Tirupati’s Venture into Sri Lanka

Amidst it all, poor Sri Lanka will continue to stumble and fumble, a pawn in the game of greater powers and grander designs.

3 mins read
As the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe worshiped India's Sri Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala Tirupati in 2019.

by Albert Silva

In the grand theatre of geopolitical manoeuvring, Sri Lanka has often found itself cast as the hapless protagonist, stumbling through acts of history with all the grace of a blindfolded elephant in a china shop. From enduring the sly machinations of neighbouring giants to grappling with its own internal follies, the island nation has become a tragicomic spectacle, where the scripts are penned elsewhere, and the players perennially adrift in their roles.

Once upon a time, it was the grand spectacle of India, generously supplying arms and ammunition to stoke the fires of terrorism within Sri Lanka’s borders. Oh, the altruism! The sheer magnanimity of sowing chaos in a neighbouring nation while preaching peace and brotherhood. But alas, no apologies were forthcoming for such gross violations of sovereignty. Instead, Sri Lanka was left to lick its wounds, nursing its national pride with the bitter salve of indifference.

And now, as if choreographed by celestial jesters themselves, a new act unfolds. Enter Dharma Reddy, the executive officer of India’s Tirumala Tirupati Temple, bearing tidings of divine intervention in the form of a Venkateswara Swamy temple in Sri Lanka. How fitting, indeed, that a nation so adept at exporting chaos should now seek to export its gods!

But fear not, for this is not merely a tale of spiritual conquest. No, it is a saga of economic convenience wrapped in the guise of cultural benevolence. For what better way to extend one’s influence than through the subtle art of temple diplomacy? And what better guise for such ambitions than the sanctity of religion?

The stage is set, the players assembled. Sri Lanka, the nation without a spinal code, stands ready to welcome its new overlords with open arms and bowed heads. National controls by looters and crooks have left the door wide open for the grand march of cultural colonisation.

And lo, the gods themselves must surely marvel at the audacity of it all! How could they not, when even they are pressed into service as pawns in the game of geopolitics? One can almost imagine Lord Vishnu shaking his head in bemusement as his earthly representatives plot and scheme in his name.

But let us not forget the real architects of this grand design – the puppeteers pulling the strings from behind the curtain. For while Dharma Reddy may be the face of this latest endeavour, we must not overlook the shadowy figures lurking in the wings, orchestrating the symphony of influence with all the finesse of a drunken conductor.

So, let us raise our voices in a chorus of satire and scorn, for surely, laughter is the only fitting response to such absurdity. Let us mock the impotence of Sri Lankan politicians, who dance to the tune of their foreign masters with all the grace of marionettes on strings. And let us ponder the age-old question: how can a nation with such a rich heritage be so easily swayed by the promise of shiny baubles and empty promises?

In the end, perhaps it is not for us to understand. For as long as the wheels of history continue to turn, so too will the farce of geopolitical intrigue play out on the world stage. And amidst it all, poor Sri Lanka will continue to stumble and fumble, a pawn in the game of greater powers and grander designs. Such is the nature of the beast called politics – a beast that knows no bounds and cares not for the plight of those caught in its grasp.

And yet, amidst the pomp and circumstance of temple diplomacy and cultural conquest, let us not forget the cold, hard reality lurking beneath the surface. For while India may parade its generosity in the form of grand temples and benevolent gestures, the true cost of this spectacle remains hidden from view.

Meanwhile, Indian fishermen brazenly plunder Sri Lankan waters year after year, their nets filled with the spoils of a rich marine ecosystem. An estimated 50 million USD worth of fish are stolen annually, a theft that goes largely unchecked as hollow patriots beat their chests and wave their flags in empty displays of nationalism. Oh, esteemed rulers, why forsake this opportunity to acknowledge the benevolent aid of 4 billion USD amid our contrived economic turmoil? Permit Indian fishermen to ply their trade, and let the yield of their harvest stand as reparation for the debt owed to India. Is this not a quintessence of poetic justice, a sagacious solution that resonates deeply against the backdrop of those who exploit our waters?

Oh, Sri Lanka, a country like no other, where the cries of the oppressed are drowned out by the cacophony of political theatre and false piety. Where indeed are those hollow patriots now, as their nation is sold piecemeal to the highest bidder?

Sri Lanka Guardian

The Sri Lanka Guardian is an online web portal founded in August 2007 by a group of concerned Sri Lankan citizens including journalists, activists, academics and retired civil servants. We are independent and non-profit. Email: editor@slguardian.org

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog