September 15, 2021.
A webinar on “Indian Expansionist Designs – A Challenge for the Regional Countries in General and Sri Lanka in Particular” was conducted from Geneva, Switzerland in connection with the ongoing 48th UNHRC Session in Geneva. Moderator from Geneva opened the discussion with questions regarding Sri Lanka – India relations, conflict in Sri Lanka, LTTE, tackling by regional countries of Indian expansionism, United Nations resolutions which called for referendum in the region and transparent monitoring violations by Human Rights organizations in India?
The panelists highlighted that regional powers using geopolitics as a new tool for expansionism and diplomatically implement imperialism in the 21st Century. Sri Lanka, once a prosperous country and having religious harmony has become prey to expansionist designs modern day imperialism of regional powers, particularly India.
Sri Lanka faced worst ethnic riots in the 80s which were incited by India which pushed Sri Lanka’s fast economic development to halt and even after three decades, Sri Lanka is facing the effects of those riots. Tamils were used as a trump card by India, which resulted in a bloodiest war for three decades. Indian interference was very obvious in Sri Lankan political affairs; case in point the elections of 2015 which were engineered by India to its interests in the country.
India has many internal problems like Kashmir, Assam and minority treatment alongside issues with all its neighbors; border issue with Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka. India needs to solve its internal problems first and then settle its issues with neighboring countries instead of interfering in Sri Lanka’s political, economic and defense affairs.
India is not giving self-determination right to Kashmiris neither it is acting upon United Nations resolutions nor it is allowing Human Rights organizations to monitor violations committed by Indian Security Forces in Kashmir. Indian expansionist designs are major impediment to the peace and development in South Asia region sabotaging the regional peace; thus regional countries are required to unite against the Modi schemes in the region.
India wants Sri Lanka to be part of its coastal and naval defense; which is direct interference in its internal affairs. Better advised that India should refrain itself from interfering not only in Sri Lanka but also its other neighboring countries which are fed up from Indian involvements in their territories by one way or the other, which has seriously jeopardized the regional stability of South Asia.
Tamil Nadu province being six times bigger than Sri Lanka have only one provincial assembly while Sri Lanka is forced to have nine provincial assemblies which is an example of Indian expansions. India is continuing its expansionist designs through its military and intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing by following the intervention as part of its hegemonic policies.
J.R Jayewardene Government’s blind pro-American policy and ignoring Mrs. Gandhi led to strained relations between the two countries which led to the Indian involvement in the island’s internal problem during LTTE armed struggle to create a separate state. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi even threatened military strikes and provided logistic support to LTTE.
Indian Government openly claims of its design to create greater India with Afghanistan in the West and almost Thailand in the East including Sri Lanka’s border. Indian Deep State has free hand from its Government to target the States through manipulation of political dissent, ethnic divisions and economic backwardness.
India is continuing to make all out efforts to keep Sri Lanka leadership under its influence by persuading them for thinning-out its relations with other major countries of the region. Presently, Indian presence is felt everywhere while the Sri Lankan Government is trying to maintain a balance between India and China in the island. India continue to insist on implementing 13th Amendments to the constitution while the government continue delaying the issue knowing its impact in the island’s majority Sinhalese Community. India being a racist democracy has turned into fascist state which treats its minorities very badly, examples are Delhi riots, massacres, Dalit issues.
Political expansionism in India was minimal before independence due to foreign occupation and there was a great divide between North and South India. After independence India occupied regional monarchies; Goa, Hyderabad, Junagadh, Kashmir etcetera. India continued its articulations and formidable interference in regional countries.
Historically, India kept its influence over Sri Lanka being a regional super power which has increased many folds after 80s like training of LTTE, Indo-Lanka pact, deployment of Indian Peace Keeping Forces, involvement of RAW in 2015 elections and coercion to get East Container Terminal at Colombo Port.
Sri Lankan imports from India are 20% while exports are only 4%. Challenges confronted by SAARC countries due to Indian expansionist designs are terrorism, border disputes and interference in foreign, defense and economic policies. Sri Lanka is facing challenges to balance out between India, China and USA. Sri Lanka cannot deviate from foreign, defense and economic policies without approval from India due to Indian hegemonic designs. Expansionist designs of India cannot solve problems of Sri Lanka rather it can only add into it. What India really need to address is trade imbalance with Sri Lanka and stop interference in its internal matters including Tamil issue.
Disclaimer: Webinar on Indian Expansionist Designs
A Challenge for the Regional Countries in General and Sri Lanka in Particular Parallel to the 48th Session of UNHRC, Geneva, Switzerland - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view