Feature Article

'Evacuation enforced is negation of territoriality'

[TamilNet, Monday, 09 March 2009, 10:49 GMT]
While concern is mounting up beyond limits on the plight of civilians facing sanctions and attack by Colombo, a new concern looming large about their future is the possible prodding or pressed evacuation coming from ‘strategic partners’, to see them ending up in the hands of the Sri Lankan state. The 'evacuation' move, and not protection of them in their own land, is seen as negation of the territoriality of Tamils and is understood as signalling Colombo to continue the war against Tamils, their national aspirations and against their fighting force, diaspora Tamil circles observed.

The US government will sound India Monday, seeking support to evacuate nearly 200,000 Tamil civilians from LTTE controlled territory, read a news story appeared in Kolkata-based The Telegraph on Sunday.

The plan is to send a marine expeditionary brigade attached to the US Pacific Command (PACOM) to go into Sri Lanka with the support of the US navy and air force, the news reported by K.P. Nayar said.

The PACOM already discussed the matter with the Sri Lankan authorities and with SLA, it is learnt. France has reportedly expressed support to the US move.

“If the invasion comes about, it will be the first time that the Obama administration will flex its muscle overseas in a new show of American power”, The Telegraph said.

Writing on possible responses from India The Telegraph revealed:

“There are serious differences in the Indian government on how to deal with the mounting crisis in its southern backyard with the national security adviser, M.K. Narayanan, opposed to any support for military action.”

“Narayanan's main concern is a possible fallout on the Lok Sabha elections as the result of an evacuation without the explicit approval of the LTTE and any consequent spilling of Tamil blood.”

“But external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee is aware that if a US-led rescue of Tamil civilians takes place without any role for India beyond that of a spectator, New Delhi will suffer grave loss to its reputation as a regional power and an emerging global power.”

The US move is timed for the tail end of the tenure of the present Indian government.

Meanwhile, a press release from the Indian High Commission in Colombo, Friday, announced the arrival of an Indian medical team to Sri Lanka on Monday to establish an emergency medical unit at Pulmoaddai.

The medical team will comprise eight physicians and surgeons as well as para-medical staff and technical staff, carrying necessary medical equipment and medicines required for the emergency medical unit which will be engaged in the medical care of the IDPs from the North, the press release said.

Earlier Xinhua reported that this would be an Indian military hospital, staffed by doctors and personnel from the Indian Army.

The choice of Pulmoaddai, a coastal place right at the border of Northern and Eastern Provinces, known for its ilmanite deposits, is ascribed with significance by observers. The 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka accord was linked to India’s interests in Trincomalee, they point out.

In the meantime, US ambassador Blake’s speech on Friday at Taj Samudra, Colombo, harping on 13th Amendment as solution, evoked serious concern in Tamil circles.

Saying “it is clear that government forces will soon control all territory in the north with the exception of the safe zone” and cautioning Sri Lanka of possible violence from the LTTE ‘sleeper cells’, supported by Tamil diaspora, unless a power sharing political solution is worked out, what ultimately he suggests is the implementation of the 13th Amendment and elections to the provincial council of the North, now separated from the East.

External Links:
The Telegraph: US taps Delhi on Lanka foray
U.S. Embassy: Ambassador Blake’s remarks at the Foundation for Co-Existence Youth Conference on War Termination


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