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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 857

How India created Bangladesh & lessons for Sri Lanka

By Shenali Waduge

With a population of 1.2billion living across a landmass of 2973190 square kilometers, there is no denying India’s power. Yet, if not for its inferiority we cannot comprehend why India would desire to adopt a consistent policy and go to great lengths to destabilize each of its neighbors whilst pretending to be their friend. Diplomacy is one thing but to know that men and material are being used to destroy a neighboring nation simply does not justify any of the excuses India gives purely to deceive the masses and gain international prestige for itself.

The example of Bangladesh is perfect to describe the birth of Indian intelligence agency RAW tasked to partition Pakistan and create Bangladesh in 1971. It was in 1947 that 2 different countries were created – Pakistan and India. Muslims were divided into 2 countries bearing 2 different nationalities. West Pakistan was dominated by Punjabi’s while East Pakistan was the home to Sindhis, Pathans, Balochis and Mohajirs.

What we are taught to believe is that Bengali leader Sheikh Mujibar Rehman resented political power vested with West Pakistan elite and had formed the Awami League demanding autonomy for East Pakistan and though he won the 1970 general election, he was put in jail leading to the Bangladesh Liberation War which created Bangladesh. A missing piece in this incident is the role India’s intelligence played.

By creating Bangladesh, India also created an enemy in Pakistan. No formal ties will erase the hate Pakistan has against India.

The resentment of East Pakistan towards West Pakistan was triggered by none other than India’s RAW using the card of “discrimination” similar to what they used against the Sinhalese by the Tamils.

What India eventually did was to protect Awami League leaders, train and armed the insurgents which ultimately led to the disintegration of East Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh breakup according to B. Raman’s book “The Kaoboys of R&AW” the break up of East Pakistan was carried out in 2 phases by Indira Gandhi and the RAW. Phase 1 was coordinated by Kao and phase 2 by Field Marshal Sham Manekshaw. RAW trained and supplied arms to Bengali anti-Pakistan militants. Indira Gandhi was given bugged conversations of top Pakistani officials. RAW had even funded Mujibur Rahman’s general election in 1970 and trained and armed the Mukti Bahini that RAW officers set up using Bengali refugees. How many illegal refugees do we have in Sri Lanka – the people that our army rescued and what is their role like to be in future unless checked. Is it not for this reason that India insists on demilitarizing the North?

RAW continued its presence in Bangladesh even after the latters independence by training Chakma tribes and Shanti Bahini to carry out subversive activities in Bangladesh.

Similar to how India forcefully made Sri Lanka sign the Indo-Lanka Agreement and make constitutional changes, India put forward a 7-point agreement prior to Indian army overrunning the Pakistan army in just 2 weeks to create Bangladesh after obtaining a security guarantee from former Soviet Union in case of American interference. That 7 point plan included the following:

1. Bangladesh Government had to select only those who participated in the liberation war to its administrative posts and shortfalls had to be filled by Indian officials.

2. Joint force comprising Indian army and Mukti Bahini under the command of Indian Army chief to lead the liberation war.

3. Bangladesh to have no standing army.

4. India to raise paramilitary force to protect internal law and order of Bangladesh.

5. Open market subject to periodical reviews.

6. Indian army to be stationed indefinitely in Bangladesh

7. Bangladesh’s foreign policy to be determined only in consultation with India.

This is how India strategically trapped Bangladesh who was taught to think that it owed India for liberating it. India went on to tie Bangladesh further by signing a “25 year friendship treaty” which further strangulated any desire for liberty on the part of Bangladesh. In short Bangladesh could not do anything without the concurrence of India. Thus, India made sure that Bangladesh was nothing but India’s poodle.

Yet a military coup took place in 1975 against corruption and dissolving of Parliament to create a one party rule. The new government commenced ties with China, USA, Europe and Middle East to diminish Indian influence with resulted in further Indian angst.

Bangladesh like Sri Lanka is important for India because it is a strategic corridor between India and North East. Bangladesh also provides a bridge between SAARC and ASEAN nations and is a key marine resource provider. Its sea ports are important for trade as China is also aware. In short Bangladesh is the most cost effective route for India to import gas from Myanmar.

Similar to some of the antics India pulls upon Sri Lanka has been what Bangladesh experienced when it attempted to break away from Indian influence. Border disputes are issues which India defers to solve much like what Sri Lanka is experiencing with Tamil Nadu fishermen. Then there is India’s border security and deployment of navy near South Talpatty as well as India’s support towards secessionist movements in Chittagong Hill Tracks going so far as to provide money & arms. Isn’t this what India did in Sri Lanka?

As in Sri Lanka’s case, India keeps using its media to invent fictitious stories about how both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are a threat to India’s security interests to pressurize these Governments into functioning according to Indian dictates.

Bangladesh nor Sri Lanka can adapt a single strategy to deal with a country as large as India unless the neighbors tie together against India. All the SAARC nations have experienced India’s backstabbing techniques. It hired the LTTE to storm Maldives and then pretended to save Maldives. More recently India has sided with the US to oust President Nasheed and install a puppet leader. There was also rumors of an LTTE plot to kill Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina in 1999 for a payment of $10m. It does all types of activities to keep Nepal from developing & the list goes on.

In Sri Lanka’s case what first angered India appears to have been the Sri Lankan Government’s decision to allow refueling facilities to Pakistan’s civil and military aircraft and ships during the Indo-Pak war of 1971. India was also angered when Sri Lanka permitted Israel to establish intelligence presence and Sri Lanka permitted Voice of America to be installed on the island. These have been called the “irritants” that translated into the Indira Doctrine and Sri Lanka becoming the target of RAW’s destabilizing policy.

This surely must mean that India can be charged for state funded terrorism because with RAW’s supervision camps were set up in Tamil Nadu, former RAQ trainers were re-employed to train Tamil militant groups at centers in Gunda and Gorakhpur.

The covert operation in Sri Lanka found the RAW taking the situation into its own hand by contravening its foreign policy and former Indian High Commissioner is said to have even accused RAW of giving 10m rupees to LTTE.

With RAW mandated to destabilize Sri Lanka, it went on to build up EPRLF, ENDLF to create further dissent by challenging the LTTE as well. Today, you may not see them but one can be sure there are plenty of RAW officers around even in the suburbs. How long can India hide that India trained Prabakaran & the LTTE?

With all this knowledge if Sri Lanka is going to think that India will say “We like you better than Bangladesh or Pakistan and we wont do anything harmful ever to our neighbor” – we don’t deserve to be called sovereign!

India may like to forget what it did to Sri Lanka because India now stands to gain by exerting diplomatic pressures and using its media to reverse its own guilt but the people of Sri Lanka know better even if the political leaders of Sri Lanka are gullible to all the lies & deceits of India.

What Sri Lanka do leaders must never forget is that the entire drama revolving around Geneva was primarily to lay the foundation to oust the present Government from power. In such a scenario all the pressures being exerted is primarily targeting Sri Lanka’s political leaderships and if they are naïve enough to forgive, forget and carry on caring less about safeguarding the country even the people are likely to lose faith. This is exactly what these foreign intelligence agencies currently in Sri Lanka are attempting to achieve. What a pity it would be if our leaders carve out their own ruin & take the country with them.

Yet, it is still not too late and the people of Sri Lanka will back leaders who can do what they achieved in 2009 in a new twist to terrorism coming from the diplomatic front to usurp the sovereignty of our nation.

Over to you for action, Mr. President.

- Asian Tribune -

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