The news is by your side.

India should adopt Sri Lanka

0 57

Dr. Veda Pratap Vaidik

Sri Lanka is into an unprecedented muddle that no country in the South Asian region has ever witnessed. Unable to tackle the public wrath, both the President and Prime Minister of the country had to flee to safer hideouts. In my memory this is the first time a country in the Indian subcontinent is experiencing such a heavy havoc In many of our neighbouring countries, military coups, internal rebellions and constitutional crises have led to change of governments, but in Sri Lanka, thousands of people stormed into the Presidential Palace and also set the Prime Minister’s private bungalow on fire.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesingh had to announce their resignations. Not just the public but the security forces including the Army deserted these leaders in power. The security forces did not bother to save the Prime Minister’s residence set on fire by the agitating mob. The violent public were seen ransacking the presidential palace and the security forces were mute spectators of the mayhem.

The agitators had assembled from far off places, other than the Capital city of Colombo.  I am surprised, when the country is reeling under acute shortage of fuel and most of the private vehicles are off the road how come people from distant locations throng the capital city?  The porters have walked many miles to reach the presidential palace. No doubt, the fury of the public was simmering for the past many months and those in power had got the scent of it well in advance.  For the last three months, Sri Lanka has been mired in an unprecedented crisis. Inflation and unemployment were skyrocketing. The Island nation with just about 1.25 billion population is in quandary facing a mammoth debt of trillions of dollars.

Three fourths of the population are starving for want of food. Many are not able to get one full square meal a day. Many have fled the country to neighbouring India in fishing boats and other available transportation facilities. The leader, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had become Sri Lanka’s superhero because he was considered the leader who obliterated Tamil terrorism, had to resign as Prime Minister on Sunday and now his brother Gotabaya also has announced his resignation. Five members of the Rajapaksa family who were holding powerful positions in the government were running the country at their will like dictators.

These five member groups took many critical economic and political decisions without much consultations or deliberations. They ignored the warnings from the opposition. They even discarded cautioning signals from international financial institutions. They replaced the prime minister and also many ministers. But such cosmetic changes could hardly make any impact on the public who were already annoyed and fuming with discontent.  

According to me at this stage even if an all-party government is formed, nothing much can be expected. At this time Sri Lanka is in need of substantial economic support. If India desires, it can adopt this trouble torn neighbouring nation for some time till the crisis settles.  Lanka is equal to any small province of India. The Buddhist and Tamil people of Sri Lanka will be thankful for this large-heartedness of India for generations.

(Dr. Vaidik is the President of the Indian Foreign Policy Council)

*Dr. Vaidik is a widely travelled scholar-journalist. He has visited more than 80 countries on diplomatic and educational missions. Dr. Vaidik has won more than a dozen National and International awards for academic and journalistic excellence. He has been a member of several Advisory Committees of Government of India.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.