What is crucial is that, the bombings not be permitted to become a pretext for the Government to join the U.S.’s ‘War on Terror.’ For the past four years, the U.S. and India (the U.S.’s new ally in Asia) have been busy trying to gain maximum indirect control over Sri Lanka in order to prevent the Chinese from establishing a presence in this country. They would have succeeded had it not been for the collapse of the ‘National Government’ and the subsequent collapse of the drive to enact a new Constitution.

It is also well-known that an attempt by the U.S. to push through a defence agreement with Sri Lanka, one that would give the U.S. privileged access to strategic parts of this country including its harbours is on hold, because of the lack of support. Finally, most Sri Lankans are counting the days to the next Presidential and General elections. It is expected that a pro-nationalist Government will take over and begin the process of returning control of the country back to its population.

All this can be reversed if Sri Lanka signs on to the ‘War on Terror,’ which would give the U.S. a new lease to continue interfering in the internal affairs of this country. Sri Lankan investigators must be given sufficient time to get to the bottom of who is responsible for the Easter Bombings. In my view, investigators should look into whether the bombings were orchestrated by a foreign intelligence agency/agencies (i.e. the Indian and American intelligence services) using local or international Islamist terrorists.

It is not in dispute that, the Siri-Wiki regime that came to power in January 2015 was a boon to the Americans and the Indians, especially the former. In retrospect, the Siri-Wiki regime can be seen as a predictable offshoot of the ‘Pivot to Asia’ policy of the Americans begun under the Obama Administration and continued under President Trump.

The purpose of the ‘Pivot’ is to consolidate American military as well as economic dominance over Asia. It is accompanied by a military/naval strategy whose primary focus is to counter Chinese influence in the region and ultimately encircle China itself.[3] Sri Lanka which sits at a strategically vital spot in the Indian Ocean is crucial for both the Americans as well as the Chinese, the former in order to further entrench their control over this region, the latter to break out of the ‘encirclement.’

The Siri-Wiki regime has now collapsed in Sri Lanka, and most people expect that any new Government that will take over will be heavily pro-nationalist as well as pro-Chinese. In short, all the hopes that the Americans/Indians had in January 2015 are now in ruins, and the ‘gains’ they made in the last 4 years are very much in danger of being reversed.

If we consider the Easter Bombings from the above perspective, it is impossible not to see that the bombings offer a wonderful opportunity for the Americans to continue to pursue in this country their goals in respect of the ‘Pivot.’

The point is this. If under the pretext of helping to fight ISIS and other Islamist terrorists in Sri Lanka, the U.S. extends something like AFIRCOM to this country, we are finished. So this is something that Sri Lankans will have to watch out for. Also, to recall Somalia, if I am not mistaken, around 2006, the Americans, claiming that the Somalia had become a breeding ground for terrorists, got Ethiopia to invade and occupy Somalia.

If Sri Lanka is portrayed as a breeding ground for Islamist terrorists who are not just a menace to this country but to others as well, particularly our big neighbor to the North, it is possible to envision a scenario where the Indians might be enticed into invading and occupying this country or at any rate setting up a puppet regime here, a regime directly answerable to New Delhi. Such a thing would solve both the Indians’ as well as Americans’ problems in respect of the Chinese presence in Sri Lanka.

To repeat, these are all opportunities that the Easter Bombings have created. Under the circumstances, I hope our investigators look into the possibility that the Indian or American intelligence services had something to do with these attacks.

by Dharshan Weerasekara.

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