Sri Lanka warned against alienating India

May 25, 2011 (LBO) – India will destabilise Sri Lanka again if the island endangers her big neighbour’s geo-strategic interests in future just like New Delhi initially sponsored Tamil separatists, an international terrorism expert has warned. He referred to how India is seen to have supported violent groups in Pakistan and Bangladesh as well as in Sri Lanka.

“India did it because Sri Lanka was insensitive to India’s geo-political interests,” said Rohan Gunaratna of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, referring to Indian support for Tamil separatists in the initial phase of the 30-year ethnic war that ended in 2009.

“It is a mistake we must never repeat. If so, we will suffer,” he told a forum on global terrorism organised by Shippers’ Academy – Colombo at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

Gunaratna, who heads the university’s International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, said Sri Lanka risks alienating India if the island gets too close to China.

“India punished Sri Lanka then. I have no doubt India will once again punish Sri Lanka if we flirt with China at the cost of India,” Gunaratna said.

Sri Lanka could continue to get economic assistance from China but not “at the cost of India,” G