Unprecedented Developments at SL Were Inevitable: Strategic Affairs Experts

The unprecedented developments witnessed in Sri Lanka were unavoidable in the face of people’s furious anger at the Rajapaksa family for its handling of the economic crisis, India’s leading strategic affairs experts said on Sunday.

At the same time, they said the economic situation is unlikely to improve dramatically just because President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has decided to step down, paving the way for the formation of an all-party government.

Embattled President Rajapaksa announced on Saturday that he would step down from office on July 13, hours after thousands of angry protesters stormed his official residence and torched the private home of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Wickremesinghe also said he would resign.

“This was becoming inevitable. Popular sentiment had turned against the Rajapaksas. They lost their political capital,” Ambassador Ashok K Kantha told PTI.

Kantha, who served as India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka from 2009 to 2013, said there was a “pretty strong political demand and consensus” that the Rajapaksas should step down.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the older brother of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, resigned on May 9 after massive anti-government protests rocked Sri Lanka.

Ambassador G Parthasarathy, who served as India’s envoy to several countries including Myanmar and Pakistan, said the tumultuous events in Colombo are a reflection of “public anger”.

“They have not targeted any diplomatic missions or other institutions. It was a very careful targeting that showed results as a coalition government draws closer,” he said.

Kantha said Sri Lanka does not have the luxury of time as the economic crisis is “unprecedented” and will not go away just because Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigns.

“I think the new government has to come in as soon as possible and try to deal with the crisis,” he said.

Ambassador Parthasarathy lashed out at Western powers for failing to support Sri Lanka in its hour of crisis as they poured billions of dollars into aid to Ukraine.

He commended India for its generous assistance to Sri Lanka.

Another veteran diplomat, Ashok Sajjanhar, blamed the “arrogance” of the Rajapaksa brothers for the current crisis in Sri Lanka.

“Developments in Sri Lanka are disturbing and worrying. I think the Sri Lankan leaders, in particular President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, should have decided to leave the scene much sooner,” Sajjanhar told PTI.

“Even now he is dragging his feet. Why does he say he will resign on July 13? What is the sanctity of July 13? He should go immediately and clear the way for the formation of an all-party government as soon as possible.” . ” he said.

On India’s reaction to the events in Sri Lanka, Ambassador Kantha described it as “balanced and carefully crafted”.

In its first reaction to the massive political upheaval in Colombo, India said on Sunday that it stands with the Sri Lankan people in their aspirations for prosperity and progress through democratic means, values, established institutions and a constitutional framework.

“India stands with the people of Sri Lanka in their quest to realize their aspirations for prosperity and progress through democratic means and values, established institutions and a constitutional framework,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said.

(Only the headline and image in this report may have been modified by Business Standard staff; all other content is auto-generated from a syndicated source.)

Dear reader,

Business Standard has always strived to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have broader political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your constant encouragement and feedback on how to improve our offering has only strengthened our resolve and commitment to these ideals. Even during these challenging times stemming from Covid-19, we remain committed to keeping you informed and up-to-date with credible news, authoritative viewpoints, and incisive commentary on relevant current issues.
We, however, have a request.

As we grapple with the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more so that we can continue to bring you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you who have subscribed to our online content. More subscriptions to our online content can only help us achieve our goals of bringing you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practice the journalism we are committed to.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

digital editor

Leave a Comment