28 October, 2020

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Indo-Lanka Relations Post-CHOGM

By Malinda Seneviratne –

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Now that the CHOGM circus is done, along with frills, clowns and performing monkeys, we can return to the man and country that had teased and taunted but in the end was hardly missed. That’s Manmohan Singh and India.

India cannot wish away Sri Lanka and neither can Sri Lanka wish away India. That’s geography. That’s political reality.  India snubbed Sri Lanka when Manmohan Singh chose to privilege domestic electoral compulsions.  CHOGM came and went, but the significance of snub remains.

Perhaps it is an indication that Delhi is in damage-control mode that we now here ‘tut-tut’ noises emanating from India about David Cameron’s CHOGM antics, but then again as the proverb goes no cat that defecates on rock can do cover-up with sand, however hard the scratching is.

India’s last-minute support for Sri Lanka’s military putsch on the LTTE was understandably covert, but that change of heart was less about love for Sri Lanka’s political stability or territorial integrity as it was about necessity to put to rest a Delhi-spawned monster that had got out of control.  No illusions there.

Now there were those who didn’t want Sri Lanka to be awarded CHOGM 2013.  Once awarded, they agitated for venue change.  When that didn’t happen, they lobbied for boycotts.  When Manmohan decided at the last minute to send someone else in his place, they cheered. They were thrilled when Harper said ‘no can do’.  They were upset when Cameron said ‘I will go’.  They were consoled when he said ‘I will talk tough’.  They were happy when he fielded friendly questions and fired shots at Sri Lanka from a veritable no-fire zone.  They cling to Cameron’s ultimatums and do not question his moral right to talk about human rights, freedom of expression and such given his own and his country’s horrendous track records on these matters.

Most of the above was predictable.  Sri Lanka would do well to take stock of Delhi’s snub and use it to good effect.

It is no secret that India has never been Sri Lanka’s friend and certainly was not a friend-in-need.  India need not be either, for in international relations only ‘interests’ matter, ‘love’ being a mere rhetorical tool, a sweetener to help a bitter thing go down.  The political significance of the snub means, however, that India has conceded the diplomatic right to sweet-talk Sri Lanka. From now on, India has to engage in the raw; no more beating around the bush, no more love talk, no more big-brother.  From now on, if at all, it has to be big-thug-talk.  And that may very well be the biggest (unintended) gift that India has offered Sri Lanka in well over three decades.

From now on India cannot pretend that it is trying to help Sri Lanka.  Sri Lanka can now move on or more correctly move away from aberrations celebrated or suffered in silence in the name of ‘friendly bilateral relations’ such as the 13th Amendment.  If Delhi objects, it will have to say, ‘we object because we want you to inhabit our version of your reality.’  And Sri Lanka can say ‘Really?’

Sri Lanka has multiple tasks to handle.  First there is a post-conflict reconciliation process where the Government is supposed to clap with one hand.  Then there’s the matter of fending off pressure from the biggest perpetrators of crimes against humanity.  Sri Lanka has to find ways of opening the eyes of those who pretend to be asleep or who, if one is generous, just cannot understand that terrorism can be eliminated without resorting to the methods of dealing with enemies that these criminals have used for so long that they know no other way.

Things have to begin at home of course and there’s a lot to be done, even though  a lot has already been done.  The ‘beyond home’ part of it begins with India.

The island of Sri Lanka will not unmoor itself somehow and float away towards, let’s say, Australia.  Sri Lanka will have to live with a bad-tempered bully as neighbor.  This does not mean that Sri Lanka has to capitulate to Indian hegemony in its affairs.  The world and its processes are not reducible to the prerogatives of simple geographical proximities.  They are more complex.  In navigating the options afforded by these complexities one thing is of paramount import: accurate reading of factors.  Right now there’s an easy ‘truth’ that must be accepted and factored into all calculations when it comes to policy formulation: India is not friend.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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    “|”Sri Lanka would do well to take stock of Delhi’s snub and use it to good effect.”|”

    Come Equinox 2014 Milli Sani would drown in his own saliva.

    Hanuman ki Jai

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      “|” accurate reading of factors. India is not friend. “|”

      Manchurian Candidate Malinda, Begging bowl Sinhala Buddhist Nationalist, however a friend in need is a friend in deed.¬)

      “Sino-US ties are constantly affected by other countries’ policies and actions, especially in the Asia-Pacific region,”Xu said.
      Zen Buddhist/Theravada Buddhist take note:

      “|”The ‘beyond home’ part of it begins with India.”|”

      Independence day 4th February what’s that?? A mistake made by a tired Churchill from a blitzed London where only Liberty & Liberty stood the test of time and money had to come from a new US Truman who did not see beyond a determined Russia’s forceful encroachment to Germany; the carnage that still echoes, and the beginning of the cold war.
      The island {Baharat royal seepage} got administrative rights from the British as much as they got it from the Dutch East India Company and parented by Baharat.

      Like Hong Kong it Ceylon/Lanka must go to keep the respected Chinese truly satisfied isn’t it??

      Singh’s China Legacy: http://www.ecns.cn/2013/10-28/86070.shtml

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    Malinda Seneviratne

    “India’s last-minute support for Sri Lanka’s military putsch on the LTTE was understandably covert”

    India was actively involved in the initiation, preparation, planning, and execution of the war since early 2005. Malinda should speak to Chandrika at least for once.

    By the way

    Putsch is a violent attempt to overthrow a government; a coup.

    Putsch is a sudden attempt by a group to overthrow a government.

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    Hi Malinda,

    “Now that the CHOGM circus is done, along with frills, clowns and performing monkeys”

    Thought that you were one of the clowns? dispatched by the government to perform online. Instead of beating the “anti-india” drum. Why not try this stunt ?

    Manmohan Sign most certainly need more votes. Why not negotiate with him an agreement for “Re-Immigration” for those who were dispatched on a boat for unacceptable behavior quite some time ago?

    This way Tonny Abbot will also be pleased as he can stop the undesirables from reaching Australia.

    Its the Sinhalese who now want to leave the sinking ship – while the circus drums are still beating.

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    Agree with Malinda.

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    Malinda, you have a great smile.

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    So much fear of India, I think you malinda you wet your bed every night out of this Fear.

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      mani:

      Malinda is waiting for his next laptop. He could not care the world what happens to the Rajapakses. He will continue to sing the hosannas. If a new regime takes over, he will sing to their tune. You must also understand that if he stops praising the Rajapakses, it will be the white van bundling him up. Of all persons Malinda should know better.

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      no way, he just makes tea in his pajama.

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    Malinda Seneviratne,

    THE NATION, of which you are the CHIEF EDITOR posed various questions in an email to CHANNEL4 accusing them of various unethical/improper conducts while they were in SL. Macrae had his say and this was published in THE NATION. In his say on War Crimes, Macrae has advised you to study and research the subject before accusing them of targeting SL only. Have you replied to what he has said?..
    http://www.nation.lk/edition/interview/item/23058-macrae-has-his-say.html

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    Malinda, don’t waste yours and our time attempting to score debating points by writing such silly commentaries.

    Beware the Axis of Evil during the Ides of March at the next Human Rights confab.

    UK, USA and India will be at play, such that a pitifully weak and small nation like Sri Lanka which is pursuing an unrealisitic and vascilating foreign policy, would be hard pressed to defend itself.

    Rather than hopelessly retaliating against powerful nations, Sri Lanka’s thrust should be to somehow defuse the so-called Tamil Diaspora which is obviously pulling the strings.

    Sri Lanka won the war, no doubt, but has deplorably lost the peace!

    Wake up, Malinda!

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    Post CHOGAM for Sri Lanka is
    (a) at home Populatiry boots for Mahinda at home
    (b) internationally exposure of war crimes, Press freedom or lack of it and humanrights violation

    There is no significant change in relationship of Sri Lanka with the 53 countries.

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    Malinda:

    Instead of wasting your time talking where and how India went wrong, give a slight knock on the head of the SL regime in reminding them what it promised, not only to India but the whole world, but failed to keep those promises and today stands stripped of its credibility. From UN chief Ban, who kept on reiterating Mahinda’s promises, to PM Singh the regime had promised the full and the plus implementation of the 13A.

    India and the world has the problem of trusting the ever lying Sri Lanka. SL placed India and PM Singh in a very tight situation when it reneged on its promise the full implementation of the 13A and even promised the PLUS. The regime could have honoured these promises and mitigated the over-pouring of the assails and helped MR Singh. When it bluffs its way through and does not keep its side of the bargain, it can’t expect others to keep their side of the bargain and even place them in a predicament and loss of face. In fact, in voting against SL on both the UNHRC resolutions, Mr Singh made it perfectly clear on why India is doing so.

    When your “high pedestal” regime can behave in such a callous manner, disregarding and ignoring the promises to countries that helped it to win the war, you have no business to display such sour grapes. Unfortunately for you and the SL regime, all these promises have started to haunt SL and will continue until it acts on those promises. In the meanwhile and when there is a deficit in the balance of scales, the adjustment of scores will continue. It could even become worse when the scales get tilted against SL, a price it may well pay for its reneged promises and its overzealous conduct during the war. It cannot continue to hide behind the charade of defeating a ruthless terrorist organisation. The bargain was to defeat that terrorist organisation with due regard to civilian casualties, that was made perfectly clear by all the parties but when it overstepped that line, it simply cannot hide behind sovereignty.

    Do you know how many times your Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe promised the UN and the UNHRC of the full implementation of the 13A. Basil, with his unforgettable grin, promised several times the same thing. And your MR uncle too never stopped impressing on the same thing and now if you expect everyone to forget that and point fingers at others, then you are going to be sorely wrong. Surely you would heard of that time honoured saying “what goes around comes around”.

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    Another brain mal function.

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    A predictable anti-Indian narrative from a junior journo, catapulted to the editorial chair more by political actors calculated to please his political bosses than for reasons of ability, track-record and long experience. Needless to say, this can harm the country in the long run by Indian policy makers whose continuing exasperation in trying to build space for a trust-credit for Sri Lanka continues to widen. Criticising India, its leaders and political leaders, where necessary, by itself is not something to be decried. But that done regularly and senselessly can serve no positive purpose to advance this country’s interests. And that being drummed up mischievously in boring regality and out of context can be counter-productive particularly in the coming months when there can be a change of the guard in Delhi who might take offence at what they may consider as sources inimical to India’s good.

    Clearly there is no substitute to clean and wholesome journalism whose objective is none other than to understand, assemble and disseminate news without fear or favour – but with responsibility.

    Pandaranayagam

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    Dear Malinda

    You have no advice for Mahinda Rajapakse and brothers not to treat Tamils as second class citizens. You are a pathetic apologist for Rajapakses. The whole problem will be solved if Sighalese government treats Tamils as equal citizens.

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    It seems Malinda Seneviratne is in some kind of a dream. Last time, when India invaded Sri Lanaka it was LTTE rescued the country. No Brave Puththas(sons) were ready to face India that time. If India comes once again Wijayamunige Rohana’s childish comedy acts alone can not do a lot.

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    An organ grinder’s monkey dancing for his peanuts.

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    Don’t Take the bullshit rantings of this idiot. [Edited out]

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