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Does Ranil know his legacy?

JUDGING from the public statements made by the Presidential candidate Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, it is obvious that Sri Lanka would be a satellite orbiting around Washington, the axis of neo-colonialism.

Perhaps he is not aware of the dangers of depending on the American aid with which he is hopeful of fulfilling his election pledges.

Mr. Wickremesinghe was speaking of his predecessors of the United National Party D. S. Senanayake, Dudley Senanayake, Sir John Kotelawala, J.R. Jayewardene and Ranasinghe Premadasa and their legacies.

They all followed the policy of leaning heavily on American support and at the same time they have repeatedly said that they were non-aligned in their foreign policy which was self contradictory. Let me refer to some of their policy statements.

At the Bandung Conference of 1955, Sir John Kotalawala attacked Indian Premier Pandit Nehru and the Chinese Primer Chou en Lai and took a strong pro-American stand. On another occasion, referring to Soviet Russia he said that he would join even with the devil to fight against "Russia, the enemy Number one".

But he was on record for not getting any aid from the Americans. His finance minister Mr. J.R. Jayewardene, on 7th May 1954, at the Parliament said that Sri Lanka failed to get any grant or loans from America.

J.R. Jayewardene, at the 1976 General Elections went round the country giving hopes that with the American assistance, he could solve the economic problems of Sri Lanka. The people believed him and gave him 140 seats out of 168 seats in the Parliament.

His pro - American policy angered Indira Gandhi who became suspicious of his pro-American designs. She got the newly formed RAW to carry on subversive activities in Sri Lanka and built up the LTTE with Indian resources.

As admitted by J.R. himself in 1987 in the interview granted to the BBC correspondent, J.R. was left with no friends in the world.

Similarly, the presidential candidate Ranasinghe Premadasa went round the country saying that the UNP has economic resources to solve all the economic ills of the country and particularly referred to America from where the resources would come.

His reference to Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Sanajaya (her son) as the cow and calf (Eladena & Wassa) angered not only Gandhi family but the Indian General Public as well.

Jayewardene after becoming the first Executive President, decided to re-establish cordial relations with New Delhi but did not find any one in his Foreign Service who could approach Indira.

Having heard that Maestro Lionel Edirisinghe was a classmate of Indira Gandi at Vishwabharati University and Lionel was sent to New Delhi as his representative to re-establish good relations! Poor Lionel had gone on mission impossible.

Both J.R. and Premadasa deviated from S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike who believed that the cornerstone of Sri Lanka's foreign policy was friendship with India.

And also he believed that friendship with all nations was the best policy for Sri Lanka. This I say with authority. (Please read my volume on The Foreign Policy of Sri Lanka under SWRD Bandaranaike" which was purely an academic evaluation of Bandaranaike era).

Both J.R. and Premadasa followed a rabid policy of anti Bandaranaike. It was with vengeance that President Jayewardene reversed "The 1956".

Two Volumes by SWRD Bandaranaike "Toward A New "ERA" and "Speeches and Writings of SWRD Bandaranaike' and my MA theses Foreign Policy of Sri Lanka under SWRD Bandaranaike with a foreword by the Veteran Indian diplomat and author Sri K.P.S. Menon-all were sent to Valachchenai and reduced to pulp! Is this a legacy that Wikremesinghe gets from his predecessors?

As an academic, it is my duty to point out that Mr. Wickremesinghe, as shown by his own election speeches, will yoke Sri Lanka to the chariot wheels of American neo-colonialist designs.

For the development of cordial relations with America using people like Milinda Moragoda will be a futile exercise.

American foreign policy has various facets and all its activities are tied to her national interests. America does not play the role of "VESSANTARA RAJJURUWO".

Through the so called aids and grants all the South American countries have been subjected to neo-colonialism.

Academic researches have brought out several hundred of volumes exposing the dangers of getting economic aids from America. Every aid-loans and grants are linked to American National interest.

Finally, I wish to remind the voters of Sri Lanka to be alive to dangers of so called legacies "Wickremesinghe got from his predecessors, such as J.R. Jayewardene, Sir John Kotelawala and Ranasinghe Premadasa, All these veteran United Party Leaders have brought more evils and miseries in their trains. For instance Jayewardene has contributed to the creation of the "Monster" LTTE by his wrong polices.

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