5 March, 2024


Video: India’s World On Sri Lanka’s Presidential Poll

During a political discussion that was hosted yesterday on Rajya Sabha TV – an Indian cable TV network run by the Indian government, experts on political and international relations have pointed out that that reasons that drove President Rajapaksa to hold the Presidential polls two years ahead of schedule would have been a combination that includes the erosion of the political coalition he built to come into power, to remain better protected from international pressures and to avoid running the risk of losing the elections two years later. It was pointed out by the experts however that the polls would hardly provide concrete solutions to any of the issues he seeks to find remedies for.

The program was attended by Professor SD Muni – an academic and an expert on South Asia, Professor Kanwal Sibal who was India’s former foreign secretary and Srinivas Ramani – the senior assistant editor of Economic and Political Weekly.

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  • 8

    Thank you CT for posting this video of Indian panel discussion about Sri Lankan presidential elections. It is a very good discussion. The part going to be played by the Tamils of North and East is very crucial and the leaders of the Tamil community should be very careful in their final decision. whether true or not there is already in the news that Mr.Sampanthan has on his own has come to a pact with Chandirika without consulting other party members. The TNA members have different views. The Tamil people have different views about these elections. As far as Tamils are concerned, whoever the devil may be, it is going to be a devil for them.

    • 6

      It is absolutely unlikely that Sampanthan would have made a pact with ANYONE in connection with the forthcoming presidential election.

      Sengodan. M

  • 12

    It is true that as far as the Tamil community is concerned the current situation is not going to change whoever wins in an undemocratic country like Sri Lanka. But as far as the entire country is concerned which includes Sinhalese,Tamils,Muslims and others,and the journalists of all colours and hues especially the Tamil journalists, if Maithripala Srisena comes to power and abolishes the all powerful executive Presidential form of governance and the 18A and brings back 17A that in itself will bring back some winds of democracy. Can you imagine 4 members of a family controlling 80 percent of the budget and 94 departments being controlled by extended members of Rajapakse family in any democracy.Can one imagine a joker like Aswer and all the (drug) peddlers and thugs in a Parliament as it is in Sri Lanka.A Professor being subservient to a transport clerk who in turn assaults a diplomat of his country. Three codgers from the so called progressive parties clinging on to their cabinet positions in such a corrupt government. Not only the Parliament but the entire country stinks like a cesspit.One can’t imagine what all the powerful people and educated persons were doing all these days. Well it is time for change. Otherwise our grandchildren will also suffer.

  • 1

    JHU, the second newest add on to the UNP,TNA, Diaspora Alliance accuses the five Indian Fishermen from ex CM Jayalaitha’s Turf of Drug smuggling.

    PM Modi fought tooth and tail under pressure from Thamil Nadu to get these five released..

    Modi is straight as an arrow… Right.

    Would he help Drug Smugglers?.

    Will the major original Alliance Partner ,the TNA can now sit together with the JHU on the same platform?.

    And still send their party leader V Sambandan to PM Modi to ask him get Self Rule to the North, let alone North and the East for them ?…

    Perhaps these Indian experts will touch on these issues as the D day approaches.

    • 2

      only a stupido like Atahal Sumane can imagine this…

      wait a second… the Sri Lankan judiciary and LE agencies did sentence these fishermen who was caught with kilos of Heroin.

      What the Fishermen and their backers was to tell that Sri Lankan Navy was responsible in here and they NEVER carried any Heroin.

      So what the idiot Rajapaksa did? he betrayed the Sri Lanka Navy (ranaviruwo) including this mongol-looking son who is a part of that setup.

      When it comes to SL Judiciary what it tells to the rest of the world? It gives a message that Sri Lankan judiciary is working with Armed forces and biased towards Indians and set them up with drug charges.

      Rajapaksa should have asked the Fishermen to appeal for the sentence and then the countries highest court should have decided the fate, What kind of message the President have given?

      As Sri Lankan judiciary have become a joke, the President should have asked Mohan Peiris to let these Fishermen go free other than making a melo drama.

  • 4

    A splendid discussion by three learned and distinguished Indian gentlemen- eminently chaired by Shri Bharath Bhusan – on the complex Sri Lankan issue. In fairness to the quartet, the talk touched on most relevant subjects within the brief time the programme was on. The Panelists gave us a good idea there are a large number of Indian academics carefully studying our politics.

    With absolutely no intention of finding fault with any of them, may I comment they appear to have missed some important aspects of the Island’s problems now that will have a substantial impact on the forthcoming Presidential Elections.

    The Lankan electorate can be generally summed as really more than one voting sector. Leading them is the urban and suburban sector of several millions of voters employed by the State, the private sector and small time traders who are crushed by the spiralling Cost of Living factor – that the Rajapakses have been unable to address in their decade in power. While the cost of daily essentials, travelling and health needs have risen their wages and income levels have remained virtually constant creating great social unrest. This sector will surely vote against the incumbent President.
    Then there is the farming sector – the vast army of paddy growers who have now, arguably, turned against the ruling SLFP-centred Coalition government of the Rajapakses. Their grouse is the high cost of Fertiliser not met by the State subsidising a part of it. The other burning issue is the lack of water in agricultural areas in the country caused mostly by recurring bouts of droughts. The many Ministries authorised to address both issues have failed to produce the desired results – factors which the Opposition will fully exploit.
    The country at large is also angry about the rising rate of crime, the virtual collapse of the law and order situation. Justice by favour is a recent phenomenon that is widely despised. It was only the other day a very unpopular Minister, widely believed to be a drug-trafficker and criminal, who openly declared if his truant son – now in remand for a serious alleged crime – is not given bail, he will leave governmental ranks. This is clear proof the executive was openly interfering with the judiciary making the judicial system a joke.

    If the combined opposition effectively converts these shortcomings into election platform issues, the Rajapakses will find the going rough. But Mahinda Rajapakse is a seasoned and cunning political animal and has, on earlier occasions, turned difficult issues in his favour. There is nothing to stop him from succeeding again.

    R. Varathan

    • 5

      R. Varathan

      “The Panelists gave us a good idea there are a large number of Indian academics carefully studying our politics.”

      What is the point when the Hindian foreign policy Mafia in the South Block/RAW refuse to listen to the eminent people?

      • 2

        Dear Native V,

        Well the fact the widely informed Kanwal Sibal, former F/S, was part of the Panel is indicative Indian Foreign Policy is not made in a vacuum. Unlike the Kitchen Cabinets here, a catholicity of views across the political divide is entertained in Delhi – although one wishes there was much more to be claimed as one often sees in the American political system.

        Incidentally, did you notice more than one member of the Panel used the term “Police State” – referring to Sri Lanka. That certainly brings no credit to the Rajapakses who regularly fool the locals and the foreign community democracy and its institutions are in full bloom in what is trotted out here as the Miracle of Asia – under The Family’s rule.

        R. Varathan

      • 1

        What is the point when the Hindian foreign policy Mafia in the South Block/RAW refuse to listen to the eminent people?

        The Hindu newspaper will not even tolerate that question on a forum comments. The reason being the think tank annas that go to south block are remote controlled by their form of journalism. recently on the release of the fishermen they said it was only possible due to their man journalist Sharma who is a long standing friend of Modi and friend of Rajapassa/Swamy.

        I have visited both RAW/South block before so know quite a few top cats of an earlier period till around 1995. So I put in 6 comments and they rejected all and praise is openly accepted.

  • 3

    R. Varathan

    “Incidentally, did you notice more than one member of the Panel used the term “Police State” – referring to Sri Lanka.”

    Are the Hindians building up something against Sri Lanka/MR?

    Please review/revisit Hindians foreign policy approach towards this island from 1980 on wards to the present day.

    I will discuss their arrogance, complacency and sheer stupidity and where they went wrong some other time.

  • 1

    An interesting panel discussion, free of any bias and fairly well balanced!

    Sengodan. M

  • 2

    It is a shame that this discussion, perhaps inadvertently or more likely intentionally, avoided the more crucial issues with respect to Sri Lanka.

    Indian political leadership under Singh and Sonia invested heavily in Sri Lanka during the past several years, before, during and after the war. India provided substantial support, shoulder-to-shoulder with China, on several counts including huge amounts of financial resources, armaments, development assistance, political propping-up as needed, as well as significant military training, intelligence and tactical help. So, I think the most crucial question that India should ask, and these political experts should discuss, is what was the effective pay-off for all that investments that India made in Sri Lanka.

    I suppose India may have had many very legitimate objectives behind those enormous investments in its “little brother” in the neigbourhood. Let me list a few that I can think of.

    (1) Establish and strengthen India-Sri Lanka friendship
    (2) Enable the State rid the threat of terrorism to achieve the stability needed to provide a just and fair solution to the Tamils
    (3) Strengthen and stabilize Sri Lanka’s economy to facilitate strengthening of Democracy
    (4) Proactively influence India’s commercial interests in Sri Lanka and promote bi-lateral trade opportunities, vis-à-vis other competitors, primarily China
    (5) Aside from the commercial competition, China had other aspirations as well. Thus India needed to demonstrate India’s support and honorable intentions in Sri Lanka and thereby dissuade Sri Lanka from falling in to the hands of China, so as to diminish China’s influence, if not dominance, in India’s neighbourhood.
    (6) Help U.S. in containing China’s aspirations of expansion and control of the developing countries in and around India.

    Perhaps there were other objectives as well. Could any of the experts illuminate us (and themselves) on how well India’s investments paid off in one or more of the above or any other legitimate objectives that India may have had? That would indeed be a worthwhile self-examination. I suspect the answer would be quite embarrassing for the Indian State.

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