Historically, India has continued interventionist and
hegemonic policies vis-à-vis her neighbouring countries through its military and
intelligence agency RAW. Besides supporting separatism in East Pakistan which
resulted in dismemberment of Pakistan and continued assistance to the separatist
elements of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, New Delhi occupied Sikkim, subdued
Bhutan. It particularly employed state sponsored terrorism which still continues
in Sri Lanka.
After the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, took a policy decision to support
Sri Lankan northern insurgency in August 1983, within years, the number of Tamil
training camps increased in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Over 20,000 Sri
Lankan Tamil insurgents had been imparted armed training—tactics of guerrilla
warfare by the Indian Army. Specialized training was also imparted by the Indian
army instructors to Sri Lankan militants in New Delhi, Bombay and other cities.
Besides, its navy and air force also played their roguish role in connection
with the Sri Lankan insurgents. By openly violating the maritime laws, Indian
navy had supplied larger cache of arms and ammunition to the Tamil rebels.
Despite the capture of some Indian ships, and despite the complaints of Colombo,
the illegitimate practice continued by the Indian military.
In this context, Rohan Gunaratne in his book, “Sri Lanka Tamil Insurgency”,
disclosed that with the Indo-Lanka Accord of July 1987, Rajiv Gandhi ordered the
Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to fight the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE).
However, it was double game of New Delhi.
Sri Lanka which has crushed the Tamil rebels successfully, offers an
unprecedented instance. But Tamil Nadu still remains LTTE’s main source of
weapon supplies. LTTE, the most ruthless terroristorganization of the world,
fought against the State of Sri Lanka, killed thousands of civilians and
military personnel, damaged state assets and bared economic growth of the
country for about three decades. The outfit as launching pad for the insurgents’
activities included most deadly weapon “The Suicide Cadre” that introduced new
trend in terrorism.
Today, LTTE is almost banned globally; however, in India, it has a temporary ban
which is reviewed periodically. Moreover, LTTE is not banned in India under
Antiterrorism Act but under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act which is clear
dichotomy in position of New Delhi on the subject of terrorism. Such
irresponsible attitudedemonstrates the malintent of India towards her
neighborswhichinfact,stands oppositeto Indian PMNarinder
Modi’smostspokenrhetoricof ‘Neighborhood First Policy’.
Tamils who make almost 12% of the Sri Lankan population are mostly concentrated
in north, collocated in proximity of Indian Tamil Nadu. Ethnic group in past,
had armed conflict with the state duly supported by India and Tamil Diaspora to
achieve separate state;nevertheless, after the military defeat, now onlypromote
autonomy/merger of Northern and Eastern Province.
For the purpose, Indians have established their political clout over Sri Lanka
by controlling the Tamil politicians and steer their democratic right of vote in
order to ensure her own political suitability within Sri Lanka. Therefore,
Tamils have always been persuaded by India not to vote for Rajapaksa’s Family
whom Indiabelieves as true representatives of Sri Lankan masses and donot
compromise on national interests of the country. This is a clear violation of
basic diplomatic norms and stark interference into very internal matter of a
It is notable that Easter Sunday Bombing on April 21, 2019 rocked the entire Sri
Lanka, as the suicide bombings killed more than 250 people by targeting three
churches in and three luxury hotels in the capital, Colombo.
In this regard, Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL) claimed
Easter Sunday’s suicide attacks in Sri Lanka.
In this connection, Sri Lankan investigator Ravi Seneviratne, head of the Sri
Lankan police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said on July 24, 2019 that
“Sri Lanka’s Easter attacks were carried out by local groups who drew
inspiration from…but were not directly linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and
the Levant (ISIS) group…had no direct link to the foreign armed group…They
followed the ISIS ideology.” But at the same time, he stated: that “remnants of
the National ThowheethJamath (NTJ), the armed group that was held responsible
for the Easter attacks, had persuaded ISIL to claim the attacks…NTJ leader
Zahran Hashim made a video with fellow NTJ members pledging allegiance to ISIL
leader Abu Bakr Al-Bagdadi”.
In a statement, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena had said that the
attacks “were the work of international drug dealers” to disrupt his
However, a happy nation could not believe that she has to suffer another wave of
terrorism. Unfortunately, like LTTE which originated from Tamil Nadu; NTJ whose
members under the influence of ISIS ideology carried out the bombings also
belonged to the same state of India, having its headquarters at Channai.
It is mentionable that Indian State of Kerela, which is almost a neighboring geo
entity to Sri Lanka, is one of the leading source of ISIS influx and drugs in
Sri Lanka. Tons of cannabis and other drugs are sent to Sri Lanka through sea.
Although Sri Lanka Navy quite effectivelychecks/intercepts the illegal
activities, however, still some big consignments are managed through the strict
vigilance. Presence of ISIS in Kerelais another threat to the peaceful island
nation which had suffered in hands of terrorists for 27 years and was victimized
again in April 2019 by ISIS influenced locals.
Sri Lanka is a beautiful island and her serene beaches, astounding sea life,
wild life and nature attracts tourists from various parts of the world. While,
fishing is one of the leading sources of sustenance for the people mostly living
on the coastline.
Palk Strait which divides Jaffna Peninsula from mainland India remains a
contested place despite clear demarcation of international maritime boundaries
between both thecountries. Poaching and illegalfishing by Indian fishermen into
Sri Lankan waters isnot only depleting thesustenance of poor Sri Lankans but
also seriously affecting the marine environment which can ultimately affect the
tourism industry of Sri Lanka, leading to huge economic losses.
It is noteworthy that New Delhi is trying thwart cordial relations of Sri Lanka
In this respect, on April 27, 2017, on a website, LiveMintCom, Elizabeth Roche
under the caption, “India renews Sri Lanka ties to counter China influence in
South Asia” wrote: “India moved to cement closer economic ties with Sri Lanka in
a bid to negate the growing influence of strategic rival China in the Indian
Ocean region and South Asia. A pact on economic cooperation was signed in the
presence of visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wikremesinghe and his host
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
Similarly, Indian media and websites gave much coverage to an article, published
by a German TV Channel (Which also publishes online news items) under the title
“India Nips at China’s Heels in Race to Collect Lanka Port Assets written by
Iain Marlow and Saket Sundria on April 26, 2017. They wrote: “India is looking
to invest in a colonial-era Sri Lankan oil-storage facility as it seeks to
further its naval interests in the Indian Ocean and push China back in the
process. A unit of state-owned Indian Oil Corp., the country’s largest refiner,
is set to help fund the $350 million development of an 84-tank facility at the
strategically located Trincomalee port on Sri Lanka’s east coast. India and Sri
Lanka are also discussing setting up a refinery in the island nation, according
to Shyam Bohra, managing director of Indian Oil’s subsidiary Lanka IOC. The
talks come before a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri
Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in New Delhi.”
It is of particular attention that during his visit to New Delhi on February 8,
this year, Indian Premier Modi urged the visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister
Mahinda Rajapaksa to empower the minority Tamil community in the island nation
and fulfill their aspirations for justice, respect, and equality. Modi said at a
joint press briefing.
Rajapaksa’s visit to India was being closely watched by foreign policy analysts,
as during his term as president between 2005 and 2016, Colombo grew closer to
Nonetheless, Indian neighbouring countries now look ahead for the peace and
development in the region and do not deserve to be suppressed with such kind of
traditional heinous designs of New Delhi. Let’s walk on atrack where all the
regional countries are considered equal and sovereign for the betterment of
human kind; India on this chess board of South Asian place has a major role to