How India killed two birds with one stone in the region
When fools look to the future, wise men play it by the day. Wise men take the extra mile in one stride. And, that is how they meet two goals in one strategy to find one solution to two problems. That was how India put out two fires by a single shower in her region.
Deep rooted Indian strategies surface when the final phase of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Presidency is recalled with regard to the developments in the Indian Ocean. Mahinda held a different view for the call to grant 13 plus to Tamils to muster Indian support as President when the United Nations Human Rights Commission brought the United States backed war crimes and human rights violations resolution against Sri Lanka. He said without acceding to Indian demands, Colombo should get Indian support to defeat the resolution. He held the view that Indians would never allow an international probe against Sri Lanka on war crimes. Mahinda pointed out that if India supported such a resolution against Sri Lanka, she would also face the same fate with regard to the crisis in Kashmir. Mahinda was correct in that thought.
India was placed between the devil and the deep blue sea over the UNHRC Resolution against Sri Lanka. On one side the Southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu was pressurizing New Delhi to support the US backed UNHRC Resolution against Sri Lanka. Hence the pressure mounted by India on Mahinda to grant 13 plus to Sri Lankan Tamils was ignored by Mahinda. He invited Chinese submarines to the Colombo Port to hurt India. Mahinda’s Government took support from China to defeat the international war crimes probe. In reciprocity, Chinese submarines were allowed into the Colombo Port. That allowed the theory of ‘String of Pearls Geopolitical’ in the Indian Ocean exceeding all boundaries.
India pinned hopes on America to thwart the growing Chinese threat in the region. America pressurized India to support the UNHRC Resolution against Sri Lanka if India wanted to tame China. Since India stood for internal and regional stability, India disagreed with the US demand. As a result, the United States, Human Rights bodies and western pressure mounted on India.
India’s disagreement with the American demand stabilized Mahinda’s Government. India did not gain by that incentive and China capitalized on it. China took that advantage to destroy the Indian strength and superiority in the Asian region. During the Rajapaksa regime, the Indian pressure on Sri Lanka was less significant. India helped Mahinda’s Government to destroy the LTTE because the influence of the latter on Tamil Nadu politics was a headache to New Delhi. But Mahinda’s Government did not display gratitude towards Indian support to destroy the LTTE. Mahinda claimed that he did a favour to India by eliminating the LTTE. India after helping Mahinda to destroy the LTTE fell from the frying pan to the fire when China crept into Sri Lanka.
If the LTTE was a threat to Tamil Nadu, Chinese presence in Sri Lanka was a threat to Indian supremacy in the region. It was also a security threat to India. But India looked helpless in taming Mahinda’s Government which worshipped China. Mahinda took that situation to his advantage. He and confidantes scoffed at India. That was the dark and weak period of Indian foreign relations and policy with Sri Lanka. However, India stood by the belief of being the huge elephant and warned not to excite that elephant by provoking it. It took no time to turn that warning into a reality and Mahinda lost the presidential election. The dream of the
Chinese President to grab power in the Indian Ocean disappeared in no time. The Chinese funded Mattala Airport is now being turned to a paddy store. The Hambantota Port is viewed as an unwarranted investment. India has tamed the red dragon which came to blow the Indian Ocean. India has been able to turn the US sponsored international war crimes resolution into a domestic investigation within Sri Lanka. India has tamed both China and America who wanted to dance in her region in a manner that killed two birds with a single stone. In reality the winner of the last presidential and general elections is not Maithri or Ranil. India was the winner.