Jayalalithaa to have bigger role if Modi comes to power: Sri Lankan analyst - The New Indian Express

Jayalalithaa to have bigger role if Modi comes to power: Sri Lankan analyst

Published: 04th November 2013 08:00 AM

Last Updated: 04th November 2013 08:00 AM

Dr Dayan Jayatilleka, a leading Sri Lankan strategic analyst and a former ambassador, has warned that an Indian government led by Narendra Modi will not bring any relief to Sri Lanka as Modi will not only be tougher than the present administration but will also give Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa a great role in national affairs, including foreign policy.

“There must be no illusions that our problems will cease or abate with a change of administration in Delhi. A Modi administration will be more robust and tough-minded in its reactions to perceived Chinese and Pakistani influence in India’s neighbourhood. It will regard China as more a rival than a mere competitor, especially in the South Asian region. A Modi administration will also have a far greater role for Jayalalithaa. Both these factors cannot but impact adversely on Sri Lanka,” Jayatilleka told Sunday Times.

“In a speech, significantly enough in Tamil Nadu, the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate had called for a greater role in foreign policy to be given to India’s states. This is something that Sri Lanka will have to factor in and reckon with,” he said.

“The Tamil diaspora is stronger and more in touch with TN than ever before, there is more anti-Lankan fanatical sentiment in TN than ever before, TN is more influential at the Centre (Delhi) than ever before and India is a closer strategic partner of the US than ever before. It is a great and complex challenge to Sri Lanka "                                                                                                                         

“The volatility in the international arena around the Colombo CHOGM shows that the Sri Lankan state has lost the battle for international public opinion. We have almost lost our soft power, while Myanmar has regained hers!”

“We have a chance to re-grow our soft power if we change our political culture once we take over as Commonwealth chair,” the analyst warned.



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