the doubts of the people today ?

      One of these 5 Lexes is that India does not allow the big brother to corrupt the little brother even though there are more human beasts than good people. They should take every actions to protect srilanka from Indianization.

      My friend’s talkative but well read son (19) kept questioning me, if they hold so-called “harsh policies” and suddenly break them and accept the foolish but intriguiing invitation of Indians to them – a big question for him as a political science undergrad. He continued asking, how do I see it?

      tbc

      • 3
        2

        cont.
        .
        My personal opinion is it is as immature as unskilled youth go to Dubai/Quatar/Rumania/Myanmar/or anywhere for job seek, just because the tensions and pressures of cost of living increase rapidly in home country and but return home without finding any. I got tknow over 100 lads from villagers return to island from ME after their naive job finding mission. What they achieved was nothing but loss at least 4-5 lacks of rupees or more.

        Skilled workers instead make their homework before going to abroad for their jobs and find their job.

        The same is situation with AKD, as a teenager-politician of a 3% party, got the chance in a form of invitation from ane xternal powerful country, however, he welcomed it not thinking twice, not questioning as to why he, why not oppositon leader Sajith, was cherry picked,… but jumped on to the plane and travelled to india.

        I have to pass the question on to our pundits (both self-proclaimed and learned scholars) in the forum with a hope they would enlighten us about their views.
        .
        I wish I could read something constructive about this so that we can Clear our doubts.
        … Please help us further!: Thanks.

  • 2
    1

    Amila your statement, “Regardless of the political party that will come into power, ties with India should be strong” tell the whole story.
    India needs Sri Lanka due to strategic location and Sri Lanka need India otherwise any government coming to power will be very unstable.
    Now it is unstoppable to prevent NPP coming to power. you can see the Sajith gone panic and absorbing corrupt politician from old Rajapakse regime.
    NPP can keep India happy by not undermining their security and also not selling all our government assets to India. It is better they come to power before Ranil selling remaining assets of the country.

  • 2
    8

    In the YouTube interview that the author links us to AKD says that their old Marxist policy of the state acquiring private property was due to the need to be, as the author puts it, “in line with the Soviet Union – Socialist camp, most importantly, because of the fact that the Soviet Union [the rival camp to that of the US] helped their followers with industrial projects and technical know-how. However, that is for that time only, as the world has evolved, leaving only one camp powerful.” AKD says that the collapse of the Soviet Union was “unfortunate.”

    In other words, the NPP (=JVP) is no longer for state acquisition of private property not because they have repudiated that policy as being inherently wrong and disastrous but because there is no longer a patron (Soviet Union) to prop up a Marxist/Communist regime in Sri Lanka.

    The collapse of the Soviet Union, which was due to multiple factors, including political, economic and rampant corruption, AKD considers “unfortunate.”

    The foregoing–and a number of other things not mentioned here–shows that the AKD led NPP (=JVP) still remain at heart incorrigible acolytes of socialism/Marxism, a system of government that has demonstrably not brought about prosperity to any nation.

    • 2
      9

      Addendum to above post:

      “[S]ocialism/Marxism, a system of government that has demonstrably not brought about prosperity to any nation” and failed everywhere it has been tried.

      Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  • 2
    9

    Author:

    “The future belongs to the people who change, not to the people who exercise the same oppression like in 1970s and 1980s, because the past is past.”

    The author is presumably referring to the JVP insurrectionists of the 70s and the 80s.

    We would all be able to say “the past is past” on the day when the present generation of JVP make a complete break with the past by repudiating and condemning the violent approach of the old JVP and stop commemorating “Ilmaha Viru Samaruwa,” which, by the way, should be banned by the authorities for the sake of consistency because they have banned the similar Mahaviru Day celebration of the LTTE. If one is allowed, the other should be allowed, too, and vice versa.

    • 2
      0

      LJ,
      ” stop commemorating “Ilmaha Viru Samaruwa,” which, by the way, should be banned by the authorities for the sake of consistency because they have banned the similar Mahaviru Day celebration of the LTTE. If one is allowed, the other should be allowed, too, and vice versa.”
      Yes, if
      VP was a terrorist, so was Wijeweera.

  • 2
    0

    Anura’s Visit To India, Its Signs & Importance

    The India Way” This vision of India’s strategic choices.

    Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake topping opinion polls as the people’s preferred choice for President. He can answer any question and meaningfully strategic correction his visiting Indian as Indian is globally recognized on economic growth it has surpasses Hong Kong, securing the fourth spot in global stock markets can any parliamentary bring like his knowledge if yes why was it bankrupt. This Success in life is not for those who run fast, but for those who keep running and always on the move.
    Anura is Nature of a question reflects the nature of the person, Be the change you are trying to create
    All the parliamentarian voted the Health minister Keheliya during his impeachment and when he integrated he was jailed then for what the minster validity pf voting and the people are suffering without medicine
    He is currently visiting India on New Delhi’s invitation, Why was not Namal Invited.

  • 4
    1

    RAW and Ranil know ……. which way the wind is blowing ……. India’s taking practical steps …… Ranil, as usual, is trying his same old dirty tricks ……. scuttle elections …… stifle social-media …… bribe voters …….

  • 5
    0

    This country is a hell. See how brutal the police crimes are.
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i49r-GHrJ6w

  • 0
    1

    India gave us the many loans thinking that the Lankan Billionaire off-shore accounts of the accumulated-wealth-of-the-suffering-Lankan-worker would come to fruition in 2023 and 2024 (even in the midst of the country bankruptcy). Never happened. So next best thing is to cross-fingers and hope and pray that AKD will cohere, force, or have the Lankan Billionaires volitionally lay the US$-Billions of the hardworking-Lankan-Masses at the foot of the Lankan coffers, so thereby their loans can be paid back (never mind any interest re-payments).

  • 0
    5

    Amila Muthukutti,
    .
    “Therefore, India had launched its “neighborhood first” policy, […] Dr. S. Jaishankar, India’s Foreign Minister, recently stated that ties with its neighbors are not transactional, India’s aid to Sri Lanka was not contingent on any reciprocity or ‘favor’ to be performed at a later date. It was simply an effort to help a struggling neighbor.”
    .
    The credit line came with conditions. What wasn’t very clear was whether conditions included specific Indian exporters too. I am hoping not and the particular sellers were chosen by the Sri Lankan importers. When conditions are such it seems like it was the money from this credit line that was used to purchase the contraversial stock of Human Immunoglobulin. How was this possible I wonder?
    .
    I am also hoping that Neighbourhood First policy is not a cover for Akhand Bharat, and whether AKD is aware of it?
    .
    TBC

    • 0
      5

      Continued…
      .
      There was video clip circulating on social media recently which depicts Dr. Jaishankar answering questions raised by a live audience. One of the questions was “Who in his opinion is the greatest diplomat India has produced?”. His answer was quite interesting and more so the reason given for the answer. It gives an insight to the kind of diplomacy that is being pursued, in this case by India.
      .
      China’s BRI has encircled India that seems to have opted out of it. China Myanmar Economic Corridor pledges to connect Hambanthota to capitalise from maritime traffic coming from the westward seas. India sure has a lot to lose if the leftist AKD/NPP gain power here, repeating what happened in Maldives.
      .
      Hence despite the accussatory tone that Indian media took having interviewed AKD, for not committing a specific solution to the ethnic issue, New Delhi seems to have slightly changed its stance and decided to extend a diplomatic hand to AKD/NPP.
      .
      Geopolitics is a ruthless game where there are no free lunches. Hope AKD & NPP knows that!

    • 2
      0

      Ruchira,
      “The credit line came with conditions. What wasn’t very clear was whether conditions included specific Indian exporters to”
      Did any other country offer a credit line with or without conditions?
      “it seems like it was the money from this credit line that was used to purchase the contraversial stock of Human Immunoglobulin. “
      The purportedly imported drug was, it seems, actually “manufactured” in Seeduwa. The Indian company has denied exporting it.
      https://www.dailymirror.lk/print/front-page/Substandard-Human-Immunoglobulin-scandal-Owner-refuses-to-cooperate-with-NMRA-CID-officials-during-plant-visit-Police-Spokesman/238-274694
      I get the feeling you are trying to revive non-existent gonibillas.

  • 0
    0

    Amila,
    .
    As we know India and China are arch rivals on the international stage. They don’t really care much about the smaller nations and their activities, but give them tiny-style support. Also keeping them under.

    But I cannot understand a maxistic party violating its strict policies just by being invited by a powerful nation. Until even last week, JVP was cirticising india to the core as if INDIA would be their arch rival in their kind of politics.

    So how can people keep the faith on JVPrs ?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATAbV0bEqb8
    .
    The reality is that Sri Lanka would NOT have survived the last 18 months or so, if India had shown their backwardness like Rajapaksa’s beloved nation, the Chinese did. aNYWAYS, we are now made slaves to india INDIRECTLY.

    Experts described it as the country’s lifeline, not China, but India. As it turns out, India has developed a close relationship with Sri Lanka’s current government and cabinet President RW: However, India has always been angry about Sri Lanka’s affairs as it has made the country perpetual debtors to China. It is not sympathy for Sri Lankans but their hidden agendas. So at any time the Chinese can enter the Indian Ocean through Sri Lanka. GOTA#S 3 years of self indulgence subjugated this nation to India and China on the other side.

    Tbc

    • 0
      1

      cont.
      .
      Why was Sri Lanka’s opposition leader never invited, except for a very small party with power, just as Latin American countries turned political power over to communism or Marxism?

      Was it an act of aggression from neighboring India to teach a lesson to the nation’s giant party leaders?
      -.
      Political analysts should analyze it now rather than later. The vulnerable are forced to trust and believe in their public stage presentations full of powerful stories that easily pass through the psyche, but the JVP seems to lack maturity for them

  • 0
    1

    Author:
    “People of the country seem to be ready to test the untested, as their tested experiments failed again and again.”

    Weren’t the JVP tested in Tissamaharama? Didn’t they lose Tissamaharama at a subsequent election? Why?
    Didn’t they also hold cabinet portfolios under a past government and did they make any significant difference to any thing then?

    • 0
      0

      No, the events you refeered to, only showed JVP’s deeprooted commitment to it’s principles.

      • 0
        2

        How so?

  • 0
    3

    Indian media interview AKD in Colimbo. Accuse him for not taking a solid stance on the Ethnic Issue. Milinda Moragoda suggests we scrap Provincial Councils. AKD et al get invited to Delhi by Indian government. I can see what’s happening. But they don’t have a clue. The cacophony might soon die down… we all fall in love and here’s the bottom line – our trio is down to two!

  • 0
    0

    Some people may disagree, some others might laugh at the idea that India need to change it’s stance, not about Sri Lanka, but about the Asian region. India carries it’s enormous world power not by being the largest country in geographical extent or population, but by it’s potential to influence the rest of the world. My opinion is that Indian leaders of the recent decades failed to recognize this important fact. Primarily, on its relationship with China. PRC may be a economic rival but definitely not a political rival of India. There is plenty of room for, and also a need to, peacefully coexist with China, despite political system differences. In such an (currently hypothetical) environment Asia would establish it self as the key-zone of the globe. In this context I believe Anura’s or NPP’s (but not JVP’s as many media like to call it) visit to India has the potential to trigger a significant contribution towards (an undoubtedly slow but positive) transition. Only this much can be dreamed at present.

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