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
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
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
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
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.