by Our Diplomatic Affairs Editor
While Manipur rioters may look to Sri Lanka for inspiration, the Indian government has proven to be much more advanced in its counteractions. Despite the ongoing deadly violence in Manipur, which is a state situated in North-East India bordering Myanmar, neither the American ambassador nor any other European ambassadors have criticized the Indian government’s counter mechanisms for controlling the situation. India has effectively kept foreign diplomatic missions on track without losing its grip on the situation, preventing them from interfering with the country’s internal affairs.
In contrast, in Sri Lanka, the current American lady ambassador and a few other selected foreign diplomats have trained Western thoughts of school, amusing the state and government every time. Most recently, this lady ambassador, while commemorating the fourth anniversary of the tragic event, urged the Sri Lankan government to ensure justice for the victims of the 2019 Easter bombings carried out by lunatic Islamic extremists. However, she seemed unaware or blindfolded to the verdict by her own Justice department based on a thorough investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which ruled out the true perpetrators. The lady Ambassador followed conspiracy theorists in mocking Sri Lankan state and government and cried foul for justice. She did not acknowledge the compensation paid to each victim and the rapid actions taken to eliminate the vicious extremist circle.
Unfortunately, the Sri Lankan government and state apparatus continually remain indifferent, regardless of who talks against the country. Only the current president of Sri Lanka, though he is serving an accidental presidential term, has demonstrated that Sri Lanka is not subservient to Western diplomats. He has taken a straightforward approach, stating that Sri Lanka’s response to the riot in the capitol was similar to that of the US authorities following the defeat of President Donald Trump, albeit carried out in a more humane manner. The rest of the so-called leaders have no idea how to talk with foreigners and continue to maintain a zipped-lips behaviour, as those countries are marinating most of their true wealth.
Returning to the subject of violence in Manipur, after the violence erupted, rioters targeted many politicians and their properties. The latest news asserts that at least 11 people have died, hundreds more have been wounded, and thousands of families have been displaced. Fueling the riots, social media superstars spread misinformation and hate against government officials and other targeted subjects. Not only did the government, but also those who advocate law and order in society, take immediate action to curtail the irresponsible freedom joyfully enjoyed by those social media mongers and initiated every action to eradicate their ultra-motivated actions.
An interesting line from an editorial published in The Sangai Express reads, “As in any trouble in the past, trouble started in a corner of Manipur, a village that lies between Churachandpur and Moirang in Bishnupur district, and thanks to some keyboard warriors and social media superstars, trouble soon spread to other parts of the State. The result is there for all to see.” The editor adds further, “A reflection of the far-reaching impact of the indiscriminate utilization of what modern technology has to offer mankind. Let the ban continue until things improve.”
What happened during the so-called Aragalaya protests in Sri Lanka was a genuine social response against the government, but it was later hijacked by a few NGOs funded by Western embassies and their interest parties, along with social media mongers and some private media outlets. This dragged the entire country into a pool of shame and portrayed Sri Lanka as an uncivilized society before the world. The government’s request to temporarily shut down social media, the main source of misinformation and hatred, was deliberately ignored by the owners. Private media houses fanned the flames of violence and motivated people to rally against the state apparatus. For the first time, the state lost its grip, and the elected leader fled through the back door. If this had happened in any other country, those companies would have been shut down swiftly, and the media licenses of those infamous media-outfits would have been revoked indefinitely. However, in Sri Lanka, a country like no other, social media superstars, keyboard warriors, and others continue to operate, while many state institutions are hindered by an incompetent group of individuals who prevent the implementation of crucial measures that could benefit the country.
In our personal viewpoint, we still believe that the then President Gotabaya Rajapaksa should not have tendered his resignation. Instead, he could have stepped back temporarily until the situation normalized. His resignation was not just the fate of a random individual but that of a man elected by the majority and who served as the head of state. That is where national shame comes into the picture.
While India has been praised for its swift and effective response to the Manipur riots, it is important to remember that each country has its own unique challenges and internal affairs that must be addressed without external interference. Just as India expects its neighbours to respect its sovereignty and allow the government to handle its internal issues, it is important for India to also refrain from interfering in the affairs of its neighbours.
Interference in the internal affairs of neighboring countries can lead to tensions and conflicts, and can even escalate to violence. It is important for countries to have mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty and to engage in constructive dialogue and cooperation to address common challenges.
In addition to respecting the sovereignty of neighbouring countries, it is also important for India to address the root causes of the Manipur riots and to work towards long-term solutions that promote peace and stability. This includes addressing social, economic, and political issues that may be fueling the unrest. Ultimately, it is in the best interest of all countries in the region to work together towards a shared goal of peace, stability, and prosperity. This can only be achieved through mutual respect, cooperation, dialogue, and refraining from interference in each other’s internal affairs.
The bottom line is that the ongoing riots in Manipur may have learned much from Sri Lanka, but the government of India knows how to address the nuances of such issues. A ban on internet use has been imposed for the next five days. Independent media houses are indeed suffering from this shutdown, but it has largely helped prevent the dissemination of disinformation by social media influencers. Despite this, no Western diplomats in Delhi are talking about it. Well done, India! You may teach Sri Lanka how to act promptly and how to silence Western voices on internal affairs.