29 September, 2020

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Can The Establishment Win Over Modi

By R.M.B Senanayake –

R.M.B. Senanayake

R.M.B. Senanayake

Deception and Intrigue have been traditional instruments of foreign policy in the Kautilya tradition which have been used by our rulers in the past. It was successfully used to oust the Portuguese. It was also used against the Dutch to dampen their enthusiasm for conquest. It was used less successfully against the British who  after their early experiences with the Sinhala Establishment did not trust anybody. In the 1980s, President J.R Jayewardene played on the inherent prejudices of the Nehru family, the Delhi bureaucratic establishment committed to the unity of India and the Brahmin lobby in the South, to dampen India’s championship of the Tamils. The LTTE leader Prabakaran was not enamoured of the sentiments of the Nehru family and looked with disfavor upon their efforts to browbeat them.  So he did not trust the Indian ruling Brahmin regime. President Premadasa continued the deceptive policies, paying lip service to the need to remedy Tamil grievances while deceptively undermining the devolution of power under the 13h Amendment. President CBK was perhaps less deceptive but she too was not really committed to resolving the Tamil grievances except where she could also enhance her own self interest.

This policy of ‘double speak ‘which was elaborated on by George Orwell in his work titled “1984”, as the practice of the one party totalitarian State, seems to have been adopted by the present regime as well. Presently this policy is being pursued by the Russian President  Putin in his handling of the Ukraine crisis. The grievances of the Russian speaking people in Southern and Eastern Ukraine cannot be wished  away and they like many minorities elsewhere want a measure of autonomy or self government. Can such a demand be denied when the West has championed similar demands in Kosovo?

Mahinda Raja -colombotelegraph                  The art of double speak  was aptly described by George Orwell as follows: “To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process . . .”

The present regime successfully neutralized  the Congress Party led by Sonia Gandhi. The Gandhi family would have a natural animosity to the LTTE which killed Rajiv Gandhi. This animosity would rub off on the whole Tamil community in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere. It could be played upon. There is also the China card to be used against the Indians. If India were to push Sri Lanka too hard on the Tamil issue she would be driven to cultivate even closer relations with China and Sri Lanka could end up in the arms of China like  Pakistan. Will Modi buy this argument? He may. He doesn’t have to depend on Tamil Nadu support to govern India. He also stands for a strong Central Government in India and knows the earlier Tamil secessionist sentiments. If he takes the China card seriously ,Modi may well follow the same vacillating policy of the previous  Congress Party regarding the devolution of power to the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

But Modi has to reckon with the USA whose support India cannot dispense with. What is the attitude of the USA and the EU to the Sri Lankan Tamil issue? The U.S would like to be friendly with Sri Lanka and woo her away from China. So she would not deliberately antagonize Sri Lanka. But the USA is the upholder of the International Law and minority human rights. The US may be willing to drop the accountability issue or at least soften on it if she feels the Sri Lanka Government will attend to the grievances of the Tamils and grant them autonomy at least as provided under the 13th Amendment. The US is however unlikely to forego both objectives. Nor is the USA concerned too much about Sri Lanka shifting to the China camp like Pakistan. China already has her hands full and the US has managed to create a string of countries from Japan  and the Philippines in the North to Vietnam and possibly Malaysia in the South who are hostile to China. Indonesia is not particularly fond of China as past events showed when thousands of Chinese Communists were slaughtered. So the US must be quite satisfied with how its policy of containment of China is working out. In any case China’s reach is limited. She couldn’t even recover the wreck of the Malaysian Flight 370 which crashed in the Indian ocean with a large number of Chinese on board. So the prospect for the regime to play the China card is not rosy. The Americans are likely to discount Sri Lanka  as a  factor in their China policy. Sri Lanka can always be brought to heel just as Pakistan was. So the regime will play for time and hold a presidential election to retain power before the deluge. The Parliamentary Select Committee which is supposed to come up with a political solution will procrastinate and drag its feet until the diplomacy with Modi works. The fly in the ointment is the UN Human Rights Council Resolution.

The regime will be committing hara kiri if it gives in to the Tamil demand for autonomy or even make the Northern Provincial Council an effective body. After all, this costly war was unnecessary if the B-C Pact or the Dudley Senanayake Agreement was implemented. Who opposed them? The Buddhist monks of course  who  consider themselves the guardians of the Sinhalese Buddhists. Many political analysts and sociologists  have ignored the importance of the monks vis a  vis the Tamil problem. But MR and the regime know  the attitude of the monks and know also that they will not  be able to carry  them on board if they give in on the devolution issue. The Sinhala Buddhist hegemony will be over in so far as the north and east are concerned. Settlement of Sinhalese from the South through State colonization will have to be given up.  The Buddhist monks will never agree to  the dilution of Sinhala Buddhist hegemony over the whole Island. Power seeking politicians within the Establishment will mobilize the monks  against any such efforts. If  President MR persists there may arise a  situation similar to  what President J.R Jayewardene faced in 1987/88 from the JVP. He was specially anointed as the Protector of the Buddhists by the two Mahanayakes  and they are unlikely to be sympathetic to devolution of power.  MR himself would prefer to go down in history living up to his anointment as the Protector of the Sinhala Buddhists and the unifier of the country under Sinhala Buddhist hegemony. What will Modi do? Probably nothing . What will China do ? Vote against UN Sanctions in the Security Council. But bilateral sanctions can always be imposed.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    2

    Even bilateral sanctions will hurt the Sri Lankan economy well and truly.

    Sengodan. M

    • 0
      6

      Sengo,
      Why do you hate Sri Lanka and the Sinhalese so much?

      • 5
        0

        Nuisance

        “Why do you hate Sri Lanka and the Sinhalese so much?”

        Because the Sinhalese of Sri Lanka hate themselves. Sengodan is only following his/her Sinhala speaking Demela brethren.

        Some of them are so stupid I am forced to call them Sinhala/Buddhists. Most of them can’t see beyond their nose.

        • 3
          1

          Foreign:

          You are not as stupid as I thought you were. By the way have you heard from Afzal and Tamodaya . Did they have a suicide pact.

      • 2
        0

        Not only Sengodan anyone would turn their mind into the opposite looking at the way the bunch of thieves work today.
        Give us any reasons why the administration failing to implement police commission or any other bodies to safeguard the human rights of people. What could there be wrong to do so ? Why the bugger makes efforts to show that his regime needs closer ties with Iran not with democractic countries ?
        Why the bugger behaves as if he is fed with kirimati – similar to the common parlance – kirimati gilabu kimbula wage ?

      • 3
        1

        Nonsense:

        Why don’t you ask the opposite.

        Why should we love a Country that has butchered for us for the last 64 long years.

    • 0
      0

      Yes they will, However MR will have a chance to plead his case at the swearing-in ceremony. In the classical era regional kings and satraps were present at the coronation of the Emperor . It is wear the emperor gives his message. Which is usually. Do Not Fuck with me!!!!

    • 2
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      a wry, bashful smile says everything.

      Telling something palatable and doing totally the opposite in a worst form is MR´s principle. He is unpredictable. To this moment, the worst leader that world has ever produced.

  • 2
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    Dear R.M.B. Senanayake

    “Deception and Intrigue have been traditional instruments of foreign policy in the Kautilya tradition which have been used by our rulers in the past. It was successfully used to oust the Portuguese. It was also used against the Dutch to dampen their enthusiasm for conquest. It was used less successfully against the British who after their early experiences with the Sinhala Establishment did not trust anybody. In the 1980s, President J.R Jayewardene played on the inherent prejudices of the Nehru family, the Delhi bureaucratic establishment committed to the unity of India and the Brahmin lobby in the South, to dampen India’s championship of the Tamils. The LTTE leader Prabakaran was not enamoured of the sentiments of the Nehru family and looked with disfavor upon their efforts to browbeat them. So he did not trust the Indian ruling Brahmin regime. President Premadasa continued the deceptive policies, paying lip service to the need to remedy Tamil grievances while deceptively undermining the devolution of power under the 13h Amendment. President CBK was perhaps less deceptive but she too was not really committed to resolving the Tamil grievances except where she could also enhance her own self interest.”

    Yes, you cannot do deception ALL the time.

    That is the state of Affairs in Sri Lanka now.

    The Sinhala Monk Mahanama “BUDDHIST” deception has run its course. No more room.,

    The Bolton way is True Buddha’s Buddhism, or more chaos, Mara style.

    JVP May Day Rally 2014 – Anura Dissanayake’s Speech

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0V7f1pSZ5k

  • 0
    0

    May I refer you sir to the expert in this matter. No other than our great gymnast Dayan Jayatilleke :

    “Modi-Mahinda (Rajapaksa) friendship will be the key to all this,” Jayathilaka said. “There are similarities in Modi’s and Mahinda’s political discourses. Both have a nationalist flavour in their political approaches.” He, however, warned there will be forces who would want to create wedge between the two leaders.

    quoted from : http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-sri-lanka-president-mahinda-rajapaksa-congratulates-narendra-modi-invites-him-on-state-visit-1988977

    While DJ presents gung ho views in CT, he advises a sucking up strategy in the Indian media. Modi was born yesterday and he will not know the quality of those who wish to suck up.

    Now, it is all about building “personnel friendship” about inviting Modi home and offering him Kirri Buth and organizing some Muslim bashing for after dinner entertainment.

  • 0
    0

    May I disagree with ” MR himself would prefer to go down in history living up to his anointment as the Protector of the Sinhala Buddhists and the unifier of the country under Sinhala Buddhist hegemony.”

    Velupillai Prabakaran had similar plans. He sent other peoples children wearing cyanide pills bit did not bite his own when push came to shove.

    When the Ahsokan army was arranged across the palk straights Deva Nambia Thissa did what was most convenient – accepted the faith and re-consecrated himself giving up his pagan beliefs. Naimbia in Tamil means the one who belvies.

    The new Deva across the palk straights is Modi, and our friend is well on his way to becomming Modi Nambiya Tissa.

  • 3
    0

    Modi is still an unknown element. He has invited SAARC leaders including Pakistan for his investiture which is a move of friendship. So it seems he wants to maintain peaceful relationships in the region. It is reported that he has had some discussions with TN politicians on the Sri Lankan Tamil issues. So it is still to be seen how he will manage the Foreign Policy of India vis a vis Sri Lanka. He is a mature politician and not likely to fall prey to any deceit or sucking up. I feel he will be rigidly pro-India in his policies.

    In order to develop India as promised he needs massive FDI which can come only from the West. So he will need good relations with the west. It seems likely that India will develop with western investment and become the regional super power. Modi will not need to bother about Sri Lanka except for respecting the wishes of 75 Mn Indians in TN. It is likely that he will give some consideration to their issues.

  • 0
    4

    I don’t know why everybody is discussing Modi and Sri Lanka. Modi has more important things to contemplate. Rampant corruption, poor infrastructure, environmental issues, lack of foreign policy, threat of terrorism, religious and ethnic unrest are some and what needs urgent intervention in that country.

    • 4
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      Dimwit number one@,
      why not us discuss MODI and MODAYA of the country these days, since the ties between two countries has become so critical through hypocritic nature of MR. One hand they indians are said to have supported to win the war against LTTErs, on the other hand, indians are already made disappointed by MR. He s been trying to do his own agendas that his limited capacities permit. This we are well aware of since the war is no longer there. Alone the fact – inablitiy to handle the human rights issues – post war situation, makes it further clear that the man´s regime is like a square peg in a round hole.

    • 1
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      The thirst for political morality in Sri Lanka, is making many to seek the mythical pool of water at either end of the rainbow- the UNHCR and Narendra Modi.

      I pray their hopes materialise. God. wherever you are and whatever you may be, please help us, as you are our last hope.

      Dr.RN

  • 4
    0

    “Modi is still an unknown element. He has invited SAARC leaders including Pakistan for his investiture which is a move of friendship.”

    Would be rulers of entire regions usually invite the sub-rulers of surrounding vassal states for coronations. Perhaps this is such a case. But diplomatically and PR wise it is a good move by Modi. After that invitation he can read the riot act and no one can say he did not try to be friendly, to begin with. He will ‘whisper in Rajapaksa’s ear’ to simply deliver on what Rajapaksa PROMISED to the PRIME MINISTER of India (not to an individual called Manmohan Singh) AND to the SECRETARY-GENERAL of the world body known as the UN. That is to fully implement 13, or 13A or 13+, or face the consequences. But having whipped up Sinhala Buddhist’s atavistic prejudices, Rajapaksa dare not given in to that demand on devolution lest it foments violent upheavals in the south of Sri Lanka. See what happened to SWRD? But India has that Rajapaksa promise as well as the weight of the treaty signed between sovereign India and sovereign Sri Lanka (albeit coerced, but nevertheless signed and ratified by both parliaments). Modi also needs to calm Tamil Nadu lest the Sri Lanka issue leads to separatist tendencies over there. Full implementation of 13+ in Sri Lanka will deflate all the hot air from the Tamil Nadu balloon. The situation is reminiscent of the dramatic change that happened when vacillating Jimmy Carter (= Manmohan Singh) was replaced by strong armed Ronald Reagan (=Modi) during the Iran Hostage Crises. Upon winning the election Reagan told Iran “There will be no profit in waiting”, and to just release those Americans who had then been held for more than 400 days. The hostages were released just minutes after Ronald Reagan was sworn into office. Well, looks like our Kautilya, who has been running with the hares and hunting with the hounds, has painted himself into a corner. We are in for interesting times ahead. It will be a case study in international power play or subjugation of a big ego. Prof. Peiris will have to invent all sorts of new maths and new words to make it look like a victory, but eating humble pie seems more inevitable by the day.

  • 1
    1

    With Modi it want be business as usual. The Nehru family had a grudge against the LTTE and by entention the Thamil people. Modi has no such inhibitions. Again, unlike the Nehru family who were wedded to secularism, Modi is a committed to Hindutva idealogy. In fact Modi is on the same wave length as Mahinda Rajapaksa. Both Modi and Rajapaksa have ‘majorities’ attitude of Hindu nationality and Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism. So Mahinda Rajapaksa unlike Manmohan Singh has to deal with someone like him.

  • 4
    0

    The Orwellian paradigm has been adopted as state policy in Sri Lanka and is practiced in admirable finesse at the very helm. We are where we are now because of this. Sakuni, in Mahabharatha played this role extremely well and so did Kooni/Kuni in the Ramayana. The results are what we learn in both the Mahabharatha and Ramayana.

    What is absolutely revolting is that the Orwellian paradigm has supplanted the principles of Dharma/Dhamma in a country that lays claim to be the guardian of Buddhism in its purest form. Less said about the in-compassionate ones with shaven head and in yellow garb, who claim to be Buddhist monks, the better.

    The wheel of Karma/Kamma, will inevitably have its turn to demand its price. We are self-destructing from within and no outside element can help us, unless we ‘ACT’ to halt this process that has assumed a momentum of its own. Narendra Modi will only act only in the interest of India and his foot print in Indian history.

    Thanks Mr.Senanayake for an article that provokes deep thought.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 5
    0

    RMB:

    I have enormous respect for you and you are man of integrity with whom we can do business.

    But I take issue with you on the following and beg to disagree.

    1) There is also the China card to be used against the Indians. If India were to push Sri Lanka too hard on the Tamil issue she would be driven to cultivate even closer relations with China and Sri Lanka could end up in the arms of China like Pakistan.

    *** There is no China Card which is a red herring. Sri Lanka might think that there is a China Card but none exists as Sri Lankas Sovereignty is limited to Indias Security and China knows it. You cant play with another mans wife without consequences. India has the luxury of pulling the plug under the pretext of National Security. Why do you think Trinco Harbour has stayed idle for 64 years which would have been a money pinner with its Naval facilities.

    2) Will Modi buy this argument? He may. He doesn’t have to depend on Tamil Nadu support to govern India. He also stands for a strong Central Government in India and knows the earlier Tamil secessionist sentiments. If he takes the China card seriously ,Modi may well follow the same vacillating policy of the previous Congress Party regarding the devolution of power to the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

    *** The above is a wishful thinking and many Sinhalese are looking for a consolation price. Modi needs Tamilnadu support ( 2/3 majority) to push through legislations and also in the Rajyasabha where the BJP only have 46 seats but need 125 for a simple majority . Tamilnadu has 18 votes.

    3) But Modi has to reckon with the USA whose support India cannot dispense with. What is the attitude of the USA and the EU to the Sri Lankan Tamil issue? The U.S would like to be friendly with Sri Lanka and woo her away from China. So she would not deliberately antagonize Sri Lanka. But the USA is the upholder of the International Law and minority human rights. The US may be willing to drop the accountability issue or at least soften on it if she feels the Sri Lanka Government will attend to the grievances of the Tamils and grant them autonomy at least as provided under the 13th Amendment.

    *** Your analysis on the above is totally wrong and the truth is the opposite . USA and EU were hamstrung by Indias support for Sri Lanka. It was India who protected Sri Lanka from being brought to the HAGUE for fear of being implicated but the gloves are off.

    4) The US is however unlikely to forego both objectives. Nor is the USA concerned too much about Sri Lanka shifting to the China camp like Pakistan. China already has her hands full and the US has managed to create a string of countries from Japan and the Philippines in the North to Vietnam and possibly Malaysia in the South who are hostile to China. Indonesia is not particularly fond of China as past events showed when thousands of Chinese Communists were slaughtered. So the US must be quite satisfied with how its policy of containment of China is working out. In any case China’s reach is limited. She couldn’t even recover the wreck of the Malaysian Flight 370 which crashed in the Indian ocean with a large number of Chinese on board. So the prospect for the regime to play the China card is not rosy. The Americans are likely to discount Sri Lanka as a factor in their China policy. Sri Lanka can always be brought to heel just as Pakistan was. So the regime will play for time and hold a presidential election to retain power before the deluge.

    *** I am sure you can spot the contradiction between 3 & 4 which is full of contradictions.
    For me India has total jurisdiction over Sri Lanka if in doubt just think who made NPC elections possible.

    5)The present regime successfully neutralized the Congress Party led by Sonia Gandhi:

    *** The above was achieved by a combination of factors. a) Sonias desire for revenge b) The Corrupt politicians like Shiv Shankar Menon , Krishna and others who were prepared to ignore the Tamil Plight with a get rich quick attitude. It wont work with Modi.

    MR is stuck between the Devil ( Modi Led Government ) and the Deep Blue sea ( His prejudice and the quest for Colonisation). There is no way out for him other than total capitulation and time will tell.

    MR might be in for a humiliation even before Modi has assumed office.
    MR has been invited to attend the Inauguration but Vaiko has objected along with all the other Tamilnadu BJP members. It is likely that Jeyalalitha might stay away if MR attends as she will not share a platform with MR. Modi is in a dilemma and if the invitation is withdrawn it will be a slap on the face for MR we will wait and see.

  • 2
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    J R Jayewardene was intelligent and educated whereas Rajapaksa is cunning lacking finesse which does not take him far. He wants to be all things to all persons. He wants to befriend China, Pakistan, Syria, Iran, Russia and some African countries with terrible human rights records. He even pretended to adore Gaddafi making out that he was a great statesman and freedom fighter. His main obsession currently is to get out of an impending international investigation into his war crimes, those of the members of his family and others involved. He is capable of stooping to the lowest level to do this. Modi with all his human weaknesses made of very much sterner stuff is new to the Indian central governance unlike that of the Gujerati state, pragmatic and disciplined. Rajapaksa is no comparison to Modi. Being an Indian nationalist Modi will succumb to the pressures of the US as against Pakistan, China, Iran and Russia. Modi is no Singh. Bensen

  • 1
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    “But MR and the regime know the attitude of the monks and know also that they will not be able to carry them on board if they give in on the devolution issue.”

    You give credit to their moral integrity when none is due.

    To celotape the mouth of the Mahana Yakas and prevent them from yelling against the Packer Casino Package Mara The Evil One, Mahinda Rajapakse, distributed tax free luxury car permits to 500 temples.

    The Mahana Yakas have been silenced. Their kith and kin get rich by selling car permits. Jarapassas get into their fat bellies commission from Packer to the extent of the tax exemption granted. Win-Win-Win situation.

    Mahinda Rajapaksa care for Sri Lanka’s wellbeing?

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