Sri Lanka is an island situated in the south of India spanning 65,610 k.m. The composition of the population is 74.9% Sinhala, 11.2.% Sri Lankan Tamils, 9.2% Sri Lankan Muslims, 4.2% Tamils of Indian origin and 0.5% other communities. India whose population consists of more than I billion, and is fifty times bigger than Sri Lanka, is the immediate neighbour of Sri Lanka. There are about 80 million Tamils who live in the southern Indian state: Tamil Nadu.
However, it is not a matter that allows for exerting influence on Sri Lanka on economic, security and cultural situations due to Tamil Nadu being located close to Sri Lanka. In spite of the fact that Tamil Nadu is a powerful factor in Indian politics, it is essential to think critically of the influence of the world powers on India, especially when Sri Lanka- which is a small state relative to India -is engaged in any transaction with world powers.
- The value of a parliamentarian who changes his party comes to about 500 million
- The strength of a security force in a country vouches for national existence
- The service being rendered by the security forces can not be underestimated
In addition, Sri Lanka is situated on the powerful sea routes of the world and 70% oil trade and 50% ships sail across the Hambantota naval zone. In addition to the sailing of 36,000 ships- including 4500 oil tankers-annually across this sea route, the distance of 2000 miles in the centre of Palk Strait and Hormuz Strait has to be considered. A fighter aircraft with modern technology can reach within two hours to such a place of attack. In consideration of these facts, the world powers have often focused their attention on the geographical, political, economic and defence situations of Sri Lanka which are vital.
The location of Sri Lanka is more important and increases its value when establishing a military camp of the world powers in some location of Sri Lanka. This is because they can establish their power within a short time like two hours between the east and the west. In this regard, Sri Lanka is considered to be an unsinkable military ship which can carry fighter air craft in the Indian ocean. On the other hand, if Sri Lanka had been located in the place where New Zealand is presently located, we could have lived without any foreign influence or threat from world powers.
The most valuable word in the English dictionary is ‘Survival’. Its Sinhala meaning is‘existence’. It is worthy here of focusing attention on three facts out of the important facts
The most valuable word in the English dictionary is ‘Survival’. Its Sinhala meaning is‘existence’. It is worthy here of focusing attention on three facts out of the important facts that are essential for the existence of any country; nation and society in the world. The first one is national existence and national economy. National existence cannot exist without a healthy economy. The livelihood of a national economy can be likened to the blood circulation of the human body. There is a very close relationship between economy and security. A healthy economy can’t exist without a solid security and vice versa. The economy is the basic theory of national existence.
Poverty or non-economic development certainly affects the national secularist of the country. Accordingly, the instability comes forward on every occasion where there is poverty and it is a factor that affects national security as well as national existence. In the same way, the strength of the economy alias economic development provides a good certificate for the national existence and national security. The retardation of economic development leads to the creation of unemployment, inflation, minimum health facilities, minimum per capita income through minimum gross national production, non utilisation of resources properly, spread of corruption, lack of capital, lack of entrepreneurial opportunities, social problems, poverty and increase of population, collapse of agriculture, emergence of problems in the education sector that cannot be solved,social disparity, minimum and lack of infra-structure facilities, unbearable loan burdens, lack of investors and opportunities, problems in the food and drinking water and creation of a situation where people can live etc.. This condition can be clearly evident in Sri Lanka.
The basic reasons for the retardation of the Sri Lankan economy can be put down to the fact that the politicians were unable to follow a farsighted and honest economic policy after Independence. Their selfish and fraudulent activities too contributed to this situation. In our country all the above signs seem to be appreciating in a bad economy and as a result, a population of 22 million innocent people, who are not held responsible, are compelled to pay that compensation. The per capita loan share is estimated at Rs.435,000. Simply speaking, every citizen in this country is indebted to foreign countries Rs. 435,000. In this connection, it is unimaginable about the situation of the economy of Sri Lanka today. The politicians have become millionaires by converting the innocent citizens into mere debtors. For instance, after assuming power the good governance Government, looted the Central Bank in the broad day light and shared the money among the members and the ministers of the Government. The value of a parliamentarian who changes his party comes to about 500 million. This is a situation which has to be condemned by a fair society.
The second reason is the national existence and national security. When there is no national security, there cannot be a national economy. National security is not confined to protecting the independence and territorial integrity. It includes the responsibility of creating a suitable peaceful environment for national development. The strength of a security force in a country vouches for national existence. Accordingly, national security can be used to create the resources of the country, the needs of the citizens and development. The service being rendered by the security forces can not be underestimated. These forces protect the country and the citizens from the traditional and non-traditional threats. In this way, the national security is considered to be the backbone of the existence of a country. Every time, when national security becomes weak, the enemy forces rear their ungodly heads and when the national security is strong, it is able to minimize the enemy forces. The importance of national security and national economy can be argued. I would like to present the following facts to prove the importance of national economy logically.
The fourth richest country, out of 22 countries in the Middle East, was Kuwait according to the per capita income in the world. It had a small army consisting of 20,000 soldiers by 1990. Even though it was economically powerful, it was in a very weak position security-wise. On August 2, 1990 the security forces of Saddam Hussein subjugated the whole of Kuwait. Kuwait had to pay millions of dollars to the U.S.A. to prevent Kuwait from being invaded by Saddam Hussein. This goes to prove that it is difficult to maintain national existence however much national economy is strong. National security must be up to the required standard.The situation in Sri Lanka can be compared to Kuwait to some extent. In spite of the fact that 13 Army soldiers were killed by LTTE in Thirunelveli on July 23, 1983, the fight started by LTTE demanding a separate state could be ended on May 18, 2009. It took about 26 years because there was no strong security force with proper national security.
The livelihood of a national economy can be likened to the blood circulation of the human body. There is a very close relationship between economy and security
However, in spite of the fact that Tigers’ fight for Eelam was completely crushed by our security forces due to their great commitment and the strong political leadership, the Tamil politicians are trying their best to obtain the right for a separate state through Parliament. The present Army Commander who does not an iota of knowledge about national security is going to remove the lands ( Ground of Tactical importance and vital grounds) which are liable to pose a threat to Sri Lanka national security. This step is clear evidence that highlights the ignorance of the political leadership and that of the army commander regarding national security. This is a clear indication of the betrayal of the country by following the harmful advices. This army commander is recorded in the history as the first commander who has not read for a degree regarding national security. We should not be surprised because these types of things are happening in Sri Lanka alone.
During the period of past 26 years, our country and the citizens were deprived of many things. The havoc caused in Sri Lanka was long-term when compared to what happened in Kuwait. This example suffices to show the importance of national security. It has to be accepted that there cannot be a national existence without national security.
It is with honour that I mention here that 23962 soldiers, 1160 sailors, 443 airmen, 2568 policemen and 456 civil security guards have sacrificed their lives on behalf of all citizens so that a country’s citizens can live peacefully without allowing this nation to be divided. We should not underestimate the priceless service rendered to this nation by them.
Thirdly, national existence and national culture have to be considered. There cannot be a national existence without a national culture. Culture is our social living pattern including how and what we eat, drink and what our beliefs and rituals are. Here, our beliefs and religions play prominent roles. Among the religions, Buddhism is given priority. Loving kindness and compassion have been extended even among the animals. The Buddhist culture is a popularly accepted way of living. The freedom of other religious devotees is included in Buddhist philosophy. There is no barrier or obstacle for religious freedom. The basic theme of Buddhist philosophy is non-violence. Our foreign policy is prepared accordingly. The basic theory of our foreign policy is “FRIENDHSIP TOWARDS ALL AND ENMITY TOWARDS NONE”. We are the friends of all living beings in the world. We have no hatred towards anybody. That is the meaning of it. In the same way we are in a no-naligned country. The gist of non-aligned policy is the middle path. We should go forward without aligning to rightist or leftist camps. Then, we can live without unwanted problems.
In addition, we can generate positive thoughts through our national culture. Then no thoughts of hatred will emerge. Accordingly, there will not be riots and there will be space to ensure peace and order. This will create a society that respects others religious beliefs. It is a way leading to the national security and national economy.
The basic reasons for the retardation of the Sri Lankan economy can be put down to the fact that the politicians were unable to follow a farsighted and honest economic policy after Independence. Their selfish and fraudulent activities too contributed to this situation
The following examples indicate the negative effects that emerge when we overlook the national culture.
The U.S.A. which is the most powerful country in the world invaded Iraq in 2003. Due to this invasion, 4420 US soldiers died and 31952 soldiers were injured. But, a limited number of soldiers were stationed there and USA left Iraq. In the same way, they invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Some soldiers are stationed there and the present President is making an effort to withdraw the troops from Afghanistan because USA cannot bear the destruction being caused to life and property.
It is difficult to come to the conclusion that American troops have gained victories in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a drawback because Americans have been defeated in these countries due to the fact that they have destroyed the Muslim culture. When a military exercise called EXERCISE COBRA GOLD was conducted in Thailand, I pointed out the importance of a national culture to an American General and said that a war cannot be won if a culture of a country is violated during an attack. He accepted it and my argument has become true today.
In the same way, as I see, the main reason for the complete destruction of LTTE was the attack directed at Sri Maha Bodhi which is considered to be the most sacred place of the Buddhists. They attacked the culture of Sinhala people. Then all Sinhala people were determined to defeat LTTE organization. It is clear that the most powerful country in the world as well as the most powerful Terrorist organization have been defeated because of culture.
I put forward my facts citing examples to reveal those who are responsible for where Sri Lanka is; facing great threat. I doubt whether the political leaders who ruled this country during the seven decades from 1948 to 2018 had an economic, defence and cultural outlook.
During this period, instead of a Mahathir Mohamad or Lee Kuan Yew, the regime chose to be cunning and corrupt and was administered by power-hungry and selfish politicians; who are born in this country to take decisions on behalf of their kith and kin, power and family. Hence, the law, justice and ethics have vanished into thin air. However, we are not surprised to see politicians who think of their selfish gains regardless of what happens to the country.
The last four years marked the darkest age of our country. The uneducated ruled the country instead of the intelligent. The uneducated people were given high posts disregarding the educated. What was the alternative they had without leaving the country? Even the students have no faith in the leader of the country. The country has reached a deplorable situation.
When the political leadership is weak, national security, national economy and culture begin to decline. National existence will decline accordingly. That is why I pointed out with examples that it is the political leadership that is responsible for this decline.
What Plato said can be seen in the Sri Lankan politics today.
“ When knowledgeable people do not engage in politics, the result will be the ruling of the educated people by the uneducated.”