by Anna Pararajasinham
My argument was based on the premise that a country’s national interests are served only when policies are based on ground realities. I pointed out that India’s Sri Lanka policy did not reflect ground realities, which, at that time meant acknowledging the existence of two distinct power centres in Sri Lanka-Colombo in the South and Killinocchchi in the North. The implication was clear-New Delhi should seek to improve its leverage by adopting a more nuanced approach to ensure that its own interests were not compromised.
Instead, New Delhi, dictated by the belief that by helping Colombo reassert its dominance over the entire island it could keep Sri Lanka within its orbit, provided Colombo with logistical support to cut off Tigers’ weapons supply. It did not foresee Colombo counterbalancing Indian influence by bringing in China. Even after China’s direct involvement, New Delhi continued to extend its support to Colombo driven by the logic that it could not sit back and surrenders Sri Lanka into China’s embrace.