Analysis & Opinion

Sri Lankan Easter Day Bombing and India’s Playbook for the Region

Due to divergent geo-strategic and geo-economic interests, South Asia has become the most dissimilar region on the face of Earth. Divergent interests of regional states often lead them to use offensive tactics, such as direct or indirect involvement in other countries’ internal matters. Such is case of India whose hegemonic designs for South Asia has, time and again, destabilizedthe stability of the region. Before discussing India’s involvement in Sri Lanka’s Easter attack, therefore, it is pertinent to skim through India’s foreign policy towards South Asia.

India has been striving for playing a role of leader in the Third World. Since its inception, foreign policy of India has been led by power considerations. Perceiving themselves as the inheritors of British privileges, imperial policies remained clouding South Asian regional states. In this context, India has been employing covert or overt use of force in the region; forced annexation of various Princely states by India is one example. Moreover, India exploited the gap created by British policies between two ethic groups of Sri Lanka-Sinhalese and Tamils. India intervened in the issue in terms of supporting Tamil separatists. Indian support included military training, provision of military equipment, and financial, political and diplomatic support. During the reign of Indian Prime Minister Indira Ghandi, the Indian government used their intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to train and arm Tamil militant groups (TMGs). On the similar note, it was exactly the same time and government, when Indian government also intervened in the internal matters of Pakistan militarily and disintegrated it in 1971.According to online sources, PM Indira Gandhi also had a plan to invade Sri Lanka, which cannot be realized because of her assassination in 1984.During 1980s, hundreds and thousands of Tamils were trained by RAW in the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu. It was because of Indian support that Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) became a conventional army and controlled northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. And the rest is history. 

Similar is the story of latest Sri Lankan Easter Day blasts. Without going into the details of the incident in which more than 200 people lost their lives and hundreds got injured, the responsibility of the attack was accepted by Daesh’sZahranHashim-the suspected mastermind of the Sri Lankan Easter bombings, who spent a substantial amount of time in south India.Now, worryingly, this alleged mastermind of the Sri Lankan Easter Day attack travelled to India, three months back as well. Moreover, despite having confirmed intelligence reports that Indian High Commission is the target of any terrorist attack, the Indian High Commissioner didn’t ask for security measures from local authorities. Similarly, suicide bomber, who stayed at TajSumudra on the night of 20/21 April, didn’t explode himthere in the morning, but went some other area to achieve its target. Indian High Commissioner also didn’t appear in media as well as Ambassador’s brief conducted by President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.According to various sources, Indian High Commission knew about the attacks. In fact, they knew twenty days before the attack. But they intentionally didn’t warn the local authorities and let it happened. 

Various troubling conclusions can be inferred from the above discussion. It seems that the influence of Indian intelligence agency RAW is more than the local ones as they knew everything about the attack before its happening. But it is not surprising, keeping in view Indian ambitions of acquiring hegemony in the region by waging war by any means possible. In fact, Tamil Nadu has been the breeding ground for today’s trend of suicide bombings. Terrorists’ around the world have learnt the art and tactics of making suicide bombs and successful execution from Tamil Nado, India.Therefore, India has history of interfering in the internal matters of regional states. Though she is not, but it is striving to prove itself as net security provider or regional policeman. Furthermore, Sri Lanka has recently joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is not digested by US and policeman in the region-India.West too has a history of using terrorists for their covert interest. This leaves these two states primary suspects as well as benefactors of Sri Lanka’s tragic terrorist attacks. 


Written by Adeel Mukhtar Mirzai