Feature Article

Indian federal model insufficient to Sri Lanka, says senior leader of CPI

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 October 2008, 08:31 GMT]
Unlike India, which has a multitude of ethnicities, the Sri Lankan question is confined only to two identities, Sinhalese and Tamils. Legacies of struggle and military situation have made a contextual difference in Sri Lanka. Therefore the Indian federal model is insufficient to Sri Lanka. It should be higher than that, perhaps a confederation having constitutional guarantees, preventing one unit militarily interfering with the other, said C. Mahendran, senior leader of the Tamil Nadu unit of the Communist Party of India, in a recent interview to TamilNet.

Mr. Mahendran, joint secretary of Tamil Nadu CPI, on the eve of a protest organised by his party on October 02, told TamilNet that his party has placed a three-point demand, to stop the war in Sri Lanka, not to provide any military or economic assistance to Sri Lanka government and to come out with a package of political solution to the Tamil crisis in Sri Lanka.

He said the media in India did not reveal the true situation in Sri Lanka, but engaged only in the vilification of the Tamil struggle.

Mahendran came down heavily on the JVP of Sri Lanka for not accepting federalism, which is in fact a solution in the lines of communist thinking. As communists, there shouldn't be any qualms for them to accept Tamil Eelam as maximum and federalism as minimum means of solution to the crisis in Sri Lanka. Even the Indian government and all political parties in India favour a federal solution to Sri Lanka. He said his party broke relations with the JVP since they were unable to come out with a clear solution to the Tamil question in Sri Lanka.

On the India - U.S. nuclear pact, he said it is dangerous and has implications to the entire region including Sri Lanka.

On the question of Sri Lanka approaching China and Pakistan for military assistance, Mr. Mahendran said such a threat to Indian security became possible because of war in Sri Lanka. That is why his party is keen that the war should be brought to an end.

"The Indian government functions in a peculiar way today. Extra-constitutional authorities like Intelligence Services take decisions in matters such as the supply of arms to Sri Lanka. Such things take place in an extra parliamentary way without the knowledge of the parliamentarians and the media," he said. For instance, the country came to know about the presence of Indian radar technicians in Sri Lanka only when two of them got injured in the LTTE attack in Vavuniyaa, he noted.

When such matters are questioned, the answer from the authorities is that 'if India doesn't supply, China will do it'.

The proclaimed policy of India is to resolve the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka, not killing the Tamils, he said.

C. Mahendran, the Tamil Nadu assistant secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI)


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