Oct 1, 2014

How India RAW Toppled Srilanka Rajapakse

There is a ‘Frederick Forsyth’ novel, ‘Icon’, in which the retired Head of British Intelligence recruits an ex-CIA agent to enter Russia and embark on a campaign of disinformation against the popular Presidential candidate with the objective of making the latter lose the election.

In the novel, the Western world believes that the candidate would bring back Nazism and the reign of terror and is highly detrimental to their interests. A similar scenario has been successfully replicated in the island nation of Sri Lanka by India’s premier intelligence body, ‘Research and Analysis Wing’ (RAW).

When Mahinda Rajapakse, strongman of Sri Lanka lost the elections, it came as a real surprise, especially given his success record in wiping out the LTTE. However, Rajapakse had become a dictator giving himself sweeping powers and also was accused of large scale-corruption.

But why did RAW interfere in the Sri Lankan elections to the point of dismantling Rajapakse? It was because of the former’s tilt towards Beijing. Rajapakse was increasingly favoring the Chinese and allowing them base in China. Contracts for construction of ports and other mega projects were given to China who were looking at Sri Lanka as an access point to the Indian Ocean.

Rajapakse and his family in return were given huge kickbacks. Rajapakse in fact visited China seven times in his tenure. But the ultimate strain in relations between India and Sri Lanka came when Sri Lanka allowed 2 Chinese submarines to dock at Colombo, not once but twice. As per the maritime agreement with India, Sri Lanka was supposed to inform India about this, but Rajapakse never bothered. If Sri Lanka continued with such kinds of actions, in the event of a conflict with China, India would have to fight China both from the front and the back. In short, Rajapakse was turning Sri Lanka into a base for China. That was when India decided that he had to go and RAW sprang into action.

The Presidential elections in Sri Lanka were announced ahead of schedule by a confident Rajapakse and there was no unity among the Opposition parties. The station head of RAW in Colombo gathered the opposition leaders and fused them into a single unit. The leader of the Opposition, Ranil Wickramasinghe however had little chances of winning against Rajapakse. The RAW agent convinced him to step aside and got Sirisena to defect from Rajapakse’s Party and contest against the latter. The agent also enlisted the support of ex-Presidents and Prime Ministers of Sri Lanka in favor of Sirisena. A month before the elections, Rajapakse got wind of the activities of RAW and the agent was expelled from Colombo. However, he did his job well and Sirisena came out winner in the polls. Sirisena has now said that ‘India’ is his top priority. Will he walk the talk? India's top envoy in Colombo, high commissioner YK Sinha, presented Sirisena with a large bouquet of flowers just hours after the results were announced on Jan 9. China's ambassador was only able to meet the new president six days later. Let’s hope RAW’s efforts have not been in vain.

Source GA


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