New Delhi’s ‘historical’ Lanka relations outweigh Tamil Nadu aspirations
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 March 2012, 16:43 GMT]
Reading out a statement in the Rajya Sabha of Indian parliament on Wednesday, answering the demand of Tamil Nadu political parties that India should vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, Foreign Minister SM Krishna said, “Any assertions on our part may have implications on our historically friendly relations with a neighbouring country.” Krishna was rather harping on New Delhi’s continued ‘engagement’ with Colombo. Tamil Nadu ruling party AIADMK’s members angered by the statement walked out of the house, after tearing the statement of Krishna. Meanwhile, participating in a panel discussion in Puthiya Thalaimurai TV on Tuesday, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader, D. Pandian said that he would start reviewing his own Indian citizenship, if New Delhi votes in favour of Sri Lanka at Geneva.
“Let’s see what happens to the resolution. If India supports it, I will be proud of calling myself an Indian. If India is going to vote against the resolution I will start reviewing myself, whether I am a citizen of India,” the CPI leader said.
If India supports the resolution its prestige in the international arena will be enhanced. On the contrary if India attempts to bailout Sri Lanka that will backfire affecting the unity of India. This is currently the concern of my generation devoted to this nation, Pandian further said.
Mr. Krishna in the parliament came out with the usual list of petty assistances India was extending to Tamils in the island. He was hopeful about Sri Lanka’s LLRC, National Human Rights Action Plan, National Police Commission, military court of inquiry and SL’s promises of full implementation of the 13th Amendment that is already there in the constitution for more than 20 years to bring in solutions.
India’s position therefore is to engage with Sri Lanka, “based on reconciliation and accountability rather than deepening confrontation and mistrust between the concerned parties,” Krishna said.
He probably hinted at India’s behind the scene diplomatic manoeuvrings, when he said, “I may mention that the issue of human rights allegations against Sri Lanka is yet to come up for formal discussion at the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. A view on this issue will be taken as and when the time is finalized for consideration of the draft resolution on Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council.”* * *
Appearing in the panel discussion in Puthiya Thalaimurai [New Generation] TV in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday, Dr Ezhilan argued that Eezham Tamils in the island and in the diaspora should be given with the chance of a plebiscite to decide about their future. This is more important than the futile resolution currently debated in Geneva, he said.
Senior journalist Baghavan Singh was sceptical of any substantial outcome whether the resolution is going to be passed or defeated. It could maximum serve only as a pressure on Sri Lanka, he said adding that it will be a gesture to tell that Tamils are not orphans and Sri Lanka cannot have a free licence.
Baghavan Singh also pointed out how the Eezham Tamils, who once held the Indian leaders of the older generation in high esteem, have now become anti-Indian, simmering with anger. This situation should change, and India’s response at Geneva should take that direction, he further said.
Speaking next, CPI’s Tamil Nadu leader, D. Pandian said, the resolution is inadequate. However, when this soft resolution envisages only the need for an investigation, if anybody says there shouldn’t be any investigation, that itself should be investigated, Pandian said.
India’s stand in sitting on any investigation and mobilising support of China and Russia in favour of Sri Lanka, are wrong. Earlier it gave arms for the massacre. Now it sits on investigations and mobilizes support to defeat the Geneva resolution, Pandian accused the Congress government.
The CPI leader’s strong statement on New Delhi’s stand endangering the unity of India and pricking his own pride of his citizenship, is a feeling and frustration shared by many political activists in Tamil Nadu, while New Delhi harps on its historical relations with the Sri Lankan state that is practically a confirmed Sinhala state, political observers in Chennai said.
The blowing wind in Tamil Nadu made even Congress Party’s Gnanadesikan to say that his party’s Tamil Nadu committee stands with other political parties on the resolution issue. In the TV panel discussion he was hopeful that the centre would listen to the stand of the political parties in Tamil Nadu.
Gnanadesikan was quipped by Pandian that what are the alternatives if the Centre chooses not to listen to the united voice of the political parties of Tamil Nadu.