Opinion Article

It needs a mandate to prod them to justice

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 March 2008, 11:52 GMT]
"Anyone who wishes to see a peacefully united Sri Lanka has to begin from separation. Separation for unity is the appropriate paradigm today. The Sri Lankan situation has transcended the 1987 formula. It is time the Tamils in India have to take care of a policy shift in the Indian establishment. The suggestion is that the political parties of Tamil Nadu who aspire for power in the forthcoming elections have to boldly adapt a policy upholding a Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka in their election manifesto and get the mandate from the people. Only such a mandate can silence the antagonists and direct the foreign policy of India to serve the interests of Tamils, India as well as a peaceful Sri Lanka."

Mr. Vaiko
Vaiko, General Secretary, MDMK
Sometimes back Mr. Vaiko, the leader of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), whose party has four members in the opposition of the current Lok Sabha of India, wrote three letters to the Prime Minister of India on the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka and on the miseries of the fishermen of Tamil Nadu.

The Prime Minister's reply, dated 5th March was elusive, bureaucratic and misleading.

The Indian Prime Minister ignores the precarious plight of the Tamils of Sri Lanka, facing genocide. He rather chooses to look at the situation through the prism of India's relationship with Sri Lanka, the territorial integrity of which is of utmost importance to him. In other words Tamils are not important, but Sri Lanka is a sacred cow.

He therefore wants the Tamils to be content with the truncated 13th amendment Rajapaksa is offering to implement. This offer, which has even backtracked from what had already been offered and rejected by the Tamils, and is a wreck of the conspiracy of Colombo and the Congress regime of India in 1987, is in the eyes of the Indian Prime Minister a feat of the Sri Lanka government to be welcomed.

Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh
The President of Congress [Right] and the Prime Minister of India [Left].
Letter from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Vaiko
Letter from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Vaiko
Mr. Manmohan Singh in his letter has openly come out with a misleading statement in saying that the intention of the Sri Lanka government is to fully implement the 13th Amendment while it has already been deprived of its crucial provision for linking North and East of Sri Lanka.

What Manmohan Singh is trying to imply is that the Tamils have already lost the war, and therefore they have to accept whatever that has been offered and keep quiet.

In fact this was the message given to the anti-LTTE groups visited Delhi, which they meekly listened to, if not accepted.

The Indian Prime Minister in his letter also suppressed the truth of the dubious role being played by his government in materially promoting the military efforts of the Colombo government, while paying lip service against it.

Coming to the fishermen of Tamil Nadu, through the usual rhetoric, he implied that the fault was with the fishermen. He even sounded mischievous in cautioning the fishermen of the danger of getting caught in the crossfire, when every one knows that no fisherman of Tamil Nadu ever died in any crossfire, but perished in large numbers by deliberate shooting of the Sri Lanka Navy.

Vaiko need not have written those letters to the Prime Minister of India. He could have very well written them to the President of Sri Lanka to get this kind of reply, perhaps with more sophistication and less bureaucratic arrogance.

But, undiscouraged and with earnest hope, Vaiko has written an apt reply to the Indian Prime Minister, on 18th March.

What is clear to everybody is that the present establishment at Delhi is simply incapable of coming out of its paranoia of LTTE, and innovatively thinking of the larger interests of India, Tamils and even that of Sri Lanka.

What is posed by the situation in Sri Lanka in not merely the genocide of Tamils there, but an open challenge to the prestige of 70 million Tamils living all over the world.

Contrary to the impression of many Eezham Tamils, there is no North Indian – South Indian issue in seeing reason with the sufferings of Tamils. It is the Sinhalese, who in vain, try since long times to bring in such a wedge, citing their age-old nonsense of Aryan origins.

A large majority of the North Indian public and politicians are not at all worried of a Tamil nation in Sri Lanka. Their priorities and pre-occupations are different. A leader like Vajpayee had no qualms in the legal recognition of the classical status of Tamil, which the Congress would have never done. The left political parties of India also are never unreasonable in seeing reason.

It is actually a small bunch of individuals, who have personal bias, vendetta, and suffer from defeat syndrome who try to hijack the Tamil cause in Sri Lanka to balm their wounded ego. But, they are in power. Their bureaucratic and policy legacies would continue even when they are shown with the door in the elections. They will listen to only when their arms are twisted, in which the Sinhala politicians have seasoned expertise. The Tamils are yet to learn the sophistications of this art.

The Sri Lankan situation has transcended the 1987 formula. Anyone who wishes to see a peacefully united Sri Lanka has to now begin from separation. Separation for unity is the appropriate paradigm today. It is time the Tamils in India have to take care of a policy shift in the Indian establishment.

The writer comes to know that a TamilNet reader from Tamil Nadu has recently come out with a positive suggestion in this regard. His name is withheld for saving him from prying eyes. When it comes to Tamil affairs the freedom of expression is the same in Sri Lanka and in India. Even Vaiko has to undergo 19 months of imprisonment for his verbal expressions.

The suggestion is that the political parties of Tamil Nadu who aspire for power in the forthcoming elections have to boldly adapt a policy, upholding a Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka in their election manifesto and get the mandate from the people. Only such a mandate can silence the antagonists and direct the foreign policy of India to serve the interests of Tamils, India as well as a peaceful Sri Lanka.

The most appropriate basis for such an exercise is the Vaddukkoaddai Declaration of 1976, which was conceived and drafted by pre-militant leaders like S.J.V. Chelvanayakam and A. Amirthalingam and was overwhelmingly mandated by the Tamils of North and East of Sri Lanka in the 1977 elections. No one can legally raise any objection to take it as a basis to get a policy mandate from the people of Tamil Nadu.

M. Karunanidhi
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi
A great responsibility lies on the leaders of the Tamil Nadu political parties, movements that are not in electoral politics, and above all on Mr. Karunanidhi personally, to achieve this diplomatic feat. Needless to say it is a historic opportunity to Karunanidhi to get his name engraved in the Tamil History.

In the meantime all efforts should be taken by all concerned to completely stop any military assistance by India to Sri Lanka.

The misery of the fishermen of Tamil Nadu could ultimately be resolved only with the political assertion of the Tamils of Sri Lanka. No one should ever forget that the Tamils on either side of the Palk Strait are the closest of the cousins, who were amicably sharing the resources of these waters since time immemorial.


Related Articles:
20.03.08   India abetting Tamil genocide: Vaiko
08.06.97   Vaddukkoaddai Resolution

 

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