REUTERS investigative report published by daily Mirror of Colombo on January 18 revealed the Indian spy agency RAW was behind the unexpected defeat of strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January 8 mid-term presidential election in Sri Lanka. Delhi blessed opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena ousted President Rajapaksa who annoyed Delhi for tilting to Beijing.
When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Tamil party (TNA) leader early last year he enquired whether it was possible for Sri Lankan minorities and opposition to unite. His indication was clear. Soon the RAW stationed in Colombo was activated. The spy masters cultivated the critics of Rajapaksa within his government including health minister Sirisena. They persuaded and allured him to come out of the government with those shared his views, join the opposition and contest Rajapaksa in the upcoming presidential election saying their task is to get him through in any way.
RAW facilitated secret meetings
In the process RAW facilitated clandestine meetings attended also by main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and TNA leader. They decided to put up a common candidate Sirisena against Rajapaksa. Reuters talked to certain MPs defected from the government party and officials to confirm the role of RAW in defeating Rajapaksa before releasing the revealing and sensational report.
The Rajapaksa government came to know the RAW conspiracy in late last year when it was too late. RAW station chief in Colombo whose name was not disclosed was expelled in December for involving in internal politics to mobillize support for the opposition candidate. By the time the RAW chief left Colombo, all arrangements were complete to ensure the defeat of Rajapaksa.
India has often been involved in the internal politics of all neighbouring countries including Sri Lanka. In 1987 Delhi sent troops in a botched effort to broker peace between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels. A commentator in Colombo identified as Sumud wrote: “India is the country which ruined Sri Lanka by training and arming Tamil terrorists. No country in the world has done damage to Sri Lanka like India (did). What Indian wants is to keep this country under its heal and dictate terms to us. Former President (Rajapaksa) did not heed to the Indian dictates but acted like a leader with backbone. Let other leaders also act in the similar manner.” Another commentator wrote “if all this (Reuters report) is true, Ranil, Chandrika and Sirisena should come out with explanations to clear the public minds.”
Rajapaksa’s unexpected defeat after two terms in office coincided with growing concern in India that it was losing influence in Sri Lanka because of his tilt toward regional rival China. The concern turned to alarm late last year when Rajapaksa allowed two Chinese submarines to dock in Sri Lanka without warning New Delhi as he should have under a standing agreement.
In less than a week of taking over power the Sirisena’s government suspended Northern Expressway project.
China-aided projects to be suspended
The 1billion dollar 300 km long highway project was awarded to Chinese construction firm for implementation. The government said the cost of the project is too high. Rajapaksa, who was given the credit in defeating LTTE ending over two decades of bloody civil war, had ceremoniously launched the road project in November last year under a loan agreement with China. The new government also decided to stop payments for various “dubious transactions” with China. It is stipulated that other development projects awarded to China like the port city, airport and sea port will be suspended.
The Sirisena government took the steps when foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera was in Delhi. He flew to Delhi on the fifth day of the new President was sworn-in, showing the priority the Sri Lanka attached to India. Suspension of Chinese project during his stay in Delhi raised doubt if it was done at the behest of India.
Echoing the views expressed by India, Mangala told an interviewer of daily Hindu that there is no substance at all in the Reuters report that said RAW promoted opposition candidate in defeating Rajapaksa. Asked about Rajapaksa’s China tilt, he avoided direct reply and said the former President followed a paranoid foreign policy which the new government will correct. It is worth mentioning that Mangala was once foreign minister during the 13-year tenure of Rajapaksa.
Sunday Times of Singapore report under the heading “Loosening Beijing Embrace” said Sri Lanka’s new government move to review infrastructure projects awarded to China is bound to please India and western powers who are concerned about Beijing’s access in Sri Lanka. In fact, India was furious with Rajapaksa after he allowed Chinese submarines to dock in Sri Lankan port.
It is not Sri Lanka alone. RAW interfered in internal politics of all the neighbouring countries to promote that India’s henchmen rose to power. According to legal experts, interference in internal affairs of another country is illegal.
Source: weekly Holiday