Unpardonable failure in Sri Lanka
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Air Strike at dawn on civilian hindus
Does this sound like the death march ?
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