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Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Selected Writings -  Sara Ananthan

International Affairs - things are often not what they seem to be
4 July 2006

I read 2 July 2006 tamilnation.org – Reflections, with interest especially the statement - “…It must be remembered that in international affairs things are often not what they seem to be…”  On this subject the article Perfide Indiae  by Vimukthi Yapa in the Sunday Leader on April 11, 2004 has much relevance even today.  In this well researched article Mr. Vimukthi Yapa has clearly listed out the “Amoral role played out by New Delhi in this festering ethnic conflict of Sri Lanka from it’s inception…”  This is a relevant excerpt from this article on that subject.

“…It is immediately not clear whether Sen was acting on his own or with the approval of the Indian government. In any event it was a raw deal Sri Lanka was being dished out. That Wickremesinghe fell victim to Sen's machinations is now water under the bridge: politicians are expected to be street smart, and the former Prime Minister should have been aware that it is not only the proverbial white man who speaks with forked tongue. What is more worrying now is Sen's clearly well-timed statement to the media after the meeting with Kadirgamar that India has 'some ideas' on how it can be directly involved in Sri Lanka's peace process. If that failed to send a chill down the spine of every patriotic citizen, red blood does not flow in the veins of the citizenry.

Armed conflict

It does not take us to tell the public that the armed conflict in Sri Lanka is entirely of India's making. Throughout the 1980s, India armed the LTTE. New Delhi's notorious espionage agency, RAW, operated special training camps for the Sri Lankan rebels in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Memories have not faded of the invasion of Sri Lankan airspace by the Indian Air Force in 1987; of the food drops over Jaffna; the Indian warships ominously and menacingly anchored in full view of the President's office in Colombo; and above all, of the arrogant vice-regal air adopted by the then Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, the notorious Mani Dixit. Neither have memories faded of the way in which Rajiv Gandhi wrested the odious Indo-Lanka accord from J. R. Jayewardene, forcing the merger of the north and east, precipitating the invasion by the so-called Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF), giving rise to the JVP rebellion in the south and in the end getting himself clobbered on the occiput for his trouble.

Many Sri Lankans also believe there was a RAW hand in the assassination of Lalith Athulathmudali and having generated sufficient hostility among the populace against President Ranasinghe Premadasa, moved for his kill.

Indian perfidy

The issues that Sen now seeks to address by playing "a more direct role" in Sri Lanka are entirely of India's making, and is living testimony to India's perfidy. Sri Lanka has to come to grips with the fact that RAW moves in mysterious ways its wonders to perform. In the wake of the 1987 invasion, it was the JVP that took on India, leading a boycott of Indian goods. It was as a result of this that we today have 'big onions' and not Bombay onions; that we have 'red dhal' and not 'Mysore dhal.' And even as the JVP ruthlessly attacked Indian interests in Sri Lanka, RAW was at work: when Somawansa Amarasinghe had to flee the country to escape being brought to justice, it was RAW that smuggled him out via India. Amarasinghe on his triumphant return to Sri Lanka in 2001 was to thank India for that bit of support in his first public address.

Now, Sen has once more started flexing Indian muscles. A more direct role, forsooth! It is thanks to the direct role that India played that we are in this mess in the first place. If it is the annexation of Sri Lanka that Sen wants, as a servile state of the Indian empire, then let him say so and be done with it. What India seems to be committed to is the total subjugation of Sri Lanka. Even as Sri Lanka extended visa-free entry to Indians, it is a crying shame to see Sri Lankans queuing for hours on end, in the hot sun outside the Indian High Commission, to get visas to go on pilgrimage to Buddhagaya. And even as India's economy grows at near 10 per cent annually (for which, praise be!), New Delhi's reading of the Free Trade Agreement we have signed with it has seen an entirely lopsided trade balance emerge in India's favour.

Taking sides

Now, finally, Sen has chosen to take sides within the LTTE itself, pouring aid to Karuna's breakaway faction in the east. As much as a split in the LTTE's ranks is a consummation devoutly to be wished, Sen's real agenda is hardly the Sri Lankan national interest. Last week it became clear that the Indian agenda is merely to split the TNA (rather than debilitate the LTTE militarily), so that the five Eastern Province MPs could help strengthen the alliance government in parliament.

It is no secret that every time elections are around the corner, India throws millions of rupees at the chosen ones to help in their campaigns thereby building up a host of healthy IOUs to cash in on when the time is right. It is also no secret that Sen had a closed door meeting with Arumugam Thondaman soon after the elections and how the CWC leader moves in the weeks to come will be an indication of the message he received from the Indian High Commissioner.

Viceroy in Colombo

With elections looming in India, and New Delhi distracted by domestic concerns, Sen has taken on Dixit's mantle as viceroy in Colombo. Divide and rule seems to be the order of the day at India House. Whether New Delhi is aware of Sen's machinations, no one knows. One suspects that, eager to keep with his vice-regal status and unknown to his masters, Sen has rather let his ego get the better of him. How is it otherwise, that every time he meets a senior politician (be it on either side of the political divide), he confides to them conspiratorially that it is he that New Delhi is grooming for leadership in Sri Lanka, and for that "special relationship" in the future?

At risk of a cheap pun, we fully realise that by exposing Sen's hidden agenda, we are touching a raw nerve. But the facts, sadly, appear to be as we have recited, and India is sailing dangerously close to a new phase of interference in Sri Lanka's domestic affairs. It is time Sen realised that he does so at his peril, for Sri Lankans as a nation are sick and tired of Indian treachery. The time has come to show this double agent for what he is, yet another in the long line of saboteurs who have passed off as Indian High commissioners in Sri Lanka. Perfide Indiae, indeed…”

In appreciation of this article which is very rare in the contemporary Sri Lankan press ( as they are always steeped in Sinhala Buddhists chauvinism rather than on national interest or the interest of the whole community ) as it enlightens the ordinary masses of Sri Lanka on the muddle created by the application of statecraft and diplomacy by external powers which serve to prolong this agony of ethnic conflict, I sent the following letter on 11 April 2004 to the Editor, the Sunday Leader but it was not published.

The Editor
The Sunday Leader

Dear Sir,

Perfide Indiae by Mr. Vimukthi Yapa is a timely and well - written article even at this late juncture. As Mr.Yapa has pointed out that not only the leaders but also the public should also be street smart to understand and react to the events that are taking place now. We hope there will be more of this kind to educate the ordinary masses. In this long list of (overtly known) Indian sins there was one notable omission. It should be remembered that the then chief minister of North & East Varatharaja Perumal hoisted the Eelam flag at Trincomalee and declared Tamil Eelam days before escaping to India on an Indian naval ship. Perumal could not have done this if not for the prior approval from his political masters. But the same India is now shedding crocodile tears for the sovereignty of Sri Lanka.

Keen political observers will notice that religion and astrology are also being used as weapon to hoodwink the ordinary public. All kinds of divisions are encouraged to weaken the target country. Just after the peace talk was started in Sri Lanka, there were astrological predications emanating from various sources in India that touted dire predictions of blood and gore in store for poor Sri Lanka and other neighbouring countries but the predictions always enthused that our great regional neighbour would surpass even the sole super power in might and glory. That was in the year 2002. In actual fact, it was just the execution of another chapter from the (wily) Kautilyan Principles.

It would be a great service if newspapers in Sri Lanka serialise and publish the Kautilyan principles in all three languages so that the ordinary people can be educated regarding these Indian machinations.

Lanka was torched by Hanuman but we have our (un) educated Modayas spending time and money to erect Hanuman temples and perform Ghee Abshisheakam probably to get Lanka torched once more!. No body question why India develops all these deadly missiles instead of performing Yagas (Vedic sacrifices) for it’s own protection. But various kinds of fabulous Yagas are touted by Indian astrologers and god men for the protection of unsuspecting public.

Religion is being used to divide and keep the masses occupied. That’s why, when millions of our brethren are still displaced and languishing in refugee camps without food and shelter, the erection of temples of various cues are widely encouraged and even free idols are dispensed. One would have to contrast this with the number of temples destroyed during the occupation by IPKF.

One should not forget that the Buddhism was haunted out of it’s own birth place, India and had to find sanctuary in various other countries including Sri Lanka.

Lord Budda was a great reformist who himself was born a Hindu like all Sri Lankan kings before the advent of Arahat Mahinda. Budda was against Vedic sacrifices and rituals, which infuriated the Brahmins. The Saivaisam that is currently practised in Sri Lanka is a refined form of Hinduism, which is not a fanatical form of Hinduism. But the Hinduism that is practised in the Hindi belts (North India) is the fanatical version of Hinduism that chased Lord Budda away. So it should be well heeded by the Sri Lankan polity that are invoking the Indian intervention in Sri Lanka are in fact planning for the demise of Budda Sasana in Sri Lanka. It would be like providing shelter for the proverbial camel. They will end up as the proverbial fool who cut his nose to provide ill omen for his enemy. ( Chop own nose to spite one's enemy - as it is considered ill omen to see someone without nose)
It should be also noted that what ever sovereignty is left of Sri Lankan state is only by the sacrifices of the valiant Tamils who fought against this foreign invasion.


Our shortsighted political leaders of Sri Lanka adhered to higher education in Sinhala and Tamil languages and ignored English. In addition, they curtailed the university education so that only a chosen few can enter and gain university degrees. In addition, Tamil students were even further disadvantaged by the standardisation and discriminatory employment prospects. But contrast this with India where even a rickshaw wallah will tout a couple of BA’s or BSC’s so much so that India is now being touted as having the biggest pool of English educated talent pool in the world. In fact, Information Technology or IT is now known as Indian Technology in most parts of the world where they have experienced IT.  The lesson here is that a high quality university education in English should be made available to each and every one in Sri Lanka without any discrimination. That is the only way Sri Lanka can escape reverse invasion by lack of talent pool. In addition, geo political manoeuvres could also be easily understood and neutralised by these educated people.

In addition, on the subject of “ Pilgrimage to BuddhaGaya ” in the above article, the following appeal - Buddhists Plea to the UN by All India BuddhaGaya Mahabodhi Mahavihar Action Committee has some interesting points. This is an excerpt..

“ ..With great respect to the office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights , may I invite your kind attention towards the continued illegal occupation of the most sacred and holiest place of the Buddhists and the Entire World, the Mahabodhi Mahavihar at Buddha Gaya in the Bihar State of India by high caste Hindu Brahmins.

..This is the place where the Siddharth Gautama, the Prince, attained the Supreme Enlightenment and became the Buddha. This vihara was erected by Emperor Ashoka 250 BC as a monument in the memory of Lord Buddha. This is confirmed by Chinese Monk Fa-Hain who visited Buddha Gaya in 409 AD and Huen Thsang in 637 AD. One of the great Archaeologist Sir Alexander Cunnigham also visited Buddha Gaya. It is beyond doubts that it is the sacred and holiest place of Buddhists where Buddha attained Enlightenment. Dr.Buchanan Hamilton a very well known archaeologist visited Buddha Gaya vihar and he found that the vihara was in a hopeless condition. Buddhism vanished from India due to onslaught by Hindu Brahmins. The Vihara had been visited by thousands and thousands of Buddhists from China, Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka and other parts of the world.. ”

In the contemporary conflicts around the world, it appears that faith and believes by ordinary mortals are also subtly exploited by vested interests to hoodwink the ordinary masses from identifying and addressing real issues which confront them and threaten the very survival of those societies in this ever competitive world where essential resources are always becoming scarce due to over exploitation by affluent societies who are loathe to forgo their unfair advantages they enjoy, instead whip up religious frenzy amongst target groups to ferment discontent and anarchy in those societies in order to achieve their ulterior statecraft outcomes as was espoused by Kautilya's Arthasastra on War and Diplomacy in Ancient India



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