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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2729

We need visionaries and not cheap politicians!

By S.H.Moulana

I don’t think that anybody can deny the fact that how late S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and his wife late Sirimavo Bandaranaike helped to build a very strong relation with all the Arab countries.

When the news of late President Nasser of Egypt decided to nationalize Suez Canal Company in 1956, our shrewd leader SWRD knew what will follow.

First he discussed the issue with late Jawaharlal Nehru of India and suggested to hold a meeting of Colombo powers.

He instructed our permanent representative R.S.S. Gunawardena to uphold Egypt’s rights to nationalize the Suez Canal Company.

In November 1956 Suez issue came to the UN General Assembly for the first time and Sri Lanka got a chance to voice her views on the subject.

There were not less than 11 resolutions related to the Suez issue and Sri Lanka voted for all of them. SWRD attended the General Assembly not only as the Prime Minister but also as the representative of Colombo powers.

His effort to resolve the Suez crisis pleased all the Arab countries and Sri Lanka was treated as a great friend of the Arab nation and thus our country was appointed as a member of the Suez Advisory Board.

Likewise when late Sirimavo Bandaranaike nationalized the British/US owned oil companies in 1961 to establish the Petroleum Corporation, there was an oil embargo imposed on Sri Lanka by the affected parties.

Hearing about this critical situation Gamal Abdel Nasser wasted no time in sending us a ship load of oil which saved us.

This was the time our country maintained an excellent relation with the Arab countries, thanks to both Bandaranaikes!

I am surprised to note why our top leaders have totally neglected and failed to maintain this excellent relation with the Arab countries, established by late Bandaranaikes.

We see leaders from western nations are keep arriving in Arab capitals practically every day and some like Angela Merkel of Germany and May of the UK multiple times within couple of months.

And now not less than the US President, Donald Trump is planning to step out of White House and his first visit out of the country is going to be Saudi Arabia.

I can’t remember seeing any of our prime ministers or presidents visiting any of the gulf capitals, during my 42 years in the gulf.

Are we in a better position than that of the strongest economic power of the world, Germany or for that matter better than the sole super power, the US?

We need visionary leaders, not cheap politicians who want to boast about the crowd they got for the May day rally!

How childish it is?

- Asian Tribune -

 Late Bandaranaikes
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