The action taken by Tamil Nadu chief minister to send back Colombo footballers and an incident of mob harassment against Sri Lankan tourists in Tamil Nadu have made New Delhi and Colombo, the partners in the genocide of Eezham Tamils, to remember the importance of people to people relationship all of a sudden. Following close on their heels were The Hindu and the Marxist Communist Party of India (CPI-M). The BJP parliamentary leader Sushma Swaraj chose the time to invite Mahinda Rajapaksa to open a Buddhist institution in her constituency. Even though sections of media in India try to reduce the stand of Jayalalithaa as mere impulsive response to the open insistence of the Centre on training Sri Lankan military personnel in India, and project it as a dangerous game, powerful but short-sighted etc., the matter is much deeper than that, writes TamilNet political commentator in Colombo.
For decades, in the name of national interests of India, a bunch of dealers in the bureaucracy, corporates, sections of elite thinking that they are the custodians of the national interests and sections of media were bullying and muffling popular leaders of Tamil Nadu voicing for righteous solutions to the national question of Eezham Tamils. The time has now come for the popular leaders to come back at the dealers, as the grassroot reality is that any absence of timely justice and denial of liberation to Eezham Tamils would bring in a worse crisis to the national interests of India.
But New Delhi continues to harp on economic and military relations with genocidal Colombo as way of promoting India’s national interests, which is interpreted by Colombo as free licence to complete the annihilation of the nation of Eezham Tamils in the island.
India steps up relations to hit US $ 10 billion trade with Sri Lanka by 2017, Colombo media reports said on Friday.
An official spokesperson of New Delhi’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), assuring security to Sri Lankan visitors in India, including in Tamil Nadu, was cited saying to New Indian Express, Tuesday, "Our High Commission in Colombo issued visas to nearly 200,000 Sri Lankan nationals to visit India last year, while approximately 175,000 Indian tourists visited Sri Lanka in 2011 […] It is this perspective that guides all our actions on such matters."
The MEA spokesperson emphasized that people-to-people contacts are an integral part of the close historical, cultural, ethnic and civilisational ties between India and Sri Lanka, New Indian Express said.
The MEA spokesperson was responding to media on Monday’s travel warning of Colombo to Sri Lankans visiting Tamil Nadu, following Ms. Jayalalithaa ordering the exit of footballers.
Meanwhile, speaking to The Hindu, Colombo’s Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, regretting for the “unfortunate” incidents taking place in Tamil Nadu was also harping on “people to people contact.”
The CPI-M was quick to echo, by condemning Ms. Jayalalithaa for her action against the footballers and by coming out with the ‘people to people’ rhetoric.
"Whatever the differences and opposition that exists regarding the Sri Lankan government’s approach to the Tamil question in Sri Lanka, nothing should be done to disturb people-to-people relations," the CPI-M said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Hindu came out with an editorial on Tuesday to tell the same point: “it is one thing to demand the government desist from training soldiers from the island nation and quite another to ask for — and then peremptorily impose — a virtual embargo on sporting and cultural ties with ordinary Sri Lankans,” the editorial said.
“It is tempting to see a connection between this hostile act towards innocent schoolchildren and the strident political demands,” The Hindu editorial further said.
After the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, thousands of innocent Eezham Tamil students in India were sent back or refused of visa to come for admissions.
For several years, many ordinary Eezham Tamils, even those who had families in India, couldn’t make ‘people to people’ contact due to bias and policies followed in the Indian diplomatic missions all over the world.
On several occasions Eezham Tamil participants to academic and cultural events were turned back. Even now there are many Eezham Tamil academics, social workers and cultural activists in the island and in the diaspora who are unable to visit India.
In the last several decades no one has ever heard about any Eezham Tamil or Muslim schools in the North and East either sent or invited to play ‘people to people’ matches in India. What is special about the Royal College and an international school, ask grassroot activists in the island.
For a long time, India prohibited any people to people contact with Israel.
Similarly, for several years, there was no people-to-people relationship with apartheid South Africa, even though peoples of Indian origin make a considerable section of the population of that country.
Sri Lanka is worse than apartheid South Africa. Neither the apartheid South Africa caused disappearance of 1.5 lakhs of people of a nation in a single war, nor that regime was an elected one of the majority. If the government in Colombo is an elected government –not only once but twice– the majority that has elected the government has responsibility for the genocide, and it should know the world opinion on that. Otherwise its ‘genocidal-national’ arrogance that is much ‘respected’ by some Indian media nowadays will have no bounds.
Already the SL minister and former JVP propaganda secretary Wimal Weerawansa was cited in Colombo media for calling Tamil Nadu politicians “stupid” and for challenging that if Tamil Nadu incites violence against Sri Lankans visiting, training defence personnel, playing sports and engaging in pilgrimage in the state, what will happen if the Sri Lankan public respond by behaving in the same manner.
The main issue here is New Delhi’s adamant refusal to call a spade a spade. It never recognized the genocide, it was a party to it, it continues to facilitate it, it shields the genocidal regime in Colombo and it guarantees the ‘integrity’ of the genocidal state – all for economic and military integration of the island as a whole.
But by its complicity in the genocide, New Delhi along with others has demolished people to people relationship within the island and with Tamil Nadu for generations to come.
Only political justice and separation could now provide a platform of parity, confidence and trust to rebuild people to people relationship inside the island and with the outside. It may even pave way for spontaneous political unity eventually.
What has to be told to the edification of Sri Lanka friends, especially to the Marxist Communist Party of India, is that people to people relationship doesn’t come with corporate and military interests.