IMPLICITY

Sri Lanka: Should India be worried?

Posted in politics by Sameer Boray on February 4, 2010

Its been 9 months since Prabhakaran and the LTTE were ousted from the Pearl Nation.Its also been 1 week since Rajapaksa proved his overwhelming popularity in the Presidential polls after defeating opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka.

Now why should India be worried? Lets journey through the last one year, beginning in 2009. One major cause of worry for India should be the rampant curbs on the freedom of the media. Lasantha Wickramatunge was a well known Sri Lankan journalist who had been killed mysteriously. The irony is he knew of his death. One can read how he has poignantly penned down how one must wait  before they are killed and one can only appreciate how he fathomed the fact that he would be dead soon. His last article can be read here,http://www.thesundayleader.lk/archive/20090111/editorial-.htm.

The LTTE and Prabhakaran have been officially defeated.But that still doesn’t  guarantee the safety of a million Tamils in the North(not to forget Sri lankan Tamil refugees who fled to India during the brutal war).There are still many reports of gross human rights violations by the Sri Lankan army in refugee camps.

Now diving into the elections, Rajapaksa was declared a hero after defeating the LTTE.But then again , he was only popular with the overwhelming Sinhalese Majority.There had been reports of rampant corruption within his government and rumours that he ran the goverment in a dictatorial fashion. To refute all this, he decided to hold a presidential poll to reaffirm his faith in the people(and vice versa), which has shown to be successful. His opposition candidate was a former army chief and fought for Rajapaksa in order to defeat the LTTE. He accounts how corruption was rampant in Rajapaksa’s administration that he even went on to mention in his manifesto that he would commission an anti corruption body and try Rajapaksa in a court of law.

The official report is that the elections were smooth , free and fair , without any rigging.This was confirmed by international observers which included a team from The United States.However,Foneska still claims that the elections have been rigged and he has called out to all embassies in Colombo to take notice of it and to prevent Sri Lanka from falling into the hands of a dictator. The Sri Lankan authorities have passed this of as cacophony, a trick being played by the losing candidate.

In the light of all the above, how should India react? There have been reports that India would be increasing its investments in the island nation, along with China. One must not forget the fact that India will always be worried until the Tamil problem has been solved once and for all. And about the fact that Sri Lanka ‘might’ be run by a dictator? At this point of time, all Delhi can do is keep an eye on Colombo.

Comments and opinions will be appreciated

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One Response

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  1. Shruthi said, on February 7, 2010 at 2:32 am

    Delhi might well be keeping an eye on Colombo much in the way Humbert did on his Lolita. Drawing from an oft-quoted cliche- this is more about power and the lust for it than it is about any kind of responsibility. India stood by and watched- no, it even supplied weapons (if I’m not mistaken on this)- while a State-run ethnic cleansing took its merry course in Sri Lanka. Considering the scale of that, are we really expecting a drastic change to result from all this eye-keeping? India will sit. And watch. And invest. Those of us with consciences will post comments like this and raise feeble voices of protest. This is obviously not how India *should* react, as you’ve asked, but, in all probability, will. Sigh.
    Here’s something interesting from Kafila that might answer your question- http://kafila.org/2010/01/28/3762/#more-3762
    And another short piece by a Sri Lankan- obviously more emotional- http://kafila.org/2010/01/29/a-response-from-a-sri-lankan-friend/#more-3770


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