The Sunday Leader

Mixed Reactions To Modi

The victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with an absolute majority has caused much debate both within and outside India. This victory has become an issue of special concern to Sri Lanka given our shared political interests. Several Sri Lankan politicians expressed their opinion on the Modi victory with The Sunday Leader.

We are yet to see what his policies will be
John Amaratunga – UNP MP

We are not very concerned whether the new Indian government will react towards the Sri Lankan issue or not.

However one thing is certain – the trend or the theme of the victory is corruption and cost of living.

Those are the issues that played in the election to topple the Congress government.

These issues now exist in Sri Lanka.

Therefore we are of the view that there will be a new government in Sri Lanka at the next presidential election.

As for Narendra Modi’s reaction towards Sri Lanka, we are yet to see what his policies will be.

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No reason for our relationship to change
– Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena

I do not think that Tamil Nadu will be able to influence the Central government of India now.

Most of those vicious politicians who influenced the former Indian government have lost their powers.

Besides, a person like Narendra Modi will not listen to those kinds of people nor be influenced by them.

So far India has been maintaining a cordial relationship with the Sri Lankan government.

I do not see any reason for that relationship to change. We have always been very cooperative with the Indian government and will continue to do so.

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The new government will put pressure on implementing 13A
Jayantha Ketagoda – Democratic Party MP 

Narendra Modi received a huge victory in India owing to corruption, and the economic and political downfall of the Congress government.

Modi, having being engaged in state politics for a very long time will continue to have a good relationship with the state governments in India.

The new Indian government will also make sure to bring up the implementation of the 13th Amendment and put pressure on Sri Lanka on such matters until the Sri Lankan government lives up to its promises.

Just because the government changed, India’s foreign policy does not change like in Sri Lanka, though there may be changes in some policies.

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The new government will consider policies independently
Vasudeva Nanayakkara

- General Secretary, Democratic Left Front,
Under the BJP, the Indian government will be more unitary with a centralized control.

Previously the regime did not have a say. Now with the power vested in them the central government does not have to take pressure from the state governments.

However, any consolatory amendment would be on account of the need to keep the structure of the Indian state but the accumulation of power in the centre will be increased.

In relation to Sri Lanka, they will probably take a line of assertive demands to implement the Indo-Lanka agreement. Yet Tamil Nadu will not come into the equation.

Modi is very unlikely to encourage Tamil Nadu. The new government will be considering foreign policy independent of Tamil Nadu and the centre will be more assertive.

But the foreign policies will not be changed. The relationship between India and Sri Lanka is to be managed by the Sri Lankan government.

India will be more confident about Sri Lanka if only the Sri Lankan government implements the 13th Amendment and gives the required powers to provinces.

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Modi will definitely want 13A implemented
Mano Ganesan – DPF Leader 

Some Sri Lankans seems to be overjoyed that the new BJP government led by Narendra Modi has won with a vast majority and therefore will not need the support of the state governments including Tamil Nadu.

However, in Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa has marked a clear victory leaving only one seat for the BJP.

In order to ensure power in the north of the country, Modi will still seek support of Jayalalithaa and work with her.

The DMK was a partner of the Congress government yet they could not put pressure on the former government to address the Sri Lankan issue.

They only had talks about it but did not put actual pressure.

Modi’s friendship with the Sri Lankan government will be based on the Sri Lankan government’s reaction to the Indo-Lanka Agreement and the 13th Amendment because Modi will definitely want them implemented.

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BJP govt will act in favour of Tamil issue
Suresh Premachandran – TNA MP

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa received a great victory in Tamil Nadu with 37 seats out of 39.

Therefore, Narendra Modi will need the support of Jayalalithaa and Tamil Nadu.

Besides, before the election when Narendra Modi visited Tamil Nadu, he assured people in Tamil Nadu that he would take action to address the Tamil issue in Sri Lanka and various other issues.

Modi and Jayalalithaa have a good working relationship.

Therefore we are positive that the BJP government will act in favour of the Tamil issue in Sri Lanka even though the Tamil Nadu state government is not part of the Delhi government.

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Modi will force GoSL to reconcile with the Tamils
Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne  – NSSP Leader,

Even though Narendra Modi started off as a Hindu extremist, he is against corruption and has come to reconcile with the Muslims.

Modi participates in the market and has a modern approach to develop the country.

He would like to see a similar development in Sri Lanka and therefore the pressure of the new Indian government on Sri Lanka is very welcome.

Policies of Modi and Sri Lanka contradict each other on many fronts with reference to reconciling with the minorities and policy against corruption.

Under these circumstances, the new Indian government will definitely force the Sri Lankan government to reconcile with the Tamils and reduce corruption.

Since India now has a stable government, the global powers also will support India’s stance on Sri Lanka.

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BJP will take side of world powers on Sri Lankan matters
Sunil Handunneththi – JVP MP

The Central government in India cannot do politics without Tamil Nadu. Therefore, Narendra Modi will build a good political relationship with J. Jayalalithaa especially as she has won 37 seats out of 39 in Tamil Nadu.

However, we do not think that India will change much of her foreign policy regarding Sri Lanka or any other South Asian countries.

Even though Sri Lankan policies change with a change of government, countries like India do not act that way.

The BJP is based on Hindu extremism but they came into power due to the economic and political downfall of the Congress government.

Hence, the new Indian government will definitely have to practice a new approach to uplift the economy in the country and in that process they might have to work with world powers like America.

Only in that context, they will take the side of the world powers on Sri Lankan matters. Some try to generalize that Modi and Mahinda will have a good relationship saying that both of them are nationalists – which is not true.

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The Centre will act independently on Sri Lanka
Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe - National Organizer
and Media Spokesman, JHU

We cannot predict what policies will be practised towards Sri Lanka by Narendra Modi and his new government. However, having a stable government in India is important.

The Congress government was under the influence of state governments especially Tamil Nadu. Therefore the former Indian government could not take certain policy decisions.

They had to act on the pressure brought by Tamil Nadu and go along with certain pro-LTTE agendas due to their instability.

Modi forming a stable government is advantageous to Sri Lanka because now the central government can take decisions directly about matters related to Sri Lanka without being influenced by other forces. This has now created an environment that is conducive towards building a bilateral relationship without the influence of Tamil Nadu.

The BJP represents a unitary government – they do not support separatism and are not ready to be submissive to state governments. They are against Muslim extremism. The BJP is based on Hinduism and nationalism.

Therefore, the new Indian government will not support terrorism and instead support Sri Lanka to overcome such issues.

They will take some responsibility for Tamils in Sri Lanka but without affecting the sovereignty of Sri Lanka.

3 Comments for “Mixed Reactions To Modi”

  1. Hon Ambedcar sir make a INDIA constitution affairs and national integration,however INDIA new P.M-Narender Moodi (BJP),will change it?.a.v.g senevi,director world for the humanity org and our moon org,colombo,SL.

  2. Sangaralingham

    Wise leaders will listen to their advisors and chief ministers of various states. must know SriLanka the the past over 30 years discuss with his fellow citizens decide the next action . citizens of a country never support terrorism but they will do anything with regard to their language religion and social traditions

  3. Manuelpillai

    Having gone through the views expressed by many a politicians as to Modi’s approach would be as far as SL is concerned,I think Modi will think twice before committing himself to a particular view of Tamil Nadhu or SL.Invitation to MR does not mean much. where foreign policy is concerned.But,it would have reminded him as to how the feelings of people. After all,it is the feeling of the people against Congress that had brought him to power more than anything else.There is no way in the party politics for the right-thinking individual to come to power. In my view Sinhala will stand to benefit if they think wisely and implement a Federal set up but alas Party Politics will not alow it.

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