By Anton Fernando –
An increasingly large number of voices in the free media of our country, including social media, representing a large number of patriotic Sri Lankans of all ethnic and religious groups have expressed alarm at how Sri Lanka has been, step by step, brought under Chinese domination.
Make no mistake, our country is fast becoming a Chinese colony. This is plain to all but our political leadership who is profiteering by the sale of our country’s assets to the Chinese. This process, if allowed to continue, will lead to the bleak scenario of Sri Lanka ceasing to exist as a sovereign state. China is being driven by a methodical and uncompromising goal, that of world domination.
Building upon the ancient “China Dream”, Xi Jinping’s Communist Party has crafted a detailed strategy to influence and eventually control the rest of the world. This grand plan envisions achieving these goals by the year 2049, the centenary of the Chinese revolution, which ushered in the People’s Republic of China.
One of the main tasks of this plan is to bring together a large number of nations around President Xi’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ or ‘BRI.’ This unprecedented and globally ambitious project would link overland road and rail routes and create a new network of maritime lanes.
Lured by the infusion of massive amounts of cash and loans, an astounding 139 countries have signed on. The stated objective of BRI is ‘Build a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, diplomatic, culturally advanced and harmonious‘.
However, such proclamations camouflage the real aspirations of autocratic China. The Chinese Communist Party’s track record shows a dark side of coercion, enticement, repression and intolerance in achieving its goals.
Using massive expenditure, China has succeeded in roping in many nations into their scheme, mostly by enticing gullible leaders around the world who are keen on shoring up favourable local public opinion for themselves while at the same time personally enriching themselves. The modus operandi is quite crafty: identify a project which benefits China, then entice leaders of a country with huge sums of money in the form of unpayable, so called ‘debt trap’ loans. Upon defaulting on the loan payments, a country is forced to hand over the control of the project along with other state assets.
China is officially an atheist state, where religious intolerance ot Buddhists, Muslims , Christians and others, is well established. Currently in majority Muslim Xinjiang province in Western China, a Government funded assault on Islam is underway. Recent leaked reports have disclosed systemic destruction of mosques.
During the violent takeover of Tibet, in 1949, Chinese forces destroyed 6,000 Buddhist monasteries, and decimated over 1 million Tibetans, resulting in forcing the Dalai Lama to flee. The few monasteries that exist now are mere showplaces for the benefit of tourists, with only a handful of monks living under constant surveillance.
Ethnic and cultural intolerance
Brutal regimes of the early Chinese dynasties massacred populations, based on ethnic and racial hatred. Present-day China strongly believes in the supremacy of ethnic Han Chinese who make up nearly 90 percent of the population. The egregious treatment of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang has received worldwide attention. Uyghurs have been rounded up and exiled to “vocational training centers’ that are basically secret detention and forced labour camps. The assigned Chinese officials are sent over as ‘relatives’ to live with the families in Uyghur homes, for close ‘observation’ and political indoctrination. The local language has been a target, and in many instances, the use of Uyghur language has been banned in schools. Furthermore, the strategy of destruction of the cultural fabric of Uyghur life is evident even when applied to matters of food or clothing.
In Mongolia, sinicization, by replacing Mongolian languages with Mandarin Chinese is underway. Attempts are being made to alter Mongolian history as well as outlawing traditional nomadic lifestyles. Anti-Japanese and anti-western sentiment, discrimination against Africans and South Asians are all part of present dominant Chinese culture.
State sponsored resettlement, altering the ethnic and genetic make up of populations, and even expulsion are methods employed to change the ethnic composition of a location.
In Tibet, due to China’s policy of resettlement, ethnic Tibetans have become a minority in their own country. The most stunning recent examples of demographic
engineering comes, again, from the Xinjiang Province. Many reports reveal widespread practices of forced abortion, contraception and sterilization in a broader policy of decreasing the Uyghur population. Interethnic marriages encouraged by Chinese Government have been suspected as a way of erasing minority identities and forced erosion of their cultures.
Focusing back on Sri Lanka, what would be the impact of the ongoing Chinese colonization on our country? What would Sri Lanka look like in the momentous year of the Chinese Centenary, 2049? The following gives us a clue:
(1)Trade and all economic activities are exclusively managed by China, by then an undeterred global economic super power.
(2) A large number of Chinese have settled in the island, altering demographic ratios.
(3) Sri Lankan languages and culture are under attack.
(4) Chinese culture introduced, starting with the young. Schools will have curricula promoting Chinese Language and culture. Confucius Institutes are established.
(5) Harsh autocratic system of governance with no space for individual freedoms. Buddhism and other religions are suppressed. Liberal values and freedoms are seen as a threat to the Chinese centralized authority.
(6) Sri Lanka is strengthened as a military base.
(7) Democracy exists in name only.
(8) Free press has ceased to exist. Media are fully controlled.
(9) Hopelessness and despair has gripped the nation.
(10) China defeats any attempts at criticism or sanctions by international bodies, using the support it has built, of a dependent voting block of nations. United Nations rubber stamps anything China requests.
(11) Sri Lanka is subjected to the extraterritorial application of Chinese Laws. Application of such laws is meant to control conduct that takes place outside of Chinese territory.
Today, the mega projects in Sri Lanka, like the Hambantota Harbour and tha Mattala Airport, planned and completed approximately a decade and a half back, are yet to yield their touted economic benefits. On the contrary, Sri Lanka is facing financial ruin, only to be artificially propped up by more and more loans, further entrenching the debt to China. These massive projects have been initiated on a personal relationship basis, without proper consultations or financial feasibility studies, all the while keeping the people of Sri Lanka in the dark.
Currently, the not so transparent agreements concerning the construction of the Colombo Port City and details of its administration are mired in suspicion and controversy over the scope of Chinese control.
Far from our supposed status as a non-aligned nation, Sri Lanka has allowed itself to be led into China’s debt trap. Our political leaders have been well greased, and the consequences are playing out before our eyes. They have shown that they are willing to aggrandize themselves by selling our future to the rising Chinese Empire. Safeguarding the integrity, security, and sovereignty of any country is the supreme responsibility of its political leadership. The Sri Lankan parliamentarians and higher leadership have abandoned that dire responsibility.
It is profoundly shocking and saddening that the Sinhala Buddhist civilization that we proudly flaunt as 2500 years old, and the equally proud civilizations of our fellow citizens, the Tamils and Muslims, are being replaced by the ruthless and authoritarian culture of the Chinese Communist Party.