By Shenali Waduge
India appears to refuse to accept Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation. Successive Indian governments have done their best to always undermine Sri Lanka’s sovereign status though diplomatic speeches will say otherwise. That was how LTTE came to be used as a tool to destabilize Sri Lanka. However, its choice of leader was not one to simply follow orders from Delhi. Tables turned with time when the LTTE leader agreed to a formula that would maintain his leadership in Sri Lanka but would help establish Western influence in the region – that was what turned LTTE into a Western-sponsored international proxy. That status quo remains despite the obituary of its leader. Is it now difficult to understand why LTTE-fronts have blessings of the West and continue to thrive on foreign soil?
Delhi is being taken around the mulberry bush. It is being ill-advised or the advice of sane counsel is not getting through to the decision makers. Before destabilizing Sri Lanka, India’s main objective must be to ensure its own nation is kept without falling to pieces. If India’s policy makers or rather those that are not working towards Balkanizing India just as some of Sri Lanka’s policy makers are doing upon Sri Lanka, India would be able to see the bigger picture and the greater plan. Can India not learn from the example of how the West used Gorbachev to break up the Soviet Union! India’s secularism is walking away from its majestic past and democracy has given India little to feel proud about because India is destined to be divided in to autonomous states.
Whatever India may say upon diplomatic platforms and via diplomatic cables and speeches, the citizens of Sri Lanka are well aware of how India trained, equipped and financed the LTTE’s initial years. Had it not been for this open support providing its own state as a logistical getaway for LTTE cadres, Sri Lanka would never have faced the deaths and destruction it faced – 30 years is no small number and India cannot expect our people to forget India’s role no matter what India now may say. We remember every bit of detail that connects India with the LTTE. Simply projecting the death of Rajiv Gandhi as an excuse to show India too suffered holds no water because Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in 1991 and India’s assistance for LTTE continued even after his death and an India MP has even accused the widow of Rajiv and present Chairperson of the Congress of smuggling Indian artifacts out of India with the help of the LTTE. So who are we really fooling?
Coming to the present Resolutions before the UNHRC – we are well aware that it is on India’s initiation that the US is presenting these Resolutions because while India thinks it will enable India to bribe or coerce Sri Lanka’s President into agreeing to the implementation of the 13th amendment, the West thinks miles further that if India secures Sri Lanka for itself in terms of an eventual Indian colony, both India and Sri Lanka would be 2 bunny’s into their basket and a greater axis in the Indian Ocean towards their ultimate objective China and Russia. India is betraying the entire continent by its foolhardy ways. India is making the entire region and continent vulnerable to these Western agendas because of its petty obsessions wanting all the while humiliate each of its border neighbors.
So if India’s policy makers think it is fooling the West into tagging along with the anti-Sri Lanka agenda building up the cases against Sri Lanka’s military on the argument that its “accountability” is not at a pace that they are comfortable with, the argument itself is too bizarre to believe and should have realistically opened the eyes of India to what the West was actually planning had it been drafted by US and not India but we are all the wiser to know the truth.
When LTTE fronts get UK House of Common to host its conferences and former UK foreign secretaries address the gathering via web links while 41 UK MPs voice pro-LTTE slogans should we not now be thinking the reversal of what we thought earlier? Is it the LTTE-fronts that are lobbying and winning these foreign MPs/Governments, INGOs etc or is it these Governments that actually dictate how these LTTE-fronts function? If so we are stepping into a whole new discussion which should immediately open India’s eyes and that of Sri Lanka as well. The proscription of the LTTE is simply a whitewash – will UK that has banned LTTE allow it to use London as its headquarters or allow UK MPs to stand on top of LTTE stages listening to speeches on separating Sri Lanka or praising suicide cadres for blowing up innocent people in Sri Lanka?
The same goes for Sri Lanka’s government – in the TNA we have a political party that openly goes canvassing for the separation of Sri Lanka, it openly claimed that LTTE was the sole representative of the Tamil people, it watched meekly as LTTE killed scores of Tamils and not a word did it utter when the Tamil civilians were kept by LTTE herded from one end to the other and now they are demanding accountability from the armed forces that saved approximate 295,000 Tamil civilians! Why has the Sri Lankan authorities failed to use the 6th amendment of the Constitution / Article 157a to deal with every Sri Lankan directly and indirectly working towards separating Sri Lanka?
The tragedy is that India is too obsessed with Sri Lanka and cannot sleep without planning something or the other to cripple Sri Lanka and exert the notion that India is the big brother and Sri Lanka must meekly concede. It is time Sri Lanka’s leaders and public officials clearly articulate that Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation and that India and all other nations needs to respect Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. This is the first message that must be conveyed to all and sundry.
However, Sri Lanka’s political leaderships have not helped either. Simply asking nations to respect Sri Lanka as sovereign is not enough. Handing out everything to India in an effort to show investments does little to guarantee Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and serves to realistically undermine our territorial integrity. If Sri Lanka’s leaders deny the leverages India has been given in Sri Lanka all they need to do is to consolidate everything they have handed over to India and see the implications in years to come – there is not an area that India have not been given a stake in and thankfully authorities have listened to opposition against legally allowing influx of Indian labor though how many have actually been allowed without public knowledge is anyone’s guess. These are just part of the harm our own people end up doing to our country. We cannot sacrifice our armed forces unnecessarily simply because our officials are asleep and cannot add two and two together.
Coming back to the Resolution we are well aware that Sri Lanka’s final stages of the conflict has enough of true stories that can counter the lies that C4 and paid stooges can cook up annually gleefully listened to and watched in foreign parliaments and even Geneva which is why apart from Resolutions there is nothing seriously incriminating against Sri Lanka’s armed forces except the tarnishing campaigns. India has realistically more rapes to be bothered about and these can easily be turned into an ICC trial alongside its other war crimes. We ask India to wake up – it is India that the West is actually targeting.
The public of Sri Lanka is not too concerned whether India votes against Sri Lanka for whether India votes in favor or even abstains, the public of Sri Lanka do not like the Indian Government and will always doubt every move any Indian Government makes vis a vis a history to back why people think so. Nevertheless, we cannot forget that it was from India that we were gifted Buddhism and though India forgot and is now using Buddhism for political advantage Sri Lanka’s nationalism rests on the strength of the Buddhist presence.
On India’s part it needs to seriously mature and come out of its obsession with throttling Sri Lanka. In so doing it is helping the West not only secure India but Sri Lanka as well ….. this is the long term strategic plan. The Tamil issue is a perfect raison d’etre as it links Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka through the Tamil factor and getting another militant group organized is peanuts for Western Governments and arms profiteers.
Therefore it is Sri Lanka’s President who should be telling India that it is Sri Lanka that is concerned about the security of the region because of India’s foolhardiness. At least, Sri Lanka eliminated the entire ground force of the LTTE. The LTTE tails wagging from overseas will soon find their voices directed towards India and Tamil Nadu and this is what India should be concerned with. Trips by US State Secretaries to meet Chief Ministers should be viewed with caution just as how Sri Lanka should curtail the manner India’s HC goes addressing Sri Lanka’s polity in Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka is not yet an Indian colony and we hope our leaders are not in slumber watching India phase out its takeover of Sri Lanka. Just see the mess the Indians are making of oil exploration – and can we be blamed for thinking it is probably being purposely done!
We cannot expect any type of purposeful change if politicians, public officials are only interested in furthering their comfort zones caring less what happens to the country. It is time we seriously review some investments – none of these are trickling down to the masses who are suffering from spirally cost of living made worse by corruptions in every corner. All these new entities in Sri Lanka serve the common man little – how many in Sri Lanka can afford a designer dress priced at Rs.4950/- and shoes equally priced to match? The region should not walk away from its heritage and culture to embrace cultures that are falling apart where they originated from.
It is not too late for India to appraise the situation for its benefit and that of the entire Asian continent in particular the South Asian region – the UNHRC does comprise 13 African states, 13 Asian states, 8 Latin American and Caribbean states, 6 East European states and only 7 Western European and other states.