US initiated ‘contact groups’ to militarily weaken Eezham Tamils

[TamilNet, Friday, 01 April 2011, 12:04 GMT]
Two international ‘contact groups', one each to check LTTE fund-raising and arms purchases were initiated by the U.S, in the first half of 2006, says The Hindu article Friday, based on the US cables accessed by The Hindu through Wikileaks. A cable sent in August 2006 from the US Embassy in New Delhi discloses the composition of the contact groups for the first time: representatives of Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States, The Hindu feature further said.

According to the cables, Nirupama Menon Rao, the present Indian Foreign Secretary who was then Indian envoy in Colombo thought that the US plan was a ”good idea.”

A joint Secretary, Mohan Kumar, in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs suggested the inclusion of Canada in the fund-blocking ‘contact’ group and he was pleased at the proposed composition of the weapons procurement contact group, as it included Southeast Asian states such as Thailand and Malaysia, the cables revealed.

The cables also showed that the US wanted Rajapaksa to come out with details of a political solution to weaken the LTTE.

“It is clear that India was pushing Sri Lanka to come out with a political solution, but had made little headway in its efforts,” The Hindu article said.

However, India was not favouring a joint demarche to Colombo along with the USA, but proposed parallel demarches.

Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran visited Colombo in the first week of July 2006. Later that month, the Sri Lankan Army formally crossed the ceasefire line. According to K. Vekataramanan of The Hindu, this culminated in the “liberation” of the eastern region in 2008.

From the cables it seems that instead of coming out with details of political solution, Colombo was keen in USA and India comprehensively participating in the ‘contact group’ programme of weakening the Eezham Tamils militarily.

The cables contradict the claim of Norwegian peace facilitator Erik Solheim that there was a solution on the table, but the LTTE lost the opportunity.

Why the USA and India didn’t insist on political solution they were verbally putting forward but went all out in mobilising the world establishments in weakening the Tamils militarily; Was there any ‘secret solution’ agreed upon between Rajapaksa and the USA and between Rajapaksa and India, as the ‘demarches’ were parallel. Was it because the USA and India knew that this solution would not come anywhere near the Tamil aspirations, it was decided to keep that secret, hoping that after allowing a genocide the feeble Eezham Tamils would accept it – these are questions raised by Tamil political observers.


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