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Animosity of Tamils will not help India’s maritime ambitions

[TamilNet, Saturday, 4 July 2009 09:02 No Comment]

Dominating the Indian Ocean, the shores of which are shared by 47 countries, has been the long-cherished dream of India ever since its independence. As China entering into a competition, the Indian Ocean is fast emerging as the new hotspot of Sino-Indian rivalry, says an article appeared Wednesday in Pakistan Observer. India’s security concerns as well as its needs to assert as a world power may be justifiable, but it is making a grave blunder in earning the animosity of Tamils, which is not going to help in its maritime ambitions, says TamilNet political commentator in Colombo.

Further responses from the political commentator follow:

Even though all powers recognising the geopolitical importance of the island of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean decided that the Eezham Tamil liberation movement is destabilising to the region and cast their weight collectively in favour of genocidal Colombo, India and China are pinpointed as ultimately responsible for the disaster befallen on Eezham Tamils. Of them, China has a steady and clear policy running into half a century now, to support totalitarianism of the Sinhala state for its strategic and economic gains in the island. If allowed, it can go to any extent.

Tamil circles have taken note of the fact that other than viciously abetting the Sinhala state militarily and diplomatically in the genocide and pouncing on to grab economic and strategic interests, China has shown no political or ideological vision in resolving the national conflict in the island. "Colombo may think that it has effectively played the China card to lock India and the West, but consequences will come soon.

On the other hand, India’s policy is reactionary. In Indra Gandhi’s time it thought of supporting the Tamil cause to counter American hegemony operating through Colombo. But it lost its natural ally in the island by its lack of will power in achieving anything decisively and by its deceit on Tamils in Rajiv Gandhi’s time.

Instead of amending its ways by recognising the self-determination of Tamils and get a sure leverage in the island, it naively took the side of a genocidal state that is always paranoid of India, entered into strategic partnership with China, conducted a proxy war against Tamils and now is engaged in erasing all traces of Eezham Tamil nationalism, without realising that its maritime interests are eroded at its very borders.

Neither any amount of money or talk of development other than recognition of Tamil independence is going to wash the stains of Tamil blood in India’s hands, nor any extent of appeasement with Colombo is going to make it a friend of India or make it stop playing the China card.

The collective decision of powers to support genocidal Sri Lankan state and to brand the Eezham Tamil liberation movement as destabilising, are based on simple arithmetic. It is always safe to support the majority for any returns.

This is where the Tamils of Tamil Nadu and their rulers failed. They failed to demonstrate in substance to the Indian Establishment and to the world of powers that who is the majority in that part of the region and what will happen to the interests of anyone who dares to commit or abet genocide for geopolitical gains.

It is time at least now for the Indian Establishment to stop the oppression of Eezham Tamils and to recognize their independence for mutual benefit. It is also the time for the Tamils to realise their strategic and maritime potentiality in the Indian Ocean, assert themselves to their due importance and to play their own cards well. A global Tamil awareness and collaboration are needed in this respect.

Tamils of Tamil Nadu and the diaspora in the various Indian Ocean countries have to make them to be felt in convincing the Indian Establishment or any other power, how important it is not to earn the animosity of Tamils, to realise any ambition in the Indian Ocean.

Tamils are one of the most important maritime people of the Indian Ocean, along with Bengalis, Gujaratis, Arabs, Persians, Malays and Chinese. Prakrits, Tamil, Arabic and Chinese were the lingua franca of the maritime trade of the Indian Ocean in pre-colonial times. The maritime activities of the entire island of Sri Lanka were actually handled by Tamils and Tamil speaking Muslims. Almost all the maritime communities among the Sinhalis today are descendants of Tamils and most of them were Sinhalicised in the last couple of centuries.

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