Feature Article

S.M. Krishna and his suo motu statement

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 August 2011, 01:09 GMT]
The Suo Motu statement of Indian foreign minister SM Krishna on Sri Lanka in the Indian parliament has led him into a controversy of filing a defamation case against the Press Trust of India (PTI), because the latter reported him reading the statement ‘absent minded’. The minister "appeared absent-minded and had to be prodded to make a statement," PTI reported. On Krishna’s response through a defamation case the PTI said on Friday: "This is perhaps the first time a minister has threatened a news organisation with... action for reporting [House] proceedings despite the Parliamentary Proceedings [Protection of Publication] Act." Meanwhile, Krishna’s statement was meant to mislead the parliament and to hoodwink Tamil Nadu, writes, a leading legal practitioner and human rights activist of Trincomalee.

"A mild flutter was created in the Lok Sabha today when... Krishna appeared absent-minded and had to be prodded to make a statement. When Speaker Meira Kumar called him to make a statement... Krishna was engaged in conversation [at] the aisle... He failed to find a copy of the statement... Some opposition members were seen sarcastically congratulating Krishna," reported PTI on the ‘seriousness’ with which the Indian foreign minister made the ‘Suo Motu’ statement on India’s foreign policy related to Tamils and Sri Lanka.

The full comments of the legal activist from Trincomalee follow:

He [India] has made this ’suo motu’ statement after a deep sleep long after the whole world has reacted to the UN Advisory Panel Report and the Channel 4 Documentary on Sri Lankan 'Genocide' of innocent Tamils. After blanket denial of any civilian casualties Prof Wijesinghe has now admitted during the BBC interview that there may have been 5000 civilians killed and Gotapaya now says that it is impossible to execute such a war without any civilian casualties. India's reluctance was perhaps due to the fact that they were co-executioners of this war against Tamils. Sam Rajappa, veteran Indian Journalist in his article in ‘Statesman’ has stated that it was due to Sonya Gandhi’s instructions that this war against the Tamils was waged. Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Nimal Sripala de Silva have all spoken about India's role in it.

Krishna's statement to say the least is to mislead his colleagues in the Parliament and to hoodwink his countrymen especially those of Tamilnadu. Not only the Sri Lanka Armed Forces but India's IPKF is also answerable for its crime against humanity in the Northeast Sri Lanka. (Jaffna Hospital Massacre, Valveddith-thu'rai massacre-not second to Jalian wallah massacre by the British in colonial India-and numerous cases of rape of Tamil women including a 69 year old grandmother refer to IPKF massacre of Tamils-In the name of Peace' published by the Delhi Tamil students Union, and ‘Broken Palmyrah’ by Thiranagama et al).

Re: para 4 of his statement in the floor of the house where he states that, 'Sri Lanka has borne the brunt of terrorism for nearly three decades', he has forgotten about the suffering of Tamils in that Island due to the 'State terrorism' by both the Sri Lankan and Indian Forces for a longer period, even before Pirapakaran was born. Tamil youth further suffered torture, and long incarceration due to arbitrary arrests under the draconian Emergency Regulations and Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Re. para 7 of his statement, "around 290000 IDPs have already been resettled and only 10.000 IDPs remain in the camps", first of all they are not Internally displaced persons (IDPs) but 'forcibly uprooted persons' (FUPs) by Sri Lanka and India, from their traditional areas of inhabitancy. These people have not been resettled properly. They are suffering in transit camps and temporary buildings, and again even where they are back in their villages they have no proper shelter and infra structure. They have no facilities for their livelihoods. When Sinhala fishermen from the south are allowed fishing in Mullaitheevu Tamil fishermen from Mullaitheevu area, who are 'Bhoomi Putras' are prohibited from doing so (see various reports by TNA). These uprooted persons were not treated in accordance with the Guide lines of UNHCR. It is to be noted that India is another country which has not still signed and ratified the UN Refugees Convention of 1952.

As regards Indian Fishermen Indian Prime Minister and Mr.Krishna keep saying that they have taken up the matter with the Sri Lanka Government and that Sri Lanka Navy will not attack or kill the Indian fishermen in the future. However they continue to do so from the time of Karunanithy's letters to the Centre to protect the Tamil Nadu fishermen. Even Pakistan, does not attack the Indian fishermen. This utter disregard only shows that Delhi does not treat 'Tamil Nadu' fishermen as ‘Indian Fishermen’. In other words the Indian (Central) government is practising separatism and/or treating them as second class citizens.

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