Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Quo vadis Maldives?
Posted on August 4th, 2010
Geethanjana Kudaligamage
Rajapakse, regional politics, “Eurocentric Developmentalism” and the western hegemony (Part 13)

From western point of view, loosing Sri Lanka is a colossal strategic setback. But no one can blame Sri Lanka for this tragic reality. From Sri Lankan point of view, Sri Lanka hasn’t done anything in detrimental to relations with USA. Therefore, the fate of the relations of two nations solely rests in the hands of policy planners of USA, but not in Sri Lanka. I wouldn’t put the blame of this deteriorating situation entirely on the State Department of the USA since the agency only reflects grand strategies of the upper echelons of US administration. The entire western policy of Asian is based on the strategies of Trans National Corporations’ globalization agenda, according to which, Sri Lanka must be divided. If not at least they need to have military presence in close proximity to Indian subcontinent. What is the next option? Isn’t that Maldives?

However at this point, Sri Lanka must closely observe what’s happening in the Maldives. Many Sri Lankans do not know that majority of the Maldivian people are Sinhalese, and they speak corrupt version of old Sinhala language. Their ancestral relationship with Sri Lanka was maintained up until recent times through traditional Maldivian customs of payments of various annual taxes although they were not being abided by any law of both lands. They paid these taxes voluntarily though their envoy visits as fulfillment of age old traditions to keep up their ancient blood relationship with Sri Lanka. In other words, it was more like fulfilling an age old Sinhalese tradition of “Nagam yama”; because Maldives must have been a principality of Sri Lanka in pre modern times. Their presence in Sri Lanka was a common spectacle up until recent times. I personally have seen Maldivian vendors selling ‘Bondi Aluwa’ in Colombo streets in my childhood. Until recent times Maldivian children were educated in Sri Lanka. Our relationship is older than we can conceive through conventional knowledge derived from western version of our history.

This close relationship attests to the fact that, larger amount of Buddhist archeological evidences had been found in Maldives next to India and Sri Lanka in Indian Ocean region in south Asia.

Unfortunately Maldivian consciousness of this blood relationship between two countries was severely shattered by our shortsighted foreign policy of JR Jayawardene and brought a devastating effect to the relations between these two nations during the terror attack launched to Maldives by a SL Tamil terrorist group in November 1988.

It was revealed that the first reaction of the then president of Maldives to the attack was to call then president of Sri Lanka JR Jayawardene asking for military assistance. JRJ as a man who preferred to drink even cold water only after making it even more colder, (‘alwathurath niwala bona’)naturally sought to his coldhearted callous foreign policy, quickly declined the request and advised to channel Indian help. It is said that JRJ personally called Rajeev Gandhi in this respect. By doing so JRJ neglected Sri Lankan nation’s moral obligation to Maldivien people. And thus he severed the strong blood link of this nation with Sri Lankan people. I do not think President Gayoom and people of Maldives will ever forget this humiliation. We may have to work very hard for that end.

Any leader of Sri Lanka disciplined by any moral code would have extended helping hand to Maldives at the hour of need due to two reasons. Firstly Maldivians are Sinhalese people’s immediate relatives. Secondly JRJ had a personal responsibility into the event for him being the one who must be held responsible for not having any control of the terrorist menace within the country at the moment that had began to export its brutality to other lands. But JRJ was not a man of moral to begin with; therefore, the matter of ‘obligation’ never arises.

The whole episode could be suspected as an externally orchestrated grand conspiracy of espionage agencies active in the region including RAW. Since Indian army was in Sri Lanka at the moment, what JRJ must have done was to send SL military commandos to Maldives and then request Indian help. But he missed the train. Indians took the charge and became the saviors of Maldivians and replaced Sri Lanka in the Maldivian hearts and minds.

To the current situation, if any western power managed to get foot hold in Maldives militarily while we display our cold shouldered relationship with Maldives, then it must be considered as another security blow to Sri Lanka at this moment. We must further strengthen our relations with Maldives in immediate effect, not only in diplomatic relations, but also militarily.

Furthermore, we must initiate restrengthening of our moral bondages between two nations. First step could be broader coalition in educational, cultural and archaeological sector. Our Universities must open a quota for Maldivian students to learn in Sri Lanka under minimal charges competing Indian universities and Western ones.

Maldivians are Sri Lankans. Both our fate in the Indian Ocean is intertwined, and will depend on the destiny of each other. We must work together.

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