RE The Sri Lankan General Sarath Fonseka who led troops to victory, defeating Tamil separatists after decades of war, was replaced on the advice of Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, who conveyed to Sri Lankan leadership that he had received credible intelligence about the possible coup against the Sri Lankan government.
Well-placed sources in Colombo disclosed to The Nation on Monday that after the annihilation of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), on the night of 21/22 May 2009, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Sri Lankan leadership on telephone and discussed matters in the contest of intelligence.
Indian Prime Minister warned that intelligence reports indicated that democratic institutions in Sri Lanka were under threat from Sri Lanka Army (SLA).
SLA and General Fonseka have become too powerful. The situation is dangerous as it sometimes happened in Pakistan and Bangladesh, where military got control of democratic institutions, the sources revealed while quoting the conversation that took place between Indian PM and Sri Lankan leader.
Above all, Indian Prime Minister also advised the Sri Lankan political leadership that they must act swiftly and order changes in senior leadership of Armed forces.
It is quite obvious that India was not happy with Sri Lankas unprecedented victory that could lead to peace and domestic stability; thus denying Indias leverage in Sri Lankas internal affairs. India was also displeased with Sri Lankan leadership for the killing of large number of Tamils during the war and for not fully implementing the 13th amendment that meant grant of autonomy to Tamils in the North and East. It seemed a well thought-out strategy that was carefully crafted by Indian Intelligence Agency RAW in Colombo and New Delhi to steal away the rejoicings of Sri Lankan nation in the aftermath of a grand victory against LTTE.
Reportedly, during the course of ground operations, General Fonseka had ignored Presidents concerns on different occasions. Indians cashed on the opportunity and created an unfounded fear among the President who got scared and made abrupt changes in Armys leadership, without realising the consequences in the process.
Secretary Defence had stated: Look General Fonseka is now challenging the authority of the President. He said: It proves that Indian Prime Minister was right in warning us that General Fonseka is a highly ambitious man who can go to any extent.
New Commander of SLA was also appointed without consulting General Fonseka. Unfair treatment of General Fonseka was thus complete and it may now lead him to avenge his insult from the ruling elite in political arena. Indian game plan appears perfect. Now President even if he wins with a thin margin would not be able to exhibit strong political muscle in future. If he loses, still India would be happy, as New Delhi is largely responsible for Tamils ethnic cleansing, a top government official in Colombo said, requesting that his name not be mentioned stating that the issue is very sensitive and confidential.
On the other hand, political wisdom dictated that ruling elite should have kept General Fonseka close to their side and as a result might have bagged massive vote bank in any future elections, presidential or parliamentary. However, such a situation is unacceptable to India, who seems to have played its treacherous role.
By failing prey to Indian trap, Sri Lankan political stability has been put at stake, inviting foreign players to meddle in its domestic affairs.
Sri Lankan Presidents swift, incorrectly speculative and jerky response has pushed a festive state into a critical confusion. The consequences of this political immaturity would be protracted and deep; not only the Sri Lankan leadership but also the entire nation would have to pay the price.