The following links show the sheer intensity of enthusiasm displayed by the West towards this new turnaround. This would surely be unprecedented in Sri Lanka's history. Barely three weeks into its rule Sri Lanka's new administration keeps receiving an unbroken stream of high profile Westerners and they seem falling all over each other to praise the new administration.
UK Foreign Minister Hugo to visit SL
Biswal due here on Monday
UK encouraged by progress of new govt
Canada welcomes reinstatement of Sri Lankan Chief Justice
Costs made being pro-West
Post-independent Sri Lanka has, of course, been pro-West in the tenures of Prime Ministers and Presidents of D.S. Senanayake, Dudly Senanayaka, John Kotalawala, J.R. Jayawardane, R. Premadasa, D.B. Wijethunga and Chandrika Kumaranathnga. Except Chandrika's all the pro-West regimes had been UNP governments.
Have we as a county been recipient of a special beneficiary by being pro-West in the past? This is a very pertinent question to ask at the backdrop of Sri Lanka becoming pro-West again under a UNP government. In fact, Sri Lanka has got no special benefits while leaning to the West during the above mentioned regimes.
Rather it was due to the very reason that Sri Lanka became pro-West that it suffered the worst ever post-independent catastrophic foreign interference that led to the full- blown separatist war that raged in the country for three decades. Enraged by president J.R. Jayawardana's (JRJ) pro-West policy suspecting Sri Lanka would be home to contingents of US forces in South Asia, the Prime Minister Indra Gandhi of Congress Government of India trained and armed Tamil separatist militants from Sri Lanka including the LTTE. This blatant violation of Sri Lanka's sovereignty by its powerful and harmonistic neighbour culminated by forcing upon it the 13th Amendment to its constitution and sending Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) which led to the deaths, injuries and raping of women of thousands of Sri Lankans and left a trail of massive destruction to the country.
It is ironical, however, when president JRJ sought the support of the West especially the US when India blatantly violated its air space by dropping food items to Jaffna in 1987 the former simply turned a blind eye and ignored JRJ's pleas for support leaving JRJ and its government completely helpless and isolated. No Western power came forward to JRJ's rescue. The blood bath ignited by India ended in 2009 with president Rajapaksha ending the separatist war and ushering a complete peacefulness to its citizens.
It is, however, a strange twist of fate that the same India which brutally punished its weak southern neighbour for being the pro-West has now played its biggest role in turning the country to be pro-West. The regime change project jointly orchestrated by the West and India has scored an unprecedented stunning victory by ousting pro-China former president Rajapaksha.
Vulnerability of the 5.8 million
This new turnaround as far as Sri Lankan citizens are concerned, however, has its own costs. The West has always been for a fragmented Sri Lanka divided on ethnic lines. The new admiration that came into power with its backing is replete with Federalists who are hell-bent to give in to the chauvinist and separatist demands of Tamils and Muslims. These staunch federalists are ruling the roost in every section of the new administration from the newly appointed governors to the provinces to presidential advisors to the most of the members of the cabinet.
The 5.8 million citizens, the greatest chunk of them being Sinhalese Buddhists who voted for president Rajapaksha in the last presidential election are in complete hapless and vulnerable situation now. They staunchly believed that they have to ensure an existence of an undivided motherland for their sons and daughters. They have another great responsibility and carry a heavy burden. It is this very segment of people, of whom a significant portion of them living in the rural areas, who send their sons and daughters to fight against the separatism and for the cause of an undivided motherland. They bear the brunt of the damage in the process as it is their sons and daughters who ultimately made and would make the supreme sacrifices for an undivided Sri Lanka!