The Lotus Tower in Colombo no Trojan Horse

By Trevor Jayetileke

The ‘Janus’ like Geography of Sri Lanka affords it the ‘Gateway status’  after the rise of the Asia Pacific in the 21st Century on account of the “Chinese Factor”.

The two facial profiles of JANUS the Roman God of Gates and Entrances looking in two directions ( East & West ) as the Ships pass by  makes Sri Lanka the ideal  Logistic Pivot of Asia.

Though the two chief protagonists the US and China on the World stage don’t seem to see eye to eye on many fronts the Chinese  currency the Yuan is pegged to the US$ and US Economy has no other foreseeable competitor in the Asia Pacific  other than China  with Japan, India and Russia following in that order.

The US with a Population of  323 Million has a nominal GDP of US$ 20.4 Trillion and China with almost 1.4 billion population has a nominal GDP of US$14 Trillion. According to the Naval Posture the US Pacific Command dominates the region since WW2., and China has a lot of catching up to do with regard to Military capability but  its priority is more Economic rather than Military considering its disparity with regards to populations, nevertheless   Cold Wars could be fought on empty stomachs.

However the power struggle in the Indian Ocean will be exercised in the Seas and control of the International Sea Lane that traverses  the Indian Ocean will be the sea power in the Asia Pacific region that that is the prize Sri Lanka could confer on its suitor like it did to Britain in 1815 as its Crown Colony.

Former President Mahinda Rajapakse  in his second term since 2010 never imagined that having tamed LTTE Terrorism in May 2009 with the help of mainly from China and the US would earn him even a bigger reward from China in February 2014 to be invited to join the Economic expansion of China as planned by Xi Jinping when Prof.GL as FM visited China to get its support for the upcoming UNCHR sessions in  Geneva   over HR violations. In difficult  and trying circumstances Mahinda Rajapakse had the Hambantota Port built and ready earlier with a loan from the Exim Bank of China  and its controversial Tag  a  “White Elephant”  raged on till China signed a 99 year lease last year to use it as its Opening GAMBIT of the  new Maritime Silk Route (BRI) initiative  and  thereby  China acquiring the Sea Power of the International Sea Lane in the Indian Ocean . The new Lotus Tower seen across the  Colombo  Skyline built by China becomes a Beacon to all International Sea Traffic in the Indian Ocean and literally making the “Oil Drop shaped ” Sri Lanka “ the “Light of Asia”.

The sutra tied to Buddhism is not the Lotus Tower as imagined by some but the ‘Sacred Tooth of the Buddha” which in housed in the ‘Pentagon’ of the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy  a Fountain of Wisdom that Sri Lanka is fortunate to have along with the ‘Relics of the Orient’ which is the Porphyry Arms Bowl of the Buddha which we have gifted to China in the 13th Century., and  this Bowl is the conduit of Borrowings from China without  red tape and stringent strings attached  and  the Mantra attached to the  Arms Bowl  of the Buddha  is our abiding Bond and  Common Destiny we share with China.

Our corrupt Political Culture has to CHANGE  if we are to  live  up to the expectations of Buddhist Philosophy  ( enshrined in the  Triple Gem ) and  No Politician however Powerful  can aspire to ascend to such heights ignoring the  fact that no one can RULE and ROB at the same time.

 

Trevor Jayetileke is a Sri Lankan Oil Prospector and Freelance Writer from Australia

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