“The deepest psychological wound rankling the minds of every veteran in Tamilnadu is the killing of Tamilians during the Indo-Srilankan war of 1987-90 by the Indian Armed Forces,” says the President of the Tamil Nadu BJP Ex-Servicemen’s Cell, Lt Col CR Sundar, in a statement circulated to media this week. Had the war crimes been taken up for investigations at that time itself, the later tragedy befallen on Tamils in the island could have been averted, he told Tamil Nadu correspondent of TamilNet on Tuesday. The need that has arisen for Tamil ex-servicemen to take up party line of politics on the Eezham Tamil issue is a significant development in India, political observers said.
The Congress Party that had ordered the war against Tamils in the island and Dravidian Parties that tacitly acquiesced to the conduct of this war have to atone for the killing of Tamils, Sundar said on the IPKF mission, adding that “History will not forgive us if we do not do so.”
He compared New Delhi Establishment using Tamils of Tamil Nadu in the war in the island, to the English East India Company’s use of Madras Regiment in the War of Sri-ranga-patna, against Mysore and Tipu Sultan in 1799.
The same Madras Regiment led the war against Tamils in the island in 1987-90 and that set the stage for the mass genocide of the Tamils by the Sri Lankan Army in 2009, Lt Col Sundar said.
Sundar, elected recently as the President of the Tamil Nadu BJP Cell of Ex-Servicemen calls for the removal of Congress regime at the Centre and the removal of the rule of Dravidian Parties in Tamil Nadu.
While the outfits of the BJP such as the ex-servicemen cell in Tamil Nadu come out with such statements on ‘Tamils of Sri Lanka’ when the elections are around the corner, BJP national leaders like Ms Sushma Swaraj and the BJP Chief Ministers in the North Indian States follow a policy of propping the Sinhala State and regime in Sri Lanka, political activists in Tamil Nadu accused.
What is the stand of the BJP on the national question of Eezham Tamils; their status as a nation having territoriality, sovereignty and right to self-determination – the fundamentals need to be answered for any discourse of Tamils with the BJP, the activists further said.
Full text of the statement by Lt Col Sundar follows:
TAMILNADU VETERANS APOLOGISE FOR TAMILS KILLED DURING THE SRILANKAN WAR
by Lt Col CR Sundar, President Tamil Nadu BJP Ex Servicemen’s Cell
The deepest psychological wound rankling the minds of every veteran in Tamilnadu is the killing of Tamilians during the Indo-Srilankan war of 1987-90 by the Indian Armed Forces. To every Tamilnadu veteran the memory is akin to a switch blade thrust into ventricles the of his heart that is twisted relentlessly and ruthlessly day after day.
Those who are no more with us have gone on because the agonies were unbearable. The rest of us endure those aches which hurt the very core of our being; and what is more, we shall continue to so suffer till the day we are carried away to our cremations.
This pain has to be assuaged. The Congress Party which ordered the war against Srilankan Tamils and Dravidian Parties which the tacitly acquiesced to the conduct of this war have to atone for the killing of Tamilians in Srilanka.
History will not forgive us if we do not do so. It did not forgive us when the East India Company used Tamil soldiers for crushing the anti British resistance movement in South India. 73 Carnatic Infantry was raised in Thiruchirappalli entirely with Tamil people in 1776. In 1799 this unit, rechristened as 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Madras Native Infantry was part of a force which captured the Srirangapatna Fort. Under the orders of Governor General Richard Wellesley every one found inside the Fort was put to the sword and Srirangapatna town was plundered.
This event was not regretted for by the Tamil society and as a consequence India was brought to its knees and suffered the ignominy of being slaves of the British for the next 150 years.
The same unit, now as 2nd Battalion the Madras Regiment led the attack against Tamils in Srilanka. They decimated the unarmed and lightly armed Tamil population between 1987 and 90 and set the stage for the mass genocide of the Tamils by the Srilankan Army in 2009.
The guilt in the conscience of the military veterans of Tamil Nadu is deep and is being exacerbated day after day by recent events. Hence the profound desire among them to seek forgiveness from the Tamils of Srilanka and their decision to make amends.
The blame for the woes of the Tamils of Srilanka rests squarely on the shoulders of the Congress party and its then leader Rajiv Gandhi and also on all the leaders of all the Dravidian parties of Tamil Nadu personified by Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha.
It is undeniable that the Bofors scandal was at the root of the anguish suffered by the Tamils of Srilanka. Rajiv Gandhi’s larceny had been exposed. Instead of returning the money and resigning in the spirit of a good national leader Rajiv Gandhi tried to divert the attention of the nation by involving the Army in Srilanka. Karunanidhi and Jayalalaitha, in their own way, ensured the support of Dravidians for Rajiv Gandhi much against the will of the Tamil people.
But neither Rajiv Gandhi nor Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha could match the devious and deceitful cunning of Jayawardhane or Premadasa, the then Srilankan leaders who managed to twist and turn the events in such a way that the Tamils of Srilanka became the foes of the Indian Army.
Thus unfolded the saddest chapter in the history of the Indian Army and the heartrending saga of cruelty against Srilankan Tamils.
Having said that, there are two important lessons the nation should learn here. The first is that the days when it was believed that war is ‘diplomacy by other means’ are long gone. In this era ‘war is economic activity’ by other means. Before deploying the armed forces the nation has to calculate the monetary profits and losses of the act. The Congress Government under Rajiv Gandhi did not exercise this wisdom. Thus India took economic losses. Worse still, the Indian Armed Forces lost face in the international arena.
The second, and even more important lesson is that our nation’s foreign policy is a matter which has to be well considered and should form part of a long term strategy. While deciding questions of how to deal with other countries our own and the other countrys’ past, present and future should be well studied and analysed. Here too the Congress governments down the ages have proved incompetent.
Soldiers will do what they are ordered to do. The soldiers of the Madras Regiment did their duty and no culpability shall befall on them.
But the full responsibility for the ignominious actions rests with the Congress Party and the Dravidian Parties of Tamil Nadu who have supported the Congress Party. Ironically those parties that deserve to be punished are ruling over the Tamil people.
This is what riles the conscience of the military veterans of Tamil Nadu. This is why we seek the forgiveness of Srilankan Tamils.
The Tamil Nadu State ExServicemen’s Cell is united in its determination to make amends by removing the Congress Party at the Centre and all the Dravidian Parties from power in Tamil Nadu.
We resolve to bring in Bharatiya Janata Party governments at all levels and provide succour to the Tamils of Srilanka.
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The address of Lt Col Sundar on his election as president of the BJP Ex-Servicemen Cell in January 2013: