oppn parties India Must Work To Prevent China To Cull Favour With The New Regime In Sri Lanka

News Snippets

  • PM Modi tells BJP workers that India is in for a long battle against the coronavirus and there is no scope to feel tired or defeated
  • PM Modi asks ministers to focus on exports and new areas and sectors
  • PM Modi asks ministers to prepare business continuity plan post the lifting of the lockdown
  • Corona cases in India cross 4000 and the death toll stands at 124
  • The government decides to double the testing of corona suspects from 10000 now to 20000 in the next three days
  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
26 nurses and 3 doctors test positive for COVID-19 at Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai, facility cordoned off, no entry or exit permitted from the hospital
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India Must Work To Prevent China To Cull Favour With The New Regime In Sri Lanka

By A Special Correspondent

People in Sri Lanka have ostensibly voted for national security. But in doing so, they have shown that the country has become highly polarized. Although Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the clear winner, he has won on the back of the consolidation of the Sinhalese-Buddhist votes. Preliminary data shows that Tamils and Muslims have not voted for his party. This will make Sri Lanka ethnically and religiously divided and unstable and that will not be in India's interest.

The Rajapaksa family has a history of being highhanded. When Mahinda Rajapaksa was president in 2007, he allowed his brother Gotabaya to crush the Tamil insurgency. But in the process, whispers of cruelty and war crimes committed against the Tamils were heard and these were never addressed.

But it seems that in the aftermath of the IS-sponsored suicide bombing in the island's churches and hotels that left hundreds dead, people in Sri Lanka, at least the Sinhalese-Buddhist majority, decided that it was time to bring back the Rajapaksas. It was clear that the Rajapaksas will come back when they swept the local body elections in the country in 2018 and when the bombers struck in Easter this year, the weak "national unity government" that replaced Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2015 stood no chance. Most Sri Lankans believe that President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe compromised national security and were not able to prevent the attacks through their bad policies.

India will need to quickly alter its policies vis-a-vis Sri Lanka as the Rajapaksas always tilted towards China in the past. Although Gotabaya Rajapaksa would not like to antagonize India, he will still prefer doing business with the Chinese. Given China's interest in controlling the oceans, any foothold it establishes in Sri Lanka will compromise India's security. Hence, India will have to move fast and ensure that the new government in the island nation does not grant any military favours to China.