2ND LEAD

Not possible to remain mute spectators: Ramadoss to Indian PM

[TamilNet, Sunday, 30 March 2008, 09:16 GMT]
Labelling Sri Lanka "a failed state, a condominium of anarchy, and a shame on humanity" that "terrorized its own Tamil citizens," Dr. S. Ramadoss, leader of Paaddaa'li Makka'l Kadchi (PMK, Toilers' Party) and a constituent ally of the Congress-led Indian government, said that it was not possible to remain "passing by-standers to this human tragedy at our doorstep" in his letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday. "The sixty million Tamils in India cannot wait and watch while their sisters and brothers are being decimated across the Palk Straits and Gulf of Mannar," he said.

S. Ramadoss
Dr. S. Ramadoss
"Feelings of love, affection and mutual sympathy are very strong and deep rooted between the Tamils on both sides of their historical waters" he said and urged India to act without delay and " impress upon the Sri Lankan government to stop its war mongering."

The PMK leader, in his emotional letter, highlighted the immediate need to protect the innocent lives of Sri Lankan Tamils undergoing untold hardships at the hands of the merciless and brutal Government of Sri Lanka, which was refusing to accommodate the rightful aspirations of the Tamils and was "hell-bent on a programme of subjugation, if not decimation" of its Tamil citizens.

In his letter, he said that the "Sinhala majoritarian" GoSL had unilaterally abrogated various pacts, accords and agreements reached between the Tamils and the Sinhalese over the past 60 years and he cited the Banda-Chelva pact of 1958, the Dudley-Chelva pact of 1965, District Councils Act of 1978 as glaring examples. He accused the GoSL of scorning off international facilitations--the Rajiv-Jayawardnae pact of 1987 has been reduced to a dead letter and the GoSL has thrown the Norway-brokered Ranil-Prabakaran accord of 2002 into the dustbin.

Dr Ramadoss pointed out with an objective of war mongering, GoSL was procuring state-of-the-art weaponry from countries hostile to India. He alleged that Pakistan's former ISI chief, as an incumbent ambassador in Colombo, was using it as a base to instigate anti-India activities. China was also eyeing to gain a foothold in Colombo for strategic purposes and therefore, Chinese weapons were flowing into Sri Lanka. China has thus obtained licences from Sri Lanka to explore offshore oil and natural gas for a block in the Gulf of Mannar, very near to Kanyakumari. Even the USA was providing "arms, ammunition and training to Sri Lankans in the guise of its anti-terror programme" he said and added that even the Indian Government was providing weapons to GoSL.

"Sri Lanka's latest procurement is a fleet of supersonic MIG fighters, incompatible with the requirements of a state that has India as its only neighbour". He expressed concern that GoSL was conducting an all-out war against the Tamils using these weapons, and as a spill over, the Sri Lankan Navy was targeting Tamil Nadu fishermen fishing in Indian waters.

He said that the "genocidal content of the war" stood exposed because the GoSL has so far killed around 200,000 Tamils, most of whom were "young men and women in the prime of their life." The Jaffna peninsula with an area of a 1000 square kilometers has been almost emptied of its Tamil populace, he said and lamented that the only leftovers of 5000 years of Tamil linguistic and cultural niche was "charred human bodies, burnt vegetation, bullet ridded buildings, bomb-pits, rubbles and pot-holes." He noted that Tamil territories like Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Amparai, Vavuniya, Mannar and Puttalam have now been reduced to areas of death and destruction.

Dr Ramadoss blamed the GoSL for hindering the functioning of NGOs who were catering to the one-and-a-half million internally displaced Tamil people living at the mercy of international donors. Tamil Nadu alone accomodated 100, 000 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, and about 800,000 Tamils had left their homeland seeking safety and security in alien lands.

He pointed out that the UNHCR sponsored International Group of Eminent Persons headed by the former Chief Justice of India Justice Bhagavathi had refused to continue to function in Sri Lanka because GoSL turned a deaf ear to any suggestion to improve the human rights situation. He observed that almost all international human rights groups had raised a global alarm on the deteriorating human rights situation in Sri Lanka that was ranked as the worst area for human rights abuses. Even the Secretary General of the UN had deputed a senior offiicial to Sri Lanka for an in-depth study of the situation.

He charged GoSL-sponsored political groups of conducting series of killings and abductions. "Targeting peace loving political activists, they have murdered six Tamil Members of the Parliament so far. What is popularly known as white van abductions are being carried out at the behest of the top government leaders." he said.

"These killings and abductions are part of the Sri Lankan strategy to pursue a military solution to the political problem of ethnicity. Sri Lanka's strategy is to invade the 20,000 square km. Tamil homeland; to decimate as much as of the 50,00,000 strong Tamil population; subjugate to servitude any remaining Tamils; make the entire island a land of the Sinhala Buddhists. It is this expansionist policy, that is evading a political solution. Sinhalese are fully aware that such a solution will enshrine the political will and determination of the Tamils in the island. Sinhalese either refuse to negotiate or half heartedly negotiate to reach a settlement which they subsequently abrogate unilaterally."

He urged New Delhi to act immediately and impress upon the Sri Lankan government to stop its war mongering. He wanted India to take into "serious consideration the strong feelings of the Tamils of Tamil Nadu and Puduchery while playing any role in the negotiating process."


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