India planting RAW agents in Sri Lankan provincial councils: JVP

March 9th, 2008 - 7:01 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

Colombo, March 9 (IANS) India is planning to plant agents of its intelligence agency in the provincial councils to be set up in the Tamil-speaking northeast of Sri Lanka, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), an ultra nationalist political party, has alleged. Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, a JVP parliament member, told the weekly Lakbimanews Sunday that by forcing the Mahinda Rajapaksa government to fully implement the devolution package, contained in the controversial 13th amendment of Sri Lanka’s constitution, New Delhi was hoping to plant agents of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in the provincial councils, which would be established in the Tamil-speaking northeast.

“India is trying to establish an economic monopoly here (in Sri Lanka), and they now need to have their representatives in Sri Lankan politics and obtain some political control too,” he said.

“We identified the 13th amendment as conforming to an Indian political agenda. The Indians were attempting to include RAW intelligence members in the northern and eastern provincial councils by this process,” he told the weekly.

The governments in the Sri Lankan northeast would be a proxy for India, Dissanayaka alleged.

He interpreted Indian President Pratibha Patil’s statement that there was no military solution to the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict as a bid on the part of New Delhi to thwart Sri Lanka’s successful military operations against the Tamil Tiger rebels in the north.

What India was doing was a repetition of what it did in 1987, when it stopped the Sri Lankan army from defeating the LTTE, Dissanayaka asserted.

India had then intervened militarily, and forced Sri Lanka to sign an accord under which power was devolved to a Tamil-speaking northeastern provincial council. Amidst street protests, the Sri Lankan constitution was amended (13th amendment) to enable this move, he pointed out.

Dissanayaka said any kind of devolution was “totally against the Mahinda Chintanaya agenda” or President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 2005 election manifesto.

The JVP MP aleged that India had “swallowed a large chunk” of the Sri Lankan economy. India already owned 33 percent of the Sri Lankan petroleum market, he said.

“The agreement to build a coal-powered plant in Sampor by India is shrouded in mystery. Former Indian high commissioner Nirupama Rao told us that India would generate and distribute electricity and issue bills for the rate of consumption.

“We demand that the government should make public the agreement regarding the terms and conditions of the construction of the (power) plant,” Dissanayaka said.

He alleged that the Indian high commissioner in Colombo had mediated the recent meeting between President Rajapaksa and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, where the president sought and obtained Wickremesinghe’s support for the full implementation of the 13th amendment.

“India is planning to control the Sri Lankan government in order to perpetuate Indian control over the Sri Lankan economy,” Dissanayaka maintained.

The JVP, which has 38 members in the Sri Lankan parliament of 225, holds the balance of power.

The United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) coalition government led by Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) depends on the JVP for survival. The government cannot get any financial bill or financial measure passed by parliament without the JVP’s support or abstention.

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