16 April, 2024


Similar Issues In Kashmir & Sri Lanka?

By Mano Ratwatte  –

Mano Ratwatte


To start with a petty unprofessional controversial comment: isn’t it queer that India has got their Kachcheras in a Knot  about Pakistan, when they at one time armed, trained and financed militants and separatists to harm Sri Lanka because of geo-political concerns during the Cold war? Maybe Karma is an ugly worm? It appears that Kashmiri terrorists, separatists and rebels have bases in Pakistan but just seems ironic here given all the South Asian geo political games over the past 30 years when Tamil tigers had bases in Tamil Nadu and they were trained by the Central government of India under Indira and Rajiv Gandhi’s auspices to rein in Sri Lanka’s foolish veering towards the USA under JR Jayawardene’s regime? 

No excuses:

No one absolves or excuses the heinous crimes of Black July 1983; that is the incident that made the LTTE into a liberation movement. Those crimes should never be forgotten; they are like the crimes against Sikhs after Mrs. Gandhi was assassinated in 1984 and India had a very black November as well. This writer lived in Punjab back then and remember the curfews and tension and absolute anger of Sikhs then and before that, during the disastrous “Operation Bluestar”, Khalistani actions during a summer of 23 hour curfews, powercuts in stifling heat, and news blackouts on the only TV station available those days : Doordarshan. 

Western coverage: 

Onwards to media coverage in the west about the clashes. First world corporate “free” media really love to act as if all the people in the Third world are crazies waiting to lob nuclear bombs at each other, when the US is the only nation to have used not one, but two nuclear weapons. Such typical condescending western attitudes thinking only they can intervene and preach to India and Pakistan are once again doing the “expert circuit” on western television. On ABC news on 27th Feb Evening, the headline to the story said “Nuclear tensions rise” .   

This writer finds some of the corporate “free” western media loves to hype up conflicts and cash in on wars and treat Leaders in India and Pakistan as somehow trigger happy goons relishing the thought of using Nuclear weapons. That is abhorrent.  It is perturbing to see the doomsday purveyors and extremists trying to urge wars over Social media platforms in India and Pakistan as well. Twittersphere is raging. Hope Imran Khan and Modi know better.   This too will pass. The Alternate ultimate nuclear holocaust will lay waste to entire South Asia. It is highly implausible and improbable.  Both leaders are smart to know the holocaust they will unleash with no winners.

Silly digression:

This amateur simpleton is going by his hazy memories from his incredible Indian days in Punjab, and chats with his buddies over Old Monk or Chai, and 25 paise Parle biscuits, and not from those NGO foreign funded, learned self- proclaimed academics and political scientists who write. This writer welcomes Indians attacking him or correcting him on the history of Kashmir. Let that then be more information for the learned intellectual well informed CT viewers on the complexity of the Kashmir issue for everyone to read and learn.  It will be valuable to hear an Indian and Pakistani Kashmiri perspective.

Ain’t crazy:

Verbatim copied news : “History tells us that wars are full of miscalculation. My question is that given the weapons we have can we afford miscalculation,” Khan said during a brief televised broadcast to the nation on Wednesday. “I once again invite India to come to the negotiating table,” said Cambridge educated Imran Khan, who has called for dialogue with New Delhi in the past, said.-End 

Does that sound like a crazy like strongman Trump’s deranged tweets? or Rightwing warmonger John Bolton Appuhamy’s threats? Gosh, if only Trump could be such a statesman with deep knowledge of the stakes. If Imran Khan is sincere, and not pulled by Islamist ideologues and radical groups in the government, and the few military personnel itching for war, they have a golden opportunity to end cross-border attacks by terrorists and also finally come to an agreement about the status of Kashmir; there is no military solution to the Kashmiri problem. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has also been extremely conciliatory and did not strike a belligerent tone. This augurs well to a quick sit down between high powered delegations from both sides.


Fact of the matter is there is sabre rattling but this time, Pakistani pride and egos are a bit happy because they shot down an Indian plane. Modi seems to be a bit irritated and has an eye on elections in 2 months. If all normal patterns are to be repeated, things will cool off after a few more skirmishes. Pakistan has always been smarting under 3 rounds of humiliating defeats in full scale wars with India. This will help assuage feelings.

Complex Kashmir

Kashmir itself is contested by these two protagonists and also China. It is the most militarized region in the world. They really have to negotiate a long term settlement. More than 47,000 civilians have died (some say, double that number,) and massive human rights abuses have taken place there over the past 3 decades. 

India needs to be cognizant of those tragic events, when it wags the finger at Sri Lanka. Most inhabitants of Jammu & Kashmir are Muslims(the old proud Kingdom which only became part of India under Maharaja Ranjit Singh the Sikh warrior only in 1819. But during British rule it was still considered to be a separate Kingdom ruled by Sikhs. Their status was extremely complex until partition.


Most inhabitants of Kashmir(one of the largest states) are Muslim(approx 68%) but distinctive Hindu, and even Buddhist groups also exist. Kashmiris as an ethnic group are a very distinctive group. Their history leading up to the partition and politics are complex. The legendary Sheik Abdullah preferred a union with India. Kashmir itself is contested by these two protagonists and also China. It is the most militarized region in the world. 

Pragmatic leaders:

Both sides have smart pragmatic leaders and senior political Advisers. They do not have a gung-ho belligerent National Security like John Bolton Appuhamy who goes around eager to intervene militarily, and threaten many nations including Venezuela and Iran. Miscalculations regarding Iran will have far greater consequences than a few skirmishes between Pakistan and India 

Que sera sera?

This writer is confident, even as an amateur hack student of global events, both Indian and most Pakistani professional military men and civil servants know the stakes here and will never escalate this conflict to the point of no return frequently the point of discussion on western “free” corporate media. Even their central government cabinets have smarter more ethical people than Trump’s cabinet now. Indian External Affairs Minister has also made very positive statements.

In contrast to North Korea, Pakistan and India are democracies with civilian administrations and civilian oversight of militaries; but Pakistani government is still beholden to the military unlike in India.  There is no military solution to the Kashmiri crisis; only a political one that respects the aspirations of the distinctive Kashmiri ethnic group. 

Are there similarities?

There are similarities to the Tamil insurgency apart, there is no military solution to the Kashmir as it is geographically impossible to achieve it. But perhaps on balance, the Kashmiris are likely better off under Indian rule than a fundamentalist Pakistan, which is the only other possibility.  Sri Lanka should remain neutral and urge peace talks. It can also be a genuine peace broker and invite people to come negotiate in Sri Lanka.   India also does well to keep secret the festering problems in the N-E states.

Fervent wish

May the war and status of uncertainty end; may there never be war and tears in Sri Lanka or Kashmir(a much longer conflict), and may the valid aspirations of the ethnic minorities in both places be resolved without further carnage. Let those living in Sri Lanka make the decisions like those living in Kashmir, India and Pakistan. Weren’t there 3 distinct kingdoms in Sri Lanka before the Portuguese plague? Ruhunu, Maya & Pihiti like the many Princely kingdoms of India before British rule brought them together? That is all a cowardly émigré such as this writer should say. Please do not get your Kachcheras in a Knot India.

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Latest comments

  • 10

    Pakistan- at least Imran khan has shown his greatness by releasing the captured pilot unlike Srilanka who refuses to release the Tamil political prisoners and the lands take over from the Tamils of the same country. No wonder Imran khan has justified the actions by LTTE according to press reports
    If India had accepted the plebiscite in Kashmir the need for periodic wars won’t arise.

    • 0

      Mr Anaga
      I always suggest rearresting of those +12,000 LTTE terrorists released by Rajapaksa, an irresponsible, unwarranted, foolish move without any parliamentary approval or national debate. This issue will definitely come up at the initiation of war crime trials.

      Crime suspects are not political prisoners.


      • 3

        Soma, crime suspects can be Presidents, Defence Secretaries, Ambassadors, Ministers etc.

        • 1

          Dr. Gnana!
          Have they been sent for rehabilitation like the + 12,000 terrorists.?

    • 2

      Mano Ratwatte, please do not draw parallel between Kashmir and Sri Lanka. Indus valley civilization belongs to Dravidian people and not to North Indians or Pakistanis. Therefore the claim by Muslims of ownership of Kashmir amounts to racism and their attempt to take possession of it amounts to terrorism. In contrast, it is now coming to light by geological, archaeological and genetic evidence that Sri Lanka was part of a contiguous landmass with Tamil Nadu and that there were people of Dravidian stock speaking Tamil or some form of Tamil in Sri Lanka prior to the advent of the Sinhala ethnic group. Therefore the claim of Tamils for ownership of part of the Island where they have been living for centuries is not racism and their attempt to liberate it from Sinhala racism is not terrorism. Thus the support given by India to Tamils to achieve their legitimate rights is not wrong and the support given by Pakistan to Muslim terrorists in murder and ethnic cleansing of Hindus from Kashmir is a crime. The correct solution for Kashmir is for both north Indian and Pakistanis to hand over the entire Indus valley composing of Kashmir, Punjab and Sindh to Dravidian rule and leave. Creation of a buffer Dravidian state along the length of Indus river from Himalayas to the sea separating India and Pakistan will bring.peace with justice.

      • 0

        Dr Gnana Sankara

        Were you a patient at Angoda Psychatric hospital? Anyway you are good to entertain psychatric patients.

  • 0

    I think India Likes Pakisthan back with India. But, both the US and Do not like a very strong country of India. It is Imran Khan who wanted more cooperation with India. It is Modi election time. It is wrong that Muslim Jihadis blowing up of some Soldiers or :Policemen.

  • 2

    Why do not you say that about US and western powers. what about Syria, Palstantine, Iraq, and so many other place. This world is going crazy. Doom day is nearing soon. Do good deeds and take sill as many as time. do not support injustice. whoever does it.

    • 1

      Critical thinking,
      These are signs of Kal Yuga.

  • 1

    Sad reality of the world. Yes critical thinking, do good and less bad and hopefully things will work out. I am hoping my motherland I left being a coward, will never go back up in flames over racist or religious bigotry. For example BBS are not real buddhists; Wahabists are not real Islamic practitioners. I am not sure if the blood-letting or need to unleash violence will ever go away in India or Sri Lanka. Remember Modi Sahib was at one-time persona non-grata H in the US over massacre of innocent Muslims by Hinduvta mobs in Gujarat when he was Chief Minister. US seems to be siding with them. All I can say is Aiyo.

    • 3

      JRJ was never declared persona non-grata in the US over the massacre of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka when he was President, despite 1983 riots in Sri Lanka being far worse.

  • 4

    Sri Lanka interfered in the Bangladesh war in 1971. That’s why India helped create the LTTE as revenge. But India had no intention of allowing LTTE to form Eelam. Do you have any idea how easily they could have done it?
    India went to war with Pakistan to form Bangladesh. But actually helped Sri Lanka to stop Eelam from forming in SL.
    Sri Lankan Sinhalese and muslim need to stop cherry picking history to portray a false picture.

  • 2

    Only a cleanup of the Foreign Policy making team can bring in sense and sanity in the Foreign Relations of both Countries.

  • 1

    Mano is Venezuela over, now it is Kashmir. Dont take me wrong . Please keep writing. I like the way you write trying to present both sides of the fact. I am not commenting on this. . There is so much pending in my ” to do list” for this weekend. Let me catch up Bro. I am not sure, but my inner feeling says we have met before.

  • 0

    Mano Ratwatte: Misery in Kashmir and in SL are, human made and sort of, similar.
    The issues in Kashmir and in SL are quite different.
    Since independence, ownership of Kashmir was claimed by two local powers now nuclear powers. One country claims that its security will be jeopardised if ownership changes hands. Lot of money is spent in the standoff and it is the poor who pay for it.
    Since independence, Ceylon (now SL) has been on a state of, mild or intense, civil war.
    Lankans tend to blame ‘outsiders’ but sustaining the civil war, on grounds of security, is still an election issue.

  • 0

    Mano Ratwatte:
    Even if your description of the Kashmir-India-Pakistan issue is not 100% accurate and I make no claim to the expertise required to make such a judgement, thank you for raising this important issue in a manner that has generated some interesting discussion (with the usual exceptions!)

  • 0

    Dear Sir

    Just to correct referencing regards to Tamil Militancy. TN camps trained several different factions and one of them ended up being LTTE. The rest PLOTE, TELO are now part of the TNA. We could even say they were divided and used as required by the host operators.

    The Sri Lankan Tamil speaking opposition to TULF/PLOTE/TELO (now TNA) was brought under control at gun point well before LTTE took over and took care of the above later.

    TULF created the PLOTE/TELO/LTTE is a fact we SL should remember very clearly.

    Our continental politics have similarity because we all have monkey brains in the entire Indian Continent and we are all the same genetical make up. We should be ruled by a third party will be perfect and we will perform. Otherwise we will kill each other for ever. What a waste of Mahatma Gandhi’s energy.

    The next population reduction for the planet is coming and is going to be in the Indian Ocean/Indian continent/SAARC and SL will be the operational base.

    Other groupings in the planet have cleverly stirred away from the destructive methodologies and have become successful economies indeed. We will be washing toilet for rest of our life’s in all other successful economies around the world as we are human resource managed to construct some ones else economy while destroying ours.

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