At a function organised by the Sri Lankan high commission in New Delhi on Saturday, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj has unveiled a painting depicting Emperor Asoka to mark the 2,600th year of the advent of Buddhism in the island. Sushma Swaraj recalled the important cultural and Buddhist links between India and Sri Lanka and affirmed India’s commitment to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, reported IANS on Sunday, adding that “she was impressed by the resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts of the Sri Lankan government and the approaches by all parties towards reconciliation.” A Tamil Nadu activist studying in New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University working with the Delhi Tamil Students’ Union condemned this move as a legitimization of “Sri Lanka’s culture of genocide”.
Further, information from sources in the Indian media also reveals that Sri Lankan president Rajapaksa has been invited by Sushma Swaraj to Vidisha to inaugurate a centre for Buddhist study. Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh is the Lok Sabha constituency of the BJP Leader.
“After May 2009, Sri Lanka has been destroying the Tamil homeland by constructing army bases and Sinhala settlements in the name of reconstruction and resettlement, and has been committing systematic rapes of Tamil women in the name of rehabilitation with the intention of destroying the social fabric of the Eezham Tamils on the lines of the mass rapes of Bosnian Muslim women. The BJP’s move to foster cultural links with such a state only gives legitimacy to the culture of genocide that the Sinhala Buddhist ruling class in Sri Lanka has been cultivating for decades,” the DTSU activist told TamilNet.
He further added that the identification of the whole island as a ‘nation’ and of that ‘nation’ with Buddhism gave a moral boost for the Sinhala chauvinists to steadily pursue their agenda of Buddhicization of the Tamil homeland.