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India playing double game: Sri Lanka

[Express Buzz, Wednesday, 27 April 2011 21:12 No Comment]

At the top echelons of the Sri Lankan government there is a belief that India is playing a ‘double game’ in the UN war crimes panel issue.

The belief stems from the fact that India has been observing an intriguing silence on the issue when the UN, backed by the US and its Western allies, seems to be bent on pillorying Sri Lanka on war crimes charges.

The silence intrigues Sri Lankans because India has greater political, strategic and economic stakes in here than any other country. Lankans contrast India’s silence with Russia’s open support for the island nation in its hour of crisis. Although China is yet to make its views known, Lankans are sure of its support. 

CALLS MANMOHAN

Top government sources confirmed that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had spoken on the phone to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the report. Lakbimanews even said that Colombo sent a copy of the report to Singh for perusal and appropriate action. But, Singh gave Rajapaksa no assurances.

INDIA PRIVY TO CONTENTS  

An official in the top echelons of the Lankan government told Express that India’s man in the United Nations, Hardeep Singh Puri, had met the panel before the latter finalised its report, suggesting that New Delhi had known the panelists’ mind and had a fair of idea of what their report might be like, but had done nothing to prevent it from taking the vituperative form it did.

“The feeling in government circles is that India is playing a double game,” the official, who did not want to be identified, said.

BID TO DOMINATE

It is felt here that India may be wanting to use Lanka’s discomfiture to extract concessions from it as it did at the time of the India-Sri Lanka Accord in 1987.

“Big Brother has always wanted to dominate us,” the  Lankan official said, pointing out that India’s Permanent Representative at the UN now, had cut his teeth in diplomacy in 1987 in Colombo under the tutelage of the then Indian High Commissioner, J N Dixit, who, according to the Lankans, thought and acted as if he was a “Viceroy”.  

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