Reality Check India

Unpardonable failure in Sri Lanka

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on May 12, 2009

So I watched the massive show of strength rally by the NDA in Ludhiana on TV Sunday. 

It was suprising and somewhat heartening to hear Modi raise the Sri Lankan Tamils issue for the first time. I only wish the BJP had done this earlier. The SL Tamil issue ought to have been formulated as a hindu issue, which it really is.

Unfortunately, the SL tamils and their leadership fell for the Tamil Inam (Tamil race) line. This was gleefully welcomed by the political formations in Tamilnadu who have made a fortune out of this Tamil race  business. As long as no work needed to be done, everything was humming along. A poem here and a poster there.

When words fell short and action was required, the Tamil race line fell apart.  There is no doubting the buddhist religious fervor that drives the Sinhala troops. The bikkus have a key role in this military offensive. The misguided application of the dravidian movements principles to areas unrelated to “social justice without data” was bound to fail. For example, there were no protests of any kind in dravidian states like Karnataka, AP, and Kerala. 

Once a dravidian colour was assigned to the SL Tamils fight, the public landscape in TN was split along predictable lines. So called Aryan (Brahmin caste) personalities like Cho, S. Swamy, N. Ram were forced to align against Eelam. How can they support a armed version of the Dravidian movement ?  How can they be expected to support an army who sympathized with the same racial compensatory policies they were accusing the Sinhalese race of ? It was of course tragic that none of these “Brahmin” opinion makers could ignore and laugh at  the obvious limitations of the dravidian line and focus on the SL Tamils. When the same issue was dressed up as  “the temple destroying Sinhalese ravaging the SL Tamil hindus”, most would stand up in support.  This suited both sides of the cleave, the brahmin opinion makers were given disproportionate importance and the dravidian parties went : “We told you about these guys. See there is still work to be done, these guys are against  the Tamil race”. Again, no one actually needed to do any work militarily or politically. As long as words and gimmickry like a few hours of not eating was sufficient, things were humming along.

A safe and fashionable opinion to hold was this:  “we support the SL Tamils but not the LTTE”.  In fact, even now we are being sold this line by the media. At the time such opinions were voiced, the LTTE controlled the SL Tamils lives and territory.  This was de facto- whether we liked it or not. The Indian governments refusal to accept the LTTEs control was bound to have tragic consequences.  It is like saying,”we like the Indian people but not its army, navy, police, courts, civil administration, and media“.

India, under the Congress led UPA government has failed the Tamil people in SL, and reduced Indias standing even among SAARC countries.  The Hindu leadership , specificially the VHP has a lot of answering to do.  Where are they at this critical juncture ? Barring Sri Sri Ravishankar – no one has shown the fervor they reserve for the Pakistanis and Muslims.

Even before the SL advance on Kilinochchi, after the fall of the east, the writing was on the wall was clear to all observers.  The LTTE were in no position to hold territory.

India should have factored in two things :

1. The LTTEs suicidal plans for the Tamils under their control

2. The Sinhalese troops eagerness to help with the above (1)

Instead of banning the LTTE, the Indian leadership should have tried to talk sense into them. If that did not work, they should have entwined themselves more closely with the SL offensive. I am not saying this was easy, but it could be done while keeping the Chinese and Pakistanis out. The objective should have been that at this juncture in the military offense, the Indians should have been in a vantage position.  Again this calls for too much work for a larger interest, and too little gains from it.

Photo : Dr Thangamutha Sathyamorthy (via Guardian)

Photo : Dr Thangamutha Sathyamorthy (via Guardian)

Some of the atrocities in the past two days. What is cystal clear is that there is no ceasefire.  The optimism of P. Chidambaram is misplaced. The Sinhalese troops are impatient and want to ‘finish off’ quickly. Forget about large bore weapons, the sinhalese troops seem to be strafing civilian targets. (Strafing = Firing at stationary objects from air)

378 civilians killed

A Sri Lankan health official says the civilian death toll from a massive artillery barrage overnight in the island’s northern war zone has risen to 378.

V. Shanmugarajah, a physician working in the war zone says the bodies of 378 people had been brought to the makeshift hospital that he runs by Sunday afternoon. He says 1,122 more people have been wounded.

Source : AP via Yahoo News

Over 100 children killed in weekend bloodbath.

More than 100 children were among a large number of Tamil civilians killed in a weekend “bloodbath” in Sri Lanka, the United Nations’ spokesman in Colombo, Gordon Weiss, said Monday.

AFP via Google

2000 civilians killed in night of terror (Saturday night to Sunday dawn)

According to medical sources in Vanni, the 2,000 civilians include a large number of women and children. It is also claimed that the Sri Lankan army has resorted to weapons like internationally banned cluster shells.

Mid day

Sri Lanka deports UK journalists

Walsh said on Saturday that he believed the arrests were connected to his recent report on the conditions of war refugees and alleged sexual abuse in camps for those who have fled the war zone.

ITN News, which produces Channel 4, said their original report – broadcast on May 5 – contained the first independently filmed video from one of the displacement camps in the north of the island .

“The report contained claims that bodies were left where they fell, shortages of food and water, and sexual abuse.”

Source

Air Strike at dawn on civilian hindus

Does this sound like the death march ?

Please read this article in full to understand.

Are you shocked at the lackluster response of the Congress led UPA government ?

The assault started on the same day that the Sri Lankan government ordered the tens of thousands of civilians still trapped by the fighting to move into an area that is just 2km long and 1.5km wide to enable it to flush out the remaining Tamil rebels.

..
The Sri Lankan government has repeatedly denied using heavy weapons against civilians inside the zone. Last month, it said its forces would use only small arms in their pursuit of the LTTE.

However, reports from medical staff, supported by pictures and videos apparently showing explosions and large-scale casualties, have contradicted those claims. A report from Human Rights Watch yesterday accused the government of hitting hospitals with air and artillery attacks.

Source : Axisoflogic

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12 Responses

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  1. Gaurav said, on May 12, 2009 at 5:26 am

    I think situation is bit more complicated of course I am not as knowledgeable about you, may be I will write a post.

  2. reason said, on May 12, 2009 at 5:51 am

    Hindu Bengalis or Hindu counterparts of those suffering in Pakistan did not take up their issues either. In SL there is a full scale war, and in bangla/Pak there was a different way. Heck, we dont even bother to report that KPs could not vote anymore in the valley now.

    I think you give way too much strength to RSS etc. They are fighting a war of attrition within the country.

    In the issue of Hindu Malaysians, RSS etc did contribute their PR but nothing much beyond.

    You give unnecessary credit to sri sri. He is only PR and nothing else. If you believe the PR churn, sri sri has brought peace to kashmir, middle east and most other troubled places.

  3. Barbarindian said, on May 12, 2009 at 5:53 am

    This is very tragic, I am unable to connect all the dots though. There was a lot of room for forceful diplomacy – at least putting some army observers around. We could send recon aircraft with Mig/Su escorts.

    The defense minister was traipsing around in Malaysia and other countries striking arms deals.

  4. rc said, on May 12, 2009 at 6:30 am

    Gaurav,

    IMO, It is always better to start with an over simplification. I think you may be referring to my glossing over the terrorist nature of the LTTE.

    I also had an oversimplified post about the main cause of the Tamil disenchantment (the standardization policy). Even the revoking of the citizenship status of plantation workers did not do what the standardization policy did. https://realitycheck.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/standardization-the-hidden-cause/

    Reason,

    PR or not Sri Sri was there in the Vanni hospitals, no one else went. That calls for credit.

    I agree with you about the lack of support for hindraf tamils and the lack of support for KPs etc, of course.

  5. reason said, on May 12, 2009 at 6:48 am

    if i give credit to PR i may have to start giving to all PR including the filmdom tamasha or various fasts. I would rather not.

  6. xyz said, on May 12, 2009 at 7:40 am

    RC,

    The way the issue has been played in TN politics,it is very difficult to see how india could have reacted differently.

    It was only in 1962,that DMK dropped the demand for a separate nation.While the Vadakkodu resolution of TULF in 1976 demanded a separate eelam.There was a fundamental divergence between eezham tamils and GOI.
    Yet Mrs.Gandhi trained the LTTE on high moral grounds after the 1983 massacre of eezham tamils.

    Secondly,i am sorry to say this,the world view of DMK and eezham tamils lacked any coherence.This must have been particularly galling for a generation of indians brought up on heady idealism of Gandhi and Nehru.

    Again i am sorry to say this.But being a student of indian nationalism,i can glean from the writings of tamil brahmin indian nationalists who had genuine love for the tamizh language and understood the egalitarian instincts of tamil nationalists(which would have hade definite conflict of interests with educated tamil brahmanas fluent in english,western lore and indian nationalism ,these constituents in varying mix)had a certain fear/contempt of this bumbling leadership.The eezham leadership would have been seen by the gandhi-nehru elitist ‘socialists’ as the worst specimens of british lackeys( constitutional lawyers and even worse christian converts) whose only real interests were protecting their group welfare which they had secured atleast partially because of british largesse bestowed on loyal servants.These eezham activists would remind them of Justice party zamindars or muslim league nawabs.These would be the worst specimens in the eyes of the ‘brahmin intellectuals’ in whose eyes the Congress party with its unique blend of ‘enlightened elitist welfare state’ was delivering an utopia to a nation freed from its benighted white racist christists.

    Yes,there were exceptions to these simplistic readings of history.But then such ‘innocent’ souls were not activists.And in any age the zealous are convinced of their righteousness by the general ignorance of the majority,the convictions of their fellow travellers,the half hearted support of the confused and the opportunists.

    How can you expect them to have sympathy for eezham,particularly when even ‘tamizhina’ thalaivar himself is interested in raking up the issue to score points against the centre?

    There are limits to which india can go against another soverign country which is not in india’s eyes fundamentally antagonostic to it.

    As tamil chauvinists have pointed out,the sinhalas came from orissa.The language is allied to prakrit.The culture is wholly based on buddhism.The sinhalese revere Bodh Gaya and Sarnath.SriLanka will be vitally important to security.Indian investment is growing in SL.

    It is a pathetic commentary on indian national consciousness in the tamil mainstream media that a absolutely ridiculous comparison is being made with Bangladesh.

    But i am not surprised that even jayalalitha has joined this bandwagon.As anyone familiar with tamil journalism would know,the ‘intellectuals’ are widening the chasm with india.i have referred to this in a reply to gaurav.That is why the tamils want to ‘control’ IIT and IAS.All this would not have been lost on the mandarins in Delhi.The DMK crooks like Balu and Raja and Anbumani have not covered themselves with glory.

    All this does not mean,we do not feel for the tamils of eezham.Pain and Suffering know no boundaries.The tamils have been let down by the brainwashed leadership.

    I am sorry to say this.I feel pained for the ordinary tamil.Yet i cant bring myself to fight against GOI,for i cannot identify with the rhetoric and practice of tamizh leadership.It is patent to anyone that what eezham tamils rail as ‘standardisation’ is the norm in TN.If they want a separate state,good luck,but how can GOI support it?

  7. rc said, on May 12, 2009 at 8:01 am

    reason,

    >> if i give credit to PR i may have to start giving to all PR including the filmdom tamasha or various fasts. I would rather not.

    Reason :

    Is it fair to compare filmstars sitting in a mock fast with Sri Sri actually visiting hospitals in vanni and providing what succour he could ?

  8. Revathi said, on May 12, 2009 at 8:02 am

    The Srilankan tamils should have called for integration with Tamil Nadu rather than call for a separate state- there is no raison d’etre for their separate state when there is a huge tamil speaking land at swimming distance from them.

  9. xyz said, on May 12, 2009 at 8:43 am

    1)Do you think srilankan expatriates/LTTE will settle for anything less than eezham.They have been discriminated and infinitely worse they have faced massacres.It has gone to the extent of a full scale war.Worse,the West and christists are instigating tamils.It has to be one way or the other.

    2)There is so much india has to face for remaining neutral.I cant even imagine the IA embedded with SL Army units.

  10. Mahesh said, on May 13, 2009 at 7:41 am

    It should not be forgotten that the LTTE is largely responsible for this tragedy. They have wiped out almost all the other leaders of the Tamil organizations there so that they could claim themselves to be the sole care-takers for the Tamils. Tamils are forcibly held as captives by LTTE in their strongholds thereby inflicting heavy casualities on innocent masses whenever the army strikes the LTTE.

  11. Sid said, on January 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    @rc,
    Look at BR Haran’s article:
    http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=540
    You really think that this is between Buddhist SL and Hindu Tamil? Most of LTTE’s top bosses were Christians, which may also explain why EU countries were so interested in their survival. Eelam is an eye wash, more I see more I get convinced that LTTE was a Srilankan version of NSCN in Nagaland.

  12. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Prasanna Viswanathan, Karthikeyapandian K. Karthikeyapandian K said: RT @prasannavishy: #tnfisherman Must read a brilliant post by @realitycheckind -Unpardonable failure in Sri Lanka http://bit.ly/gn9MTP […]


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