Intro: Like our entire neighbourhood Sri Lanka also needs India's motherly care. Not just a relationship, Sri Lanka needs incubator care from India to save itself from global game. As a first step, India needs to understand all the communities of Sri Lanka since everyone has one’s own unique issues.
Any relationship can be maintained well only when there is a mutual understanding between each other. Due to two centuries of foreign rule over India, we had institutional memory loss of our own identity. Our cultural understanding was consciously broken. Sri Lanka is also one of the victims of this foreign rule.
Super powers managed India and South-Asia in such a way that we could not emerge as a regional power. Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi emerged as a strong regional leader and challenged Americans' South Asian interests.
Pakistan, America's Asian hub was disintegrated and Nepal came under the control of India. So America wanted to intrude over South of India to check India in all of its frontiers. For that Sri Lanka became the victim of the British-American and China plans.
Like our entire neighbourhood Sri Lanka also needs India's motherly care. Not just a relationship, Sri Lanka needs incubator care from India to save itself from global game. As a first step, India needs to understand all the communities of Sri Lanka since everyone has one’s own unique issues.
Tamilians are divided into three main divisions and four sub-divisions. Northern-Jaffna Tamils, Eastern Tamils, Upcountry-Malaiyagam Indian Tamils (living as tea estates workers in very pathetic situation for 180 years) are the major three divisions.
Christian Tamils, Hindu Tamils, Eastern Tamil Muslims, Northern-Jaffna diaspora Tamilians are four sub-divisions. Sinhala community is divided into two major communities. Sinhala Buddhists and Sinhala Christians.
Generally Sinhalas are very nice people. But can be misused easily by any external factors. Their people to people relationship with the rest of the community is polite except Jaffna community. Western establishments are influencing and handling Sinhala Christians and Tamil Christians. Sinhala and Tamil nationalism is nothing but western intelligence and Christian’s creation.
Muslim world is influencing Tamil Muslims. They don't even call themselves as Tamil speaking community. They want to be identified as Muslim community only.
Eastern Tamil communities feel that they were mismanaged and mislead by northern leaders during the last four decades for their individual benefits and left them with no development and now they have become minority and their livelihood depends on Muslims.
Most intelligent community of Sri Lanka is none other than Jaffna Tamil community. It is also one of the less understood communities like the Jews. Britishers understood them well and utilised them to manage slaves in Tamil communities in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. So they were in the hands of the west.
Jaffna and Mannar Church Bishops are still playing a major role in northern Tamil community. They strictly follow negative politics and fundamentalist approaches. Many times they develop anti-India approach. They can go with any country to reach their mission. But they have paid enough price by such practices. It is right time for India to rescue them. West played its worst worldwide game in Sri Lanka too for three decades and due to absence of counter strategy from Indian leadership Sri Lanka was forced to go behind China for the last one decade.
Right now the US has temporarily withdrawn its anti-India master plan just to balance China's emergence. American negative forces are being withdrawn from South-Asia. So it's right time for India to engage and embrace Sri Lanka. Since our culture and heritage are same, economy can also be made same.
Indian Foundation for Internatio-nal Relations (IFiR) delegation team has arrived with certain observations and recommendations from the experience of its study visit to Sri Lanka between February 17 to 24. These recommendations have been presented to the Government of India.
Proper understanding of Sri Lanka’s local communities and caring them is the need of the hour.
The current situation in Sri Lanka is potentially inviting the interest of the global communities to offer development through institutional support, financial aid, technical expertise etc.
However the agencies involved in international development have their personal concern to capture the economic opportunities prevailing in Sri Lanka, it is an imperative situation for India, to introspect and play its role
in this part by occupying the upper-hand position in the Sri Lanka-India relations.
Mangala K Prabhu (The writer is Director of the Indian Foundation for International Relations and recently visited Sri Lanka with a delegation)