During the Vanni War, every visit of New Delhi operatives to Colombo was followed by escalation in genocide. The pattern continues unabated after the war that every Indian visit would follow with further economic inroads into the island, exchanged for Colombo’s bailout and confirmation of its militarisation and structural genocide of the country of Eezham Tamils. The latest example is the ‘economic’ mission of Anand Sharma followed by the visit of Shiv Shankar Menon. While New Delhi deceives gullible Tamils that ‘economic integration’ would resolve the national question, genocidal Colombo prioritises the annihilation of the nation of Eezham Tamils, to outsmart India later. As only a collective Tamil Nadu could blast the vicious circle, TESO has to be orientated and accommodated appropriately by all concerned, said Tamil activists in the island.
The recent months have seen massive inflow of Indian money and investments into the island. When genocidal Colombo was targeting for 2000 million dollars of direct foreign investment for this year, New Delhi came out with 4000 million dollars to get an enclave at Trincomalee in the occupied country of Eezham Tamils.
India to set up a ‘dedicated’ economic zone in Trincomalee, Indian private sector would invest in ports in Sri Lanka, India to modernise textile mills in Sri Lanka, Indian Oil to set refinery for SLR 20,000 crores (20 billion), Indian mantra for merry ties, first bi-lateral forum of CEOs, agreement on customs, relaxation on employment visa to India, Indian investors make a beeline for Sri Lanka, ball rolling on doubling bi-lateral trade, Sri Lanka is a land of ‘limitless opportunities’ for India– these were in the headlines of Colombo-New Delhi orchestrated media, during the visit of New Delhi establishment’s minister of commerce, Anand Sharma.
The minister didn’t forget to come out with the rhetoric that all are done for the benefit of the war-torn people. But so far, not a single project of substantial local industry is permitted to the local people, accuses the Jaffna Chamber of Commerce.
Just a week before the Indian minister’s visit, the occupying Sinhala military in Vanni entered into 30 schools in the Poonakari region in Vanni, stopped the school exams of around 3000 students and forcefully took them in military vehicles to participate in a ‘sports meet’ the military was organising at Thu’nukkaay to entertain dignitaries from the South. This is only a small example showing the extent of the subjugation of Eezham Tamils by the occupying genocidal military.
New Delhi’s direct patronage to the genocidal military, with which it has ‘military to military’ relationship, is not a secret.
Nothing of what takes place in the country of Eezham Tamils is unknown to the New Delhi establishment, but peoples of India largely don’t know and are even misled. A media such as The Hindu in India that brings out issues of peoples all over the world is venomous when it comes to the question of Eezham Tamils.
A few days ago, IPKF intelligence chief Col. Hariharan wrote a feature in The Hindu, comparing India’s missions in Bangladesh and in Sri Lanka.
The comparison and contrast misses a point. There is no precedent for what New Delhi is now doing with Eezham Tamils. At no time before, India has planned its economic expansion over the genocide of a people in any of the neighbouring countries or elsewhere.
The blatantly unholy experiment of India is for the first time tried only with the Eezham Tamils. Tamil Nadu as well as the entire global Tamils should comprehend the utter contempt for Tamils with which the bunch of elements steering policy in New Delhi is dared to carryout this experiment.
There are alternative ways for New Delhi to concede righteous solutions to genocide-facing Eezham Tamils and at the same time address its insatiable economic greed, but it doesn’t care to explore.
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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms. Jayalalithaa and the State Assembly should carefully note the point that policy designers in New Delhi act totally opposite to what the State Assembly has resolved.
When the Assembly has resolved for economic sanctions against Colombo, unprecedentedly massive amount of Indian money is spent in buttressing the regime in Colombo.
Another development that followed Shiv Shankar Menon’s recent visit is Colombo agreeing to the UNHRC procedures. New Delhi will use it and its monitoring position at the UNHRC to save the Rajapaksa regime from any international investigation, demanded by the Tamil Nadu Assembly.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister should now seriously think about the next step. What is needed is collective action.
Leaving aside the personal agenda or party agenda and issues related to the modus operandi of Mr. Karunanidhi, when a mainstream party such as the DMK comes out with a programme like the TESO conference, it has to be approached with an attitude of improving it to become more positive. Mr. Karunanidhi has historically tilt from his duties at a crucial point of time, but he is not an enemy to the cause. A Prodigal Son shouldn’t be denied of chance.
News reports show that TESO is finding pressure from New Delhi to compromise with fundamentals so that the ‘economic integration’ approach in the island will not be affected. Pressure and discouraging tactics were also applied on prospective participants.
As the unrealistic pressure is not much effective, and fearing foreign participants inspiring the course of the conference, New Delhi now sabotages the participation of Eezham Tamils by cheap tactics of avoiding the issue of visa.
After keeping the participants waiting for days, the Indian foreign ministry came out with a clearance letter of further hitches timed for Thursday, when the following three days would be holidays. Besides, the MEA clearance came with an inflammatory demand to drop the word “Eelam” from the identity of the Eelam Tamils.
According to informed sources, the other pressure faced by TESO and personally by Mr. Karunanidhi is internal. This comes from those who argue against asserting to fundamentals. They want discussions and resolutions to confine to current and day-to-day issues faced by Eezham Tamils. This is in fact the agenda of New Delhi as well as some of the crisis managers of the International Community of Establishments (ICE) as well.
If the conference is deviated to talk about day-to-day issues faced by Eezham Tamils, then there are hundreds of them and the list is inexhaustible. It will be like counting the trees in the wood.
Besides, anyone who has experience in dealing with genocidal Sri Lanka knows well that this state is capable of coming out with new and new devils and evils, when issues are raised individually. The US Asst. Secretary of State Robert Blake had the experience of talking about ‘grease devils’ in Jaffna, as though he has the reins, but only to find new forms of devils coming up later.
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If TESO wants to contribute anything substantial, it should fundamentally set the line of thinking in India as well as in the international arena.
The LLRC implementation approach of Washington-led ICE and the 13th Amendment approach of New Delhi are currently the two curses that muffle righteous solutions to Eezham Tamils and encourage Colombo in the path of structural genocide and annihilation of the nation of Eezham Tamils.
Both the approaches have to be rejected outright, in order to impel the two powers to come out with alternatives and also to ‘release’ sections of Tamil politicians in the island and sections of activists in the diaspora who are at the moment ‘political captives’ of the two powers for various reasons ranging from funds and leadership offers to institutional affiliations and intimidation.
TESO will be doing a great service if it could come out with an independent voice of mass backing in this matter, for the structural liberation of Eezham Tamil polity that is currently facing a heavy pressure to play treachery to the cause of its own people.
Therefore, any noble and universal fundamental in the context of the genocide-affected, military-less nation of Eezham Tamils could be nothing less than calling for a mass struggle for liberation and freedom to exercise the democratic right to self-determination.
The DMK chief has already come out with a call for an internationally supervised referendum to be conducted among Eezham Tamils and the TESO concept paper has a brief reference on it. This has to be made into the pivotal point setting a global agenda.
Internationally guaranteed solution to the question of Eezham Tamils is now inevitable, as India by its own actions in the last six decades and abuse of opportunities particularly in the last 30 years has lost the chance of resolving it in its backyard.
As the phase of the struggle has become international as well as addressing the world powers, credibility for any move from Tamil Nadu would come only when it is mass-oriented, kept above party politics and becomes a global movement.
From its side, TESO has to lay foundations especially for taking the cause above party politics and this has to be reciprocated by the other mainstream parties and grassroot organisations as well.
A constructive criticism against the current TESO move is that it should improve in its rigours of professionalism needed for an international struggle and international presentation, to match the onslaught of the adversaries, their institutions and media. Given the resources and experience of the constituent bodies of TESO, it shouldn’t be a problem.