Why would India promote terrorism in Sri Lanka?

Post on the defencewire blog claims that one of India’s spy agencies – RAW (Research Analysis Wing) – has already put a plan in motion to continue the LTTE’s terror campaign. Supposedly by “rescuing” LTTE terrorist cult leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and a minion to plot terrorist acts in Sri Lanka from a safe haven. According to the post, Prabhakaran may have already run off.

It is the stuff of spy novels and conspiracy theory if it wasn’t for the fact that India incubated the LTTE before. The irony is that the LTTE killed the son and heir of the prime minister who offered them support. Of course irony and history are ignored in the darkness of back room geopolitical schemes. A sad and tiring thought. The prospect of the endless after chit chat in the males section of social gatherings is exhausting. Even if you don’t want to spare a thought for the suffering of generations yet to be born. 

Of course it is easy to say you shouldn’t swallow what you read on the internet 😉  It has been a grinding week. Not as bad as dodging bullets in the Wani but I am surprised I managed to write anything at all. To some the question of in the title of this post is “obvious”. Yet so much of the “talk” is about what happened and who did what to whom. The tit for tat outrages. Very rarely is there anything coherent about the why. The 800 comments in the defencewire post will give you an idea as to the quality of the “discussion”.

Hence the questions and the hope that  knowledgeable types might visit the comment box with coherence:

Why would India want to perpetuate terrorism in Sri Lanka?

Is a minor island like Sri Lanka such a threat to power brokers of global giant? – To feel insecure  enough to clumsily get involved in prolonging death and suffering in a comparatively tiny island off its coast? What’s the point of it all – essentially: why?


16 thoughts on “Why would India promote terrorism in Sri Lanka?

  1. I don’t think there is any credibility to the claims of defence wire. Seriously these guys should work for the CID or something.

    Even though India’s last wish would be to have an economic super power just south of it’s border, I don’t think they would do any secret operations to destabilize Sri Lanka.

    I think the problem is people are so used to having an enemy. Now that the main enemy is slowly but surely is dying away, people are starting to search for new ones. If there is none they will create an imaginary enemy to keep pounding it. That should be the case here.


  2. I don’t know India want such a thing. But then again, there may be people India who wanted do that sort of things too. I recently heard someone talking about, “if we (Indians) can create Bangladesh, then we not create Elam also”. So I don’t know the answer, but I know the answer to “Is a minor island like Sri Lanka such a threat to power brokers of global giant?”. Look what happened to Cuba or Puerto Rico. Yes. They may be insecure enough to do all that…


  3. My Theory (and I stress heavily on Theory. is not so much that they think we are a threat, but possibly an expansion opportunity, like Tibet, or East Timor. They continue to bombard us culturally (think of the number of hindi songs and movies in the entertainment media) which eventually make it easier to make people conform. However, a stable Sri Lanka doesn’t present an expansion opportunity, as the people will unite against it. A divided, splintered people presents a possible foothold, specially with those who already regard their culture as their own.

    And why wouldn’t they want to hold sway? Despite the raw numbers, their literacy percentage and percentage of professionals out of their whole population has to be pretty low, since so much of their people live in rural areas. Even if only 10% of their population literate, that might equal more people than our whole population, but still, for growth, more people have to get educated, and adding a population where 90+% is already literate wouldn’t hurt at all.


  4. While I don’t necessarily subscribe to DefenceWire’s conspiracy theories, there are some compelling reasons why RAW might have the incentive to destabilise Sri Lanka.

    The last thing India wants is a stable island to the south that has the freedom to make economic and/or political alliances with whomever they choose. Large scale Chinese or Pakistani investment in the north and east would not gel with Indian foreign policy. Considering the military help given by China and Pakistan during the war, it is highly conceivable that such assistance came with strings attached (i.e. first dibs on land around Trinco etc.).

    I’m not sure about Pakistan’s regional ambitions but China’s quest for a deep water navy and its “string of pearls’ expansion across the Indian Ocean is well documented. India does not like it!


  5. I think India is caught up in a Catch 22 situ. Terrorism in Sri Lanka hampers India’s vision of a being the Big Bro in a stable South Asian region. So I think they are genuinely interested in an end to the LTTE terrorism problem. But the problem is the Tamil Nadu politicians. They have a huge involvement with the LTTE who are now struggling to survive on the ground. If the LTTE gets wiped out in Sri Lanka the financial perks enjoyed by the Tamil Nadu politicians from the LTTE coffers will cease because the LTTE won’t be able to get funding from the Tamil diaspora. That will ensure a total wipe out of support of LTTE terrorism and those who enjoy the benefits of it. So TN has to pressurize the central government in order to make sure they all have a chance to survive. But the outcome will be decided on Lankan soil. Total destruction of the LTTE on ground in Sri Lanka will have to be total. And then rebuilding the North to make life better for the actual Tamil civilians will begin.


  6. Many thank yous Liberal Lanka , Pericles, Sam, Sean and Slotter for taking the time to peck out some interesting ideas/points! 😀 A world of difference from the usual yammering. Thank also to Ian foe a dash of wit 😆 Doesn’t answer the original questions though:twisted:


  7. The defencewire claim is about a possible operation by RAW which is a part of the Indian Intelligence apparatus. In the past, it had behaved as if it had perception, not in line with the expressed view and the impression created by the actions of the Indian Government. The Initial training of the LTTE in India was one of them. India suffered for this in many ways. It only tried to emulate CIA, NKVD ect.

    It is not conceivable that India has anything to gain by any attempt as suggested. However, its proximity to Sri Lanka with 20 million people of whom majority are friendly towards India, the level of education and the fact that the land area, though about 13th of Indian land mass is on the whole habitable. The economic zone of the Indian Ocean allocated to Sri lanka too is a factor to recon with. There fore destabilization of SL will not be advantageous to India and will not regard Sri Lanka as a trivial Island. What India saws now will be reaped thousand folds in twenty years from now. Logically and pragmatically, the acceptance of suggested conspiracy will be a insult to the Indian policy makers.

    However, it would be a folly on the part of the Sri Lankan authorities to discount The possibility of an insane clandestine operation by the RAW.


  8. India needs to be stopped. It is sponsering terrorism across the world. India is also rascist towards the tamils. Tamils are not being supported by them but they are trying to massacre both sinhalese and tamils by a thousand cuts policy. They know the region can be a tourist paradise but they will never allow the country to be free of their influence and be independent and make its own decisions.

    The world needs unity against Indian terror.


    1. Those are some mightily sweeping accusations. Would be good to have some supporting details/references. Otherwise they sound like a rant. Specially the line about terrorism over tourism markets. 😉


      1. In addition, India does not want peace in Sri Lanka, because then both parties in the conflict, respectively the Tamils and the Sinhalese, would seek India’s aid to solve their problem. This would allow India to put pressure upon both warring sides. During this process, India could enjoy political advantages locally. If India solved the conflicts of its neighbouring Sri Lanka, it would show the world that India is the regional power. This would pave the way for India to deal unfettered with other countries in the region and prevent other world powers from intervening on Sri Lanka’s behalf. India would be elevated to a regional superpower not just politically, but militarily and economically as well.

        As long as the conflict remains in Sri Lanka, India, with a “big brother” attitude, could enjoy the economic aspect of increased control, allowing the Indian Navy further egress into deep waters, even entering territorial waters of another country under the guise of fighting terrorists or pirates. To remain in the good graces of Sri Lanka, India fails to protect the lives of Indian Tamil fishermen who are being shot occasionally by the Sri Lankan Navy. In its blind craze to woo Sri Lanka, India is not seeking the naval personnel who killed Indians to be brought to India for justice, whereas in Mumbai blasts, India rakes Pakistan with the issue, to hand over their citizens and even appeals to the United Nations.


        India was accused yesterday of complicity in the killing of an estimated 20,000 civilians in the last stages of Sri Lanka’s 26-year war against the Tamil Tigers.

        India is trying to increase its influence in Sri Lanka.


  9. dimension117: I have to admit that I’m don’t understand your argument. I’m certainly not convinced that a nuclear armed global super power like India needs to have clout over a tiny place like Sri Lanka (with just more than the population of Mumbai) to prove its a regional super power. And the Tamil Canadian isn’t exactly a source of credible evidence to support that argument.

    Fact remains that India sheltered and trained terrorist groups such as the LTTE in the 1980s and paid the price for it with the assassination of its head of government.


    1. That is how a Superpower operates. China sells weapons to African rebels and to the extremely corrupt governments. Sudan? Chad? As a result several African Nations are in ruin but China makes good money with it. USA i don’t think i need to mention US has 700+ bases in over 70 nations and troops in over 200 nations. Now the question could be why would US forces be present in a country of no value such as Leichensten with a population of barely 35,000 (that’s the population of large villages in Sri Lanka mind you!).

      The death of Rajiv Gandhi means very little in the long run and was an unexpected turn of events for meddling in Sri Lanka but it is adequate cover for India and its sympathizers to label someone who states that India has supported tamil tigers as a “conspiracy theorist.”

      Why do you think India promotes an operation in Sri Lanka against LTTE and then suddenly starts going all hurt for the civilians trapped in the fighting and asks them to be careful? India needs an unstable Sri Lanka just as it needs as unstable Pakistan.

      These are policy decisions. In some places it is useful to have a corrupt freindly government that feeds national interest to the goat while in others it is more efficient to have instability. As is demonstrated by the case of Iran-Iraq war where countries provided weapons to both sides or other African conflicts that continue today.

      The fact is a superpower influences events worldwide no matter how useless the country involved might seem and India definitely has designs to be a World Power. In many cases this happens behind the scenes. Sri Lanka means a lot not only to a wannabe Superpower but to Regional Powers as well. I am surprised you have so little faith in your own country.

      The power to manipulate here is one of the greatest gifts of such powers. The very fact that you simply see my efforts to bring out the reality as propaganda is a proof of it and gives no room for questions to be raised. Every time someone tries to stop the growing influence of the Indians it is met with criticism in his own country. Undoubtedly the Indians are winning the information war.

      I think the rest is for your intelligence agencies to tell you just how much India is involved in Sri Lanka because even they have some sniff of the situation. Your own Army Chief admitted India was supporting terrorism in your country.

      I am sorry if I hurt you but there are things going on that we cannot begin to imagine. I have spent my life studying state sponsored terrorism by these super powers and how certain smaller countries have been used by such Nations in order to fulfill their own interests and abandoned later. Check out articles from MBI Munshi, read RAW doctrine.

      However as the saying goes it is our choice what we believe.

      However I will re iterate my stand that unity against these colonial powers is a must for our survival. Otherwise we will always be used for their interests and we in the end will be the victims.


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