Marking the 25th anniversary of signing the failed Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 29 July 1987, The Hindu came out with an article on Saturday written by Col. R. Hariharan, who was head of military intelligence for the IPKF operations of the legacy of first large-scale war crimes committed against Eezham Tamils. The article, “A Tale of Two Interventions,” compared India’s success under Indira Gandhi in Bangladesh in 1971 and failure under Rajiv Gandhi in Sri Lanka in 1987, and concluded that in the post-2009 scenario, “What India does not have is a dynamic national leadership.” But the old soldier is still on ‘duty’ assigned to him in 1987, as the psy-op thrust of the article is to defend the 13th Amendment as “the most significant achievement of the Accord,” and as an evidence for India’s support to “the minority demand for an equitable deal.”
“[…] The Accord sent home a strong message to all stakeholders: India would not ignore strategic developments in its close proximity in Sri Lanka, and would support the minority demand for an equitable deal. The most significant achievement of the Accord was the introduction of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution which provided a degree of autonomy to the newly created provinces. And it still exists as the only constitutional tool available to redress Tamil,” Hariharan claimed in The Hindu opinion feature.
“The Accord failed to achieve its strategic goals in full. The devolution of powers to the Tamil minority promised in the Accord remains unfulfilled despite the 13th Amendment. But the Accord retains the potential as an instrument of Indian influence in the region,” the former IPKF intelligence chief further said.
This is typical of the IPKF generation’s way, as well as today’s New Delhi establishment’s way, of twisting their treachery on the nation of Eezham Tamils for their obsession in preserving the territorial integrity of the genocidal state of Sri Lanka.
“Rajiv Gandhi also made unwritten promises that India could not sustain later,” Hariharan said, but he didn’t specify what promises were made and to whom were they made.
“Sent to Sri Lanka to help implement the Accord, the Indian Army unexpectedly got entangled in war with the LTTE insurgents who refused to lay down arms and join the political mainstream,” Hariharan’s observations were contrary to many other writings on how some key Indian officials worked out a rift between Rajiv and the LTTE and how there were pre-conceived plans on the Indian side for the elimination of the LTTE.
“The three-year war cost the lives of 1,255 Indian soldiers; thousands of Sri Lankans were killed or wounded,” Hariharan didn’t want to say the killed and wounded were Tamils. They are denied of their identity even posthumously and are desecrated by the imposed identity ‘Sri Lankans’.
For Bangladesh, Hariharan gives the number of Pakistani soldiers killed as 9,000. But in the case of the IPKF operation, its ‘intelligence’ head has no account either for the LTTE cadres killed, or for the civilians killed, maimed and raped by the Indian military.
Many Indian psy-op writers choose to trace the tragedy of Eezham Tamils to Rajiv assassination. They never recognize that the quarter a century of events, the genocidal war and the on-going annihilation of the nation of Eezham Tamils are sequels of the Indo-Lanka Accord, first of all ill-conceived and then bungled.
“After the signing of the Accord, Tamils built up high expectations based on the Indian intervention in Bangladesh, without realising that the circumstances were different,” Hariharan blames the common Tamil public that had not suspected the discrimination in the minds of the esoteric in New Delhi.
All the militant groups and especially the LTTE had a full knowledge of it. When some members in the militant groups wanted to explain that to the common people, such members were targeted and eliminated on the advice of Indian intelligence, as India wanted the Tamils to have ‘high expectations’.
Those who didn’t realise the changed circumstances then were after all gullible commoners. But the circumstances are further different today. How many in the IPKF generation of Hariharan and in the national security and policy planning portals of New Delhi have realised that the 13th Amendment that had a ‘starting problem’ for 25 years cannot even be a starting point today?
The absence of a national goal in the intervention in Sri Lanka in 1987 led to warped military thinking, Hariharan’s feature was disproportionately militaristic.
The question is that what ‘national goal’ has been achieved in 2009 by allowing a genocide, by facilitating continued structural genocide, by guaranteeing the unity of a genocidal state and protecting its regime, and by making the nation of Eezham Tamils to count India out in its aspirations – all for finally bringing in a three-power situation in the island.
The problem of India is not the absence of a dynamic national leadership, as Hariharan says. The idea that one billion people should look upon one person is dictatorial, which many in the intelligence sector of India seem to have a fascination for. The real problem is the structure of the establishment in New Delhi – a holy cow coming from the Moghul Empire and British India, which even a democratic India could not touch.
Inertia, arrogance and greed for easy shopping opportunities in the island don’t allow this structure to intelligently explore alternatives to synthesize its national goals with the righteous aspirations of a persistently struggling people.
The real legacy of the Indo-Lanka Accord and the continued adherence of New Delhi to the unity of Sri Lanka is that it has made not only Eezham Tamils but also Tamils within India and everywhere else in the world to view New Delhi as the foremost adversary. To what extent this helps India’s ‘national goals’ may have to be explained to the peoples of India by old guards like Hariharan and a media like The Hindu.