27 November, 2020

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India’s Invasion By Invitation – 1987

By S.Sivathasan

S.Sivathasan

JR invited, Rajiv Gandhi invaded and Tamils paid the price. The cost of political unrealism at over 1,500 dead on either side was exacting. The invasion had a twin motive. To make the North safe for the TULF – read moderates friendly to India – and the South safe for the UNP – read a regime amenable to India. JR heaped victory on his country. The invitee was treated to ignominy by Tamil militants. It rankled in India’s mind from 1987 and most particularly since 1991 and was avenged in 2009. Lessons of the misadventure are not learnt yet by any of the parties complicit to it.

Firstly a brief look at the precursors to India’s intervention. Tamil militancy and the state military were reaching a point of a major collision. Events moved in quick succession in mid-1987. May of that year was rife with talk that the capture of Jaffna by the Sri Lankan military was in the offing. Either rumour or inspired leak had it, that execution of the plan would involve heavy casualties. Jaffna was gripped with fear. What lent credence to it was the feeling that the militants were not strong on ground and their  ammunition supply was limited. The native intelligence of the Jaffna man helped in this discernment.

The Vadamaratchchi Operation launched on 26th May and the ease of capture in 4 days, confirmed the forebodings. Extension of the operation to reach the heart of Jaffna was therefore anticipated. The first three days of June saw movement of people  going in all directions away from their homes with no clear idea where. News of the food convoy from India moving towards Jaffna was comforting to the Tamils. But that noon itself it was stopped at mid ocean by the SL Navy. Euphoria for the South and disappointment for the North were only for a while.

The following day a little before 5 pm, there was an unprecedented roar of low flying jets, fighter planes and cargo planes dropping food items. It was revealed subsequently and quite credibly that the air drop was scripted even before the food convoy set sail. Within minutes everybody figured out what it was all about. The youth lit crackers. Not a soul bothered to say food has come. No one stopped to debate the legality or otherwise of airspace violation. Their obsession was that SL army with air cover was going to  honeycomb the Peninsula. This had now been foiled by India. They were ecstatic only about what the drop signified. INDIA IS COMING was their perception. This was enough to dispel all gloom.

The following morning, Thursday, I asked an officer working with me what his clairvoyant friend will say. He said that he had already met him who after prayers and meditation had said that “the next day – Friday, the army will get out of Pt. Pedro and march towards Jaffna. BUT midway, it will turn back and go, for reasons he was unable to know.” On Friday morning the army did break out. At Atchuvely much to the surprise of all Tamils it reversed course. This turning back is the now well-known handiwork of DN Dixit who was forceful enough to get New Delhi to intervene and stop any further advance beyond Atchuvely.

From this date after a seeming lull, there was a spate of activity among three groups. The Indian Government, Sri Lankan Government and the militants with civilians as spokesmen. To bring about some settlement and to avoid confrontation was the concern. As these went on, a few weeks later a food shipment arrived in KKS harbor. To receive it Mr. Hardeep Puri, Political Secretary was at the harbor. He was taken to Jaffna town in an open vehicle by the Tigers. On either side of the road there was a massive, happy and enthusiastic crowd, wanting to convey its gratitude. Again, not for food but for the prospect of INDIA COMING. In charge of arrangements were Tigers. The vehicle could only inch along. All the way he was profusely garlanded, feted and treated to food and drinks. It was a reception which is reserved for the rarest of personalities for an exceptional occasion. In an earlier time only Nehru could have got it. Now Puri had it. To Jaffna he symbolized India and honouring him was honouring India. The whole event was televised by local TV managed by Tigers. Such was the emotional bond between India and the Tamils at that time. The Tigers did their arrangements well, but it was clear that it was formal and ritualistic. Their heart was not in it.

The month of July saw again a flurry of engagements among India, Sri Lanka and the Tigers ending up with the Indo Lanka Accord in July 1987. The Tigers had no say about it, no hand in the draft and did not so much as have the occasion even to read it. Within an hour or two of it being signed, massive Antanovs and other planes flew continuously for two days or more. They ferried men and material from India to Palaly. Alongside, was the movement of SL troops to the south by air as well. Soon after, there was a formal handing over of weapons by the Tigers. Those who were knowledgeable were certain that it was a mere token of what they possessed.

To the war weary, there was peace in our time. To the percipient signs were ominous. From August1987, they were fueled by India’s proclivity to unsettle, not by error but by design. The relationship between India and Sri Lanka in the period 1977 to 1987 needs to be understood to fully discern developments at that time.

When JR won the elections in 1977 and became President in ’78, his alter ego Morarji Desai was Prime Minister of India. In 1980, Indira Gandhi unseated him scoring a resounding victory. This was irksome to JR who had earned her ill will and wrath. Ideological differences apart, there was personal antipathy and even temperamental incompatibility. He prided himself over the thought and made it public that he was of Nehru’s vintage. Implicitly, Indira was but a trifle. Can it go well with a lady of aristocratic lineage and bearing, who was styled by the West as Empress of India? She was a personality cast in the mould of Patel and not of Nehru. JR hated her and her hatred was no less. Once in the early eighties a friend of mine while talking to her in Delhi, said “Madam, JR hates India”.  She leaned towards him and said “Me also”. It was such a leader of a great nation that JR had to deal with.

To a Prime Minister poised to deliver a lethal punitive blow, the 1983 pogrom against the Tamils provided the occasion. Even more important was the emergence of motivated Tamil militants straining for training in India. Tamil Nadu of the same ethnic identity was a suitable hinterland ready at hand. As factors moved favourably in Delhi’s calculation, Tamils had their own ideas that history would move as they wished. If India could be persuaded to the strategy of partition, then Cyprus Solution of the north for the Turks and south for the Greeks could be considered a precedent for the Sri Lankan situation. Whatever the viability of this thought, it lost its sheen with the demise of Indira Gandhi. There was little realization among Tamils that the world had moved much from Palmerstone’s Opium War against China, at the whim of the PM of England 130 years back. Such whimsical intervention was no longer possible. Partition became even less practicable without a fearless and resolute Indian leader. When an overnight change in strategy was required we harboured the same views from November 1984, ie after the death of IG, to October 1987 when war broke out.

Does history run its course as per some destiny or is the path altered by a powerful leader? This has been a dilemma for historians to interpret. Arthur Koestler invokes a picturesque analogy. A small stone is washed away by a river. Not so a boulder, which makes its impact for 200 yards or years. In recent times Napoleon, Bismarck, Lenin, Mao and Deng left their mark in altering world history. Nehru, Margaret Thatcher, Gorbachev and Lee Kwan Yew too made a striking contribution through their force of personality. In that line was Indira Gandhi as well among the great world leaders. The void created by her demise was well assessed by Sri Lanka’s political leadership and the sails were freshly set to gain direction. Distressingly the same did not hold with the Tamils and we floundered, yet fortified in the belief that when we are in a soup, either India or the International Community is obliged to retrieve us.

From late 1984, Tamils were caught up in a drift that lacked purposive direction. Indira’s reputed Advisor G. Parthasarathy was marginalized for no reason by Rajiv Gandhi, and he relinquished his duties. The respected and competent Foreign Secretary A P Venkataeshwaran, fully conversant with the Tamil problem was dropped unceremoniously. His predecessor was one Romesh Bhandari and he enjoyed the confidence only of President Jayawardena. His handiwork was the miserable Thimpu Talks in mid-1985, which took nobody anywhere. The objectives as discerned by Tamils were two. (1) Force march all militant groups to the conference table, thereby asserting India’s supremacy. (2) To cut V. Pirapakaran (VP) to size, proclaim that all the militants stand on an equal footing and to din into VP that he is not primus but all are pares. (No first but all are equals). By Christmas 1976, Tigers had eliminated all other groups and VP proclaimed that he was just primus and there were no pares. This was the only dismal effect of India’s efforts for two years.

By early 1987 VP’s stay in India had become untenable. When he asserted his independence increasingly, relations with his benefactor MGR soured. Can a chick remain till eternity under the wings of the mother? Will not an eaglet fly off from the cliff one day? When the day comes the baby kangaroo  gets out of the pouch. When the hour struck, VP got out of Tamil Nadu and came over to Jaffna. From January to June Jaffna experienced constant warfare, aerial bombing, shelling, power outages and shortages of food. The people had braced themselves to circumstances however trying.

To connect with where I digressed, may I say some movement was observable now. After hectic activity in July 1987, VP was flown to Delhi under duress from Suthumalai Amman Temple premises by helicopter to Chennai and thence by plane to Delhi. Nothing was known as to why. It was only speculated that the trip may have something to do with an Accord. When VP did not return for more than two days there was agitation among the people and more among the cadres.

On his return a mammoth meeting was held at Suthumalai where VP read out a prepared speech. It then transpired that he was not given enough time even to read the contents. Wrath and determination to undo the so called Accord were explicit on his face at the event that was televised. If VP was not considered the leader and spokesman of the Tamils, why was he flown to Delhi in the first instance? If he was so considered, why this cavalier treatment? The implacable discord that came about, his spurning of the Accord, the violent incidents that followed, the outbreak of war with the Indian Army and consequent unfortunate happenings even after its withdrawal have their origin in this highbrow behavior of the Indian establishment in Delhi. India reaped the whirlwind.

Events that flowed subsequent to the Accord, cast unforgiving shadows and confirmed misgivings. Happenings seemed to flow in a well scripted coherent sequence. Very soon on display were India’s sinister intentions. From the rump of anti-Tiger elements resident in India, was cobbled together a rag tag called ‘Tri Star’. It was to serve as a fifth column for the Indian Army. What a way to keep peace and win over the people! Each time small batches landed on the Mannar coast, they were mowed down by the Tigers. News used to seep to the people immediately. In the book by Lt. Gen. SC Sardesh Pande, written with transparent honesty by an officer of character, there is reference to it. He speaks of VP losing credibility about India on this score. A war was coming became clear to the Tigers.

I do not use the acronym IPKF because it is a misnomer. Keeping the peace was not the mission of the Indian army. Peace between Tamil and Tamil? Between Muslim and Tamil? They were not at war. Then what was the justification to heap 60,000 troops or more within the confines of North-East? Why keep in and around the Jaffna fort alone, some 19 tanks? When war broke out on 10th October, did any rumble along to the Sinhala-Tamil border to keep ethnic peace if it was ever feared?

My adoration for all what was good and great about Tamil Nadu and of India, made me purblind to reality. In the early eighties a certain lady from Delhi used to come to SL. In 1984, about 12 of us had a meeting with her in Jaffna. Her patriotism was never in doubt. But she said all the Tamils she met wanted the Indian army to come. She continued, “I don’t know why they are saying that. The Indian army is as brutal as any in the world, if not more brutal”. A senior officer from India who spent nearly a month in November 1987 and who had had discussions with me told me “I am getting back next week and after that I will not return because the Indian army is behaving like an army of occupation.” My experience at close quarters from October 1987 to February 1990, knocked off the scales clouding my vision. Before that I wondered how Bangladesh could turn against India, her deliverer and benefactor. Now I knew why.

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Latest comments

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    Rubbish! JR never invited anyone. A gun was held to his head by threats of bombing and invasion.

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      Taraki,

      Well, if you read the entire article, it does make clear that by antagonizing Indira Gandhi, JR did “invite” Indira’s wrath and the unfolding Indian policy. And after signing the accord under pressure, JR did invite the IPKF in the hope that he could use the SLA to fight the JVP, while letting India fight its own creation in the North.

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        ‘Inviting’ the IPKF was part of the accord signed under pressure but I agree JR could see the advantage in getting the Indians involved in the NE. A pity Premadasa & the JVP didn’t let them finish the job.

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    Thank you Mr. Sivathasan for a nice article that reminds us of what happened. I was in Jaffna with my two little daughters around 1987, and I remember 60-70 bombings from the sea in the Vadamaraatchy operation. My baby daughter was about 6 months old and she would shudder like an animal, very much like a scared puppy, as we huddled under my father-in-law’s old teak table. These bombs made the earth tremble even upto Nallur, and they went on for a good part of the night. My daughter would nurse the whole day to feel comforted. I remember the 4th of June food drop from huge black planes flying low. They came stealthily and so quietly when we were in Tinnelvely waiting to cut my eldest daughter’s birthday cake as soon as her father arrived. But he came two days later, because he was detained in Colombo and Vavuniya. At the Vavuniya check point they told him if for the next three hours no shooting happens you can go. I could not get back to Colombo for 5 months and letters from my husband would come in bunches many weeks later. My daughter was very sad, but the neighbours consoled her by saying that the planes came to drop off food on her birthday. We left the week the Indian army shot people on the bridge. That week we could not buy baby milk powder even after offering my friend’s earrings. After we got back my children often played “bombber, tele” games like we played cops and robbers when I was a child. Pushing my children in a pram to my father’s house from Nallur we would get bullets sprayed from helicopters at coconut tree-height. The red sparks from the hitting bullets were around us and it was hard to say whether they have hit us or not.

    One day, a bomb just barely missed the top of our house recocheted, fell in our neighbours house and killed children my daughter’s age. Adults would fall to the ground or run into a bunker, if available, but children would run to the mother and get hit like the cows there. The churches were overflowing for the morning mass those days, people would pray so much after the planes left. They come just as one is making morning coffeee or making dinner. I remember washing and washing at the well because of power cuts. I remmber the shells from NAvatkuli every day in the evening like a prayer. I remmber a plane dropping tar like substance and my neighbour’s sun coming home with it on his school shirt. ….I know some of the people killed from school days.My father had to buy petrol quarter bottle/ration at a time and finally abandon his car when the Indian army came. They ran to a camp. Rins brought human filth upto their necks in the camp. My mother tore off her white saree tied it ona pole brought im home and they hid under beds. The whole house was looted by the Indian army, jeweller and all, and my father’s precious books torn and dumped on the ground to rot in the rain. Our goats were missing….

    I buried all these things in my heart because I was scared to revisit those scenes. I pretend that those days do not exist in history.

    Your articles helps us to understand what happened and make some sense of what happened. This knowledge helps us able to breath again. Thank you very much.People need to understand.

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      Typical Hoole dishonesty! What a warped mind in its sheer selectivity! The war continued for 25 years. Jaffna suffered during the Vadamarachchi offensive in 1985, the Indian offensive in 1987 and the 1995 offensive. It was otherwise largely spared, unlike the Vanni – not to mention the Northern Muslims. The Sivathasans and Hooles represent the Jaffna elite with their jaundiced view. Who created the war and kept it going for 25 years, may I ask?

      One set of dishonest brokers commending the other!

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        There was no deception intended. I merely related incidents we faced in Jaffna over a period, on our visits to see our parents. As I said, I hate to bring these incidents to mind so I might have not written them chronologically. Our neighbours from Muthiraich chandi, Nallur and Sivarasa Avenue in Thinnevely will attest to these for we suffered these and many other Govt. army bombings together. What our families suffered under the Indian Army is another matter. I am writing this also for the sake of our friends in Jaffna.

        Sadly,in their haste to denigrate certain writers, some people are suppressing wider participation by the marginalized in these columns.It would be nice instead to hear people whose intentions are to build up, for a change.

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          I agree with you. Your comment is valid and is appreciated.

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        Iqbal,

        The Vadamaradchi offensive was not in 1985; it was in May 2007. Though what happened in the final stages of the war in the Vanni was much worse than what happened in Jaffna, there was still a lot of suffering in Jaffna. What is wrong with bringing up memories of such suffering? Some of us left Jaffna for good after that and it is those memories we carry with us.

        Mrs. Hoole’s account is factual. I was in Jaffna at that time as well. Just as she describes, my parents tried to make me sleep under the table, in the hope that if the roof came down after SLA shelling, it would provide some cover. I remember wondering what would happen if the house caught fire.

        Your attack on Mr. Sivathasan and Mrs. Hoole is based on your own prejudices. If you have the expulsion of Muslims in Jaffna in mind, I think most reasonable people would agree that it was a clear injustice, and Tamils need to acknowledge Muslim suffering, as Mr. Sumanthiran is already doing. But that doesn’t give you the right to deny or minimize other people’s suffering.

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          Is there some confusion re. the dates of the Vadamarachchi operation? Are we not referring to the one led by Gen Denzil Kobbekaduwa.

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            Oh… I meant to say 1987 not 1985. Instead I typed in 2007. Sorry about it.

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        Iqbal,your talking out of point,what Dushyanthi hoole is writing relates to the body of the article for the period of the Vadamarachi Operation and the arrival of IPKF,i know these facts are true as I was there in Jaffna too at that time

        When you criticize someone please do so intelligently!

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      Mrs Hoole confuses the Sri Lankan airforce bombing with the IPKF land based assault. Her memory fails her. The Indian airforce did not bomb Jaffna – it straffed the Vanni instead.

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        Thank you John. I thought I was quite clear that I left Jaffna as soon as the IPKF came.

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        Your wrong john,Indian airforce did bomb jaffna using attack helicopters in Chavakacheri and other places ,i had seen the Chavakacheri devastation in Dec 87 and you can verify it on the War on Terror article series now being published in the Island Newspaper!

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          Indian air force did not bomb Jaffna in December 1987! The Chavakachcheri devastation was due to the land offensive.

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    This exposes Sivathasan. Several commentators had attacked him before and a one even claimed he was a Rajapakse agent. Note the timing of this article. India is currently pressing Sri Lanka to implement the 13th Amendment and here Sivathasan attacks India to drive a wedge. Sivathasan was a stooge who worked with the Sinhalese Government for the past 30 years. Ignore him. He writes rubbish and needs to sell himself somewhere.

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    According to some others there had been another threat in the first week of June 1987. I agree with Taraki therefore that JRJ was forced to accommodate Rajiv!

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    Sivathasan is dishonest. Have you ever heard him criticize the human rights abuses of the LTTE. He lives abroad, enjoys all the comforts there and dares to preach to us who remain in Sri Lanka.

    It was the LTTE or to be more precise Prabhakaran who brought us to this sorry state where our livelihoods were destroyed, our economy flattened, our youth killed, our population percentage declined. It was Prabhakaran who initiated the hostilities against India, when that was not in the interests of the Tamil population to fight India. It was Prabhakaran who resumed war against Premadasa three months after the Indian forces had left. It was Prabhakaran who turned down the liberalism of Chandrika Kumaratunge whose constitutional proposals in 2000 were the best ever the Tamils could have hoped for. It was Prabhakaran who undermined Ranil in 2004, who had otherwise extended the olive branch to us.

    Sivathasan is barking up the wrong tree when he repeatedly and incessantly attacks India. Did India turn down a job application of his to explain so much venom? I would understand if a Sinhalese nationalist were to write this, but a Tamil???

    But then Sivathasan proves that just having a Tamil surname does not make one have Tamil interests. Living amongst us with our economic hardship and trying to push back the tide of Sinhalese Buddhist majoritarianism is what helps. Not writing untruth.

    But then again, it was Prabhakaran alone who brought Rajapakse into power in 2005 by preventing Tamils from voting. Had the Tamils voted, Ranil would have been President and the history of Sri Lanka would have been very different. Sri Lanka would have been firmly in the American camp, the Tamil secessionist cause undermined by no less than Washington but Tamil economic and cultural interests protected and upheld, and Sri Lanka not based on a Buddhist majoritarianism.

    And Sivathasan never dare attack the premises of a Tamil nationalism that Prabhakaran epitomized – murderous, ruthless of all dissent, self seeking and ultimately a failure. That brand of nationalism was suicidal.

    As a Tamil, I would say that it was we Tamils who alienated India as we did the liberal Sinhalese and liberal Muslim, not the other way around! The IPKF was undermined by Prabhakaran. It would have otherwise been in our best interests. But there were powerful religious forces behind Prabharakan who had to see India go! Perhaps Sivathasan is one of them.

    Sivathasan is pathetic as an analyst – a cynical and fraudulent man who diverts Tamil attention from the real issues which is to ensure that the Northern Provincial Council has elections, is empowered and economically develops, independent of Mahinda Rajapakse’s extremism.

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      I had to agree with AR. When we go into the past history of the Tamils in Sri Lanka the blood is boiling. It was our past leaders who failed the Tamils. And ultimately it was Prabaharan who destroyed the Tamils. Now there is no hope for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Land grabbing by the government through the army is the initial initiative by the Government. A series of activities to follow in the future in the North and East.There is no Tamil leader for the Tamils to lead. Personal injury through the Arial bombings stated by Dhushinthi Hool is one aspect. Several women and children were killed in the Arial bombardment during the UNP regime.In the Vali North People fled their homes leaving their possessions and their homes and cultivation. Is Prabaharan going to come and help them.

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      Excellent comment…I felt all my confusions removed as soon as I read your crystal clear views. Thanks

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    The TNA will do well to read and take note of this article. The TNA is playing the same dangerous game of selling itself to India in the hope of getting power for itself. More correctly each constituent of the TNA is hoping for power. This time it’s worse they are prepared to sell themselves to the USA, UK, Germany, Norway even South Africa!! It will be the Tamil people of the North who will once again pay the price.

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      O.K. Simply forget about the TNA. What is the alternative? Douglas, Gajendran or who else? What is your solution? Why not spell it out!

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    Mr. Sivathasan’s account is one sided propaganda.

    The Tamil Tigers initiated the hostilities with the Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF). The Tigers were not interested in peace. Under the terms of the Indian accord, the merged Northern and Eastern Provinces were to have a 12 member interim provincial council. The Tigers had pressurized India, which had then agreed that the Tigers be entitled to nominate 8 of the 12 members. Lets not forget that the Eastern Province was multi-racial. The Sinhalese had two representatives and the Muslims two, one of which was reserved for the Tigers to nominate! India bent over backward to accommodate the Tamil Tigers. India had also provided million of rupees in a private contribution to the Tigers, which the latter accepted. The Indians had also accommodated the Tiger demand that their cadre be inducted into the provincial police force and that the Sri Lankan army be confined to its barracks. The Tigers promptly raised the Eelam flag in the vicinity of army camps in the East. The intent was to provoke. They also killed in cold blood at least 200 Sinhalese in the Trincomalee district who had lost the protection of the Sri Lankan armed forces. The Tigers were not interested in peace. It was they who initiated the conflict with India. We have no one else to blame except the Tigers for the IPKF debacle.

    The Tigers entered into an alliance with Premadasa who in turn armed them and provided them with funds. The Tigers were able to import weapons through the port of Colombo. Premadasa had asked the Indians to leave in 1989 which they did by March 1990. The Tigers promptly initiated hostilities with Premadasa!

    600 Sinhalese and Muslim soldiers who had surrendered were murdered in cold blood by the Tigers after the police stations in Amparai and Batticaloa had fallen – Kalmunai, Akkaraipattu, Samanthurai, Puttuvil etc. The Premadasa regime had asked the police to surrender which they did – only to be killed.

    One year later, the Tigers murdered Rajiv Gandhi – which Subramaniam Swamy until then pro Tigers had called – “Not just an assassination of a political leader but an insult to our national honor and a challenge to our national sovereignty’.

    We Sri Lankan Tamils have no one else to blame for our predicament but themselves. So Sivathasan – please stop lying! Do us a favor and busy yourself with your new adopted country – leave us alone.

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    editorial correction – we have no one else to blame but ourselves.

    I forgot to add that the Tigers had brutally eliminated TELO in 1985 – perhaps killing 700 odd cadre who had not expected to be killed by fellow Tamils. Lets not call the fight against the IPKF as one by Tamil militants. It was by the Tigers. Sivathasan is twisting the record.

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    “bedi army of india”

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    Thanks for this. fodder for the mind to remember… interesting analysis

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    can the author comment on what the TAMILS of Sri Lanka think about the IPKF raping the Tamil women ????

    THere seems to be ZERO comment on this

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      asoka

      “can the author comment on what the TAMILS of Sri Lanka think about the IPKF raping the Tamil women ????”

      I was told that it was similar to the Sinhla/Buddhist armed forces raping the Tamil women.

      Did you expect them to lie back and enjoy?

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    It is absolutely true that India had it’s own interests at heart in drafting the Indo-Lanka accord. But should we not agree that it paved the way for devolution however limited and we failed to grasp the opportunity by aiming for the moon? I too had similar apprehensions as th author. But just think of the plight of Tamils today without India’s help with the looming threats of Gota, above all the propelling force behind the BSS et al?
    I wish the reader to go through Dayan Jeyatillake’s article in this same webpage and also Gota’s interview and imagine where we will stand if we continue to scorn India like this.

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      I completely agree with Sengodan. Nanri. India and the United States are our best bet today. Sivathasan’s piece is at the behest of those who want India out of Sri Lankan politics so that the 13th Amendment can be scrapped – lock, stock and barrel.

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    It appears that the writer is no longer resident in Sri Lanka. His vanity precludes himself from being objective and being detached. Benson

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    Sengodan

    You have an understanding of political actualities.

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    Bensen Burner

    You have a penchant for the ridiculous.
    Last week you called Mahatma Gandhi a HYPOCRITE.

    In the first of your comments on my articles, you wrote that I didn’t have a command of English.

    For the second, you said that I don’t have a worthwhile subject to write on.

    Today you maintain the same mediocre level. Little do you realize, that to make an inane comment, all it takes is a dim wit and a warped mind.

    A scholarly comment calls for superior mettle.

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    Sengodan

    You have clear political understanding.

    • 0
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      Thank you.

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    Only a Cyprus Solution can give dignity and security for Tamil speaking people in SL – nothing else will ever work. Rajiv G is the only person/genius whose vision convinced him that the Tamil question can be solved along the concept of CS. Devolution will never work between Sinhala nation and Tamil nation.

    If Prabaharan bxxxxxd had not killed the Indian soldiers and Rajiv G Tamil question could have been solved a quarter of a century ago.

    I want people like Sivathsan to expose the blunders committed by this idiot. I want the TNA to attack this donkey. To please prabaharan, Sampanthan said 13A was rotten and he would not touch it but now he is begging Delhi to save Tamils from extermination.

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      If Rajiv was immature in handling the situation in 87, Praba lost his brain from 87 onwards. unfortunate, the Tamils of Srilanka.

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        He never had one

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        Maniseekaran Thangavelu,
        I agree with you. At the same time there could have been some Sikhs within the IPKF. Perhaps Rajiv would have thought let the Sikhs and the LTTE fight it out. This is only a suggestion. But the fact remains that the IPKF was sent to monitor any foreign elements gaining ground in Sri Lanka on the pretext of maintaining peace and order.

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    I think A.R and Raman.K commented correctly. What India wanted was that both Sinhalese the Tamils to be closed partners in Sri Lanka which was clear by the behaviour of India at Thimpu Talks. At that time India was concerned of the formation of SAARC and strengthening it thereafter. This was the crucial point why the IPKF was sent with the formation of the TRI STAR Group at the time of signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord. An Accord can only be signed by and between two countries and not with a militant group of a country. The interests of the Tamils were monitored by India at the request of the TULF. This was well demonstrated when the TULF thanked Rajiv Gandhi by a letter on the following day. India was fully aware that this was a domestic affair, but it was compelled to intervene because of the suspicious intervention of foreign elements gaining ground in Sri Lanka, which was a threat to India. The LTTE should have listened to India when it had stepped into this matter. On the contrary, the LTTE was instrumental for converting the IPKF into a fighting force. The writer cannot forget how the LTTE murdered a number of prominent Tamils and others who stood on their way. They even went to the extent of stating that they do not want EELAM after joining hands with R.Premadasa, when V.Perumal declared unilateral declaration of Eelam, which demonstrated the LTTE’s evil motive. After all, the Sinhalese and the Tamils were living as brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka since time immemorial. What is required is to renew and strengthen that relationship.
    Moreover, the writer has forgotten that the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement by Ranil Wickremasinghe was a farce. The Ceasefire Agreement was reportedly signed by three parties who were parties to the violations of human rights. It was not signed in the presence of each other but at different places. A prominent member of the UNP, a prominent member of the Sri Lanka Army and by the LTTE leader, V.Prabaharan signed the Agreement. V.Prabaharan was given a copy while no one knows what others had signed. After the signing of the Agreement, Ranil Wickremasinghe only waived his hands at the Vavuniya border. In fact, this was to deceive the LTTE who has diverted their attention in collecting taxes from people from concentrating on war. To date no one knows the content of the Agreement. How can these LTTEers negotiate at Peace Talks. It is the short-sightedness of the LTTE that led MR to become the President.

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    As the wise people can see there is no future for Tamils in SL.

    Leave SL with dignity or live in SL with indignity.

    Those are the only options available to Tamils in SL.

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    Why did JR invite the IPKF?
    The old Fox had to fight on two fronts, in the North against the LTTE and in the South against the JVP. He was more concerned with his own personal security in the fight against the JVP. He had a congenital fear of mass uprisings more than on terrorism. He did not have the assets to wage a war on two fronts. He invited the Indians to take charge of the Tamil insurgency in order to move the army to the South. Hence the JVP is indirectly responsible for JR inviting the Indian Army.

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      I think JR feared a military coup in SL. Many in SL army didnt like indian intervention and JVP too objected to it. So there was a chance that there would be a mass uprising and a military coup tp oust JR.

      JR feared for his life. Remember there was a military coup in Pakistan during that time. SO he naturally feared sensing the objection in military and JVP. He invited IPKF for his own safety

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        sach

        “JR feared for his life. Remember there was a military coup in Pakistan during that time.”

        My elders tell me that US General Vernon Walters, a master of military coups in South America visited Sri Lanka once in 1983 and later in 1984.

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      Vichara,

      You are on the spot!

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    The historical account is appreciated. However I disagree on a few points.Indira Gandhi was not of the same stature as many world leaders quoted in the story. She did not make a sea change that the others did. Her downfall was her pride and her adherence to Kautilyan principles in the exercise of power. Her imperial mindset made her a pebble and not a boulder.

    JR was the most senior political leader in the region at the time and she disliked his independent stance vis a vis India whereas his predecessor Sirimavo had assumed a subservient status seeking India’s concurrence on almost all international decisions. Indira Gandhi took JRs conduct as an affront, she took it personal, and went about destabilizing Sri Lanka.

    When the IPKF came Rajiv Gandhi said it will be a short, sharp exercise but within days news spread that the Indian Army was leasing houses for long periods, some running to several years. This made the government feel that the Indians had come to stay and that their goal was to annex the north-east. This may perhaps explain why President Premadasa armed the LTTE and ordered the Indian Army out.

    Sivathasan’s essay must be taken seriously because it reflects how unexpectedly the consequences of our actions pan out however much altruistic our original intentions are.

    We can now see history on the verge of repeating itself but those blinded by hatred and prejudice and devoid of that generosity of spirit are leading this country down that same path of death and despair. Is it ignorance that is making this government take the same perilous path? Or are they suicidal?

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      I assumethat you have got it correctly.

      Indians wants to destabilize Sri Lanka from 1970s.
      because Sri lanka was becoming self sufficient in food and other resourses,skilled man power and becoming a shipping and air hub for the region,
      and every body wanted a part of Trincomalee as the coldwar was at highest.
      Noting that, Indian Planted the Racial Virus on Tamil militants and foolish politicians heads.
      So they gulped the hook and sinker also.

      As you said ,
      Indira Gandhi took JRs conduct as an affront, she took it personal, and went about destabilizing Sri Lanka as her Advisors also aproved her with out dissent.

      Misakenly thay garlended the enemy in disguise.

      NOW, WHO ARE TO BLAME??????.

      WHO GOT BEATEN??????.

      EVENTHOUGH WE HAD LESSON LEARNED COMMISSIONS,

      BUT STILL WE, SRI LANKANS, HAVE NOT LEARNED ANY LESSONS,

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    Wickramasiri

    Quite a balanced comment presented with exactitude. “Indians had come to stay” was my view as well and it was shared by almost all including as many Sinhalese. While agreeing with this position, only two Tamils added that if the SL Govt. says go, they have to go and will go. This they said as early as in Jan. 1988. Whether this might have happened without a change of Govt. in India, I doubt. “Their goal was to annex the North East” was not entertained by any Tamil I had talked to. I cannot disagree if it was held seriously in the South.

    Vichara

    You are absolutely correct. An anecdote had it in 1987, that he had asked the military in so many words, whether they can contain a war on two fronts and the answer was in the negative. Hence my use of the word INVITATION and my allusion to his VICTORY, which was secured through proxy.

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      Sivathasan aiys,apart from a few the rest of the readers of CT are buffoons with a brain smaller than a crows so its futile to expect them to understand a analytical article!

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