24 October, 2020

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Geneva To Delhi, Shift In Focus And Locus For Tamils

By S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

The eyes of the Tamils long transfixed on Geneva are changing direction to Delhi. From a wish to the real and the realizable as some may have it. From investigation to a solution is the glimmer, may be to yet a few more. From a slow track to a fast one some others may call it. The shift is occasioned by a sharply visible sea change in India’s political sense. From unclear to clear appears the path of progress.

What is foreseen is not a prosaic transfer of state power from one political formation to another but a change of persona of India. To merit great power status, which the world expects of India, she has unshakeable imperatives. Firm governance at home and robust policy abroad. On these twin planks, legitimacy for governance is being sought by Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP) and its larger version National Development Alliance (NDA). Herein lies the compulsion to target an absolute majority. The recent alliance in TN could signify eight additional seats for DNA. Fifty more days for the time of reckoning are long enough for subterranean surges to surface.

Jashwant Sinha a former foreign minister and finance minister of India made a stirring speech for 46 minutes in Chennai on March 20th2014. He came exclusively to participate in a Human Rights event at the invitation of Vaiko. Therein he made a scathing attack on the weakness of the Congress regime in its tenure of two terms. When Vaiko urged spirited action to redeem the SL Tamils, the PM had cited India’s powerlessness. The helplessness of India that Manmohan Singh referred to, Sinha said is going to end within three months and within three months the situation is going to change dramatically. Not because we are going to send troops into Sri Lanka but because a strong man will occupy the chair as PM. The tenor of the speech conveys a mood of assurance.

He added, the tragedy of Sri Lankan Tamils is one of the greatest tragedies of our times. It didn’t take place when Vajpayee was Prime Minister. That is the courage and determination that we are going to show again. The world will realize as will Sri Lanka that a regime change in India is not merely a regime change but a complete change in the personality of India.

I have said earlier too, all that we have to do is to whisper in the ears of Rakapakse please listen to us as the previous regimes of Sri Lanka have listened to us and if you don’t, be prepared for the consequences. Just that” he warned

“The Prime Minister is talking about demilitarization. In my speech in Lok sabha one year ago I made seven points.

1. Please urge the Government of Sri Lanka to withdraw its army from the Northern Province.

2. Let them sincerely implement the recommendations of the LLRC.

3. Let them implement without any further delay the provisions of the 13th Amendment and more.

4. Let an impartial inquiry be held into the charges of genocide and atrocities against the civilian Tamils by the Sri Lankan forces during the Eelam War and it should be absolutely impartial inquiry and with people outside Sri Lanka so that the truth comes out.

5. Let there be a clear commitment on the part of the Sri Lankan Government that the guilty shall be punished suitably.

6. Let India not merely vote in the human rights council (HRC), let India take the lead in drafting the resolution of HRC.

7. Finally and most importantly let India convey to other nations in our neighborhood and to the world at large that any undue interference by them in the affairs of Sri lanka or in India-Sri Lanka relationship will not be acceptable to India. Just tell them whether it is China or Pakistan or Japan or any other country. Tell them your interference in Sri Lanka is not acceptable”.

Jashwant Sinha invoked the parallel of America’s Monroe Doctrine (MD). The essence of it adumbrated in 1823 was that, interference in the sphere of influence of the US in North or South America will be treated as an act of aggression. It would therefore warrant US intervention, was the warning.  European powers were thereby cautioned or obligated to respect the American sphere of interest.

If the Americans can live with the Monroe Doctrine (MD) in the southern hemisphere of the US, why can’t we have our own doctrine in South Asia? Sinha challenged. It may be recalled that in Nehru’s view, US had secured itself from foreign aggression under MD. The Indira Gandhi Doctrine (IGD) embodied the identical idea and issued the same warning decades ago. Its obsolescence today provides for a reissue as the Modi Doctrine (MD) for present times.

Why are we scared that China will interfere in Sri Lanka. No foreign policy is conducted out of fear. We can’t be scared of China all the time and say they will replace us in Sri Lanka. How will they replace us in Sri Lanka? He queried. If Sri Lanka doesn’t listen let us take an armada. Not with guns but with roses. We will go peacefully. Let the world watch, but let them also realize that we mean business. We shall not allow our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka to be trampled upon anymore. That is the message that must go out loud and clear.

I only hope that one year from now when we assemble here to celebrate human rights day, things will be different. In Vajpayee’s time there was not a single step that Sri Lanka took without taking India into her confidence. My impression now is that Government of India has lost all her clout; that the Government of Rajapakse is not willing to listen to Government of India. With what face will India tell him to do justice to Sri Lankan Tamils when they themselves have been complicit in this genocide. That is the weakness. That is why Man Mohan Singh cannot look eye to eye with Rajapakse. Therefore right down the line, India’s diplomatic position has been weakened.

Sinha commenced his career in the IAS. Politics came later and he held two important portfolios of Foreign Affairs and of Finance. Both Modi and he, ripe in experience and brimming with confidence that a powerful mandate would endow, will give the lead to the officials. The latter are sure to follow the tradition ‘we do not advise our Political Masters’. They will have their say and those in governance will have their way in the best of pragmatic administrative traditions.

The PM and FM will certainly give the lead from the beginning of their tenure, taking the cue from Nehru “either you decide or the horse decides for you”. Those who nourish thoughts that South Block will derail the new government will have their solace unfulfilled. Once in the thirties, a few industrial magnates like Krupp and Thyssen gave Hitler a memo about state support for big industry. He threw it to the ground and trampled it under foot saying that he had not struggled in the streets all his life to serve their interests.

The emerging scenario is that wishfully and most optimistically India and Sri Lanka would consign war and destruction to the past and place a political settlement in position. BC talks in the 57th year of the last century and successive versions have continued for 57 years with no results. The region would look forward to terminating it. The coming course is beginning to cast its benign shadow. So some think.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    3

    Sinhalese Buddhists never attempt to learn anything from mistakes or experience. They think thy are above the law, above the justice, above the God, above other humans and above the Truth.Changes can happen, changes can be either good or bad. Changes are not permanent.

  • 3
    3

    It would be foolish for SL Tamils to put too much faith in what Indian politicians say during pre-election speeches.

    Though the BJP will certainly take a more assertive approach than the Congress party of Manmohan-Sonia, Indian politicians will ultimately be guided by their self-interests; and those South Block Brahmins as well as those in the military establishment are Machiavellian.

    During the earlier BJP regime, George Fernandez, the Defense Minister, was known to be somewhat sympathetic to Tamils, but when Norway facilitated the ceasefire in 2001, he walked to the South Block to ask something along the line of “why are we allowing Westerners and Japan in India’s backyard?”

    That was the equivalent of Monroe doctrine, but India still maintained its distance on the SL Tamil issue, setting the stage for the subsequent dithering weak policies.

  • 1
    4

    Hopefully we will not end up with the second coming of the IPKF though the Tamils need support from every possible source to have themselves freed from their present state of oppression!

    Sengodan. M

    • 3
      7

      Once upon a time, Tamils thought they were a mighty force but now “need support from every possible source … …!”. How the high and mighty have changed their stance!
      The State of Oppression is self inflicted. Rise up against the Tamil caste system!

      • 3
        2

        “need support from every possible source … …!”.

        Murderer Rajapakse lied to every possible source and got the support to kill 70,000 innocent Tamils.

  • 2
    6

    Hey there Chunky Brows!

    Obviously Cameron did not deliver. What a spectacle that was! Now, running behind begging Modi eh?

    I am getting dizzy looking at Tamil Vellalar running in different directions smashing into things.

    Why not just live within your means for once? Many would show respect to your culture when this happens.

    • 5
      1

      Vibhushana

      Why not talk about your own culture. What respect does the Sinhala culture has? They are known to the Arabs as people born to work for them as domestic servants (maids and cleaners). They are known to the entire world as barbarians and beggars. Buddha’s begging bowl is used to beg the entire world.

      Tamils do not mind running even behind the devil if we can separate ourselves and our homeland from the Sinhala-Buddhist Barbarian Beggars.

  • 0
    0

    Jaswant Singh has just been ditched by the BJP. Any significance?

    • 0
      0

      At 76 the shelf value is almost zero. The impact is insignificant. His appearing on stage with Vaiko clearly shows the political bankruptcy of JS.

  • 0
    1

    The 7-point “Ultimatum” will carry stinging weight if the BJP gets a fairly convincing majority. The only response of the pseudo-nationalist Rajapakse Bros, who have wasted 5 years conning around, will be – as Gamini D did in his day – to threaten India local Tamil civilians will suffer.

    It is Yashwant Sinha. The earlier heavyweight Jashwant Singh engages problems within – even to get a safe seat.

    R. Varathan

  • 2
    2

    Don’t get too excited about Vaiko invading Srilanka, unless you want to see the Vellalas becoming the captives this time instead of the poor farm workers and fishers in the North.

    Unless the Vellalas migrate en mass to Vaiko’s territory.

    Tamils should have focused on Tamil Nadu regardless of Ms Pillai’s gig in Geneva.

    It is the right place for the real Eelaam, unlike the cyber Eelaam of Rudrakumaran.

    Vaiko’s manifesto already has the Eelaam as a priority demand from the Butcher from Gujarat.

    And the name USI sounds cool too, and very close to their current buddy the USA

    But of course it is only in name.

    Can USI take on China ? Never , ever..

    Can USI drop Parrippu Bombs ?.. Never again

    Srilanka will be signing a military pact soon too, to go along with the trade pact, if Vaiko makes too much noise.

    • 0
      0

      What is the situ, with backing from NP, just like Crimea of Ukraine, NP trying to go with India. Then Russia also bound to back India.

    • 3
      0

      Putin/Russia has set an example to countries like India how to invade and divide a country. Jayalalitha in her election manifesto has clearly stated that there should be a referendum held for the NorthEast Tamils in Sri Lanka and abroad to establish the state of Tamil Eelam. Vaiko’s manifesto will be even worse. Tamil Eelam (North & East) should come under India ruled by Jayalalitha. The spineless Manmohan should be kicked out.

  • 5
    2

    To my friend Lal ,I want to say that Prabakaran has eliminated cast system in the North. It is you Southerners have all kinds of cast. On top of that there is Kandyan Sinhalese who look down on Low Country Sinhalese.
    If you look at the TNA’s elected members you will see they are from diverse social strata from Vellala lawyers to Fishermen’s descendants.
    The formidable diaspora who disturbs your sleep at nights, hail from diverse casts,now united against genocide. You say Tamils “need support from every possible source”. How many countries had to help you out for over 25 years, when you were reeling under the attack of a bunch of juveniles calling themselves”Tigers”.
    It is not who is strong or who is weak that matters. Eventually TRUTH wins.

  • 1
    1

    Why is Vibushana and Sumansekara blabbering about “Vellala”. I hope they know that Vellals were land owners in the North and East.When the LTTE was formed the Vellals did not want to join them. It is the other castes that joined the Tigers and fought the government. In 1983 when Tamils fled the country following the ant-Tamil pogram, it was the other castes who left while privileged Vellalas stayed back. Now the disgruntled diaspora who are fighting the autocratic SriLanka is a bunch of non-Vellalas, who are in blue collar jobs in Canada and Europe. But Vellalas are giving their support to these fighters, because Sinhalese offensive does not discriminate among castes.Thanks for uniting them.

  • 3
    0

    “President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the outcome of the Provincial Council elections next Saturday will be significant as it could send a message to the international community at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Speaking at an event in Kalutara, the President said that the public must send a message to those looking to pass a resolution against Sri Lanka that they will not support international interference in the country”- Colombo Gazette.

    President Rajapaksa is lying to his people. The resolution has nothing to do with the people of Sri Lanka. The international community is not waiting for the election results. The truth is the international community has been watching President Rajapaksa how skilfully he has been fooling his people. The votes he gets from fooling the people will not save him. President Rajapaksa has been fooling and manipulating Tamils, Muslims, Sinhalese and the world. President Rajapaksa will face the consequences; nothing will be overlooked by the world.

    It is extremely disappointing to see that the Sri Lankan leaders have not learned anything from the past sixty five years, especially through the brutal civil war. Challenging India, the West and Tamil diaspora is nothing but a suicidal move. The Rajapaksa regime can’t act like India, America or Russia by living in that tiny island. India created the LTTE to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, because of the President JR’s ignorance and arrogance attitude towards India; however President JR realized what he had done and quickly backed off by accepting the 13th amendment. But the Rajapaksa regime is too arrogant and foolish. The Rajapaksa brothers are not smart; therefore, they won’t back down as President JR. The West hijacked the civil war from India and brain drain the country, in order to develop the West. India did not suffer that much compare to Sri Lanka. The Real winner was the West. I bet the US backed UNHRC resolution would lead to the same path.

    The West has been ruling the world for the last 700 years; its knowledge and power are beyond the comprehension of the Sinhalese, Tamils, Indian and Chinese leaders. The West had defeated Germany, Japan, and almost Russia as well. Therefore, Sinhalese, Tamils, Indians and Chinese really can’t predict all of the West’s tricks in the future. Just wait and see how the West is going to spin the heads of Sinhalese, Tamils, Indians and Chinese through the resolution. Again the Sri Lankans will suffer more than others due to the foolishness of the Rajapaksa regime. Sri Lankans are very unfortunate people in Asia, yet the Rajapaksas are fooling their own people as they are the leaders of wonder of Asia. You have to be an absolute inhuman to fool the people who have suffered for thirty years through the brutal civil war. Well, you would do anything without thinking second time; if you have a heart made my iron to steal the suffering people’s Tsunami money. I rest my case!

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