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'India's New Muscle'

June 10, 1988

Thank you for publishing Margolis' column which revealed that the leader of the so-called nonaligned nations has acquired an army of 1.1 million with close to 3,000 main battle tanks and an air force of more than 700 combat planes, including the latest MIG 29s, mostly with the help of the Soviet Union.

While becoming a military superpower, India has demonstrated two ominous features which have become strong pillars of the Indian foreign policy: First, India provides bitter criticism of the U.S. military facility on Diego Garcia atoll located 1,200 miles south of India's Cape Camorin. Second, while defending the massive arms support from Moscow, India bitterly opposes the maintenance of defense ties on the shipment of military supplies by whom it calls "outsiders" to the other countries of the subcontinent, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In the Indian opinion, Sri Lanka should not have even sought "counterinsurgency" advice from a nation other than India at a time when Sri Lanka's own separatist insurgents were trained and harbored on Indian soil by an intelligence branch of the Indian prime minister's office.

It is alarming to note what Sri Lankan President Junius Jayawardene said when he gave in to the Indian threat of an invasion and signed the so-called Indo-Lanka Peace Pact betraying the island nation's independence. The president said that he took that step since the United States would not budge a finger to help Sri Lanka without asking India for its permission. It is hard to believe but, unfortunately, an imperialistic power carries on undisturbed with the passive consent of the so-called leaders of the free world.

GAMINI EDIRISINGHE

Gardena

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