Come clean: CPI leader to Indian Government
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 18 March 2008, 17:46 GMT]
The National General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI), D. Raja, launched an no-holds-barred attack on the Central Government during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of the Indian Parliament) on Tuesday. He deplored the Indian Government for "not uttering a word against the deployment of sea-mines by the Sri Lankan Government" in the Palk Straits and for giving training to the Sri Lankan army in a "clandestine" manner.
"What is the policy of the Government of India, and why is the Government of India keeping quiet on the question of sea-mines? Why the Government of India is extending all kinds of military support to the Sri Lankan Government?" he asked. He sought to know why New Delhi was keen on helping a rogue nation that was "violating various international conventions" relating to land and sea mines, and asked the Indian Government to declare its policy.
He noted that "the military offensive in Sri Lanka has been gradually turning to be a war against the Tamils" and "all sorts of human rights violations are taking place" in the war-torn island.
He deplored the Indian Government for "not uttering a word against the deployment of sea-mines by the Sri Lankan Government" in the Palk Straits that divide the two countries. "There was a Hague Convention in 1907. There was an initiative taken by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in 1987. There was a San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea in 1994. Having listed out all these things, the Sri Lankan Government does not have any respect for any international convention or any international norm against sea-mines and the Government of India is keeping quiet."
THe CPI leader took the Government to task for giving "secret training" to Sri Lankan Army personnel. "If the Government of India has a policy to train Sri Lankan Army, let the policy be declared. Let the people know. To give training to the Sri Lankan Army should not be done in a clandestine manner. And I can say that there were Sri Lankan military officers who were brought to the National Defence Academy."
In conclusion, Raja observed that this was "a very serious matter" since there was a conflict and India was burdened because of the refugee influx from Sri Lanka.