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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2963

Sri Lanka: "Succumb to U.S.-India pressure – Or face Naval Blockade & starve” – Warning

By Daya Gamage – Asian Tribune US Bureau News Analysis
Colombo, Sri Lanka. 09 July (

The caption of this Asian Tribune report was arranged to depict what Sri Lanka’s former – most recent – diplomat Dayan Jayatilleka, in support of the 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord and the Thirteenth Amendment, wrote to July 8 edition of The Island titled Northern Provincial Council: Prudence prevails for now.

Mr. Jayatilleka has taken the role of America’s Ambassador in Colombo Michele Sison and the Indian ambassador in ‘frightening’ the Rajapaksa government of economic sanctions if the regime does not accept ‘The Accord’ and implement the Thirteenth Amendment with police and land powers to the provinces.

Dayan Jayatilleka warns the Rajapaksa regime in this manner in the final paragraph of his interpretation:

(Quote) The hubris of having defeated the LTTE must not delude us into thinking that we won a war against the source of the Indo-Lanka Accord. We must recognise the limits of our victory. We must also recognise the limits of our power. We must understand that however excellent our armed forces are and in whatever way we seek to configure their presence in the North, while attempting to re-configure the North itself, in a worst case scenario, which is not purely imaginary but is an extrapolation of our 1987 experience, we cannot ensure supplies of ammunition, fuel and food, for our island which is highly vulnerable to naval embargo and a no-fly zone. I would also recommend that the militant Sinhala ultranationalists read the famous ‘Melian Dialogue’ in Thucydides’ ‘History of the Peloponnesian Wars’. It is the exchange between the leaders of the small, strategically placed island of Melos and the Athenian envoys who made them an offer they shouldn’t have refused but did, with disastrous consequences. That exchange is regarded as paradigmatic by the Realist school in politics, history and international affairs. (End Quote)

According to Jayatilleka, Sri Lanka should agree to every suggestion and proposal brought by the United States because of the following facts:

Of the total exports of Sri Lanka 20% goes to the United States.

The U.S. buys 40% of Sri Lanka’s garment exports.

In the Year 2011 the U.S. bought $2 billion worth of goods.

Sri Lanka has a $1.7 billion favorable trade with the U.S.

Is this what Jayatilleka suggests in his Island article which some other net works too have carried?

He frightens the Rajapaksa regime of an ‘economic blockade’ and India imposing a ‘No Fly Zone’ which he suggests will deprive Sri Lanka of many ‘essentials’ that may lead to starvation of the population.

Jayatilleka has entered the ‘Thirteenth Amendment’ debate in cautioning the Sri Lanka regime that it needs to listen and act on the ‘advice’ the U.S. and India giving these days on many ‘internal’ issues that the Rajapaksa regime thinks is solely domestic matters.

Jayatilleka seems to be in support of ‘external pressure’ and ‘external interference’. He warns that the U.S. may cut Sri Lanka’s exports to force this South Asian nation to take a different trajectory.

Jayatilleka is well aware that Western nations such as the United States use trade, commerce, investment and aid to bring pressure on small nations like Sri Lanka.

He reminds the Rajapaksa regime to follow suit or else face consequences.

- Asian Tribune -

Dayan Jayatilekke
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