16 May, 2022

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Rajapaksas Pushing Sri Lanka Towards A Century Of Humiliation & Shame

By Sanka Chandima Abayawardena –

Sanka Chandima Abayawarden

Sri Lanka is facing a century of humiliation and shame as the Rajapaksa family is selling the island off to foreign powers to stay in power.

Sri Lanka is in deep economic trouble. Sri Lanka is going down the same road as Lebanon and Ukraine have both gone before her. The Sri Lankan political leadership has shown that it is neither capable nor willing to stabilize the country and serve national interests. They seem to be hell bent on trading the future of the nation to stay in power for a few more years. Thus, the island nation, the oldest nation state on earth with more than 2600 years of history as a nation state, is facing a century of humiliation and doom. The only difference is that in Sri Lanka, unlike in other countries, the leadership is not willing to do what needs to be done to stop this downward spiral.

The overgrown crisis in Sri Lanka has surfaced in the form of a financial management issue in recent years. The current debt crisis and balance of payment is just the tip of the iceberg. Every area of social services has been in crisis for decades. Consequences of long ignored structural issues inherited from pre-independent Sri Lanka, exacerbated by decades of misguided policies compound by exploitative nature of our social structures and corruption, are causing a general collapse of the state. The victory of Mathripala Sirisena in 2015 was a testament to the desire of the country to find a fix to these long-ignored issues in Sri Lanka. Due to the inability of the center right government led by President Sirisena to deliver the change people needed, in 2019 they elected Gotabaya Rajapaksa. On top of this, the country was in shock after the Easter Attacks and feared the possibility that Sri Lanka may become a logistical and operational base for the aggressive and militaristic American Indo-Pacific policy. One of the main reasons why the Sri Lankan voter supported the current government was to take Sri Lanka’s non aligned foreign policy forward and to prevent Sri Lanka from being a part of the US Indo-Pacific game plan against China.

However, the Rajapakse family who heads the current government is understood not to be taking any efforts to follow up with their own promises to keep Sri Lanka away from the QUAD alliance led by US military and the US Indo-Pacific strategy. India has emerged over the last few years as the proxy power who coerces Sri Lanka into the American sphere of influence in the Indian ocean. This was evident in Rajapakse’s attempt to hand over the eastern terminal of the Colombo port, one of the most important ports in Asia. There were a number of highly damaging agreements with the Indians, ranging from handing over the oil tank farm in Trincomalee, to energy plants in the northern islands, to cronies associated with the Indian top brass. As the economic crisis is going over the point of no return and the financial situation is in free fall, the Indian government seems to be demanding the pound of flesh from Sri Lanka in exchange for their credit lines. As economic worries keep getting compounded, the Rajapaksas seem to be willing to go to any length to keep borrowing and avoid economic restructuring by agreeing to any demand coming from the QUAD alliance members, no matter how much they are counter to the national interest. The Rajapaksa family now plans to sign a highly controversial maritime security agreement with India, which may attempt to see the Sri Lankan navy reduced to surveillance agents of QUAD in the Indian ocean.

Sri Lanka seems to be falling firmly into the trap laid by the US and the Indian strategists to secure the island nation as a hub for its attempted control over the Indian ocean. Prof Rohan Gunaratne, known for his links with the US defense establishment, as well as Milinda Moragoda, referred to as ‘our man’ in the leaked US embassy cables, are significant forces behind the suicidal path that Sri Lanka has taken. Agreeing to incorporate Sri Lankan naval maritime surveillance capabilities into the American naval overlordship of the Indian ocean is extremely troubling. President Gotabaya has unfortunately decided to allow naval liaisons to be permanently placed at the Bahrain-based intelligence sharing office by the US navy, called the Intelligence Fusion Centre. This is in addition to the data protection act passed on a proposal by Namal Rajapakse as the minister of digital infrastructure that supersedes the right to information act. The new act, instead of protecting the integrity and sovereignty of national data, seems to allow it to be absorbed into the intelligence apparatus of the combined US-India operations in Sri Lanka. Another significant development is the upcoming purchase of a 4,000-tonne naval floating dock by the Sri Lankan navy to be positioned in Trincomalee and capable of making repairs to frigates and destroyers. This will start the transition of the Trincomalee harbor from a civil facility to military facility capable of handling large naval operations for policing the Indian ocean. India seems to be interested in gaining direct control over land in Trincomalee district in a departure from its previous policy of bullying Colombo to gain access when needed. The program to take over large sugar plantations via a Singaporean proxy on Indian behalf is a good example for this strategic shift.

Not all plans are going well for Indian interests either. The most notably, the governor of the eastern province Mrs. Anuradha Yahampath has categorically told the president that she unequivocally refuses to sign the approval to allow the Indian take over of the Trincomalee oil storage facility. But on another front, thanks to the collaboration of another Rajapakse, the Finance Minister is said to have agreed to hand over the Trincomalee harbor complex to the Indians. A bigger threat to energy security of Sri Lanka was the handing over of the monopoly of natural gas for power generation for perpetuity under the Yugadanavi deal.

More disturbingly, allowing the Indian government to set up three secret bases in Jaffna, Trincomalee and Matara respectively will allow the Indian and American governments to put a dangerous surveillance network over the maritime traffic in order to police the Indian ocean. This is carried out under the pretext of establishing Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres. These facilities will be set up by Bharath Electronics of India according to the cabinet paper submitted by Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the Minister of Defense. Such bases may one day secretly end up becoming armed and unarmed drone command and control centers. It must be noted that the company that is going to set up these camps, Bharat Electronics Limited, is an Indian government-owned aerospace and defense electronics company, which primarily manufactures advanced electronic products for ground and aerospace application. This poses a significant risk to Sri Lanka’s national security interests as well as international maritime security over the Indian ocean. The possibility of using these facilities to operate armed drones over conflict regions around the world may even put Sri Lanka into possible violations of the international law and lead to the country being held legally, politically and morally responsible for war crimes and violations of the international humanitarian law.

Rajapaksa’s willingness to drag Sri Lanka into the US-India sphere of influence will also invalidate Sri Lanka’s position as a neutral trading hub in the middle of the Indian ocean. In this context the visit by Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs of the United States to Sri Lanka poses new questions. Victoria Nuland is a key character behind the regime change operation in Ukraine in 2014 and played a significant role in handing over the power of the Ukrainian state to far right and Nazi groups who previously had been the political minority.

This will seriously hamper the potential economic recovery that Sri Lanka needs in the long term. In other words, the short-term power games that the Rajapakse family is playing to stay in power for a few more years may prolong the suffering of the Sri Lankan population for decades to come and may risk the stability and balance of power in the Indian ocean. Sri Lanka seems to be forced into a path similar to the one that Ukraine took since 2008. This outlook of the future doesn’t hold much for the island nation, unless its government finally prioritizes national interests. Once a country falls into a fighting ground between world powers or is economically and politically weakened by one side to be used as a vessel, it takes decades, if not centuries to get out of this debacle. One of the best examples is China following the Opium Wars in the mid 1800s. It took China more than 100 years to end foreign occupation of the most important economic centers of their country, unify the nation under a central authority and guarantee the sovereignty of its people. And still, even now Western imperial powers continue to use Hong Kong as a vessel of some sort to inflict political instability in China. This is what awaits us, should Sri Lanka allow its territory to be carved up by regional and global powers in exchange for temporary financial aid that provides a very limited breathing space for the crumbling economy, and continue to allow its security shere be used as a satellite for the militarisation of the Indian ocean by QUAD.

What we see is the beginning of Sri Lanka’s own century of shame, where difficult times are being exploited politically, economically and militarily by regional and global powers led by the US and India to carve up the island.

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Latest comments

  • 4
    11

    Spot on. This is Over the Horizon (OTH), Full Spectrum Dominance (FSD) of Sri Lanka by US and its buddy India,
    Both the staged dollar shortage with the US citizen Economic Hit man Basil Rajapakse who is set to fly to Washington and the IMF and the protests have one endpoint Basil goes to IMF with begging bowl and Sri Lanka cannot have an indpendent Economic, Energy, Trade or Foreign Policy
    Strangely the social media organized “protestors” support the IMF ! Are they are part of the CIA backed Arab Spring/ colour revolution in Pakistan and Lanka?
    Sri Lanka must de-dollarize, dump the dollar and trade in a basket of currencies.. as this artificial dollar shortage is staged to push it into Washington’s arms. Also get it oil, gas and energy needs from Russia and turn to Asia for Development Aid.

    • 0
      0

      Well, beggars cannot be choosers!

  • 9
    2

    S Abayawardena,

    Thanks for the very informative article.

    Whilst association with the biggest power America can be beneficial to Sri Lanka, there needs to be compromise so they do not overpower us with their intents. We would definitely lose our sovereignty to India. Indeed, it probably is one of the main clauses of the MCC deal – to restructure our borders to make it most profitable to them. They would probably build the land bridge to India so their commercial interests will be topped. Working with the Americans would mean open borders for greatest commercial integration.

    After reducing our Motherland to this mess, Rajapaksas doing the 180⁰ turn from what they have been doing all this while with places like China and Russia is immoral. Indeed, everything they did for power has been most detrimental to our land. They need to go or be removed.

  • 14
    1

    “Thus, the island nation, the oldest nation state on earth with more than 2600 years of history as a nation state” – that is false. Oldest nation state on earth is Egypt. Kindly get the basic fact right. Thank you.

    • 18
      3

      ASP,
      Even Egypt wasn’t a “nation state”. The concept of a nation state came into existence after the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. By that measure, SL has been one only since 1948. Authors should know the limits of their ignorance, especially if it is based on the Mahavamsa.

      • 3
        2

        OC
        There is much confusion among people about nation state as understood today and states that ruled over a people of a vaguely common ethnic/linguistic/cultural identity. You are right about ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome (not the empire though) etc.
        They like to imagine the Gemunu v. Elara battle as a war between two nations. But that is how history has been presented by schoolbooks, the media, the lot.
        But that kind of madness is not unique to the SB.

      • 2
        2

        That apart, there are important home truths that deserve to be addressed.

        • 4
          2

          SJ,
          I doubt whether SL is even now a nation state or a set of bickering tribes.

  • 0
    0

    During election time all was concentrating on other things to get the vote and wasted time not concentrating on economic growth the actions in the present build the staircase to the future. The question is whether that staircase is going up or down, who had the Good tactics in this government that could have saved even the worst strategy. Bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy.

  • 5
    1

    Lankan media in 2020:
    ‘We need more tyrannical lockdowns from the Rajapaksas and dont care how many go destitute and starve over it, as we get our full wages to sit at home’

    Lankan media in 2022:
    ‘These Rajapaksas are tyrants and have caused so much suffering to the people of the nation’

    It is not just the Rajapaksas that need to go, but all freemasons, and that includes the ones in the journalist profession. Dishonest reporting must come with consequences, as people rely on the media to shape the reality.

  • 13
    12

    This guy sounds like few of our Nutty people , comment here in CT. According to him corruption and crime by Mafia family is an international conspiracy. Can anyone find the word “CORRUPTION” in this lengthy rambling.

    • 7
      11

      SCA , Heads of 4 major political / religious Buddhist chapters advised president to form an interim government. Does it mean they too want to be included in it ??? Must be a Western/ US conspiracy. Any thoughts from Rajapaksas school of media and communications.

  • 10
    11

    I recall in 2001, driving through the outskirts of Trincomalee area. The amount of unused land was staggering. The country has massive amounts of untapped or underutilized natural resources in the North and East. If employed efficiently, there is little need for foreign loans. Following Independence, consecutive governments attempted to maximize the productivity of available agricultural and other resources by resettling people (mostly Sinhalese) all around the country. Due to terrorist uprisings on the minority side, these plans eventually faltered. Now the government, low on forex reserves, has to go begging to the IMF and other lenders. This will lead to further problems in the future, as loans are never given for free. If natural resources are still underutilized, the government will again need more loans. End result is an infinite debt loop for future generations.

    • 10
      10

      Lester,
      “The country has massive amounts of untapped or underutilized natural resources in the North and East. If employed efficiently, there is little need for foreign loans.”
      Great idea. I agree with you entirely. But who will work “efficiently ” on these lands? Definitely, the most efficiently cultivated land is in tea plantations. Everyone knows who efficiently works on those, and who refuses to. Everyone also knows that 96% of colonised land was given to 70% of the population. Even with all the subsidies, water, a 2000 year old irrigation system, per capita output is way below that of Tamilnadu farmers, who have none of the above. I wonder why?
      Let those who are efficient do the job. Their language or religion doesn’t matter.

      • 7
        10

        OC, absolutely right. People in North and East were prevented from farming and fishing which for generations, was their means of living.(they took pride in what they did), electricity and water were cut off, food and fuel were banned, people were displaced several times from their own land, medicines were restricted, emergency and PTA were in force for years, and the retard seems to have woken up from his deep sleep.

        • 7
          6

          PTA was in place because of suicide bombers. “According to Jane’s Information Group, between 1980 and 2000, the LTTE carried out 168 suicide attacks causing heavy damage to mainly military targets, but in some cases also to economic and civilian targets.”

          Around 9 suicide attacks every year for 20 years. Definitely take pride!

          100% of the suicide bombers were people from the North and East.

          Fishing was restricted because the LTTE was engaged in illegal arms smuggling. LTTE was a banned terrorist organization, according to the USA, EU, Australia, Canada, and India. Those who cannot admit this basic fact deserve to be punished under the PTA as they are accomplices.

          • 5
            1

            Continue with your lame excuses which will not set free from your misery. Definitely you can take pride now that the whole world wants to know who Mr. 10% is.

          • 6
            1

            Lester,
            Maybe you don’t know that 2 out of 3 members of Gota’s new economic council are Tamils. Even Gota is forced to admit that Tamils are smarter, the ultimate humiliation for the Master of Organic agriculture.
            Why don’t you go back in your hole and figure out why?

          • 1
            0

            L
            “PTA was in place because of suicide bombers. “
            PTA was some years before the cyanide brigade was formed. It was perhaps a factor in its formation.

            • 1
              4

              SJ,

              Regardless, one cannot justify suicide bombings. This is the reason why the LTTE never gained international legitimacy. The same reason why the Palestinians cannot rally international support against Israel. Suicide bombing is archaic to the rational mind. Not only that, but the LTTE engaged in a variety of other illegal activities: child conscription, drug trafficking, human smuggling, arms trafficking, and extortion. Prabhakaran was a true fascist to the end; Balasingham gave up pushing him towards peace talks while his best commander, Karuna, walked away. India was willing to give Tamils federalism on a platter, yet the LTTE blew up their PM. CBK was willing to negotiate even after the “glass eye” and foreign minister LK was killed. LTTE tried to assassinate Gotha and MaRa. PTA is nothing compared to LTTE brutality.

              • 1
                0

                Lester,
                “but the LTTE engaged in a variety of other illegal activities: child conscription, drug trafficking, human smuggling, arms trafficking, and extortion”
                So did many government figures. Premadasa (arms trafficking), various Navy officers (human smuggling and extortion”) child conscription (nothing compared to what goes on in temples, encouraged by the state)
                So what’s new? And the JVP too did terrorism. Why is only the LTTE bad?

        • 5
          1

          DHAN SEPHADA

          • 4
            1

            Looks like Jester got his “rent a thumb” business active again ??

            • 6
              1

              Chiv,
              Probably the Rajapaksas supply him with batteries.

      • 10
        8

        Codger,

        Sri Lanka was self-sufficient in food production for thousands of years despite invasions from foreign elements including South India.

        Sri Lanka has a lower poverty rate than TN, despite 30 years of Tiger terrorism and false propaganda about “genocide” and “war crimes.” Btw, if TN was so great, why did most Tamils emigrate to the West instead?

        • 7
          2

          Jester the food that many Lankans are eating today is donated by TN. India up to now has supplied 270,000 MT fuel, in that 76,000 ( 36 petrol and 40 diesel) was supplied in past 24 hours, A shipment of rice is on it’s way. And reportedly New Delhi has promised another $ one billion loan to keep you alive. On April 1 IOC supplied 6,000 MT fuel to CEB so that you can see your self in mirror. Most of the medicine are now supplied by India under credit line. You are just another ungrateful remorseless Stupid Lankan.

          • 1
            6

            “The food that many Lankans are eating today is donated by TN.”

            During the war, the Sri Lankan government had to supply Tamil areas with food because LTTE terrorists were using their stupendous IQ’s to forcibly conscript child soldiers.

            • 1
              0

              Lester the superior IQ,
              “During the war, the Sri Lankan government had to supply Tamil areas with food”
              What has that got to do with TN donating food?

            • 0
              0

              You mean Tamil areas belong to TN, India. That is news to me. I guess that is why IPKF was send to protect their motherland.

        • 7
          2

          Lester,
          “Sri Lanka was self-sufficient in food production for thousands of years despite invasions from foreign elements including South India.”
          Any country can be self- sufficient if the entire population is out in the fields. Even if it’s run by an idiot. But today, Tamilnadu is not only self-sufficient but exports food, including to SL. Didn’t your kindergarten teacher tell you that?
          “Sri Lanka has a lower poverty rate than TN”
          Are you serious?? Oh , I forgot, you’re a superior European citizen, and you don’t know what’s happening here.

          • 6
            1

            old codger

            “I forgot, you’re a superior European citizen, and you don’t know what’s happening here.”

            He is waiting for his masters to tell him what is happening here. He is indeed a White Man’s Burden.

          • 7
            2

            Lester,
            “Sri Lanka was self-sufficient in food production for thousands of years despite invasions from foreign elements including South India”
            Only a particular kind of brainwashed idiot can keep harping on irrelevant fairytales from an imagined past to prop up his feudal masters in the 21st century.

          • 1
            5

            If TN is such a great place, consider relocating. Leave Sri Lanka to the Buddhists and Muslims while you enjoy your caste privileges (scrubbing Brahmin toilets) in TN. Sri Lankan Tamils lived in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu for 20 years, yet they were never given citizenship. Yet Indian Tamils who were brought to work on plantations in SL were all given citizenship by the Sinhala-Budhist politicians even though your Jaffna elites opposed it. Your caste system is 100x more racist than any Sinhala Buddhist racist.

            • 1
              0

              Lester,
              “Leave Sri Lanka to the Buddhists and Muslims”
              Is that why you live in the superior West? At least be consistent, man.

          • 1
            5

            “Any country can be self- sufficient if the entire population is out in the fields. “

            More nonsense from you, similar to “any country can increase Forex by adding money from foreign donors.” Just because someone farms does not mean the crops will grow.

        • 6
          1

          Lester,
          “If TN was so great, why did most Tamils emigrate to the West instead?”
          The corollary to that is:
          “If the Rajapakasas are so great, why does Lester emigrate to the West?”

      • 1
        0

        OC
        Do not belittle the ancient irrigation system. It was an engineering marvel. Something that claim greater credit for technical superiority was that of the Khmer’s.
        It is sickening to hear people singing the glory of their ancestors– I agree, some of it imagined.
        What is sad is that it is a substitute for our missing performance.
        I do not want to tread on other sore feet, but will stop at sayong tat it is not exclusively a Sinhalese trait and not many Sinhalese indulge in it.

        • 0
          1

          SJ,
          I am aware of the Kumarikandam fans too, but they aren’t the ones in power now.

          • 1
            0

            OC
            But they criticize those in power for their Mahavamsa mindset.
            The ones in power really have only one thing in mind: ‘a fist-full of dollars’.

    • 5
      2

      Lester
      The Jester

      “Now the government, low on forex reserves, has to go begging to the IMF and other lenders.”

      The Buddhists monks are supposed to be begging for their existence and walk everywhere instead they own and travel by luxury vehicles and ride on the back of innocent people while the state permanently on relentless begging mission since its independence almost just over 74 years.

      How long you are going to rely on “blaming the victims” and get the country going.

      I wonder how you manage to remain a bigot, a racist, an ignorant, and …..etc all at the same time. It takes lots of courage.

      • 1
        5

        “I wonder how you manage to remain a bigot, a racist, an ignorant, and …..etc all at the same time. It takes lots of courage.”

        Yet you refuse to answer the simple question: are the LTTE terrorists or not? Answer in one word. The whole world knows your hypocrisy, that is why your heroes were buried in the mud permanently along with the fake freedom struggle.

        • 2
          1

          Lester
          The Jester

          “Yet you refuse to answer the simple question: are the LTTE terrorists or not?”

          You never asked me this question hence how do you expect an answer from me?
          LTTE was lead by a psychopath just like the armed forces were lead psychopaths.

          “Answer in one word.”

          Only a simpleton or a village idiot like you could make such a stupid instruction.

          “The whole world knows your hypocrisy, that is why your heroes were buried in the mud permanently along with the fake freedom struggle.”

          What hypocrisy, could you remind me.
          Did you hear even the disabled soldiers are accusing your heroes.

          Rephrase your question without your instruction.

  • 5
    2

    old codger

    “I forgot, you’re a superior European citizen, and you don’t know what’s happening here.”

    He is waiting for his masters to tell him what is happening here.
    He is indeed a White Man’s Burden.

    • 1
      5

      You supported a fake freedom struggle for 30 years, explain to the readers here what you got out of it. How did it benefit the Tamils?

      Now you are on another failed mission, to get rid of Gotha. As Einstein said, ““Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity.” At least now, despite having a low IQ, admit the LTTE were terrorists.

      • 1
        1

        Lester,
        “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity.”
        Wow!! Lester reads Einstein!
        Well, there are two kinds of bumsuckers, the kind that knows he is a bumsucker, and the kind which doesn’t. Give Gota deviyo a few weeks. Unlike you, I don’t disappear when it’s convenient.

      • 2
        1

        Lester
        The Jester

        It appears Mahinda’s in laws are planning to fly to Australia.
        Please go to the airport to receive them.
        They need a few people to carry their bags and polish their foot wears when needed wipe their bums.

        If true it shows their smart ass patriotism.

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