President Ranil said in a forum of tea factory owners that due to the issues with China and India, the I.M.F. will take time to make the deal successful. From the beginning, China did not like Sri Lanka going to the IMF. But India helped Sri Lanka go to the IMF. On April 20, 2022, when Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Ali Sabri, Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe and other delegations visited the IMF, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala too came to the IMF. She had come to attend a meeting. There she met the managing director of the IMF and requested that they help Sri Lanka.
Before the Finance Minister of Sri Lanka went to the I.M.F., the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, Milinda Moragoda, met with the Indian Finance Minister and requested to help in the meeting with IMF. Indian Finance Minister requested IMF to help Sri Lanka in their meeting. India made that request with the intention of helping Sri Lanka across the border. Usually, no country would ask IMF to help another country . Why is Ranil saying that the IMF deal is getting delayed because of India’s response to debt restructuring? Is Sri Lanka’s question. There is nothing wrong with Ranil if he is making such a statement about China. But it is surprising that Ranil has grumbled that that India is not corporative in debt restructuring of Sri Lanka to reach IMF. This makes it clear that Ranil has messed up the relationship between India and Sri Lanka which was there during Gotabaya’s government.
Ranil sent his advisor Sagala Ratnayake to India before making this speech. World Bank and IMF when Sri Lankan representatives go to meet their officials, ask what is India’s position on Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring. Once, in an informal discussion, a World Bank chief asked why Sri Lanka’s new president, Ranil, had not yet visited India. Ranil has not yet held any official discussions with the Prime Minister, Finance Minister or Foreign Minister of India after becoming the President. At the Queen’s funeral, Indian Prime Minister Modi was met only for a friendly chat.
Ranil tried to do deals with India by showing the Chinese card. This is a lesson Ranil learned from his uncle JR’s Machiavelli book. During the time of J.R., the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, J.N. Dixit has written an incident about this in his book ‘Assignment Colombo’.
Dixit wrote that Ranil Wickramasinghe, Minister of Education in JR’s government, had also invited him to the opening ceremony of Biyagama Free Trade Zone. President J.R. jayawardene too was present in the function and Dixit also mentioned that he was surprised to see several foreign representatives present at the event.
Those agents were later introduced to Dixit by JR and had said that they were Israeli Mossad intelligence officers and that he consult them and that India should not be afraid of that. Dixit says that it was JR’s trick to invite Dixit and them to this event. JR who implemented this strategy and his nephew, Ranil, is the president today. He also uses same trick today.
Before Sagala was sent to India, Ranil planted a news in his uncle’s ‘Daily Mirror’ newspaper. That is, Ranil is going to China, and the Sri Lankan ambassador to China is making the necessary arrangements for that.
Implementing J.R.’s tricks not only him but the country was also destroyed. This is why Ranil should think twice before using JR’s tricks on India.
By Upul Joseph Fernando