Will Sri Lanka experience a military coup?

Will Sri Lanka experience a military coup?

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Will Sri Lanka experience a military coup?

Will Sri Lanka experience a military coup?
Will Sri Lanka experience a military coup? | Source

Will Sri Lanka experience a military coup?

Military coup in the offing in Sri Lanka?

An ordinary soldier shot dead an officer and injured another in Sri Lanka. This shows that not all is well in the Sri Lankan military. Though the soldier’s depression with his girl friend was cited as the reason, there may be more into this than is revealed. Sri Lankan military is divided over the imprisonment of its former Chief of Staff General Fonseca. There are many Fonseca loyalists in the army camp. These loyalists feel that Fonseca was wrongly imprisoned because of his political differences with the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. There is a possibility of a military coup being staged in Sri Lanka. Rajapaksa should make his moves carefully.

Better deport Fonseka

There are also supporters and people who are loyal to Rajapaksa. They are opposed to bring Rajapaksa to trial for the war crimes the Sri Lankan military committed during the Eelam war in 2009. They feel that such a move will hurt the peace process in Sri Lanka. Had Sri Lanka’s President Rajapaksa put some political personalities in prison, it might have been a different affair. But he has chosen to imprison an important person – that too a military general who fought and won the Eelam War for Sri Lanka. This might create trouble for Sri Lanka any time and at any place. Just like the Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharaff arrived at a truce with the erstwhile Premier Nawaz Sharif and deported him to UAE, it will be better for Rajapaksa to arrive at a truce and deport Fonseka and his family to some foreign country – preferably to USA. As long as Fonseca is lodged in Colombo jail, Rajapaksa cannot sleep peacefully.

Thirumavalavan created problems for Sri Lanka

As New Year 2012 has dawned, Sri Lanka has scrapped the visa on arrival system except for people coming from Maldives and Singapore. Hereafter a tourist visiting Sri Lanka will have to log in online and receive a travel authorisation. In 2011, Thol Thirumavalavan, the leader of VCK political party in Tamil Nadu, landed in Colombo by a flight from Chennai. He was denied an entry into Sri Lanka for political reasons. Since then Sri Lankan authorities had been debating about this and have scrapped the visa on arrival rule.

India was responsible for cultivation of LTTE

India has expressed the need for an independent and credible mechanism to probe into the allegations of human rights violations during the final stages of Eelam War IV in 2009 in which the Sri Lanka military killed the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran. If India presses this point too much, Sri Lanka may demand an investigation into the Indian military’s activities in Jammu & Kashmir valley. Pakistan, Nepal and China also may support such a demand from Sri Lanka. India should realise that it was responsible for the huge sufferings of the Sri Lankan people for over three decades. It was India which propped up the terrorist organization LTTE. India gave military training to LTTE cadres, gave asylum to its leader Prabakaran for over a decade, gave financial assistance to LTTE to buy weapons to kill the Sinhalese people and lent all other help in all forms. But for India’s support to LTTE, Sri Lanka would not have suffered this much. India stopped this support only when the LTTE killed the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on Indian soil. India has no moral right to demand a probe into the Eelam War affairs.

US touches human rights issue

Sri Lankan government is negotiating with the Tamil National Alliance, an umbrella organization of political parties in the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka, mainly from the Northern sector. But the talks are not going through smoothly as each party accuses the other. TNA wants an accountability mechanism in Sri Lanka and is urging the international community to bring the perpetrators of the war crimes to book. As long as the TNA sticks to this demand, no meaningful progress can be made in its negotiations with the Sri Lankan government to provide succour to the displaced Tamils. Sri Lanka has started the first count of war deaths. Sri Lanka has been maintaining that action will be initiated against the guilty if a proof comes about his war crimes. Sri Lanka government appointed a panel to go into the civil war. The panel has submitted a 400-page report pressing for investigations into war crimes. A US official brought the human rights issue in Sri Lanka during a maritime conference in Galle.

Increase in tourist influx

Indian companies have agreed to help Sri Lanka to set up major projects. Ceylon Chamber representatives have demanded India to review the limits imposed on apparels and tea. Sri Lanka’s trade deficit with India was around $2.4 billion last year. It is set to increase to $3 billion now. In the first ten months of 2011, 1.38 lakh Indian tourists visited Sri Lanka. This was a 45% increase over the previous year. Many Sri Lanka citizens visited Tamil Nadu to avail medical facilities and also for shopping. Recently the Sri Lankan Airlines launched its fourth direct flight between Colombo and Chennai. Sri Lanka is planning to develop the North and East as its major export hubs. This will increase the standard of the Tamils living in these two regions.

China is the enemy of USA also

Of late, Sri Lanka has moved closely with China much to the chagrin of India. In fact Sri Lanka has even endorsed the Chinese presence in Indian Ocean base. This is unacceptable to India and USA. It will only complicate matters for Sri Lanka and invite America’s wrath. Already the jailed former Army Chief Sarath Fonseca has appealed to White House through his wife and daughters to consider his case. Rajapaksa should realise that there are many forces working against him in his own country. He needs India’s help and assistance. China cannot provide any succour to him or to his country. America is a superpower and can do anything in a small country like Sri Lanka. USA can engineer a military coup and remove Rajapaksa. It can even install Fonseca in power through the backdoor. Already rumours are floating that USA has sought the release of Fonseka, which Rajapaksa is trying to resist. Even though the US Embassy in Colombo denied the reports, one cannot be very sure of such matters till the full truth comes out. Therefore when Rajapaksa is playing his China cards with India, he is inviting danger to himself. Rajapaksa should know that China is not the enemy of India alone but also to USA.

Joint naval exercises with India

Sri Lanka’s $50 billion economy is growing healthily at around 8.5%. India is funding a railway line for $150 million in Sri Lanka to connect the war-torn North to the South. Colombo port is doing much better than even Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port. Colombo port has become the international hub for all cargo vessels operating in the region. After the Colombo-Jaffna expressway is completed, Sri Lanka’s economy will receive a boost. Already Sri Lanka’s first expressway connecting capital Colombo with Galle has been inaugurated. The $700 million project was completed with aid received from Asian Development Bank (ADB). An India- Sri Lanka grid connection is likely to be initiated soon for power sharing between the two countries. India and Sri Lanka are considering joint patrolling of sea in order to prevent alleged violence against Indian fishermen. Indian FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in Sri Lanka amounted to $110.24 million in 2010. It was at $46.68 million during the first half of 2011. Indian government has taken up repairing 79 damaged schools in the Northern part of Sri Lanka. India and Sri Lanka jointly conducted naval exercises recently. India and Sri Lanka have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for building a port in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has included Chinese currency Yuan in its banking deals.

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Comments 4 comments

bearclawmedia profile image

bearclawmedia 4 years ago from Mining Planet Earth

Very interesting hub, leaves me with a lot to think about.

ramkimeena profile image

ramkimeena 4 years ago from India Author

Thank you bearclawmedia for your comments

chamilj profile image

chamilj 4 years ago from Sri Lanka

Well balanced article but I don't think there is a possibility of military coup in Sri Lanka.

ramkimeena profile image

ramkimeena 4 years ago from India Author

Dear Chamilj,

I thank you for your comments. It appears that you are right but in military matters one can never know the truth. Best wishes to you.

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