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Is India jealous of Sri Lanka's development and social stability?

What India wants is for Sri Lanka to live in the past, not to see this island nation develop with modern marketing values and realities to meet the demands of the global supply chains. 

Editorial 

It is a matter of constant concern whether India wants to see the improvement of the Sri Lankan economy and make Sri Lanka a leading distribution hub in South Asia. Is our neighbour a true lover? Or a hypocrite in disguise?  It is questionable whether India sincerely supported Sri Lanka in gaining many of the benefits it deserves in terms of its geopolitical location. If India introduces herself as the regional power in the South Asian region, India has a lot of responsibilities that come with it. Above all those responsibilities, the primary responsibility is to recognize and respect the sovereignty of other countries in the region and to make their demands following the basic legal framework ratified in each nation-state. Instead, it is unpleasant to influence the sovereignty of neighbouring countries and dictating the terms for governance according to Indian desires. 

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa met with the Minister of External Affairs, India,  Dr S Jaishankar  at Presidential Secretariat – January 2021 

Minister of External Affairs of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who was visiting Sri Lanka in last three days, commented on India's policy towards Sri Lanka, yet again. Nothing new; same old song, same melody, and same beat. In his well-articulated book, “The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World”, on India's foreign policy a few months ago, he states: “After all, our emphasis on sovereignty has not prevented us from responding to human rights situations in our immediate region. Nor have the steps that India has taken to ensure its integrity and promote regional security – whether in Hyderabad, Goa, Sri Lanka or the Maldives – made us less multilateral. ” (quoted: The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World - Page 94

The minister's subtle attack on the right to sovereignty of neighbouring countries is awful. The sovereignty of a country is not just a matter of one's emphasis, it is the respectful recognition that one country should show to another. But Jayasankar as the Minister responsible for India’s foreign policy, through his book builds a strange and appalling argument. In other words, the Minister has written in a few undecipherable words to describe the unpleasant policies that his country has pursued concerning her neighbours over the past few decades.    

He recently performed part of this same drama in Colombo. According to him, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka, which was enacted at the dictation of the Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated on Indian soil by the LTTE terrorists who were milked and raised by India to destabilize Sri Lanka, should be implemented and Sri Lanka should be made a united and secular nation-state. India is continuing to unpleasantly advocating the 13th Amendment as the panacea to the “social-economic complexity” in Sri Lanka. India is pushing for the implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment, which was unilaterally forced to ratify more than thirty-three years ago, but none of those Indian pundits has explained how this magic bullet will solve the country's social and economic complexities.  

This implies India's true attitude and desires towards Sri Lanka. What India wants is for Sri Lanka to live in the past, not to see this island nation develop with modern marketing values and realities to meet the demands of the global supply chains. Isn’t it fair to say that India wants to keep its neighbours as its perpetual dependents? If not, why is India still clinging to the ideas that were forcibly introduced to the country thirty-three years ago while changing their policies towards Kashmir and eight states in North-East control under draconian laws, Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)?    

The bottom line is that this is the most unfortunate and woeful situation facing the South Asian region over the past few decades. What a state that boasts of being the largest democracy in the world should do is respect the basic principles of democracy and deal with its neighbours, not distort the real truth to achieve its opportunistic goals. If we borrow the same quote of Thiruvalluvar used by Jaishankar, ‘Wisdom is to live in tune with the mode of the changing world’. Would you mind, big brother, India! Please let Sri Lanka be herself as this tiny Island already disturbed with enough three-wheeled rickshaws and buses fitted with lorry chassis & lorry engines manufactured in India to run on the roads constructed by Chinese?  

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