Nation next door

A major political change has taken place in Sri Lanka with Mahinda Rajapaksa storming back to power, this time as Prime Minister.

As expected, this has created ripples in the Tamilnadu political arena for various reasons which include – Rajapaksa is accused of killing Tamils under the guise of eliminating LTTE; Tamilnadu is located too close to Lanka which is still home to a large number of Tamils; and incidents of alleged attacks on Indian fishermen and their arrests by the Lankan navy were on a high when Rajapaksa was in power.

Rajapaksa’s ‘appointment’ as Prime Minister has come just weeks after he visited India, and this has become enough reason for some political leaders in Tamilnadu to say that India was behind his elevation.

And there are a few others who say China is operating things from behind. While Sri Lanka is fully entitled to (s)elect its rulers without any external intervention, India is duty bound to keep a close watch on the happenings in the island nation, since it is our immediate neighbour and any change – political, economic or environmental – will impact India, especially its southern most State of Tamilnadu.

With just months left for Lok Sabha elections in India, the re-entry of Rajapaksa and his actions may impact the electoral alliances in the subcontinent.

Already, the Lankan leader’s recent revelation that the then UPA (Congress) government was kept informed by the then government of the island nation about each and every stage of the final phase of the civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May 2009 had left the DMK and Congress leaders perplexed. Now that Rajapaksa is back in action, there are many who are keeping their fingers crossed.

NT Bureau