Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Modi Euphoria in Sri Lanka

When N Modi was elected the new Prime Minsiter of India, there was a pandemonium amoung the writers in e-mail forums and Sri Lanka media.  It was as if it was the appearance in India of a  man  equal to that of King Asoka.

No doubt it was the end of Nehru era.  But not an occasion for euphoria.   Little by little we come to realise that though  things are not the same,  the actors in India who manipulated the Sonia-Manmohan Singh Indian Central government to make  Sri Lanka which eliminated  a most ruthless and a well financed, well equipped terrorism a simple violator of human rights a war criminal, are back at work.

While Narendra Modi became the acclaimed Prime Minister of India, Jayalalitha became the acclaimed Chief Minister of Tamilnadu. Jayalalitha has begun her hate campaign against Sri Lanka and to what extent she will be able to influence Narendra Modi to be at her beck and call for fear of a break away of TamilNadu from greater India is yet to be seen.

However, Narendra Modi’s first contact with the President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakse had been to ask him to give the Tamil people of Sri Lanka their aspirations for a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity in a united Sri Lanka. This, immediate reaction of Prime Minister Modi on meeting the President of Sri Lanka was the indication of the falsity of the Modi euphoria.

It should have put into the block heads of Sri Lankans in no uncertain terms that  though India has changed its political leadership the bureaucratic state behind the state functions unabated and that Narendra Modi has already been put in the designated path of administration  making him demand the President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakse  for an early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment  and plus.

Narendra Modi has already been put into an administrative “box” as far as Sri Lanka is concerned and his thinking  would be limited to what his administration may “feed” him.
Varanasi Aarti which Narendra Modi attended at the Banks of River Ganga on 11 May,2014
Gujarat from where Nrendra Modi comes  has strong connection with Buddhism, and numerous ruins of ancient monasteries and caves with signs of their occupation by  Buddhist monks are evidence of the presence of Buddhisms.  That alone does not make Narendra Modi a Buddhist and willing to uphold Buddhism against his Hindu belief.  That would therefore not be a reason for him to have greater sympathy towards the cause of  Buddhist Sri Lanka.

Narendra Modi is more acceptable a leader as far as Sri Lanka’s cultural background  is concerned, as Gandhis’ were highly westernised and merely paid lip service to Buddhism.  Late Jawaharlal Nehru was described as a Hindu agnostic and about religion he had said,

The spectacle of what is called religion, or at any rate organised religion, in India and elsewhere, has filled me with horror and I have frequently condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of it. Almost always it seemed to stand for blind belief and reaction, dogma and bigotry, superstition, exploitation and the preservation of vested interests. Nehru considered that his afterlife was not in some mystical heaven or reincarnation but in the practical achievements of a life lived fully with and for his fellow human beings: “...Nor am I greatly interested in life after death. I find the problems of this life sufficiently absorbing to fill my mind,” he wrote.

Hence Modi is a more acceptable Indian to Buddhists.  He started the day he was to take his oath as the Prime Minister of India not with a Hindu Pooja but  by a visit to Raj Ghat the mausoleum of late Gandhiji.  He paid respect to a picture of Gandhi in his office.  Therefore politically Sri Lanka cannot expect special treatment because of Modi’s state connection with the ancient ruins of Buddhist presence.

It is therefore important  for Sri Lanka to take actions independently as a Sovereign State  whether such action is acceptable or not to India.  Politically India my not change its present relations with Sri Lanka which it had with India under Manmohan Singh  regime.

It is already late for Sri Lanka to await evolution of  attitudinal changes amoung the Indian politicians. Sri Lanka should have removed the 13 Amendment which serves no purpose along with the departure of the Indian Peace Keeping Forces.  Five years after the elimination of terrorism Sri Lanka is still burdened with the obnoxious 13 Amendment. Some one in the governing System in Sri Lanka should think of changing the present Provincial Council system, by substituting it with a  more people friendly system beginning the political power development from village level- the ancient Gamsabha System.

Dayan Jayatillekes, Vasudeva Nanayakkaras, Dew Gunasekara and the rest have nothing to propose hanging onto  the tail of end of the 13 Amendment written and presented by Indian bureaucrats and imposed on us by the Indian Government of late Rajiv Gandhi.  It is a shame for the Sri Lanka politicians and intellectuals, who seem to have gone  bankrupt of progressive political ideas to be adopted for the post terrorist-evolution of Sri Lanka.

All the difficulties with regard to reconciliation of communities come from this absurd Amendment 13 to the Constitution of Sri Lanka.  Sri Lanka is not short of  Sinhala pandits who want to do away with the executive Presidency but none to propose a system without the 13 Amendment.  Ranil Wickramasinghe who has just returned after learning how to dump governments from MIT is only attacking the Rajapakse family Regime without proposing an alternative to it.  Ranil Wickramasinghe is a specialist in appointing Committees, and now proposing  writing new constitutions.

The former Commander of the Armed Forces Sarath Fonseka went to America, and came back a rabid politician without even learning to speak the respectable language of a politician calling his adversaries  by anima names. Ranil Wickramasinghe after his  month’s training in MIT  seems to have learnt that  personal attacks  of the Rajapakse Regime,  which he now compares to  a loose tooth about to fall, could bring about the expected fall of the Regime. He insists that his supporters should concentrate only on toppling the Rajapakse Regime.

That means neither the leader Ranil Wickrmasinghe nor its Party has put forward a practical means for a regime change.  Modi euphoria has not come to UNP as they depend more on the West for a regime change in Sri Lanka rather than  through a possible Indian intervention. 

Ranil Wickramasinghe and UNP were more close to Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh  whose  connection with America, UNP expected more appropriate to destabilise the Rajapakse regime.  Hence election of Modi whose relations with America cannot still be evaluated, was no reason for euphoria in the UNP camp.

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