Colombo Telegraph

Peninsula’s Misreading Of An Island’s Crimes

By BR Haran –

India should not have bowed to the United States’ hectoring at UNHRC and seen through the West’s agenda. Instead of backing empty resolutions New Delhi should address the real concerns of the hapless Tamil minority in Sri Lanka

While delivering his Victory speech in Parliament on May 19, 2009, President Rajapaksa said in Tamil, “The war against the LTTE is not a war against the Tamil people. Our aim was to liberate our Tamil people from the clutches of the LTTE. Protecting the Tamil speaking people of this country is my responsibility. That is my duty. All the people of this country should live in safety without fear and suspicion. All should live with equal rights. That is my aim. Let us all get together and build up this nation.”In the course of his speech, in the pretext of looking back at 2,500 years of history,  he specifically addressed the Tamil Kings (Datiya, Pitiya, Palayamara, Siva and Elara) as “invaders” and said that the Buddhist kings (Dutugemunu, Valagamba, Dhatusena and Vijayabahu) defeated them and brought freedom to the Sinhalese.Rajapaksa’s track record for the last three years clearly shows that he had not shown any responsibility in fulfilling his commitment to the protection of the  rights of the Tamils. Also, the process of rehabilitation of displaced Tamils has been very tardy and not up to the expectation of the world community in general and India in particular.

So, by voting in favour of the resolution brought by US against Sri Lanka at the Geneva session of the UNHRC, after diluting the resolution making it toothless, India thought it had conveyed a message to Sri Lanka that it could not be taken for granted. Having yielded to pressure exerted by the Tamil Nadu political parties and western nations, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had to practically beg President Rajapaksa to make him accept India’s stance.

India’s position has not served her interests at all. First, wittingly or unwittingly, it has angered a long time friend and pushed it further close to China. Second, it has shocked the Sri Lankan Tamils and earned their displeasure, dissatisfaction and disappointment. Third, it has failed to anticipate facing similar kind of situations in Kashmir and Northeast.

Though the first and the third may sound hypothetical, the second is a serious issue that needs to be addressed immediately. In fact, the decimation of the LTTE had brought great relief to the Island Tamils, who have been suffering for more than three decades because of the civil war. They were also terribly upset and even angry and agitated against the diaspora, for they rightly believed that the LTTE would not have survived as the world’s strongest and most dangerous terrorist organisation, but for the support of diaspora. Having lost their health, wealth and livelihood, they have resigned to the fact that the “Eelam” dream could never be realised, and are just yearning for speedy rehabilitation and reconciliation, so that, they can live in peace coexisting with the Sinhala people accepting Sri Lanka as their sovereign mother nation.

So, in the aftermath of LTTE’s defeat, they looked forward to India for help and support. They wanted India to put pressure on Lanka to speed up the process of rehabilitation. But, the UPA government miserably failed on that account. It neither realised their predicament nor understood their aspirations.

Rajapaksa on the other hand, was emboldened by the lethargy and indifference shown by the UPA government in Delhi and the DMK regime in Chennai. He conveniently forgot his commitment and started settling Sinhalese people in the northern part with the idea of avoiding the resurgence of any Tamil dominated area.

Rajapaksa seems to have a soft corner for the Church and Christian NGOs even while exhibiting Sinhala chauvinism through some of his activities. The Sri Lankan polity has always been under Christian domination starting from the times of Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike and Samuel James Velupillai Selvanayakam to the present times of Percy Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose spouse is a Christian. Many officers in his government including district collectors in the Hindu majority northern area are Christians.

In this kind of a scenario, fortunately for the Sri Lankan Tamils, the various Hindu organisations delivered where the Indian government failed. Ramakrishna Mutt, Chinmaya Mission, Seva Barathi and many other Hindu

organisations sympathised with the Tamils and tried their best to provide succor to them. As they have been moving close with the Lankan Tamils for years serving their cause, they clearly understood their feelings and aspirations, which were reflected in the press statement issued by RSS just before the Geneva Convention.

India, which stands isolated from Asia in the aftermath of supporting the resolution brought by the United States against the island nation, must remember three important things which happened recently. One, how the West planned and executed the separation of East Timor from Indonesia and made it a Christian Nation; Two, the total Christianisation of South Korea, and, lastly, the rapid Christianisation of Hindu Nepal, which became “secular” with the advent of the Maoist rule.

The diaspora, for its part, has not learnt its lessons and continues to peddle its separatist tendencies totally against the wishes of Lankan Tamils. A separate Tamil Eelam will go the East Timor way and may have repercussions in Tamil Nadu too, which will be bad for India.

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