May 28, 2009

Will India now show some spine and see to it that Tamilians get their due human rights?

LTTE is finished! Prabhakaran has been killed!! Perhaps Sri Lanka was left with no other choice. And perhaps it’s good for their future. However, the debate is not so simple. Successive Indian governments, from the time of our late Prime Minister Nehru, have had an important role to play. Not in any good manner but in a very spineless negative manner. History is testimony to the fact that after Independence, we have always played a pathetic role when it has come to managing our neighbours, thus allowing a very negatively aggressive China the upper hand. We gave away Tibet to China – though historically Tibet was always a part of India – thereby allowing China to come literally next to our borders and create continuous nonsense. We have failed miserably in handling even a country like Bhutan, which used to shield ULFA terrorists against us. We gave away Bangladesh very gallantly, but despite that, we failed to manage relations with the Bangladeshis; and speaking about Pakistan is next to useless.

Sri Lanka, similarly, has been managed as badly. The small country is astoundingly close to the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Expectably, scores of Tamilians are settled within Sri Lanka. However, the Sri Lankans, ever since the very beginning, have denied Tamilians many basic human rights and have made them live under horrible conditions. For years, Sri Lankan Tamilians were treated as unwanted people – from the 1956 Sinhala Only Act, which forced civilians to stop using Tamil as their language, to the 1958 and 1977 anti-Tamil riots, from the 1981 burning of the reputed Jaffna public library to July 1983, when Sri Lanka witnessing the bloodiest ever anti-Tamil riots by the Sinhalese majority after the LTTE had ambushed a few army personnel. In these Black July riots, thousands of Sri Lankan Tamils were massacred, more than a lakh fled the country. The Human Rights Watch has confirmed that Sri Lanka is now amongst the countries with the highest number of unexplained and mysterious disappearances of civilians. Most of them who have disappeared have been Tamils, with the Human Rights Watch expressing that the Sri Lankan government has displayed deliberate lack of resolve to even investigate these disappearances. The United Nations Working Group places Sri Lanka second on the ignominious disappearing list and documents cases of rape, torture and custodial killings at random. The US State Department, the EU, and almost all other top countries have accused the Sri Lankan State machinery of being complicit in the human rights crimes being committed. LTTE, perhaps a terrorist organisation to many, has been a result and consequence of similar Sri Lankan atrocities against the Tamilians.

All the LTTE wanted in reality was a dignified existence for Tamilians settled there. Unfortunately, that was never to be, and it became a full blown conflict between LTTE and Sri Lanka, putting them often in a bad light. Somewhere down the line, even LTTE lost its basic track and started doing things, which could easily get classified as acts of terrorism. Having said that, the fact is that innocent Tamilians have suffered throughout, and never more than during this LTTE cleanup operation by the ruthless Sri Lankan army, an entity which has definitely violated many human rights and bombed them to destruction. No admonition from any global entity, be it UN, Amnesty International, or even the US, has worried the emboldened Sri Lankan army this time. And now, they have even stopped the access of agencies like the International Red Cross and other aid agencies to the war zone and various Tamil camps in a deliberate bid to restrict medical and food aid to thousands of Tamilians at the border of death.

Rarely would any other big country have allowed such kinds of acts of inhuman barbarism in its neighbourhood the way India has allowed since the times of Nehru himself. Jawaharlal Nehru should have decidedly taken a stance and seen to it then itself that the Tamilians got their independent rights – after all Sri Lanka, unlike Pakistan, was a democracy. But Nehru’s weak policies led to China's nonstop growing clout in our neighbourhood; to such an extent that today, from Pakistan to Sri Lanka to Bangladesh to Nepal, China is funding all these countries against Indian interests.

And China is a heavy, clear and present threat to India because on pen and paper itself, China's military might is about twice of that of India’s today. In dangerous reality, being a dictatorial country with no need to maintain proper accounting systems, the fact is that China’s real might could very well be at least five times more.

Coming back to the plight of Tamilians in Sri Lanka, it is time for India to finally act and show that it has got what it takes to defend its people and their rights across the world; and definitely across the next door. This treatment meted out to Tamilians openly and in front of the entire world’s eyes in violation of all basic human rights is a direct challenge to India’s might and insult to its existence. It’s time for the Indian government to show some spine. And this should be completely high up in the new government’s cross border agenda.



Sridhar said...

Spot on couldn't have agreed more with you on this. The reason the world doesn't care for the plight of civilians in Lanka and Tibet is that these countries aren't beneficial in any way to the big countries as they do not benefit much by trading with Lanka. Maybe someday if they discover Oil or some other resource in these countries we may see the world singing a different tune. Till then I don't think the world will show much interest in Lanka or Tibet.

Technology Journal said...

Dearest Sir,

I mean are Sri Lankans cannibals or into organ trade.

Shocking facts about the Tamil issues, the issue looks buried in the hand to mouth public of India, and govern to vote bank politics.

What India can do where India itself is host to rioting.

It looks like Human beings have been reduced to the level of pigs and dogs fighting for food.

India should raise the issue at UN and with Sri Lanka in Saarc meeting with rigid frigidity.

Rajeev Vashisht

உமையணன் said...

//Expectably, scores of Tamilians are settled within Sri Lanka.//
hope u don't mean migration. if so pls understand they r no migrants. tamils live their since prehistoric period. there's no evidence of migration in history. some indian tamils migrate during british era. they are very few and they are called upcountry tamils. people who faught are different. according to the sinhalese epic mahavamsa sinhalese migrate from orissa to srilanka around 5th century bc. before that the whole island was not left empty.

//though historically Tibet was always a part of India//
do the tibetians know this?

perfectsaahil said...




pls help out

V.Muthuswami said...

Sunday (31 May 09)newspapers report that both UN Chief Ban and his top aide, Vijay Nambiar, knew of Tamil massacres by Sri Lankan army goons and didn't lift their fingers. If this is true, what a shame of an orgn trumpetting about human rights day and night. Nambiar being a south Indian should have shown some sensitivity and understanding of the situation and advised his boss to do what is necessary. If he has not done his duty or shown his indifference, then he deserves to be shown the doors forthwith.
Don't talk about Delhi Sarkar and their cohorts in TN; both are never interested in protecting the helpless Tamils across the Palk Strait except for local politics; now that the election is over and "kurchi" secured, Sri Lankan Tamils will be left to mend for themselves.
For some strange reason, UN and many international orgns have been so obsessed with the idylic beauties of this small island nation and its unspoilt beaches to be bothered about the plight of poor dark Tamils, they being treated as unwanted settlers by the Sinhalese ultras with the support of Chinese masters.

Chaitanya said...

Is the Indian Govt :-
a) Proactive,
b) Reactive, or
c) Indecisive (which explains why things are unexplainable with the Indian Govt)

Time has proved that Indian Govt has never been proactive. Is the Indian govt reactive? In most cases it takes many years and many a sufferings (and some benefit or pressure) before they react.

I'm not political systems expert but the state of events around me makes me question - Is our system designed to heal itself?

pamaran said...

We are welcoming yr Humanitarian views.But Regarding Eelam tamil issue What Mr.Uthayanan told was 100% Correct. They are not migrants.Migrants are called as "plantation Tamils". Even political leaders also dont know the difference between the "Refugees" and "Repatriates".(including Mr.Morarji Desai )First of all North Indians should know the Origin of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

rahul sharma said...

but it is good to demolish all social viruses from society

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with Arindam Sir!! The Srilanka has learnt a bitter lesson from the Late LTTE. The times the were different then & r differnt now with the explosion of information activity. The Srilanka will be apprehensive about mating out ill treatment to the Tamils. And it may be hoped now that their sanity will prevail!! India may mind its own business. Well I'm an Indian. OK!! Waht say??

SHANK said...

Dear Sir,
First of all I became the big biggest fan of prof. Arindam Chaudhuri after reading CYCBTH since it resonates my ideas.
Unjust is the root cause for terrorism. The judiciary wing of any country must be strong enough to protect the citizens and immigrants. Lanka failed in this regard.

sm said...

i do not agree with you.
that is the problem of lanka .
without permission from lanka govt,
indian govt should not interfear in the matters of lanka govt.
Think about j and k problem and pakistan ,you will get answer.

Moses said...

The fact that so many innocent tamils died during the Sri Lankan crackdown on LTTE is only because the LTTE held them hostage and used them as human shields,which all terrorists do,for example Hamas in Gaza.LTTE is nothing more than a ruthless terrorist organisation and deserve to be eliminated.They are definitely not freedom fighters.India should take a leaf out of Sri Lanka's book and move forward in eliminating the Naxalite threat.

kumaran g said...

This shows ur half-baked knowledge about the issue. Better keep quiet when u can't think in terms of the victims and don't know the history of srilanka. This is not some Bollywood movie that ur commenting on...
And as a matter of fact most of the non-tamils and few Tamils r jus like u....

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