Indian interference in Sri Lanka worse than ever before: JVP

July 29th, 2008 - 4:10 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
By P. Karunakharan
Colombo, July 29 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s radical Marxist party, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), has alleged that India had “intensified its interference” in Sri Lanka’s politics and economy. Renewing its prolonged anti-India campaign, the JVP also blamed the Rajapaksa government Monday of being unable to counter such inroads and termed “the situation much worse than what it was during the 1987 J.R. Jayewardene administration”.

The JVP, a former coalition partner of the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), has 39 members in the 225-member parliament.

“India has obviously forgotten the non interference which was accepted and adopted by the Non -Alignment Movement (NAM) and the Sri Lankan government too seems to be ignorant about the existence of such a policy. We urge the Indian government to stop trying to buy us,” JVP’s newly-appointed propaganda secretary Vijitha Herath told reporters here.

According to local media reports, Herath has said that under a programme of “intensified interference”, India had jeopardized the sovereignty of Sri Lanka in the mineral, fuel and power sectors.

“We warned that the Eastern Provincial election was held to cater to the needs of the Indian government and now we are proven right as Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has also expressed a desire to meet Eastern Province Chief Minister Chandrakanthan Sivanesathurai, well-known as Pillaiyan,” the local Daily Mirror newspaper has quoted JVP MP Herath as saying.

However, a top Indian diplomatic official told IANS that there was no such meeting scheduled between the visiting Indian prime minister and Pillaiyan as reported in sections of the local media.

The remarks by the JVP have come at a time when the Indian prime minister is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the sidelines of the upcoming Saarc summit that opens here Aug 2.

The JVP has already expressed its strong objection to the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India and demanded a special debate in parliament next month, saying the proposed agreement favoured India.

“India is now trying to dominate the power and energy industry of the country through the proposed Sampur coal power plant (in the east) and the power sharing scheme between south India and Sri Lanka. Agreements were also signed giving authority for India to drill off-shore oil wells, to buy the Kankesanthurai (KKS) cement factory (in the north) and to build the coastal railway track,” Herath has pointed out.

While the JVP unleashed its anti-India campaign, break-away Eastern Commander of the Tamil Tiger Rebels and the leader of the TMVP (Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal) Vinayagamoothy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman said Monday that he welcomed Indian investments to develop infrastructure projects in the Eastern Province.

Hailing India for having invested heavily in the oil tank farm, coal power and other projects, Karuna Amman, who returned to the country early July after nine months in Britain prisons for alleged immigration irregularities, has told the newspaper that any foreign investment should be directed through the central government.

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